JewelRide owners (L-R) Tapiwa and Rutendo Mupereki.EDWARDSVILLE – The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has supported JewelRide, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) business, by assisting with the company’s marketing, social media management, and financing. This summer, as a community outreach initiative, JewelRide is collaborating with the Edwardsville Public Library to host a Books for Bikes Reading Challenge.

The Books for Bikes Reading Challenge is open to children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The challenge runs now through Sunday, July 31. Children are encouraged to read books, log their progress, and enter to win the grand prize of a bike. On Saturday, Aug. 6, 14 bikes will be awarded to the winning children.

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JewelRide owner, Tapiwa Mupereki, believes in the power of reading and how it can positively influence an individual’s life. “My mother really believed in reading,” he said. “If you can read, you can change the trajectory of your life.”

Mupereki hopes that his challenge will help promote healthy lifestyles among youth. The challenge is one of many ways Mupereki is investing in the Metro East community for the benefit of its citizens.

“The Edwardsville Public Library is excited to offer Books for Bikes alongside our traditional summer reading program” said Edwardsville Public Library Director Jill Schardt. “Prizes are a good way to encourage kids to read in the summer, and reading is the best way to avoid the summer slide. We are grateful to the sponsors for their generosity.”

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Along with JewelRide and the Edwardsville Public Library, the Books for Bikes Reading challenge is sponsored by The Cyclery and Fitness Center, YCG Accounting, BJ’s Printables and Dr. Hyten.

For more information about this challenge visit jewelride-books-for-bikes- reading-challenge.

Learn more about JewelRide at or by calling 618-250-4771.

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East?assists?start-up ventures like JewelRide and existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington?Monroe,?and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and?SIUE?as a service to Illinois small businesses.?????????

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively?impacts?the Metro East by strengthening the business community,?creating,?and? retaining?new jobs, and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by?providing?one-stop? assistance?to individuals?by means of?counseling, training, research, and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When?appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and?objectives?of both the?SIUE School of Business?and the University at large.

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