St. Paul’s Promise has given Benjamin E. Mays Elementary a new reason to get excited about reading. They’ve donated Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine. The innovative program provides young readers with a treasure trove of books. This innovative program rewards students academic and behavior achievements with free books!

Inspiring Young Minds

The vending machine aims to get young students excited about reading. The initiative is set to broaden access to a diverse collection of books right at school.

Mayor Melvin Carter, added a touch of nostalgia to the ribbon cutting ceremony. He shared his kindergarten memories at Benjamin E. Mays Elementary. Mayor Carter emphasized the importance of representation in books for young minds.

“When I was your age, we would open the books, and not a lot of the books had people in them that looked like me,” Mayor Carter told the children.

Representation Matters at Benjamin E. Mays Elementary

The books inside Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine are written by local Black authors. Authors include; Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of Planting People Growing Justice, and news reporter Shayla Reaves. 

“I love my students being able to see themselves reflected in books,” said Starr’s teacher, Naomi Loving. “The more opportunities we can get books in students hands, the more excited they are about it.”

Token System Adds Excitement

Teachers recognize students achievements and reward them with a gold token. Students use the token to redeem books from the vending machine. The book they choose is theirs to keep. It’s the choice that really adds to the excitement.

“Getting it out of a vending machine has this whole air of excitement to it,” Ward 2 City Council Member Rebecca Noecker said.

Noecker highlighted the thrill of getting books from a vending machine. This initiative aligns with efforts to enhance literacy rates among elementary students in St. Paul.

Mayor Melvin Carter and Student enjoy Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine

St. Paul’s Promise

Mayor Melvin Carted tweeted “

We launched @StPaulPromise from my City Council office to give our scholars every opportunity. Today, they wrote another chapter on their journey, opening a book vending machine full of stories they see themselves in! Great way to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth

Saint Paul’s Promise added in a statement, “In collaboration with Wilder African American Babies Coalition & Projects and Planting People Growing Justice, this partnership seeks to transform how students discover their next favorite book, reinforcing the district’s commitment to literacy.”

Expanding Literacy Initiatives at Benjamin E. Mays Elementary and Beyond

This is the second Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine St. Paul Public Schools has welcomed. The first is found at Maxfield Elementary School. The program complements existing commitments, such as the SPPS Reads initiative launched in the fall, incorporating evidence-based Science of Reading practices.

St. Paul’s Promise, in collaboration with local organizations, continues to transform the reading experience for elementary students. The introduction of Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine reflects a commitment to fostering a love for reading and promoting diverse voices within the St. Paul community.

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