Middle school unveils a different kind of vending machine for students

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LOGAN, WV (WOWK) — A different type of vending machine can now be found in Logan Middle School.

The school principal, Brian Atkinson, says it is certainly unique to the area.

“To the best of their knowledge and our knowledge, this is the only one of it’s kind in the southern coalfields of West Virginia, south of 64 and west of 77,” says Atkinson.

This vending machine doesn’t dispense snacks:

“We have a book machine, and we are really trying to promote reading for pleasure among our students. Just reading to read. Don’t get on video games, don’t get on your phones, but just put everything down and read.” 

Brian Atkinson, principal, Logan Middle School
The new vending machine in Logan Middle School dispenses books. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

One of their own eighth grade English teachers—Kara Wiley—came up with the idea to get the machine as she was scrolling through social media.

“I came across a post where a teacher in another state: they’d had one of these machines installed in their school and I thought it was really cool idea. I mean, who doesn’t want to go buy a book in a vending machine?” says Wiley.

The machine functions just like a regular vending machine; you take a special coin token, pop it in, and enter the row code.

“It just plops out like a chip bag,” says Gabriel Looney, a fifth grade student at Logan Middle School.

The idea is to foster a lifelong love of reading in an innovative way.

The machine takes special token coins, which school administrators will hand out based on academic achievements. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“The book is theirs. It’s not like a library, return in two weeks. The book is theirs which creates that ownership which creates that love for reading,” Atkinson says.

The kids at the school already seem to be enjoying the idea.

“It might motivate new fifth grade students and up to start reading more,” Looney says.

There is just one concern:

“I think we’ll run out of books in the machine before we run out of snacks in the others.” 

Zoey Adkins, sixth grade student, Logan Middle School

Something many might argue, is a good problem to have.

School officials say the machine became possible by the donations of various community sponsors.

They say they plan on giving students the coin tokens as a reward system for academic achievements.

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