Book It: Vending machine keeps Cornatzer students interested in reading

Published 1:50 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

It was a vending machine that provided books, and when Angelina Etter first saw a video a couple of years ago, she went into action.

The media coordinator at Cornatzer Elementary School, she knew such a machine would be a hit to her students. And it would encourage them to read, something close to her heart. It also would encourage them to be better students, which makes the whole school better.

Last week, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the purple (school color) machine housed inside of the media center.

“I know how important it is to read. I want to get more books into kids’ homes,” she said. “Thank you for letting my dream become a reality.”

Students can earn “I Love Books” tokens by things such as practicing good behavior and making good grades, or by simply having a birthday. The machine holds 216 books – chapter books and picture books – depending on the student’s age.

“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks,” Etter said.

Davie Schools Superintendent Jeff Wallace had simple advice for the students – and adults – at the ribbon cutting. “Don’t stop reading.”

“This is a neat idea,” Wallace said. “This is how public schools should work. Good job, students.”

Principal Raymonda Shelton said Etter came to her with the idea soon after she had seen that first video.

“Then, she started fund raising,” Shelton said. The school held penny drives, pumpkin decorating contests and other events. Donations were obtained from local businesses and individuals.

It is a cost that will be ongoing, because the books for the machine are purchased via donations to the program.

“Ms. Etter has been an asset to our school,” Shelton said. “She finds great ways to keep students interested in reading.”