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Vending machine at Orchard View Schools dispensing books

A book vending machine will be operational all school year long, not just during reading month.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared the month of March as Reading Month in Michigan. And throughout March, schools, children, and adults make extra effort to promote reading.

At Orchard View's Early Elementary, there's a new tool to encourage students to read: a vending machine dispensing books.

The book vending machine arrived just before March and the special events the school in Muskegon County had planned to encourage students to read more.

Leading up to March, school staff kept the unit covered, and at the same time kept students guessing what the vending machine had inside.

"It was funny, we had it all wrapped so we had everything from just a regular vending machine to somebody thought PS4's were in there," said Orchard View Reading Interventionalist Jason Boyink. "The kids were really excited to see books in there."

Boyink says the specially-built book vending machine was paid for with grant money so it didn't cost the school a dime. Additional grants covered the cost of stocking the machine with a variety of age-appropriate and challenging books.

"I just like to read," said first grader Sylis Campbell,  who used the book vending machine Monday. "I love non-fiction books," he said.

With good behavior, students earn a token which can be used to select a new book. Students also earn a book vending machine token for every 100-books they read.

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