School using new vending machine to promote reading

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 3:29 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEWARK, Ark. (KAIT) - A school in Northeast Arkansas is using a unique method to inspire kids to read.

Cedar Ridge Elementary School has ramped up its initiatives to encourage students to read since the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

The school wants to be known as the “Reading Capitol of Arkansas.”

A new vending machine is the latest initiative, but it doesn’t contain what you might think.

The new vending machine allows students to use tokens to purchase books.

It works just like anything other vending machine. Coins are inserted, the student selects the preferred book, and it dispenses to the bottom, where it can be retrieved.

Curriculum Director Abbi Limbaugh explained students could earn tokens in many different ways.

“Kids are receiving tokens based on behavior or maybe a goal they reached. It may be a reading goal, a math goal,” Limbaugh explains. “They get the tokens, and the teachers let them come down here, they put their tokens in the machine, then they get to pick their book.”

The school said this could be the first of its kind in the region.

Limbaugh added interest in the machine has been high since it was installed.

“We are restocking this machine with new books twice a week usually. It empties fast,” Limbaugh says. “The kids are super excited about the titles that are in there. I have some kids come up to me and suggest books to put in there. Kids are really having an input on what’s in there.”

The machine was purchased through the Arkansas SOARS grant.

CRES said it came across the machine online.