Vassalboro Public Library student reader Olivia Hatch was one of 12 to win a bicycle through the library’s summer reading program raffle. Submitted photo

Throughout the summer 67 students, all members of the Vassalboro Public Library, participated in a summer reading program Bikes for Books, sponsored by Vassalboro Masonic Lodge No. 54.

In mid-June the children signed up for the program and received a welcome packet which included a free book, start-up prizes and reading logs. They also received one raffle ticket for signing up which went into the bike raffle. For every two hours read after signup, and recorded in reading logs, students received another ticket to add to the raffle.

There were 12 bikes total to win — all sponsored by the lodge — sized 16-inch, 20-inch, 24-inch and 28-inch to accommodate the different ages of the participants.

The incentive for students was immediately apparent to library staff. Many of the participating children were eager to win a bike, according to a news release from Brian Stanley, library director.

About 15 students were reading 15 to 40 hours a week, and those up to 40 came often to the library to turn in reading logs for more raffle tickets. By Aug. 28, once the final tally came in, the 67 participating students had read a total of 1,622 hours.

On Aug. 28 Stanley, the assistant librarian, and two trustees gathered with members of the lodge to raffle off the bikes. Participating families were welcome to get free ice cream, have their faces painted, and get a free library T-shirt. Twelve students received bikes, and the 1,622 hours read became an incentive for the library and Masonic Lodge to hold similar events in the coming years.

During the summer the Vassalboro library also sponsored many programs for area youth, including Northern Stars Planetarium, Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers, Chewonki, Tidepools and Fins and Flippers, the L.C. Bates Museum and weekly storytimes.

For future events, visit or the library’s Facebook page.

Cora Fisher was one of many student readers in the Vassalboro Public Library’s summer reading program. She was one of 12 to win a bike in the program’s raffle. Submitted photo


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