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Reading gets lucky students rolling in Langley

South Whidbey Elementary School students pose with the new bicycles they won in a school reading contest. From left are Jacob Breeden, Emma Leggett, Kade Petty and Madison Gabelein. The bikes were donated by the Langley Masonic Lodge. Members (from left) are Tony Gill, Wayne Smith, Thomas Gill, Bob Campbell and Milo Milfs. - Roy Jacobson / The Record
South Whidbey Elementary School students pose with the new bicycles they won in a school reading contest. From left are Jacob Breeden, Emma Leggett, Kade Petty and Madison Gabelein. The bikes were donated by the Langley Masonic Lodge. Members (from left) are Tony Gill, Wayne Smith, Thomas Gill, Bob Campbell and Milo Milfs.
— image credit: Roy Jacobson / The Record

There was reading, riding and a little ‘rithmetic at South Whidbey Elementary School this past week.

The math involved multiplication. Not two but four new bicycles were given to four students participating in a school reading contest.

“Some kids are more into reading then others, and any little bit of encouragement helps a lot,” said Pat Smith, school librarian.

The bikes were purchased and presented by members of the Langley Masonic Lodge. The Masons have provided new bicycles for two young readers for each of the past four years.

This year they provided four bikes — and four new helmets.

“It’s our way to help get kids to read,” said lodge master Tony Gill.

The names of the winners were drawn from a box during a school assembly in the school gym last Friday morning.

A boy and a girl from grades kindergarten through second grade, and a boy and girl from grades three through five were selected.

The winners were kindergartener Madison Gabelein, 5; second-grader Jacob Breeden, 8; third-grader Emma Leggett, 9; and fourth-grader Kade Petty, 10.

“Cool,” Jacob said.

At the assembly to present the bikes were lodge members Tony Gill, Thomas Gill, Wayne Smith, Bob Campbell and Milo Milfs.

Smith said the reading contest began at the beginning of the school year. Individual teachers determined how students would qualify, she said. That usually involved a project or report based on the book, to show that the student had read it.

Books could come from the library, the classroom or from home, and the more books each student read, the more chances they got in the drawing.

Leading up to the main event, other students were selected to draw names, and if the chosen students could answer a computer question about a book read in class, they won a classroom prize.

Most winners chose posters, and the crowd celebrated with silent clapping and orca clicks.

Bob Campbell of the Masons said the lodge would donate another set of bicycles and helmets to winners of a new reading contest that runs through the end of the school year.

“We’re grateful to the Masons for being so supportive all these years,” Smith said. Smith is one of two librarians at the school; the other is Val Brown.

“We think its a good thing to do,” Campbell said.

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