Carly Carver, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Kelsey Price, the Library Media Specialist at Hager Elementary, said she is always looking for new ways to get books into her student’s hands. After researching new ideas and seeing models from other schools in the state, the Bookworm Vending Machine came to life at this local elementary school.
“This machine will be used to motivate all the students at Hager to make positive choices,” said Price.
The concept of the Bookworm Vending Machine is similar to a concession vending machine, but instead of dispensing snacks or beverages, the machine dispenses books. The concept, though used in other schools state-wide, is entirely new to the Ashland Independent School District.
Price immediately went to work to raise the $4,240 required to fund the machine, plus the addition cost of the books to fill it.
“Due to the generous donations from Hager’s parents’ and the community, the project was funded in approximately three weeks,” said Price.
Price said that the custom-made piece will be ready in May, just in time for the next school year.
Price said that the Bookworm Vending Machine does more than put books in the hands of kids, as it doesn’t take a traditional payment method. The machine accepts tokens, that students earn through displaying good character at their school.
“I am most excited that the students will be able to earn a token for displaying the six pillars of character that are emphasized at our school,” said Price. “The token can then be used in the machine to get a brand-new book that the student can keep.”
Price said that she feels this is an excellent way to motivate students to display good character in school, while also encouraging them to read.
“We have found a way to encourage our students to make positive choices while keeping a focus on reading,” said Price.
Price said that her excitement isn’t the only surrounding the Bookworm Vending Machine.
“The students cannot wait for the machine to arrive,” said Price. “The Bookworm Vending Machine will allow the student to choose a book on a topic that is of interest to them. They have already started asking about the selection of books that will be available in the vending machine.”
Price said that it’s unique vending and payment method, along with its book selection aren’t the only thing differentiating it from your typical library.
“These books are intended for students to take home in order to build their library,” said Price. “A home filled with books can positively impact a child’s academic growth.”
The Bookworm Vending Machine will be located inside of the school’s library, along with their new book-exchange shelf.
Price said that the new book-exchange shelf is just another way she is trying to get more books into the student’s hands.
“The students are able to exchange their books from home for books on this shelf,” said Price. “Since the students are constantly exchanging books, there is always a new selection on the shelf.”