Wherever you read, we’re here.
Most kids run to vending machines to load up on snacks, candy, and soda. With the help of Rockingham Insurance, they’re now running to the book vending machines to feed their minds.
Back in 2019, Plains Elementary School Principal Joseph Kapuchuck was browsing his social media feed and came across a post about a book vending machine at a school in Florida. Since his school puts a strong emphasis on literacy and reading, he was itching to provide his students with their own machine. He soon discovered that the book vending machines come with a steep price tag, so he looked to partner with a local business to help fund the project.
Call it serendipity, but Rockingham Insurance was celebrating its 150th anniversary that year and was looking for another way to give back to the community, so they jumped at the chance to donate the machine. The books are an additional expense covered by donations from local sponsors. Local company Blue Plumbing chipped in to donate the books and the students at Plains Elementary were able to get their very own book vending machine.
“We have a responsibility for our policyholders, but we also have a responsibility to our community,” said Bill Bayer, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “What better way to give back to our community than to provide the power of books and reading to our local elementary school students – we’re absolutely thrilled to be part of this commitment to promote literacy for all students.”
The book vending machine program is a reward system schools can use to bridge the gap between literacy and engagement. It also serves as an incentive for students to reach goals, show improvement, or achieve something great. When students receive these incentives, they are given tokens to use in the book vending machine; each token can be exchanged for one book the student can take home and keep. The machine holds about 300 books and 20 different titles.
Rockingham Insurance has since donated two more vending machines to local schools. Peak View Elementary in Rockingham was the second school to receive the book vending machine. The most recent book vending machines were delivered this summer to Grandin Court Elementary in Roanoke and Bessie Weller Elementary in Staunton. Both will be ready for the students when they return in the fall.
Those interested in applying for a book vending machine to support elementary school students can contact their local Rockingham Insurance agent or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wherever you read, we’re here.