Waco school gets new vending machine that dispenses books instead of snacks
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas elementary school has a new vending machine on campus, but it’s not filled with soft drinks and snacks, rather, books.
Provident Heights Elementary in Waco ISD held a ribbon cutting for the unique vending machine in the school’s library Friday morning with students, staff and representatives from Atmos Energy, which made the vending machine possible.
Students will be able to choose a book from the machine by earning tokens through reaching their reading goal, having good behavior, being respectful, responsible, and attending school every day.
School Principal Courtney Whitaker shared the news with the students who had been guessing for days what could be beneath the box covered in black.
When they pulled the covering away to reveal the bright colored vending machine full of books, the students cheered loudly.
“We are so excited to have our students have this opportunity to grow readers and instill a love of reading,” Whitaker said.
“These are their books forever and ever so they can read them over and over.”
The students chosen for the event were part of the school’s music club. They lined up for the chance to be one of the first students to select a book.
Second grader Gabriel Walker chose the Spanish book “Si Piensas Traer un Cocodrilo a la Escuela, no lo Hagas!”
He said he couldn’t wait to dive into the pages.
“I really like doing it. I really like reading books,” Gabriel said.
It was a feeling shared by fifth grader Esperanza Murdock, who chose a Dog Man series book.
“I’m excited because I love to read and I like books,” Esperanza said.
Tammie Bowman, Manager of Public Affairs for Atmos Energy, said PreK to 3rd grade literacy is one of the areas her company focuses on giving back.
“It’s really exciting for the kids to get rewarded for various ways whether it’s with our reading rewards or if it’s just doing a good dead that they can get a token and go and get a book of their choosing and be able to say this is mine,” Bowman said.
In the past, Atmos Energy has given water bottles, prizes for students for meeting reading goals, laptops for students and provided lunches for teachers at Provident Heights.
To show their appreciation, the music club performed a song for their guests.
The song focused on the perseverance it takes to become a good reader.
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