Buckingham Unveils New Book Vending Machine

Buckingham Unveils New Book Vending Machine
Buckingham Elementary School hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new book vending machine Tuesday. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN– A new addition to the Buckingham Elementary School lobby aims to help inspire a love of reading among students.

Buckingham Elementary School on Tuesday hosted a ribbon cutting for its new book vending machine. Students each got to put a token in the machine to get a copy of “Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail,” the book featured in this year’s “One School, One Book” program.

“Kids will love this,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said.

The colorful new vending machine was funded with a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and $300 from the Buckingham Elementary School PTA. An in-kind donation of books from the Briddell Foundation will ensure that once the copies of “Ranger in Time” are distributed the machine can be refilled with various books for all reading levels. Students will be rewarded with tokens to get new books throughout the school year.

“We just wanted to keep building a love of literacy, to make reading even more inviting,” said Laura Arenella, Buckingham’s curriculum resource and Title I coordinator.


Student Oliver Woodward gets a book from Buckingham’s new book vending machine.

The machine features slots for dozens of titles and even includes space for larger picture books for young readers. The donation from the Briddell Foundation will ensure it’s stocked with a variety of books in the coming weeks.

Arenella said educators were thrilled to be able to kick off the annual “One School, One Book” program for all students in kindergarten through fourth grade with the vending machine.

“It’s pretty exciting,” she said.

Principal Chris Welch agreed.

“We can’t thank the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore enough,” she said. “This way to kick off our book study is going to be amazing.”

Through the “One School, One Book” program, every family at the school receives a copy of the same book to read together at home. The program is meant to build a community of readers and inspire discussion of the book both at home and at school. Students will also have the chance to answer reading comprehension questions for a chance to win daily drawings at school.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.