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Bartlesville elementary school finds new way to put books in students' hands

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 23:28:14-04

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A Bartlesville elementary school is working to put books in students' hands.

Kane Elementary students have access to a new vending machine. No, it’s not for snacks and treats. This one is full of books.

“A lot of our kids don’t have books at home," said Julie Eide, a title teacher at Kane Elementary. "So, we’re always looking at literacy and how to improve literacy in our building and with our kids.”

Each month teachers will pick students who will receive a token for the vending machine and will then select a book. They could be student, athlete, bookworm, artist or even musician of the month.

"I’m going to take mine home and sound out the words to read it to my baby brother," said Ava, a Kindergarten student named March Student of the Month.

With about 73 percent of Kane students on free and reduced lunch, Principal Tammie Krause said they wanted to help build libraries at students' homes and foster a love of reading.

“Teaching them to read is one thing," Krause said. "Teaching them to love reading is another. And when kids are able to pick out a book that they want that interests them, it makes them want to read more. And they, of course, want to go home and show their parents, 'Hey I was student of the month.'”

The idea for the machine came from the school’s librarian, Abbey Allcott. Then, Eide worked to get a grant for the machine and donations for the books. Eide said it’s a way to honor and reward students for their hard work.

“If they don’t have books at home to practice that, they’re not going to excel," Eide said. "And so, this is one opportunity to get them books at home, get books in their hand so they can practice reading at home to their family. And then that will help them improve in school.”

Kane Elementary has more than 500 students. The goal is for each one to have a book by the end of the year.

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