Monroe elementary school adds vending machine filled with knowledge

One teacher from Northside Elementary in Monroe saw the idea while scrolling through her phone.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A vending machine in the back of a Monroe elementary school library isn’t any old snack machine, it’s an instrument of knowledge.

Kindergarten Teacher Erica Zentner wrote to the Monroe Excellence In Education Foundation for a grant and also used another grant to bring stories to life at Northside Elementary in Monroe.

“Books of all genres. We have non-fiction, fiction, picture books--lots of variety for kids K through 5,” Zentner said.

Every child at the school will get a chance to get a free book.

“The kids don’t purchase the books, it’s a gold coin they get to use that they’ll get from the librarian when they come during their library time if they be chosen and they get to make their selection,” Zentner said.

She says it brings all the excitement. The student of the week gets to choose a book.

“The other classmates love to watch and kinda cheer them on and “what are you going to take?” and also give some opinions about what they should take,” Zentner said.

Zentner says having this device will help students to learn about the importance of literacy.

“We want all our students to love reading and not just to read if they have to.” Zentner said. “By providing wonderful books that all the kids are going to be excited about is such a gift we can give.” Molding a collection of novels to grow a child’s mind in a place of comfort is key.

“Home libraries and building those home libraries for families and kids. So they have things to enjoy at night after school and at bedtime and sharing stories with their families,” Zentner said.

Zentner says she hopes this is something students will remember forever.

“It lights up and will talk to the kids and its been really engaging and it’s a really nice addition to our building,” Zentner said.

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