In the spring of 2022, Winnsboro Memorial Intermediate School was awarded a grant from the Texas Community Bancshares Foundation.

The $5,000 grant allowed the campus to purchase a Bookworm Vending Machine. The Bookworm vending machine is being used as a positive reward-based system to assist the faculty and staff in reinforcing and acknowledge students who demonstrate positive character traits or meet one of their academic, social, or behavioral goals.

For example, every employee from the custodians, cafeteria staff, paraprofessionals, teachers, counselor, maintenance, and administrators are provided tokens to issue the students that demonstrate courage, trustworthiness, integrity, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, good citizenship, school pride, or gratitude character traits.

When a student is identified as demonstrating a positive character trait or meeting one of their goals, the student will utilize their token to redeem a free book. The vending machine was strategically placed in the main corridor of the building to serve as a constant reminder to students that there are rewards for their behavior and progress.

The application and implementation for this grant would not have been possible without the hard work of several WISD staff including, Pam Gambrel, WISD Grant Specialist, Kim Nash, WJHS Principal, and Donald Patrick, WMIS principal. WISD would also like to thank all of the members of the TCBS Foundation for selecting this project and funding such an amazing opportunity for the students of WMIS.

WISD fosters a community of life-long learners by providing an environment that builds self-worth, integrity, and respect for others while striving for academic and social excellence. Being in a rural area with a limited tax base presents a considerable challenge to provide extra funding for programs; however, WISD considers the need to provide additional financial support as a high priority for our students and teachers.

WISD currently provides services for over 1,500 students from ages three through twelfth grade, and the economically disadvantaged rate for our district is 52%.

“Many of our families do not have the luxury of owning many books for their children to read or have the gas money or time to drive to the library. This vending machine serves as a great opportunity to put books in the hands of our students,” Gambrel said.