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Monroe school brings in unique vending machine for students



MONROE, La – A Monroe school has a new vending machine for its students to use. Instead of soda or candy, this one is filled with books.

J.S. Clark Magnet School teacher Alyssa Reuther says she first saw the idea of a book vending machine on Facebook.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh! What is that? That is awesome,’ she says.”I was like, ‘I want my kids to have this.’ And I went straight to my principal, and he was so supportive of it. We got started immediately on it.”

Every pre-K through sixth grade student has the opportunity to come pick out their favorite book every week from the vending machine. There are also monthly pools to pick out books.

“Student of the Month can come. People who get Jaguar Joe Bucks, which is our positive reinforcement at our school, can come to the book machine and get one.”

Reuther says it’s important for teachers to find different ways to encourage students to continue reading on their own as they continue to learn in the classroom.

“Reading is so important to all of our students. It’s important for us as teachers to try and encourage them to be lifelong readers at all times. Reading is part of your everyday life. And so we want to make it fun for them. And this is like are you unique way of making it fun for them.”

Parents can play a vital role at home too. “Try to read with our children as much as we can at home and when they get these books,” Reuther says. “Try to read it with them, read along with them. Make it fun for them to even go on to the public library if you need to and getting a library card.”

Because of the pandemic, this spring is the first semester they’ve been able to use the machine. So far, “they are so excited. They love when their names get pulled.”

She says, “It’s a big deal to them. And so they run down the stairs, we give them a nice golden coin, and they come and they put it in, and they get to choose their selection or whatever they want.”

“They go upstairs and they immediately start getting into it, or they take it home and they show it off to their friends and family. So it’s a big deal. It’s very exciting for them.”

Reuther says they hope to keep the book vending machine around for a while.