"If our children can read, they can survive,” a Buffalo School Board member said after Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction #61 started a vending machine that gave out books in order to encourage children to read.
Charles W. Eliot once said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” It rings true even after a century because a book is indeed one of the greatest things in life.
And that's exactly what a public school in Buffalo did becoming the first in the city to launch a Book Vending Machine. Now, as a bookworm, I wish I had one in my house but the idea of having one in school sounds just about awesome. As reported by WBFO.
How cool ... the first book vending machine in one of our Buffalo Public schools. Kids earn tokens and get a free book! Hey, authors, anyone want to help keep it filled? #kidsneedbooks pic.twitter.com/pk4NYrH5lp— Dee Romito (@writeforapples) November 27, 2018
It all happened in November 2018 when Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction #61 started a vending machine that gave out books in order to encourage children to read. Sharon Belton-Cottman, a Buffalo School Board member, said that “One of the biggest issues we have in this district is literacy. If our children can read, they can survive.”
The idea was suggested by Assistant Principal Dr. Unseld Robinson three years ago when he saw the idea of book vending machine in another school. Robinson had got in touch with Global Vending Group in Amherst to check if they could customize one of its vending machines for books. And he also collaborated with Scholastic to find the right books for the kids with appropriate sizes and titles.
Hidden Figures and Pippi Longstocking are just a few of the books students at Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction #61 have to choose from in their new book. vending machine! @WGRZ pic.twitter.com/qhXo2FxmJe— Karys Belger (@KarysBelger) November 27, 2018
And he decided to implement this at a school in Buffalo where at least 30 percent of adults qualify as “functionally illiterate”, 10 percent higher than the national average. As reported by Literacy New York Buffalo Niagara.
“Many children in Buffalo are not reading as much as they should,” Robinson remarked, “so the thought was to have them look to the vending machine for inspiration.”
And the way the vending machine was introduced to the students was truly memorable as well. There was a ribbon-cutting to show off the new novelty. And that's not all. In order to encourage them to read, the students were given special coins to insert into the slot and they can get any book of their choice.
“We wanted to make literacy exciting and fun,” said Principal Parette Walker, “because learning and reading should be fun. We’re not basing it on behavior,” she added. “We’re not basing it on attendance so that everyone will have a chance to receive a book. There will be a monthly rotation of all students.”
We sincerely hope more schools follow this and have a vending machine full of books. Because reading habit is indeed something every child should inculcate. And what better way to combine knowledge and education than having books vending machine at your own school.