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Book vending machines installed on two Dallas ISD elementary campuses

'This is a game changer': Instead of holding drinks and snacks, a variety of children's books are now available in vending machines at a couple of DISD campuses.

WILMER, Texas — Elementary students on a couple of Dallas Independent School District campuses are getting greater access to a variety of children’s books.

Book vending machines are being installed at Eddie Bernice Johnson STEM Academy and Burleson Elementary.

“Literacy is extremely important to my class and around the campus,” said Janese Gilyard, a second grade Reading teacher.

Teachers across Eddie Bernice Johnson STEM Academy said literacy is a focus at the school.

“They’re excited about learning how to read. They want to go home and read at home. They’re asking to read every day,” Gilyard explained.

Reading is among reasons the boys and girls are getting excited about book vending machines that popped up on campus this week. The books inside represent a variety of titles, subjects, and languages.

“This is a game changer,” said Assistant Principal Jessica Walker.

Dallas ISD Early Childhood Department partnered with Atmos Energy and the Dallas Education Foundation to bring the book vending machines to school campuses.

Each of the schools has its own campus library where the young scholars can borrow books. However, the students at Eddie Bernice Johnson STEM Academy and Burleson Elementary now get to earn tokens as an incentive for a chance to pick a special title from the book vending machine.

“They get to keep them. They get to take them home,” Walker explained.

The book vending machine has flashy lights and it talks to students as they’re browsing the book selection.

“I think it’s so cool to see a book vending machine where you would normally see sodas, and snacks and cookies, but to actually see books in there,” Gilyard said.

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