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Book vending machine has Martinsville students excited about reading

MARTINSVILLE, VA – Instead of snacks and sodas, this school vending machine doles out books.

A student representative from each class joined principal Cameron Cooper to cut the ribbon on a book vending machine at Patrick Henry Elementary School on Thursday morning.

The vending machine was installed in hopes of encouraging students to read and to bridge the gap between literacy proficiency and engagement.

“Getting them hooked into reading because we all have different interests. With the book vending machine having a variety of books in there is almost more enticing now. We are used to food and drink vending machines, but a vending machine that gives me a book that I get to keep,” principal Cameron Cooper said.

A student receives gold coins on their birthday to purchase books from the machine, which they can keep and take home.

The vending machine has already been a hit at the school.

“They are so excited to put their little token in there and they're like, 'I get to keep this book?' and I'm like, 'Yes, you get to keep that book and take it home.' They're just so appreciative,” Cooper stated.

A machine has also been installed at Albert Harris Elementary School.

“I had written an endowment grant, which is a locally funded grant, for the project. Our assistant superintendent graciously agreed to put it into it out title one application and we got approved. For the books, the endowment grant has graciously approved a couple of grants to keep books coming so we are stock. We are ready to roll,” the principal said.

To learn how to donate books, call Patrick Henry at 276-403-5812 and Albert Harris at 276-403-5838.

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