By Jacob Mathias
Students from Jefferson Elementary have been chasing one bicycle all summer- the Book Cycle.
The Book Cycle is supported in part by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, a non-profit organization that says it’s dedicated to making college a reality. To help achieve this, they aim reading programs directly at the elementary education level.
“The kids are always very enthusiastic. They come running when they hear the bike pull up. They’re just waiting on their front lawns excited for the Book Cycle to come,” said Melissa McGraw, a Great Lakes spokesperson.
The cycle is ridden by teachers from Jefferson on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 PM to 2:45 PM. Signs are posted around the school’s neighborhood with approximate times the cycle will be at that location.
At the end of the regular route, the cycle stops at the Boys and Girls Club playground at 1800 East Ave.
“It’s a good way for the kids to keep reading throughout the summer,” said Ben Krueger, a first grade teacher and Book Cycle rider. “A lot of them, when you come back to school, if the kids aren’t reading over the summer you can see that in their reading scores. So it’s really good to keep the kids interested in books and keep reading fun for them.”
Krueger said he sees about 40 students take advantage of the Book Cycle on every ride.
The books are checked out in a library-style format. Children typically take two books at a time and return them the next time the cycle comes by.
The books were provided by Great Lakes employees during a book drive this spring when over 100 books were donated.
The latest donation from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation was given to Jefferson Elementary as part of their local adopted school program. Each Great Lakes office adopts one school in the community and provides them with financial and academic support. The company’s adopted school is determined by the financial need of the individuals within the school and Jefferson Elementary will continually be supported by Great Lakes.
The adopted school program also has a fall and winter school supply drive in addition to their monetary donations.
The Great Lakes Education Service Center in Stevens Point opened in April 2014.