Russellville Independent Schools News Article

Book Vending Machine Ribbon Cutting, 9/26/19

Mrs. Mindy Key, Outreach Coordinator, with Russellville READ’s is overjoyed to announce that on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 9am, the Stevenson Elementary Inchy Bookworm Vending Machine Ribbon Cutting was held to unveil the state-of-the-art book vending machines that rolled out to the Russellville Independent School District schools for our students to use. For many dedicated months, Mrs. Key has passionately pursued this new trailblazing technology.  “We want books in every student’s hands”, she said.  It was a motto that drove them until the vending machines were riding on an eighteen wheeler into the Stevenson parking lot.  You could probably imagine the excited whispers and wide eyes when the students caught a sneak peek of what would soon be theirs. Stevenson Elementary School houses its own machine in the walkway before entering the library, and Russellville Middle School and High School will share a machine placed in the cafeteria.  Mrs. Key has worked closely with Global Vending Machine Group of Buffalo, New York, to create an exclusive book vending machine modeled after the school’s design.  GVG is the only company in the world to supply this product. The product caught nation-wide attention in January, having its own segment and article on Good Morning America. She also collaborated with Scholastic Corporation to obtain a large collection of books that are based on the dimensions of the machine.  This collaboration secured a strong likelihood that every student will be able to find a book they like in the book vending machines.  Since there are a great number of books, the vending machines can be re-stocked multiple times throughout the years. The book vending machines operate off customizable tokens.  Students can earn these tokens as an incentive for meeting Accelerated Reading goals.  Once they receive a token, the student will use the token to make a free purchase from the book vending machine.  The books are theirs to keep or to pass on to others who might not have their own home libraries. It’s a non-traditional approach to literacy but targets students in the best way possible.  It takes appliances that would normally give young people sugary snacks and drinks and replaces it with food for the mind:  literature. The Russellville Independent Schools District is committed to adapting to students' needs, and this is one of our best cases to date.  It’s a more appealing approach to students who groan at the name “library”.  This promotes engagement in reading and does it in a fun way.  Last year, every student in the district received 10 free books and more through the Book Club.  This year, every student in the district has access to a book vending machine. Reading is a stepping stone towards intellectual growth and is what will improve overall reading efficiency, and much more.  We are growing by leaps and bounds in literacy and an enormous thanks is extended to Mrs. Mindy Key for securing a top-notch educational experience for our Panthers!   RISD is very grateful for all those that attended the ribbon cutting: Logan County Public Library, Bowling Green Daily News, WBKO, WNKY, Spectrum – Channel 1, RISD Book Clubs, Staff, Administration, and Board Members.
(Article by Matthew Williams)
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