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Midway challenges students to read 40 books, debuts book vending machine

November 3, 2020  

Book Machine Ribbon Cutting What do you do with an old snack machine you don’t use anymore?  For Midway Elementary School, it becomes a vending machine for free books for students.

Midway students can qualify to receive a free book from the Bobcat Book Vending Machine through teacher nominations for meeting reading goals or completing a genre category (based on the 40 Book Challenge). Drawings are held every Thursday.

“We worked with Derek Napper’s digital art class at Woolard Technology Center to create an exciting way to reward reading,” said Midway Literacy Coach Dianne Farlett. “Mr. Napper and his students assisted us in creating the design to make the vintage machine more appealing to the students. The book vending machine sits in our cafeteria so our students see it every day and can look to see which book they would like to receive.”

Midway Vending Machine The ribbon cutting for the book vending machine was held as part of the school’s new reading challenge encouraging each student to read 40 books during the school year. Farlett says although the overall school goal of having students read 14,000 books sounds like a lot, students can read at various times during the day such as on the school bus, in the car or after school as well as during Read to Self Time at school.

The literacy coach said that students choose their own books for the challenge. “The goal is for students to become stronger readers and to build reading habits,” Farlett said. “I tell students that everyone is a reader; some just haven’t found their favorite books yet.” 

Students will write about what they are reading in reading response notebooks. By filling in graphs in the journals,students can keep track of their progress.

Anyone who would like to donate materials for the book vending machine should contact Farlett at or 432-6122.

Photo captions: The ribbon on the Bobcat Book Vending Machine was cut by Midway teacher Renata Inabinet, KCSD Superintendent Shane Robbins, Midway Assistant Principal Liz Turner, Midway Principal Gail Stehle and Midway Literacy Coach Dianne Farlett.

Midway Elementary student Dalton Rone was the first student to make a book selection from the book vending machine. He was selected based on his summer reading log.

Mary Anne Byrd