Students at Phillips Elementary choose books from new vending machine

Antonio Lopez, a fifth grade student at Phillips Elementary, selects a book from the school’s vending machine on Jan. 8. Fifty students will be able to get a new book from the machine every week.

Teachers and staff hope a new vending machine that dispenses a free book to students will foster a love for literacy at Phillips Elementary School in Kaufman.

The machine arrived just before Christmas, but a small ribbon cutting was held last week, followed by students getting their new books.

The vending machine is part of “We Read Wednesday” at the school, explained Principal Kara Holley. Each of the 50 staff members at the school gets a coin to give to a student every week. The coin can be awarded for extra effort, good citizenship, doing well on a test, or whatever a staff member wants to commemorate.

The machine was purchased with school funds, and activity funds will be used to stock the books. There are varying levels of reading levels for kindergarten through middle school readers, and there are books in Spanish, as well.

“We want to get kids to be excited about reading and encourage a love of literacy,” Holley said. It’s also special for students to get their own book that they can keep at home.

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