Book vending machine unveiled at Thomas Read Elementary School

February 22, 2023

Evelynn Izquierdo, Tyler Kraus, Izzy Payne and Jaycie Martinez were the first students to use the book vending machine at Thomas Read Elementary School.

Book vending machine unveiled at Thomas Read Elementary School

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor. 

SHELBY — Thomas Read Elementary School students have a new and fun way to acquire books with the debut of a book vending machine Monday, Feb. 20.

Students of the Month Tyler Kraus, Evelynn Izquierdo, Jaycie Martinez and Izzy Payne had the honors of being the first students to try out the new machine. It was even more special for Evelynn, since it was her birthday, too.

Principal Kara Vanderweele cuts the ribbon while Curriculum Director Alison Oomen, at right, steadies it.

The book vending machine will be moved to the new elementary school that is currently being built, said Curriculum Director Alison Oomen. The $6,500 machine was purchased with state funds through the Additional Instructional Time Grant.

“We want to encourage more reading and more excitement around reading,” said Oomen.

Books that the children select are theirs to keep, and they earn the books by being well behaved. 

Not only does the new vending machine encourage reading, but it also encourages good behavior.

“They use a book token to purchase the books,” said Oomen. “They can buy them with their reward cards, which is a positive behavior thing.

“For their first book, the classes are competing by class. One week is the best cafeteria behavior competition, and then the whole class gets a token and gets to come down here and get a book. That way, we can get books to everybody initially.”

The school had a ribbon cutting ceremony with Principal Kara Vanderweele using the large shears Monday to unveil the new machine. 

“We’re going to have an option for the kids to be able to buy a token from Tiger Town, which is part of our PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System),” said Vanderweele. 

“We’re going to make sure that every kid gets a chance to use it. Everyone will get at least one book this school year. The kids are just so excited.”

The book vending machine is not the only one in Oceana County. Hart’s Spitler Elementary School has had a book vending machine for a few years.

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