QE receives special vending machine — for books

Students reward­ed for pos­i­tive behav­ior will earn PRIDE coins to stock their home library.

A spe­cial piece of equip­ment was recent­ly unveiled at Quakertown Elementary School that could have a pos­i­tive impact on read­ing and behav­ior.  A book vend­ing machine was pur­chased with the help of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation and Title IV funds.

Similar to vend­ing machines that pop out soda and snacks, this one drops books. And to receive one, stu­dents must earn gold­en PRIDE tick­ets for demon­strat­ing Perseverance, Respect, In-control Behavior, Dependability, and Effort. These five PRIDE points are based on PBIS, the Positive Behavior Intervention Support pro­gram in place at QE.

The vend­ing machine works by reward­ing kids for good behav­ior, good grades, good atten­dance, and any­thing else we can cel­e­brate about our stu­dents,” Principal Dr. Greg Lesher said. “The PBIS Core Team came up with this idea and our belief is that the com­bi­na­tion of vend­ing books with our own per­son­al­ized reward sys­tem could bridge the gap between lit­er­a­cy and engage­ment.  Our long-term hope is that the book vend­ing machine becomes the school’s cen­ter­piece and serves as a con­stant reminder about books and literacy.”

PBIS focus­es on cre­at­ing and sus­tain­ing school-wide, class­room, and indi­vid­ual sys­tems of sup­port that improve the edu­ca­tion­al envi­ron­ment for all chil­dren. QE’s aim is to explic­it­ly teach behav­ioral expec­ta­tions and then rec­og­nize the pos­i­tive behav­iors shown by stu­dents. Through PBIS, QE hopes to reduce school and class­room behav­ior dis­rup­tions and edu­cate all stu­dents about accept­able school behaviors.

Throughout the year stu­dents will earn gold tokens from teach­ers, admin­is­tra­tors, and sup­port staff by demon­strat­ing PRIDE characteristics.

The book vend­ing machine is a great way to encour­age read­ing and to moti­vate learn­ers all while reward­ing stu­dents for great behav­ior,” said Christa Held, a fourth-grade teacher. “The vend­ing machine will reg­u­lar­ly be stocked with fresh, new books that any stu­dent will be able to earn and enjoy, fos­ter­ing their love of read­ing while build­ing their home libraries.”

Dr. Erin Oleksa-Carter,  a mem­ber of the QCEF board and QCSD’s Supervisor of Middle Level Teaching and Learning, said “The QCEF board was excit­ed about this unique grant request, and felt that it could excite our stu­dents and engage them in read­ing.  The vend­ing machine pro­vides stu­dents choice based on their inter­ests and pro­vides a moti­va­tion to earn tickets.”

The book vend­ing machine is locat­ed in the school’s cafeteria.