If Victoria Hernandez’s teacher asks what she did this summer, the 9-year-old member of the East Fresno Boys & Girls Club should have no trouble answering.
Victoria read 48 books from June through mid-August, and led all participants in the ninth annual “Books for Bikes” program.
Every summer, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County team up with Granville Homes and other community partners to encourage children to read during their break from school.
Top readers earned bikes based on a point system for number of books read and chapters read, as well as attendance and participation in club events. On Friday, 250 children received bikes, helmets, locks and other rewards donated by Granville Homes.
“Our goal is to inspire kids to read more books because it’s part of the education process, and we know education transforms lives,” said Granville President Darius Assemi.
Since the beginning of Books for Bikes, Granville has donated more than 1,000 bikes.
Granville’s “investment in bicycles as incentives has been an investment in education,” said Diane Carbray, president/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County. “The kids are discovering that reading can be fun.”
Youth, ages 6 to 18, at 25 clubs in Fresno and Madera counties participated in this summer’s Books for Bikes. Thirty of them, including Victoria, achieved “super reader” status and earned additional gifts.
Assemi attended the bike party and called on the children to repeat after him Nelson Mandela’s observation that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”