Duchess's High School in Alnwick opens its new book vending machine as a part of reward scheme for students

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A new book vending machine has been officially opened at Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick.

The machine and first installation of books were funded through the school’s charity, BOOST, whose Open Book Project aims to provide students with access to new books through a reward scheme, as part of their goal to remove barriers from learning.

Students can choose a book by exchanging a reward token, which they earn by accumulating merits.

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Katherine Williams, the chair of BOOST, said: “There is much evidence that reading benefits children’s learning and attainment, and we hope that activities provided by BOOST will inspire students to enjoy the magic of a new book.

Mayor Geoff Watson opens the new book vending machine.Mayor Geoff Watson opens the new book vending machine.
Mayor Geoff Watson opens the new book vending machine.

“Through our Open Book Project we have given away over 1100 books in school and in the community. The vending machine marks the culmination of this fantastic project and will provide a lasting legacy.

The machine includes a range of titles to cater for all tastes and abilities and none of the books are on the school curriculum so students can enjoy reading outside the classroom.

Mayor Geoff Watson officially opened the new facility and was joined by students from each year group, who took no time at all to select a book that appealed to them.

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Cllr Watson, said: “My wife, Cllr Dianne Watson and myself, were pleased to be able to attend the opening of the new book vending machine at the DCHS. In this age of technology we live in it is important that children and young people are aware of the value of reading books.

Students were able to choose a book to keep.Students were able to choose a book to keep.
Students were able to choose a book to keep.

"Reading a book is a personal experience, it can transport you to another place, the top of a mountain, the depths of the ocean or across the galaxy. The book vending machine is an excellent way of focusing attention on the wide variety of books that are available and Alnwick Town Council is delighted to be able to support this innovative way of encouraging students to read.”

BOOST needs continued support from the community to fund the project. Local businesses or individuals are invited to sponsor 10 or 20 books (£60/£120). To donate, you can email [email protected], or alternatively donate the cost of one book by texting DCHSREADS to 70470, where texts will cost £6 plus the standard message rate.

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