Mustang Public Schools’ first book vending machine was delivered at no better time than the most wonderful time of year.
Centennial Elementary is the recipient of the fourth book vending machine throughout Oklahoma school districts. The school received the machine Dec. 7.
Principal Molly Wilson said Centennial was supposed to receive it by the end of the last school year, however, COVID-19 delayed the process.
The machine can hold about 100 books, depending on size, at any time. From picture books to graphic novels, the machine has every genre for each reading level to ensure every child has something that works for them, Wilson said.
Staff and faculty will periodically check the machine to see if some books are being picked more than others, as replenishing the books will be an ongoing process. Centennial’s media specialist will also be on the lookout for book deals throughout the year, Wilson said.
“We want the best and most requested books to be in there, so students will want to try their best during school challenges to win a token,” she said.
When students win a token, they can choose a book of their choice from the machine by placing the token inside.
Wilson said they welcome donations to sponsor the purchase of new books, as well.
Having a machine in Centennial’s lobby was Wilson’s idea after her friend showed her one that was at her daughter’s Moore school.
Global Vending Group Inc., a vending machine distributor based in New York, built Centennial’s book machine.
The school’s machine, which cost about $5,000, was made possible through yearly fundraising efforts by Centennial’s Parent Teacher Student Organization.
“Our hope is that students will work harder toward personal goals, whether it is with academics or behavior, and be rewarded with something other than a toy or sticker,” Wilson said. “This is something tangible that they can keep and show for their hard work.”