Inchy’s Vending Machines and Book-Tasting Experience Are
Dispensing Genuine Excitement to DCSD Students

Creative Approach to Encourage Reading and Increase Literacy Rates

Book Vending Machine Superintendent and StudentsWhen was the last time you checked a book out of a library?

For too many, it’s been far too long. Unsurprisingly, it’s not even considered an option for many students today. Electronic devices and smartphones have made access to information, entertainment, and social media too convenient.

Research shows that it’s one of the reasons that literacy rates have continued a steady decline.

With that top of mind, DeKalb County School District educators have implemented a creative approach to improving literacy by getting students interested in getting their hands on a book and engrossed in flipping pages of a good read.

Book Vending Machine EventVending machines.

No, that’s not a misprint. It turns out that the introduction of vending machines dispensing books is creating genuine enthusiasm in students to check out a book and read.

Earlier this week, Book-Tasting Experience and Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine were unveiled at the Family I.M.P.A.C.T Hub in the Administrative and Instructional Complex in Stone Mountain. Students and parents joined Interim Superintendent Dr. Vasanne S. Tinsley, and representatives from the District’s Parent and Family Engagement Department were there to see the creative strategies in action.

The Book-Tasting Experience presents literacy through a three-course educational meal. Students can examine up to three books and take notes before choosing the ones they want to take home.

“At the end of the session, students are welcome to take the books home to build their at-home library,” said Family Engagement liaison Stephanie Forbes. “With this somewhat unconventional approach, we are engaging students and helping them find a love for reading on their own.”

Book Vending MachineThe Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine, named after “Inchy the Bookworm,” allows students to retrieve books from a vending machine with golden tokens. Students will get these tokens from the Parent and Family Engagement Department for good behavior, reading a book, or good grades.

Although it’s still early, experienced educators are amazed at the excitement something so simple is generating. They are also encouraged that something so simple might help improve learning by focusing on reading comprehension and verbal fluency as students grow a love for reading.

“Literacy for our students and ensuring they have access to books is so important,” said Dr. Tinsley. “We know that reading helps with literacy, helps keep students engaged, and helps with academic achievement. This is a phenomenal strategy that we have here in the Family I.M.P.A.C.T Hub, but we want to see it spread throughout DeKalb County as a way to engage our students in the wonderful world of reading.”