For kids at Crescent Harbor Elementary School in Oak Harbor, getting their hands on a good book is as easy as getting a snack.
The school purchased one of Global Vending Group’s book vending machines this school year, and it has been well received by students.
Glenda Jackson, a Title 1 and Learning Assistance Program teacher at the elementary school, said the machine is stocked with nearly 300 picture and chapter books in a range of reading levels.
Teachers and staff members receive two gold coins each week that they can give at their discretion to students who do something good, behaviorally or academically. Students can then redeem their coin for a free book at the vending machine.
“It’s a great incentive,” Jackson said. “It really supports our school culture.”
The books and machine are funded with the Learning Assistance Program budget, and the machine was installed in August of last year. Jackson said staff take care to include books with protagonists of a variety of backgrounds to reflect the diversity of the student population and make sure all the children get to see themselves in the stories selected.
“It’s really fun to watch students go up there when they get a coin,” she said. “They get so excited.”
Principal Kate Valenzuela said the children’s enthusiasm for earning books makes her glad she and other school personnel decided to buy the machine.
”They often stop in to the office to share that they have received the token and to show us what they have selected,” she wrote in an email.
Third-grader Trenton Miller and second-grader Cristal Hernandez Cruz were among the lucky students who got to select a book this past week. Miller said the machine was “awesome,” and Hernandez Cruz said she loves getting to choose whatever book she wants.