John Harris Elementary School Reveals New Bookworm Vending Machine

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Vending machines are an easy way to grab a snack on the go. But, what about a vending machine that dispenses books? That’s now a reality at one Sioux Falls elementary school.

Over the last couple of weeks, the faculty at John Harris Elementary School have been laying out clues for their students, hinting at an upcoming surprise.

“I’ve taken a lot of pictures of kids just kind of up against a wall trying to decipher the code that we’ve had out,” John Harris’s librarian Stefanie Hage said.

The surprise was a vending machine that distributes not candy, but books. The “Inchy the Inchworm book machine” accepts golden tokens that teachers give out when their students are a hero.

Hage told KDLT News that, “classroom teachers will be given a few coins that they can use just for those students that, you know, really are exhibiting great behavior.”

Students then head to the library, put their tokens into the machine, and choose a book that is dispensed just like a snack from any normal vending machine.

Marrie Luther, a 5th grader at John Harris earned a token she used today by helping out a classmate. “I know that they were bummed out and they were just sitting on the bench so me and my friend said ‘hey, you want to come and hang out with us?'”

The books students buy with the tokens are theirs to keep.

All kinds of books will be available through the vending machine such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, and Dork Diaries. Teachers say they will continue to provide popular titles for their students.

A surprise Marrie agrees was worth waiting for, “I am excited. When we first opened it I’m like, um, do we get to keep the books or when do I have to return it.”

Three students got to pick out books on the first day. But, the school is hoping that every student gets to use it at least once before the end of the year.

Hage says the Inchy the Inchworm book machine is actually the first book vending machine in South Dakota.

Categories: Community, Local News, News