NOEL, Mo. — It’s the vending machine at school that teachers are encouraging their kids to use. It’s a new book vending machine — and it’s at Noel Primary School. It’s been there for a couple of weeks — school officials and students celebrated it this Thursday morning with an official ribbon cutting.

School Librarian Hannah Granger had the idea to purchase it and passed along that idea to the McDonald County School Foundation — which, in turn, provided the funding. The kids can get books from the machine with the use of special coins they’ll earn by meeting certain expectations in the classroom.

“To be able to get books into our kids’ hands in such an exciting way, but also for them to be able to get them for free, and kind of help them build their home libraries, is one of the greatest parts of getting to have that here,” said Hannah Granger, Librarian.

“You know, I knew it was going to be neat. I knew it was going to be kind of cool, but to see them jumping up and down and holding their book in the air like a trophy was a lot cooler than I expected. It’s something they were very proud of to be able to get it. And so I think our money’s going to pay dividends and that showed today,” said Gary Wasson, Foundation President.

“Like I always come over here and I’m like when am I going to get a book and called over there? That’s how I was every time, when I came to lunch,” said Arianna Bautista, Student.

The addition of the new machine is timely. Next Tuesday is National Read A Book Day.