ENGAGING STUDENTS…Eisenhower Elementary unveils book vending machine

There’s a new vending machine at Eisenhower Elementary, but rather than dispensing a sugary snack, this machine is parent and librarian approved. Funded by grants from the Foundation for VPS and Eisenhower PTA, “Bookworm,” is a book dispensing vending machine that provides a fun, unique way to reward students for good behavior and encourages literacy skills.

“The vending machine supports our commitment to lifelong reading and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS),” said Principal Jennifer Blechschmidt. Students will earn “Eagle Coins” for books of their choice by following the school’s “RESCUE” standards: Respect, Effort, Safety, Cooperation, begins with YOU and everyone effects EVERYONE.

“At Eisenhower, our focus is continually finding ways to engage students in academic and social learning and growth,” said teacher Katie Bishop-Smith who requested the Foundation grant along with librarian Melisa Woods. They had searched for a more meaningful and ‘learning based’ reward for student behavior and found a school on the east coast that had installed “Bookworm”. This unique vending machine, available through Global Vending Group, is also known as “Inchy” and can hold between 200 and 300 books, offering a wide array of reading material for every type of reader.
Bishop-Smith and Woods believe the impact on student learning will be twofold. The machine will provide motivation for demonstrating appropriate behavior, leading to a positive school climate and improved access to learning. In addition, creating excitement around book ownership will increase reading time and skills by engaging with literature not only at school but at home and during school breaks.

When the idea of “Bookwork” was shared with students several expressed their excitement to earn books to keep so that they could read to their grandparents, their siblings, and their pets. Some students shared that they do not own books and are not able to access the public library, so the opportunity to have greater and easier access to reading materials of their choice was positive and exciting to them.

About Foundation for VPS Engagement Grants:
The Foundation for VPS provides opportunities so all students have opportunities that spark their interests, connect them to their passion and help them envision and plan for their future success in college, career and life. During 2018-19, the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools invested over $100,000 to fund 52 unique enrichment activities, which benefited over 13,000 students at 31 VPS schools. Learn about other grants awarded by the Foundation for VPS: 2018-19 Engagement Grants.