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John A. Sciole Elementary Introduces Book Vending Machine

Five children hold up books as they stand in front of a new book vending machine.

John A. Sciole Elementary School third grader Kazi Rashad stepped up to a new vending machine in the school’s front walkway, and inserted a token. This was not a typical vending machine, and instead of drinks or snacks, Kazi’s token allowed him to select one book to take home. After carefully scanning the machine’s choices, and inspired by some recommendations from classmates, he chose “The Bad Guys” by Aaron Blabley.

Kazi was one of five students who had a chance to use the new book vending machine, the first in the Lancaster Central School District, by winning classroom contests where they wrote and created art about their favorite books. Joining Kazi, as the first users of the new machine, were Benny Blocho, Avery Casillo, Carmen Ciarcone and Timothy Sproull. Molly Darnley, a third grade teacher, said students at the school have been checking out the machine as they arrive each morning. 

“It’s exciting to see students love to read,” Darnley said.

Students will earn tokens for the machine, created by Amherst-based Global Vending Group, through their classroom performance and behavior. The machine and its books were paid for by the John A. Sciole Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, which raised the money with fundraisers throughout the year. 

“We just want to encourage reading, because it is an amazing thing,” said Emily Roberts, the organization’s president. “Hopefully this will spark something for them.”

Students watch as a ribbon is cut on a book vending machine. A student points at a book inside a book vending machine.