Fort Worth

Book Vending Machine Motivates Students to Read

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Schools across North Texas are working to build back the learning loss from the pandemic, but Peterson Elementary School in the Northwest Independent School District found one of the most unique ways to get their students reading.

There's just something about it, that rumble you hear when your coins go in, and your selection tumbles its way out. It's just more fun when something gets spit out of a machine.

So, the educators at Peterson Elementary in Fort Worth bought one for the school, with the help of the Northwest ISD Education Foundation.

This vending machine is not loaded with junk food but something more special, books.

"It was seeing a vending machine with books and thinking of how amazing that would be for our kids," said Danielle Grimes, the school's principal.

It all starts in the classroom. Teachers set reading goals for each student, challenging them to push a little harder because on Friday every teacher picks one student to get a golden ticket or a coin.

It gives that satisfying sound, from the machine, and the students.

"If you like fantasy fiction, you can get 'Descendants', if you like humor fiction, you can get 'Captain Underpants'," said one student.

"We make such a big deal about students when they're down here with their gold coins and we're standing and cheering them on," said librarian Kelley Milton.

The books are all brand new, donated, so sometimes it's just luck of the draw of what's available.

Librarian Milton told us, some of the same books that sit untouched on the library shelves, are the first to go when they're loaded in the machine.

Why? Well, you get to keep them and those machines are cool, of course.

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