A vending machine offers free books to students at North Harlem Elementary

HARLEM, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — A new addition to North Harlem Elementary School will give students free books, but they must earn them with good behavior.

This is the story of “Inchy the Bookworm Machine”.

Students at North Harlem Elementary have been rewarded for good behavior before, but never like this.

“We take it a step further and say, ‘Hey, we see you. We understand how much effort it takes to be a good citizen, and we want to reward you for it,” said educational specialist Andrea Eremus.

Students earn “Pride Paws” when someone sees them doing something good. After earning 25, they can use the vending machine to choose a free book.

It all started one weekend when Eremus watched CBS Sunday Morning, when they promised good news about a school in Harlem.

“The school they were talking about was in Harlem, New York, and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ but I looked at the story,” she said.

This story introduced her to a school with a vending machine that offered free books.

“After watching this, I looked at my husband and said, ‘We can totally do this.’ So two months later, this vending machine was in our school,” Eremus said.

Inspired by this school in New York, the community of Harlem, Georgia raised funds to purchase this machine and enough books to store it for a year.

“I’m overwhelmed and thrilled because I think every child should have access to their own literature,” she said.

Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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