New Book Machines Generate Student Excitement

POUGHKEEPSIE – Reading books helps children develop vocabulary, learn about different things and, of course, improve literacy. But, in PCSD books also help encourage good behavior and character.

Each elementary school now has an Inchy Bookworm Vending Machine and books to stock it with at every reading level. Unlike other vending machines, this machine takes special tokens that students can earn each time they exhibit positive behavior and character traits.

Warring Elementary School unveiled its machine Friday to an eager group of students during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Principal Nicole Penn and her staff had already chosen some students to receive tokens based on behaviors exhibited during the week. The machines are tied to each school’s positive behavior intervention and support program – Character Counts – which focuses on these essential character traits: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

During the ceremony, Penn asked students how they could earn tickets.

“Be good,” Tyler yelled.

“Be respectful,” Ivy called out.

Other answers from the group of students included being trustworthy, caring and honest.

“All of these things are character traits we recognize,” Penn said, adding that students may also earn tokens for cleaning up, helping a classmate, following directions and a host of other good behaviors.

Every two weeks, each classroom teacher will pull students’ names out of a box of those who have received Warring Pride tickets and those students will be given a chance to go downstairs to the book machine and choose a book.

Fourth grader Brayner Suchite-Alarcon was one of the first six fourth grade students chosen to receive a token at Warring. The others were Ivy Dalbo, Ibiminakuro Opuiyo, Nevaeh Green, Dominick Avila-Sanchez and Isaac Barraza Marquez.

“I helped a classmate. I helped a teacher translate,” Alarcon said, explaining that he is bilingual.

Alarcon chose the book, “Puppy Place” because the photo of the puppy on the cover was cute and he likes dogs.

He had this advice for classmates who want to get a book of their own: “Be nice and be good and you can get your own token.”

Green, another fourth grader, said “It was pretty exciting” being one of the first students to get a book from the machine. She earned a token for good behavior and chose “Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School” because she loves the series of books.

She suggested that classmates who want to earn a token of their own “behave and not talk when teachers are talking.”

The machines have generated excitement in the buildings, especially before they were officially revealed.

At Clinton Elementary School, a group of students saw Principal Dr. David Scott loaded the machine with books and stopped to watch and ask questions.

“The book vending machine is a fantastic way to encourage positive behavior and literacy,” Clinton teacher Beth Kassa said. Penn agreed.

“Whenever we can reward students who are doing well, we want to reward them. We want them excited about getting books in their hands that they can take care of and be proud of,” Penn said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email