HARLEM, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A new addition to North Harlem Elementary School is giving students free books, but they must earn them through good behavior.
Here’s the story behind the ‘Inchy the Bookworm Machine’.
North Harlem Elementary students have been rewarded for good behavior before, but never in this way.
“We take it one step further and say, ‘Hey, we see you. We understand the effort it takes to be a good citizen, and we want to reward you for that,’” says Instructional Specialist Andrea Eremus.
Students earn Pride Paws when someone sees them doing something right. After earning 25, they can use the vending machine to pick out a free book.
It started one weekend when Eremus was watching CBS Sunday Morning, when they promised good news about a school in Harlem.
“The school they were talking about was in Harlem, New York, and I was like, ‘Oh my god,’ but I watched the story,” she said.
That story brought her to a school with a vending machine that offered free books.
“After seeing that, I looked at my husband and said, ‘We can totally do this’. So two months later, this vending machine was at our school,” says Eremus.
Inspired by that New York school, the community of Harlem, Ga. money to buy this machine and enough books to keep it in stock for a year.
“I am overwhelmed and overjoyed because I believe that every child should have access to their own literature,” she said.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.