Waterman Elementary gets bilingual book vending machine

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:43 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - You can go to a bookstore or swipe a library card to grab your favorite book. Now, students at Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg can grab them with a push of a couple of buttons.

A vending machine now sits in the entryway of the school, holding different books in both English and Spanish. To access a book, students insert a token, type in the books’ numbers, and the books drop out of the slot for retrieval.

50% of the students at Waterman are in dual-language courses, and the machine was purchased as a fun way to encourage a passion for reading.

“The level of excitement about it is really high, and it’s just so much joy to see a place where kids can choose a book that they’re interested in reading, sit down and read and feel that sense of excitement about self-selected reading,” Principal of Waterman Elementary Margot Zahner said.

Zahner says for the remainder of the year, students are selected at random to choose a book. Starting in the fall, students can choose one for their birthdays.

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