May 2, 2013

Bikers for Books reaches out to elementary school students


There’s a new face for literacy advocacy in central Michigan, and it’s a bit different from the staid librarians and other bookish types you might expect. Bikers for Books launched earlier this year at a riding convention, and they’ve made it their mission to make reading cool for kids around the state.

The new charity was founded by Badge Velasquez along with two other bikers from other motorcycle clubs, who go by the names Bruiser and Tank (of course). The idea came from a riding convention they attended, which Velasquez described to the Lansing State Journal’s Rachel Greco: “Oddly enough we found a few of us talking about books and literature at this biker event. I think the idea started there.”

The newest champions for literacy–Bruiser, Badge, and Tank of Bikers for Books

There seem to be two major components to how Bikers for Books accomplish their mission. First, as Shannon Kantner reports for a local NBC affiliate, they raise money to donate directly to schools in mid-Michigan. Their efforts this year are leading up to a run on September 21, 2013, and they list other events on their Facebook page, including a golf scramble coming up this weekend.

In addition to their fundraising efforts, they visit schools around Michigan to speak directly with students and get them excited about reading. The goal is to reach students who aren’t bookworms by nature—the hope being that hearing about the joy of books from big tough bikers will make a different impression than hearing it from teachers, and help them realize that reading can be a lot of fun.

You can see the Bikers for Books website here, including their blog and a page to donate money to the cause.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.