Web Exclusive: Arkansas kids cash in on learning with book vending machine

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ENGLAND, Ark. (KARK) – There is a new vending machine at England Elementary School in England, Arkansas.

This is not one filled with snacks. It is filled with books to help kids feed their hungry minds. The book vending machine is filled with dozens of books that require a gold coin to get.

“Sometimes its hard to get kids excited about reading or excited about a book,” explained one teacher at the school.

The idea came to the school administration years ago when they saw something about a book vending machine on Facebook. Sadly, the machine they saw was in China. But about a year ago they saw the idea had made its way to the United States.

“In Buffalo, New York we found a post of a school there who had a book vending machine and from there post we followed it,” said Principal Tammy Bennett.

Bennett was determined to bring the idea to her school. Now it can be seen in the main hallway. It is the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Bennett said there is about 100 of the machines in the country. The money used to purchase the books and machine was through fundraisers done by the kids.

The kids are rewarded with a gold coin for acts of kindness, good behavior, or performance in the classroom. That coin goes into the machine and out comes the free book. The book is for the child to keep.

“We are wanting to encourage motivation in reading and ownership,” a teacher went on to say.

Each staff member gets a new gold coin weekly to give out at their digression. The school hopes this will help inspire kids to want to read.

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