SCRANTON — Vending machines in schools are nothing new, but how about one that provides refreshment and sustenance for the mind?
Brittany Haynos-Krupski, principal of All Saints Academy in West Scranton, was effusive in discussing the Catholic elementary school’s new, creative concept of a vending machine that rewards student patrons with knowledge.
She was even more excited about detailing how there is no money required for the educational treats — just service to others, teamwork, personal accomplishments and even some random acts of kindness.
During the first days of the new academic year at All Saints, Haynos-Krupski explained, the Knights school community implemented a “House System” to help promote positive behavior and provide a little friendly competition.
After faculty and staff were assigned to one of the four “houses” — each named for one of the four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) — all students in grades pre-K thru eight discovered which “household” they would become part of.
“The energy in the gym was amazing,” Haynos-Krupski said. “The students were so excited to pick their house. As the houses grew, so did the energy. We want the students to feel that sense of community at All Saints Academy.”
Each student was given a wristband to signify their house color and pennants were created to decorate the houses, as the four separate “families” within the All Saints family afforded students an even deeper sense of identity and inclusion.
“The houses spent the entire day together,” the principal related. “They ate lunch together, enjoyed a special ice cream treat and bonded with students on all grade levels.”
During the presentations, faculty and staff stressed to the students the importance of kindness toward all and striving to be the best they can be — which led to the idea behind the book vending machine.
According to Haynos- Krupski, “house points” will be awarded throughout the year for helping others, community service, academic achievement, teamwork and other positive accomplishments.
“Faculty, staff and students will have monthly meetings to nominate students who have gone above and beyond during the month in their house,” she explained.
Those students who are chosen will be recognized at school Masses and receive tokens for the unique vending machine stocked with books for all grades.
“Students will keep the books that they receive. We need to keep books in the hands of students in all grades,” Haynos-Krupski noted.