Students at Homer Davis Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona now have a new incentive to stay focused in class—a shot at the Book-O-Matic, a custom-designed vending machine stocked with children’s literature.
Jenine Dalrymple is bringing the Book-O-Matic to Homer Davis through her nonprofit, the Andra Heart Foundation. This foundation distributes free public health resources to all public schools and select private schools in the Flowing Wells Unified School District in Arizona, in addition to contributing funds to other community activities, charities, and resources.
The Book-O-Matic won’t officially begin operation until the start of the school year, but the premise is simple: Kids who exhibit “positive characteristics such as persistence or cooperation” will have the opportunity to select a book from the vending machine, according to the school district’s superintendent. The books will be entirely free and brand-new, which is especially meaningful to students who may have never owned a new book, or anything that was not previously used, before.
Dalrymple partnered with Tomdra, a local vending machine company, to create the machine. The front of the Book-O-Matic bears the crest of the Andra Heart Foundation and the sides feature pop-art-style superheroes speaking in speech bubbles that read: “Saving the world, one book at a time!”
Dalrymple was inspired to bring the Book-O-Matic to Homer Davis by her daughter, Andra Dalrymple, who loved to help her community. Dalrymple recalls that her daughter was especially moved by the book How to Steal a Dog, which introduced her to the horrifying truth of homelessness, a very real threat to some of the children in her community, and even at her school.
Andra passed away in 2010 due to a heart-related condition. Dalrymple started the Andra Heart Foundation to keep her daughter’s memory alive, and to help realize the twelve-year-old’s dreams of bringing aid to children and adults in her community.
How to Steal a Dog, and two thousand other brand-new children’s books, will be available to Homer Davis students starting in the fall.
Featured Image Via Tucson.com.