An elementary school in Florida is unveiling a new idea of a vending machine on the school grounds. It doesn’t have salty snacks, sugary treats, or cans of juice or soda, but still gets kids and they pump in 50 cents an order.
The machine deals out books!
The idea came from staff members and something she saw on social media. It sounded like a great idea, and she got a little help from a friend of theirs. They were able to get their hands on an old vending machine and fix it up and refurbish it. Change a few things around and now the machine dispenses pocket-sized books for kids.
The type of books it carries aren’t the usual fare with plan covers and no titles or things like that, they are fully illustrated and as said before, are sized just right to be dished out by the machine. There are a lot of kid-friendly titles to choose from so there isn’t going to be anything in there that parents might not want their kids to read.
The vending machine officially opened on Monday to start Florida’s Literacy Week, but some kids were getting a book before then to check out what kind of stories the vending machine has to offer.
A book vending machine idea is not necessarily a new one. Videos on Youtube point out many similar machines around the country and all over the world. Japan, known for putting just about everything in vending machines, also has machines the sell books and comics.
It is not said how the machines are filled up with books and who actually comes and fills them, but the books are being sold so the kids (and maybe some adults too) are buying them to get a little something in their minds when they aren’t doing school related things like homework. The money that people put into the book dealing machine is used for such things like the upkeep of the machine itself and other things related to the school.
Other things not noted in any of the reports of the book vending machine are if any class related work is associated with the books. Having a machine that deals out mostly fiction books is one thing, but then telling kids they HAVE TO get books from the machine for a book report is something else. It has been a long time since I was elementary school age, but I’m guessing that it is still the same that being told you have to do much of anything takes all the fun out of it. This is a good idea, as long as teachers don’t tie a bunch of book reports and other educational things to it. Then it just becomes more work to do and kids probably aren’t going to be as into the idea.
But on the flip side of that, it is an idea to use this vending machine to get kids to read anything in the first place. Sometimes the minds of students need to be jump-started into reading books, even if they are shorter books that are actually meant from young minds. What a better way to do that than make it easier to access and put in a little money back into the school system, no matter where that money ends up going to. If you keep things simple and don’t force the issue onto kids, you end up getting a lot of money out of something like this and it doesn’t just work for a year or help one particular class. It is something that could contribute money back to the school for many years to come all the while getting these kids to actually pick up a book and read!
So to that school in Florida and other school systems around the world, go for it! It is a great idea!
And maybe someday something I wrote can be available in a vending machine to buy. A writer can always dream, right?