Photos courtesy of the Connetquot Central School District
Most individuals have stuck a dollar into a vending machine to choose a drink or snack, but Helen B. Duffield Elementary School students now have the opportunity to choose a book. On Sept. 30, members of the Rotary Club of Ronkonkoma, Helen B. Duffield Elementary School Principal Lisa Farrell, Connetquot Central School District administrators and board of education trustees, teachers and select students were on hand to cut the ribbon celebrating the operation of the new Duffield Book Vending Machine.
The vending machine, designed by Taylor Quaranta, was a joint effort between the school and the Ronkonkoma Rotary, whose mission is to partner with schools on literacy. Each month, teachers will choose a student who meets criteria to become student of the month. In all, 18 students a month will receive a gold coin to place in the vending machine to choose a book. Books will be supplemented by the Ronkonkoma Rotary.
Reading teacher April Oquendo said that putting a new book in a child’s hand is so exciting. “This is a partnership that will continue a love of reading,” Ms. Oquendo said.