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Book vending machine promotes literacy, good behavior at West Michigan elementary school

Posted at 7:22 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 07:26:10-04

DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Normally, vending machines are filled with candy bars, chips, and various sweet and salty snacks, but not at Dorr Elementary School.

The Allegan County school is tossing the typical snack-filled vending machine for one filled with kid-friendly books. "There's the occasional child, though, that looks and goes, 'Where's the chips?'" said Principal Robin Seniura.

The Dorr Elementary book vending machine was added to promote good behavior and literacy among the students.

"We have a great parent organization here, and they came to me last March and wanted to purchase this. I said, absolutely," said Seniura. "They budgeted books for sustainability over the years, and, of course, COVID came. So, we didn't take delivery until June. We unveiled it two weeks ago to the students, and it's just been a huge hit with the kids."

For the month of September, kids are rewarded for good behavior with a gold coin, which is the ticket to a brand new book.

"For the month of September with COVID, we had to put in a lot of safety procedures," said Principal Seniura. "Children really had to learn a lot about being safe, being respectful, and responsible within those procedures. So we based our positive behavior support team, based the goal on behavior. Every child will get a coin by the end of September, because every child will follow safety measures. We just know they will, and so far they're showing us that."

The monthly goals will likely change, based on what teachers think should be validated and rewarded among their students.

"I just want them to take away that they've done something remarkable," explained Seniura. "Reading as a lifelong skill. And if they have owned a book -- that ownership of a book is so important, and just to feel pride in what they've done."

Watch the unveiling of the book vending machine