The “Read to Succeed” initiative focuses on promoting literacy so that students are reading on or above grade level by the end of third grade. Additionally, this initiative seeks to increase students’ love of reading as well as provide access to quality reading materials.
A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlighted this notion; the study concluded that “students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. In fact, 88 percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in third grade.”
The Greater Longview United Way opened a grant program to provide book vending machines to Primary/Elementary schools and nonprofits in Gregg and Harrison counties to address this issue.
These machines work like traditional vending machines but instead of chips being dispensed, books are. The grantees are given special tokens for the machine to dispense the books. Each machine comes with 100 coins to be used in the machine for distribution and additional coins can be purchased from the manufacturer. Also, the machine can have different configurations to accommodate chapter books as well as large children’s books. The machines can hold between 200-300 books at one time.