Student Receives New Book

According to research completed by the National Assessment of Education Progress, children between the ages of 9 and 13 who say they read for fun on a daily basis is at its lowest level since the 1980s. 

Cross County is looking to change that with the Inchy Bookworm vending machine which is the newest addition to the Cross County Elementary School. The vending machine is very appealing to young children with its flashing lights and bright colors and can hold over 300 books of different genres for all ages.

Mrs. Jessica Stacy, principal of Cross County Elementary Technology Academy, said she hopes the vending machine will inspire a love of reading.

“I want students to get a book and read it and then tell their friends about it,” said Mrs. Stacy. She added that she hopes that students even start trading the books that they really love.

The vending machine was purchased after Mrs. Mindy Searcy, the district Executive Master Teacher, saw one at a conference over the summer.  

“I immediately thought it was a great idea and we needed one at our school for our students,” said Mrs. Searcy. “We used some of our Title I funds to purchase the machine and books.  It is a priority to promote reading and what better way to do that than to allow students to purchase their own books with tokens they have earned for showing positive behavior and exhibiting great qualities of character,” she added.

The book vending machine uses gold tokens called “inchy coins” that teachers can give to students. According to Mrs. Stacy students need to go above and beyond to get their tokens. Once the students get their token they can use it at any time of the day, whether it’s when they first get the token or at the end of the day. There are 200 tokens distributed throughout the school and each book only costs one token.  

Mrs. Stacy plans on doing seasonal books and picks a variety of books for kids of all ages to be able to read. Her goal is for the vending machine to allow the kids to have access to books for free and for them to develop a love for reading while learning during school. Furthermore, her expectations for the students are for them to trade books with their friends, push each other to be able to read and do better in class, and as well as gain interest in books and reading as a whole. She strives for her students to become better and get ready for high school. 

“My favorite part is guessing which book students get, which book is empty first, and what kinds of genres the students like the best, '' said Mrs. Stacy. She is very excited about getting to experience the different children’s smiles as they get their new books out of the vending machine, which should continue on throughout the entire school year.