By Chelle Delaney
Reading, everyone knows pays off, and if you were lucky on Thursday you got a free ride, too.
The Tucumcari Public Library’s summer reading program for children culminated on Thursday with a puppet show, cake and ice cream, door prizes and, for 10 lucky readers, new bikes.
Children were eligible for the bike drawings if they read a certain number of books or a certain number of hours.
Librarian Mary Ann Molinas said that 298 children enrolled and167 completed the program.
The total number of books read was 7,181 and the total number of hours read was1,769.5.
Area merchants and benefactors made the event happen for 185 children and parents at the Elks Lodge by donating the bikes, door prizes and refreshments.
Puppeteer Markie Scholtz of South Dakota kept the children enthralled with her dragon puppet’s antics and his puppet companions.
Those who won bikes were: Aged 2 and a half to 4, Gracie Otero and Sicelee Skinner; K-first grades, Falyn Benavidez and Adrianna Sandoval; second to third grades, Jessica England and Crystal Hernandez; fourth to fifth grades, Tatiana Leyva and Angelo Galvan; and sixth to eighth grades, Samantha Carabajal and Hannah Mericle.