Stoughton Elementary School Dispenses Knowledge With Book Vending Machines

Photo: Chris Fama / WBZ

STOUGHTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Wrapped in the colors of the Wilkins Wildcats, a vending machine at a Stoughton public school is trading bags of chips for books.

When Eileen Sprague first saw a book vending machine online at another school in another state, her immediate thought was, “how cool is that?” So, she convinced her district to buy a machine for every school in Stoughton to help promote literacy, incentivize academics and exemplary behavior.

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“We’ve spent years acknowledging and rewarding students with like a certificate or a pencil,” explained Wilkins Principal Kathleen Monahan. “What better way than to actually give them something that we feel is important for them to have.”

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The machines take tokens that are given to students when they get an “A” in class, act responsibly or help another student. Students have shown a strong interest in getting their hands on a book ever since the machine was first installed. One fifth grader even said he prefers the sweet taste of knowledge over a candy bar.

“When I first thought about it, I thought there would be snacks in it because it was empty,” he explained. “Then when they put the books in it, I thought it was a cool addition to the school.”

WBZ's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) turned the page on this story:

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