A new vending machine at Jefferson Elementary School offers students a fun, rewarding way to expand their love of reading. 

The school recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine, a vending machine that accepts only special golden tokens that students can earn in a variety of ways. 

Among the titles currently in the vending machine are “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” “The Biggest Apple Ever,” and “Pig the Monster.” The school also has a fund to purchase additional books throughout the year. 

Students can earn tokens for special events such as their birthday or as a reward for positive behavior that aligns with the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports values of being respectful, responsible and safe. 

The vending machine was a dream realized for teacher Tammy Eastep, who wanted to find a fun way to get books in the hands — and eventually the homes — of all students in the building. 

Several businesses and organizations helped provide the funds to purchase the vending machine and supply it with books: Celanese, RTP, Midtown Foods, Eagles Club and WNB Financial. The school also received a BK5K grant.

Eastep said she was brought to tears by the support of businesses in the community, and was also grateful for the maintenance staff at Jefferson and Winona Area Public Schools for figuring out how to get the machine through the doors.