When elementary school teacher Mathew Portell discovered that one of his students didn’t have anything to read at home, he began asking fellow cyclists to donate books. Seven years later, his Nashville-based nonprofit, Ride for Reading, has distributed more than 250,000 books—by bike—in 16 states, including Nevada.
This year, the Western Nevada Safe Routes to School Program, based in Carson City but also serving Lyon, Douglas, and Story Counties, will hold their second Ride for Reading event. Books will be delivered to elementary schools in Carson City during the week of September 28 – October 2 and Lyon County during the following week, October 5 – 9.
The event promotes literacy, and of course bicycle safety. All riders are required to model good cycling behavior and to wear a helmet for deliveries. Safety is the focus of every event. Once the riders arrive at the school, the kids get a short talk about the importance of reading and also bike safety. They pledge to read and share their books and to be safe on their bikes. Then, the kids select a book to keep and the riders are on their way.
Over the course of two weeks, thousands of students in both counties will receive a book to keep as part of the event. Cyclists from around the region are encouraged to volunteer for the deliveries. “When you ride on to the playground at the school and the kids are excited, cheering, and high-fiving the riders, it’s the most gratifying feeling in the world. This is my favorite Safe Routes to School event”, said Western Nevada Safe Routes to School Coordinator Cortney Bloomer.
Volunteers are needed to help with deliveries in both counties. To participate or to learn more, contact Western Nevada Safe Routes to School Coordinator Cortney Bloomer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (775) 283-7525.
Las Vegas National Ride for Reading Week Event
Ride for Reading has partnered with the Annual Interbike International Bicycle Exposition to host the largest delivery during National Ride for Reading Week, September 13-19. The event will take place September 17 in Las Vegas to benefit Jydstrup Elementary School. Click here for more information and to register.
Photo Credits: www.rideforreading.org