In an era of TikTok, YouTube and Netflix, parents and teachers might find it harder than ever to inspire kids to pick up a book. But new devices at local elementary schools just might have what it takes to cut through the digital distractions and draw children into the magical world of reading.
Book vending machines have recently been installed at Warren and Parker-Bennett-Curry elementary schools in Bowling Green. The machines, which do not accept money, have dual objectives: To promote both reading and good behavior by using books to reward positive actions and reading progress.
The machines generate excitement among students, which goes a long way toward enticing them to read. They also are a way to put books into the hands of those students who might otherwise have little to no access to them.
The machines are expensive, but the family resource centers at both schools were able to find funding to cover the cost. This certainly strikes us as a worthwhile use of money, and we applaud all who were involved at both schools for the efforts in bringing these devices to their students.
Promoting literacy and improving students’ reading skills is a core facet of elementary education, but some kids need a little extra prodding – or simply have better access to books – in order to dive into the printed page.
These vending machines are a fun and exciting pathway to reading, and we’re confident they will pay educational and developmental dividends for many children for years to come.