BUENA PARK, CA – Pendleton Elementary School students can earn free popular books from series such as “Goosebumps,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog” though the school’s new book vending machine, which provides rewards for academic growth.

Students can earn free book tokens, each worth one free book, by accomplishing self-made academic goals to further their education. Principal Loriann Leota said the program is a perfect way to get students excited about learning and help improve literacy rates as they transition to becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme school.

The vending machine – located in the school’s library – is adorned with rolling green hills, a blue sky and a quote that reads “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” by American journalist, women’s rights advocate and abolitionist Margaret Fuller.

“We want our students to read as much as possible and sometimes families are too busy to make it to the library. This new book vending machine will give students immediate access to books once they reach their academic goals,” Leota said. “Students having access to books and continuing to read is always important because it boosts fluency and makes them more confident readers.”

According to Leota, Pendleton School has hundreds of books in reserve, and the vending machine will never be empty as long as students are achieving. The vending machine will also have a wide range of books in stock to ensure that students are improving their reading levels.

“Buena Park School District jumps at any chance to promote literacy and academic success and this new book vending machine achieves both these goals,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “We’ve already seen the students excited to use the machine and read their favorite books, and we know this will be another useful tool to help students with their academic growth.”

For this year, students will receive their books on the same day in May; during the 2022-23 year, students will be able to receive books on the same day they complete their goals.


BOOKVENDING1: (Left to right) Third-grader Darius P., Pendleton School Principal Loriann Leota, fourth-grader Alexandria J., transitional kindergartener Atarah P., Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes and second-grader Gavin P. welcome a new book vending machine to their school. The vending machine will provide free books to students who reach and exceed personal academic goals.

BOOKVENDING2: (Left to right) Pendleton Elementary School fourth-grader Alexandria J., fifth-grader Teagan L., third-grader Darius P., kindergartener Adrian P., transitional kindergartener Atarah P., and second-grader Gavin P. point to the books they want to read in their school’s book vending machine.