Welcoming new students with books

One of the ways that Dallas ISD is sparking students’ love of reading is through the book vending machine initiative. Through a partnership with the Dallas Education Foundation and other partners, various book vending machines have been installed throughout the district, including at the Margaret and Gilbert Herrera International Welcome Center.

This spring, the fully stocked vending machine—which like others, offers books for free—was unveiled and included multilingual titles.

“The Dual Language Department works to serve and support students and their families and work to create a welcoming and warm environment,” said Amanda Clymer, director of the Dual Language/ESL Department. 

The newly installed book vending machine is something that Clymer hopes will help continue to foster that welcoming environment at the Welcome Center, which is the first Dallas ISD location that newcomer students from other countries visit to enroll in the district. 

The machine offers books in six different languages. This past school year the Welcome Center received over 7,000 students from 76 countries.  

“Since its opening, the Margaret and Gilbert Herrera International Welcome Center always has been a welcoming place for our new Dallas ISD families. It will be even more so thanks to our new book nook and all the exciting titles living inside,” said superintendent Stephanie Elizalde during the unveiling.

This program aligns with Dallas Education Foundations’ strategic initiative of advancing literacy by curating home libraries for Dallas ISD students, according to the Dallas Education Foundation’s website. 

To help continue this work of building literacy, several schools throughout the district have received book vending machines. John Runyon Elementary School, Nathan Adams Elementary School, Ronald Erwin McNair Elementary School, and C.A. Tatum Elementary School are among the campuses who held unveiling ceremonies this spring to launch their new book vending machine.

The book vending machine at Adams, marked the 12th one installed in Dallas ISD schools. 


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