BUFFALO. NY — Students at Arthur O. Eve School of Distinction #61 have a new incentive to grow their literacy skills.
The school unveiled a vending machine full of books Tuesday morning. The idea came from the vice principal, Dr. Unseld Robinson. Robinson got the idea after having a discussion with his mentor who works in another school district.
"I said that I need to do something special. I need to make sure that it's going to be applicable to the needs of the children here in Buffalo, New York," Robinson told 2 On Your Side.
So he went to the school's principal, Parette Walker, and when she agreed, the goal then became trying to raise the $3000 needed to buy the machine. One year later and the vending machine has its own corner in the school's library. The books inside are designed to challenge students as they progress through different reading levels.
Robinson also made it a point to fill the vending machine with books that celebrate different cultures and cover a variety of topics. Copies of the companion guide to the film Hidden Figures sit next to copies of classics like Pippi Longstocking.
"Students in urban communities need to learn about other cultures and other communities in other countries."
Another goal is to help the students develop their own home libraries and encourage students to read at home with their own parents. The students receive coins in their classrooms that they can deposit into the vending machine to buy a book, and each grade level will have the opportunity to visit the vending machine once a month.