VENICE, Fla. - There's a new vending machine at Garden Elementary School in Venice and parents should be pretty happy about the treats inside: It's a book vending machine.
Reading recovery teacher Stacy Bellanca showed us the kids' love for reading is as strong as their love of candy and soda.
"This is just one piece of technology that can get them excited about reading. What kind of kid doesn't like vending, treats, and candy and sodas? And this is one fun way to vend things, but they get to vend a book that they've really had their eye on," Bellanca said.
She started raising money for the book vending machine online through Donors Choose.
"We really wanted to instill a love of reading in our kids. We thought this fantastic piece of technology would help," Bellanca continued.
People from around the country helped make her dream a reality. Bellanca helped decorate the vending machine with quotes to get kids excited about reading.
Members of the Venice VFW donated $1,000 to keep the machine stocked with books.
"I think that kids love technology nowadays. This is one piece of technology that will get them excited about reading," she said.
Students are chosen to "vend" by doing good deeds at school.
"Each month, our school has a character education trait. For instance "friendship." The teacher catches the students do something friendly. Their name goes into a drawing. At the end of the month, if their name is chosen, they get to get a token to vend," Bellanca explained.
One gold token lets them pick any book they want.
"They get to take this book home. They get to keep it forever and add it to their library at home," she added.