Coloma Elementary School adds book vending machine to promote literacy

NOW: Coloma Elementary School adds book vending machine to promote literacy

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – We’ve used vending machines to feed our stomachs, but how about our minds?

A Berrien County school is doing just that with a book vending machine to promote literacy throughout March.

Earlier this month, Coloma Elementary School surprised its students with a vending machine filled with books. To kick off the ‘One School, One Book’ project, during national reading month. This gives students at the school the opportunity to read the same book for March.

“We kicked the month off to basically give every student, the same book. We’re using Charlotte’s Web and we’re reading that book as an entire school,” Coloma Elementary School Principal John Klein said.

Principal Klein said the vending machine was a gift from the food service department and is now a fixture at the school, with more than 15 book titles to choose from.

“Students are really excited about it. It’s an interesting way for them to get engaged with reading,” Klein said. “They very much want a chance to come up and put token in and pick the book that they’d like.”

Students can earn tokens by joining the school’s super reader club and through random acts of kindness. Klein said reading is critical for students at a young age, especially now more than every when it seems like they’re competing with technology like tablets and smart phones.

“When you have a book in your hand, it is as interactive as some of the other things," Klein said. “Being able to, kind of put it in a way where either in this machine, suddenly makes it something, its different, it’s exciting its unique and they want to be a part of that.”

The overall goal is to make literacy fun in the classroom and at home.

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