MOROCCO — The Morocco Lodge of The Knights of Pythias became the first lodge in Indiana to sponsor the Read and Ride Program aimed at benefitting children in second grade in all four elementary schools.

The program encourages kids to meet reading goals throughout the year. Children who meet the goals had their name placed into a drawing for a new boy’s and girl’s bicycle, which was given away at each school last week. The winners also receive a $20 gift card donated by Walmart in Rensselaer so the kids can purchase a helmet and any other supplies needed.

DJ Hoover

(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

D.J. Hoover was the Morocco boy winner of the bike.

“We are proud to sponsor this program and partner with Newton County schools to encourage young people to read and further their education,” said Tim Loughmiller, a member of The Knights of Pythias.

Lincoln bike winer

(PHOTO PRIVEDED)

(PHOTO PRIVEDED)

Adolfo O’Campo won the boy’s bike at Lincoln Elementary.

The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization, which promotes friendship and goodwill. The order is based on the story of Damon and Pythias from Greek history and on the principles of medieval knighthood. Other charities supported by the organization include the Ronald McDonald House and the Boy Scouts of America. They also sponsor speech and poster contests for high school students in Indiana and nationally.

Mae Ruble bike winner

(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

Mae Ruble won the girl’s bike for Morocco second graders.

Winners of the bikes were Jose Portillo and Adalyn Schladenhauffen from South Newton; Hannah Polus and Adolfo O’Campo from Lincoln; D.J. Hoover and Mae Ruble from Morocco; and Caroline Kroll and Dayton Oxley of Lake Village (not pictured).

Hannah Polus bike

(PHOTO PROVIDED)

(PHOTO PROVIDED)

Hannah Polus won the girl’s bike at Lincoln Elementary.