Vending machines are there when we need them. Sometimes during the day you’re so hungry, you don’t go home for another 4 hours, and you just need a snack. You gather your change, stand in front of the machine, pick what you like, and wait for it to be dropped. You walk back to your desk, while munching on that candy bar with joy.
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But who would have thought that vending machines could provide a means to an education? As part of JetBlue’s Soar With Reading Program, book vending machines have been placed around libraries in the US. These vending machines are targeted towards children in the community to encourage literacy. A successful summer, which placed five book vending machines across neighborhoods in Detroit, proved how useful they were. According to ABC News,
Soar With Reading distributed more than 27,000 books via vending machines and an additional 70,000 books through community partners in the Anacostia area of Washington, D.C.
JetBlue found that certain areas in Detroit had only one book for every 42 children, while Anacostia had just one book for every 830 children. Children living in “book deserts” are at risk of falling behind with language, vocabulary and comprehension, leaving them in jeopardy of academically lagging behind their peers who have access to books, according to the report co-authored by Neuman and Naomi Moland, a postdoctoral research fellow at New York University.
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Each vending machine provides free books to children. This program engages children with literature in cities like Detroit and Washington D.C – places where kids wouldn’t usually pick up a book for fun. The program plans to expand after a BookBattle competition was introduced to vote on which city should get the vending machines next. Next stop is Ft. Lauderdale! According to businesswire.com,
Children living in ‘book deserts’ are at risk of falling behind with language, vocabulary and comprehension, leaving them in jeopardy of academically lagging behind their peers who have access to books.
These vending machines are changing the way kids are able to read and engage with each other across the country.
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