A student points at the books in the vending machine.

An energetic bunch of students sat in the hallway of Candler Elementary School for an unusual ribbon-cutting last Monday (Feb. 5).

A brand-new vending machine cast its LED glow on the kids. Instead of dispensing sodas or chips, this vending machine dispenses knowledge. With the combined effort of the school’s Title I staff, administrators, the PTA, and private donors, Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine offers books as birthday surprises and rewards for students who make good choices in their daily behavior.

“It’s getting them excited about reading, and it gives them a book to take home,” said Jennifer Banks, a Title I teacher who helped bring the vending machine to the school.

Along with county commissioners, school staff, and “Bob” the bobcat, one student from each class got to put a special coin in the machine, pick a book, and watch it drop to the bottom. They eagerly flipped through the pages, feeling the pride of literacy.

“The book vending machine draws a crowd every morning,” said Principal Charlotte Clubb. “Each book has another one behind it, so they love looking to see what the next one will be. I think this will be a wonderful addition to our school.”

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