Emerson Machine Rewards Students With Books

First-grader TJ Blanchard was one of the first students to receive a book reward.

Emerson Elementary students have an exciting and big new reason to strive for those gold coins they receive as part of the school’s positive culture/behavior program. The school recently unveiled its Book Experience vending machine, where students who exhibit the competencies contained in the district's Vision of a Lakewood Graduate (communication, collaboration, creative thinking, empathy, growth mindset, and global citizenship) can use their gold coin to select a book from the machine. Much better than candy or soda, right?!

The idea for the machine was broached by teacher Jennifer Mollison and then enthusiastically endorsed by the school’s Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) team to include it in their rewards system for students. The school’s PTO stepped in to provide funds to purchase the custom machine - decorated in purple and gold with inspirational quotes and two Lil’ Rangers of different skin tones - and supply the initial batch of books.

Students Mia Ferrone, TJ Blanchard, and Alex Samples were the first students to drop their gold coin in the coin slot and watch a book they selected drop down. The trio were chosen for exhibiting kindness and empathy to fellow students. They each were thrilled to have a new book of their own to take home!

“We value the uniqueness of every student and believe that every child exhibits leadership qualities in different ways. Therefore, students will be provided with a variety of paths to earn a golden coin for our Emerson book experience,” said Principal Denice Leddy.

The Ultimate Book Experience Machine will be restocked through donations and new books purchased with Scholastic Book Sale dollars earned. The district hopes that the new machine gives Emerson students another reason to see that reading rocks!

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021