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McGregor Elementary supports literacy with Book Vending Machine, funded by Musgrave Foundation grant

Student vending machine

Five McGregor Elementary third-graders started their school week in an exciting way: choosing the first books from their school’s Book Vending Machine. 

“I like Captain Underpants, so A2,” whispered one student to Blaine Broderick, the school’s community liaison. “That’s awesome.”

McGregor Elementary School officially opened their school’s Book Vending Machine at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 7. The vending machine was made possible by a $4,600 grant with the Jerry Redfern Grant Program of the Musgrave Foundation, facilitated by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.


McGregor librarian Angie Buis collaborated with Broderick to secure the major grant in the 2020-2021 school year, which provides funds for both the machine and $500 worth of high-interest chapter, picture and multi-leveled books students can earn. 

“So often when we distribute grants, we know there’s work going on in the community, but we don’t get to see it in action,” said Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs at CFO. “Musgrave Foundation grants provide resources directly to low-income families, so it was fun to see one of the grants and its impact in front of us.” 

A group of third-graders were invited to be the first students to use McGregor’s Book Vending Machine. Stationed near the school’s entrance, the machine is the first in the state of Missouri and one of only a handful in the Midwest, said Broderick. 


“It’s something fun, but the machine’s also a tool to support student success,” said Broderick. “The machine both supports a love of reading in our students and reinforces our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports efforts. Students will earn tokens to purchase books by making good choices, being great citizens and staying safe at school. We’re making literacy a reward, and I’m excited to see its impact.”