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Elementary school PTO helps fill book vending machine

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - While books are certainly available at the public library, students at Engleman Elementary in Grand Island have a one-stop-shop right there in the school.

“Reading is involved with everything you do,” said Engleman First Grade Teacher Jennifer Shafer-Ehlers. “When you’re born, kids should be read to from zero all the way up. We want parents to read to kids. We want other kids to read to kids.”

The school’s PTO brainstormed ideas on how they could get the students reading more and that’s how the Bookworm vending machine was born. It’s stocked with books and if students receive a gold coin for good behavior, the book is theirs to keep.

It’s all thanks to the PTO’s outside-the-box thinking.

“All of these books actually come from the fundraising that we’ve done with the parents through the PTO, and the idea is that we want to make sure that we were purchasing new books for all of our students, so that way every student could claim ownership and could have a sense of responsibility,” said PTO Co-President natalie Lukens.

Engleman just hosted its latest read-a-thon and so far they’ve raised more than $13,500 for more books in the vending machine.

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