TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Vending machines are known to carry gum, chips and soda but one middle school is looking to change the way this machine is used to get kids reading.
South Hills Middle School is one of the first schools in the Magic Valley to offer book vending machines to its students. The machine is token based and students can earn tokens by showing good behavior and are given a token for their birthday.
The vending machine has so far given out 150 books to its students as the staff work to encourage more reading to their students.
"We are really trying to get the best sellers that we can find to get them excited about it and I think everyone enjoys having something shiny and new that they get to keep," said Whitney Moses, librarian at South Hills Middle School.
Students have responded well to the vending machine being added and are excited when they get a chance to select a book. Allison Haney is a 6th grader at South Hills Middle School and says reading has helped her to grow as a student.
"When I was little, I had kind of a hard time like listening like I would jump around and move around and all that kind of stuff," said Haney.
Now an avid reader, she says that book vending machines should be in every school in Idaho.
"It would encourage people to read more plus vending machines are really cool," she said.
South Hills strives to show the importance of reading and is pushing for new ways to get students reading.
"Sometimes we need to see ourselves reflected in a book to feel that sense of connection, to feel we are not alone. I think there's a lot of benefits to reading just the sheer enjoyment of it, also how it helps us intellectually and emotionally," said Moses.