Elementary school in Rio Rancho unveils book vending machine
RIO RANCHO, N.M. — According to the New Mexico Public Education Department, Stapleton Elementary had a 55% reading proficiency in 2023. However, the staff at the elementary school just unveiled a new and exciting way for kids to get books and boost that score.
“About a year and a half ago we were coming off of COVID and there was just so many things going on with the kids. They were having a hard time adjusting so when I saw a book vending machine, I think on Facebook, I was like, ‘Oh that would be a great incentive!’ and I went straight to our librarian and said, ‘We need this!” said Lynn Clark, a first grade teacher at Stapleton Elementary.
The school held an assembly this week for the students to unveil the book machine. Students in Rio Rancho High School Student Government got them excited.
“Everything that I do during the day is to get kids excited about reading and to love learning and the fact that they are so excited means we are doing a great job here at Stapleton,” said Laraine Hostetler, the school librarian.
The book machine only takes golden coins and students can earn them by having good attendance, good behavior, or doing something nice for their peers. They will have a weekly drawing for students.
Two lucky students were selected to try out the book machine for the first time during their assembly.
“We want as many kids to get a free book as possible. We also really want them to make progress on their reading and their math goals and show coyote pride which for us means doing things like being respectful and being responsible and showing empathy and compassion to their peers,” Hostetler said.
There will also be a list in the school library for kids to write down what books they want to see in the vending machine.
Right now, Stapleton is the only Rio Rancho Public School to have a book vending machine. They hope this gets other schools in the district motivated to fundraise and get one for themselves.