One of four winners donates her bike to Caring for Carmen

Pearson Elementary School first-grader Kye Brandon checks out his new ride at the Books for Bikes Challenge prize presentation, June 7.                   - Kipp Robertson/ Herald
Pearson Elementary School first-grader Kye Brandon checks out his new ride at the Books for Bikes Challenge prize presentation, June 7.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Herald

POULSBO — When Kelsee Bryant began reading for the Books for Bikes Challenge, she already knew what she would do with a bike if she won. And it wasn’t go for a ride.

Kelsee, a fourth-grader, already has a bicycle. So she decided she would put the bike up for sale, and donate the proceeds to the Caring for Carmen Foundation. The Pearson student wanted to help out Carmen Garringer’s parents as much as she can.

Carmen, a Suquamish Elementary School student, is undergoing treatment for cancer.

“I don’t need another bike,” Kelsee said June 7 during the 20th family barbecue at Pearson. “I read a lot.”

It turns out all that reading Kelsee did paid off. She was one of four students at Pearson to receive a bicycle from the Masons’ Warren G. Harding Lodge No. 260. The lodge gathered the bicycles for the second year of the challenge.

Along with Kelsee, first-grader Kye Brandon, second-grader Emilio Douglas, and fourth-grader Farhan Suhaime won bicycles.

Students participating in the challenge filled out reading forms. For every 15 minutes a K-2 student reads, their form is initialed by a parent. Students in grades 3-5 had to read 30 minutes for a parent’s initial. The forms were then placed in a box. At the end of the challenge, four forms were selected at random.

The challenge encouraged at least 50 percent of the students at Pearson to read more, Pearson Principal Deb Foreman said. The students know they need to read, but adding an extra incentive gives it a “fun twist,” Foreman said.

It can be difficult to get students to read, she said, but add the chance to win a bike, and there is more willingness. Though the two students with the most hours did not win bicycles from the random drawings, they were recognized at the barbecue. Second-grader Kainoa Bonsell read 66 hours; fourth-grader Lucas Bertnik read 108 hours.

The bicycle program was introduced by the Masonic Grand Lodge five years ago, being picked up last year by the local chapter. Ultimately, Warren G. Harding Lodge Master Adam Derr would like to see the program used districtwide. Derr is looking for more businesses to supply bicycles. Two bicycles were donated by local businesses — the Poulsbo McDonalds and Meineke Car Care Center. The other two were donated by the lodge.


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