Gift of Read­ing

Bryant school in­tro­duces book vend­ing mach­ince

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarah Perry [email protected]­ton­courier.com

Christ­mas came early for stu­dents at Park­way El­e­men­tary School. On Fri­day, the fi­nal day of school be­fore Christ­mas break, stu­dents opened a large present — a new book vend­ing ma­chine.

The ma­chine was pur­chased with do­na­tions from stu­dents’ fam­i­lies and a lo­cal busi­ness. The first round of 140 books were pro­vided by the school Par­ent Teacher Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Amie Horn, lit­er­acy spe­cial­ist at the school, each teacher will re­ceive an al­lot­ment of to­kens each month they can give to stu­dents for var­i­ous achieve­ments. Stu­dents can then use the to­kens to pick out books that they can keep.

The ma­chines holds 140 books rang­ing from pic­ture to chap­ter books for ev­ery reader.

“We just want to get books in kids’ hands,” said Prin­ci­pal Michele Lewis. “We can bring the book store to them.”

Park­way El­e­men­tary School is the sec­ond school in the state to have the vend­ing ma­chines. Eng­land School Dis­trict an­nounced the pur­chase of a book vend­ing ma­chine in Septem­ber.

The “Inchy’s Book­worm Vend­ing Ma­chine” was pur­chased through Global Vend­ing Group.

“We be­lieve that the com­bi­na­tion of vend­ing books and your own per­son­al­ized re­ward sys­tem could bridge the gap be­tween lit­er­acy and en­gage­ment,” ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. “We are proud for uti­liz­ing our re­sources and di­rect­ing them to­wards lit­er­acy for all stu­dents.”

Schools across the state par­tic­i­pate in the Read­ing Ini­tia­tive for Stu­dent Ex­cel­lence RISE Arkansas cam­paign. This statewide cam­paign en­cour­ages a cul­ture of read­ing with com­mu­nity part­ners, par­ents and teach­ers to es­tab­lish the im­por­tance of read­ing in homes, schools and com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to the Arkansas De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

SARAH PERRY/THE Sa­line Courier

With Lit­er­acy Spe­cial­ist Amie Horn look­ing on, Eli Richard­son, a stu­dent at Park­way El­e­men­tary School ex­cit­edly waits for his new book.

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