QE receives special vending machine - for books

Students rewarded for positive behavior will earn PRIDE coins to stock their home library.
Posted on 02/17/2023
Students use coins they obtained for good behavior to purchase the book of their choice in the vending machine.By Gary Weckselblatt

A special piece of equipment was recently unveiled at Quakertown Elementary School that could have a positive impact on reading and behavior. A book vending machine was purchased with the help of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation and Title IV funds.

Similar to vending machines that pop out soda and snacks, this one drops books. And to receive one, students must earn golden PRIDE tickets for demonstrating Perseverance, Respect, In-control Behavior, Dependability, and Effort. These five PRIDE points are based on PBIS, the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program in place at QE.

“The vending machine works by rewarding kids for good behavior, good grades, good attendance, and anything else we can celebrate about our students,” Principal Dr. Greg Lesher said. “The PBIS Core Team came up with this idea and our belief is that the combination of vending books with our own personalized reward system could bridge the gap between literacy and engagement. Our long-term hope is that the book vending machine becomes the school's centerpiece and serves as a constant reminder about books and literacy.”

PBIS focuses on creating and sustaining school-wide, classroom, and individual systems of support that improve the educational environment for all children. QE’s aim is to explicitly teach behavioral expectations and then recognize the positive behaviors shown by students. Through PBIS, QE hopes to reduce school and classroom behavior disruptions and educate all students about acceptable school behaviors.

Throughout the year students will earn gold tokens from teachers, administrators, and support staff by demonstrating PRIDE characteristics.

“The book vending machine is a great way to encourage reading and to motivate learners all while rewarding students for great behavior,” said Christa Held, a fourth-grade teacher. “The vending machine will regularly be stocked with fresh, new books that any student will be able to earn and enjoy, fostering their love of reading while building their home libraries.”

Dr. Erin Oleksa-Carter, a member of the QCEF board and QCSD’s Supervisor of Middle Level Teaching and Learning, said “The QCEF board was excited about this unique grant request, and felt that it could excite our students and engage them in reading. The vending machine provides students choice based on their interests and provides a motivation to earn tickets.”
The book vending machine is located in the school’s cafeteria.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529- 2028 or [email protected].
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