Vending machine serves up books for students at Parkway Elementary

The book vending machine is meant to spark an interest in reading at a young age

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – It looks and works just like a regular vending machine.

But instead of candy or snacks, this one delivers a lasting adventure.

The book vending machine was delivered and set up just in time for the new school year at Parkway Elementary.

“This is just our way to hopefully get kids excited about reading,” said Coach Travis Verhey.

Students who have good behavior and meet their accelerated reading goals each semester get a token.  One token buys one book.

“Kind of the novelty of this is they don’t have to return the books when they’re done, I’m hoping they get the book, and every time they look at it it makes them think of Parkway, but also the hope is they read it and retain the information,” said Media Specialist Dawn Verhey.

The special vending machine was funded by a grant from the Association for Excellence in Education. That is a group of businesses and individuals who help fund special projects throughout Tupelo schools.

“AEE is an amazing organization that funds our ideas, kids are able to have experiences, take field trips and do things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise so we’re grateful to AEE for their generosity,” said Art Teacher Amanda Warren.

Students who have earned tokens to buy books said they like the unique vending machine.

“I got an adventure book, I read it almost every day,” said First Grader Kailen Ware.

“I like to read Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and, that’s it,” said First Grader Bella Jackson.

So far, Parkway is the only school in the area with a book vending machine.

Teachers at Parkway wrote a grant for the book vending machine that grant was approved by AEE.

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