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Dispenser reaches primary schools to promote literacy

DALLAS — Clarissa Alejandre-Carrasco, a student at Eddie Bernice Johnson Academy, excitedly tried out her school’s new book vending machine Tuesday, thanks to a generous donation from Atmos Energy to the Dallas Education Foundation.

Instead of a typical snack or drink dispenser, the book vending machine sparks a different kind of excitement for teachers and students by promoting literacy from an early age.

To activate the machine, teachers will hand out reward tokens to their students. Rufus C. Burleson Elementary School also received its own fully stocked book vending machine this week, much to the excitement of the little ones.

“Literacy is extremely important to my students because they are just beginning to read,” said Janese Gilyard, a second-grade teacher at Eddie B. Johnson. “They are excited about reading, they want to read at home and they have to read every day. This is a crucial time for me where I have to nurture and water the seed of reading so that they develop a lifelong love of learning.”

Early Learning Director Debbie Murillo and her department chose a set of books that would be engaging for students’ first experiences with the machine. This gift opens the door for students to see reading and learning as a positive experience, especially those who do not have access to books at home.

Eddie B. Johnson Assistant Principal Jessica Walker looks forward to seeing young readers have the opportunity to select topics that interest them. Being able to see the titles on the screen and share what they choose with their friends will create a passion for reading, she said.

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“If a student can’t read, their opportunities are limited. We want to make sure our students can read when they leave our school so they can be successful in the rest of their education and in the community,” Walker said.

Instead of a typical snack or drink dispenser, the book vending machine sparks a different kind of excitement for teachers and students by promoting literacy from an early age.

To activate the machine, teachers will hand out reward tokens to their students. Rufus C. Burleson Elementary School also received its own fully stocked book vending machine this week, much to the excitement of the little ones.

“Literacy is extremely important to my students because they are just beginning to read,” said Janese Gilyard, a second-grade teacher at Eddie B. Johnson. “They are excited about reading, they want to read at home and they have to read every day. This is a crucial time for me where I have to nurture and water the seed of reading so that they develop a lifelong love of learning.”

Early Learning Director Debbie Murillo and her department chose a set of books that would be engaging for students’ first experiences with the machine. This gift opens the door for students to see reading and learning as a positive experience, especially those who do not have access to books at home.

Eddie B. Johnson Assistant Principal Jessica Walker looks forward to seeing young readers have the opportunity to select topics that interest them. Being able to see the titles on the screen and share what they choose with their friends will create a passion for reading, she said.

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“If a student can’t read, their opportunities are limited. We want to make sure our students can read when they leave our school so they can be successful in the rest of their education and in the community,” Walker said.