Upstate elementary school vending machine feeding students’ brains

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BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. (WSPA) – The brand new book vending machine at Boiling Springs Elementary school has caused kids to go crazy for books.

While your typical vending machine sells drinks or snacks, to tackle minor hunger pains. This machine is aimed at feeding young student minds.

The idea came from the schools’ Literacy Instructional Coach, Laura Galloway. She said the machine was a creative way for kids to be excited about books.

She’d seen book vending machines on the internet and read about other schools installing them, and how it peaked students’ interest in reading.

“To let kids understand who they are as a reader and to find that joy in reading,” Galloway said, “So, presenting all different types of genres of books and just finding that fit for them as a reader is very important. So, this is just another element to try and reach that goal.”

The book vending machine has an array of different reading levels, to appeal to any student who walks by.

Third grade student Mattie Bayliff said it’s good idea to have an open mind about the new vending machine.

“I like snacks. But, I like vending machines too that have books in it. So, I think I like them both. But, I think it’s pretty cool to have books in a vending machine,” Bayliff said.

The book vending machine does not take traditional U.S. currency in exchange for books, but special “I love books” gold coins.

Students earn these coins by becoming “Reader Leaders” at school. It’s a title a teacher gives students who exemplify leadership skills when it comes to reading.

A “Reader Leader” encourages their classmates to read more, or go to the library, or they express great interest in books.

Katie Atkins, the school’s Media Specialist, runs library and is a fan of the book vending machine.

“These books are more special than the library books and I’m ok with that, because these books they get to take home. They get to keep and they’re theirs forever. Whereas, the library books they just get to borrow and bring back,” Atkins said.

Boiling Springs PTA pays for the “Reader Leader” books.

Administrators say the vending machine has caused a big spike in reading. So, they aren’t sure if they’ll have enough books for the school year.

Atkins and Galloway said brand new book donations are welcome. The school is happy to look for a solution to this positive issue, kids reading “too much”.

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