Vending Machine Dishes Out New Books to Students!

“I think it’s cool and I think a lot of kids are going to be excited about it. Books are always a good thing,” said Keizer.

She is the first student to receive a book from the new school vending machine and she played a big role in getting it in the building. Keizer wrote and received a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) grant for $876 available through the Barry Community Foundation to help fund the machine. She is also a member of the Page Student Council that donated $1,000 of their yearly fundraising money toward the project.

The PTO also played a big role in funding the project with a $5,000 contribution. And to stock the machine with books, Bradford White Corporation stepped up with funding not only to initially fill the machine, but also to have a supply of books on hand to keep it filled for a while.

Keizer, Page PTO members, Thornapple Kellogg Superintendent Craig McCarthy, Barry Community Foundation Director of Community Engagement Jillian Foster, YAC representative Zoey Ziny, Page Principal Gregg Bruno, and Page Student Council advisors Stacy Sikkema ad Jacki Schneider, shared in celebrating the addition to the school with an official ribbon cutting for the machine.

“I think this is really a tribute to kind of staff members we have,” said Superintendent Craig McCarthy. “I’m proud of our staff members, our PTO and everyone who has gone above and beyond to make this a reality.”

Sikkema explained the vending machine will be used as part of the school’s positive behavior interventions and supports program already in place. Through PBIS, students earn tickets for demonstrating elementary characteristics of being TK Strong - Safe, Respectful and Responsible. Students can redeem their tickets for rewards during the year. The newest reward, and what is hoped will become a very popular reward, will be a token for the book vending machine where students can pick out a book of their own to keep. 

PTO President for the 2022-23 school year Jillian Reil said she was thrilled the school was able to get the vending machine.  “We wanted to get more books in kids' hands, and we decided this was a very good way to help do that.”

Sikkema said she hopes it brings a new kind of excitement for reading. “We know that in fourth and fifth grades sometimes we see the enjoyment of reading decreasing a little with students, so we want to be able to give books as a prize and something fun for them,” she said.

Schneider agreed. “The more they read, the better they are at it."


The machine is filled with popular titles appropriate for fourth and fifth-grade students. Sikkema and Schneider surveyed student council members to get some ideas of what books students liked.


The vending machine holds 250 books when it’s fully stocked. Page teachers said they received enough funding in the grant from Bradford White to have it fully stocked as well as having additional supplies to refill the machine as needed.


Schneider said this project wouldn’t have been possible without so many different groups working together. “We want to thank the PTO, YAC, and Bradford White for helping make all this possible. We greatly appreciate all of it,” she said. 


Page Principal Gregg Bruno said he loves the idea and seeing the vending machine in the lobby for everyone to see as they enter each day. “I just feel incredibly fortunate that I get to be their principal and work with this ridiculously amazing group of staff, kids and PTO. It’s all about them and this is incredible,” he said.