Vending machines offer children's books for free in Detroit

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It's a vending machine - with books instead of sodas and even better, the books are free. With less than two weeks until school starts - kids all over the city of Detroit are already sharpening their reading skills and Thursday FOX 2 got to see it first-hand.

High-fives for summer reading - the kids and FOX 2's Amy Lange have agreed to all read "Sarny." It's one of the many free books in this "Soar With Reading" vending machine.

"It helps you when you go back to school," said 7th grade student Naja Howard. "And get ready for the next grade you're going to."

"It's good they have different books every week because you need to read a variety of books," said Miron Dover

The kids here at the Northwest Activities Center showed FOX 2 the machine that's kept them engaged in reading this summer.

Amy Lange even had a chance to read one of the books to the dozens of children here for summer camp.

"We've distributed over 7,000 books in six weeks," Ronald Lockett, executive director of the Northwest Activities Center. "Reading is so fundamental and so important and that's what really excited us because it elevates the community."

Lockett says thanks to this free summer reading program from Jet Blue, they are busy re-stocking this machine several times a day.

"Six times a day - literally six times a day," he said. "It's been just unbelievable. We've had teachers getting books for their classes. We have parents students come to get books on their own since it's digital.

"It's a hit - I just wish we had it all the time."

The machines will be around two more weeks until the end of August, courtesy of Jet Blue, and there are a number of Detroit locations:

Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Road

Rosedale Park Baptist Church, 14179 Evergreen Road

Matrix Center, 13560 McNichols

Samaritan Center, 5555 Conner St.

Southwest Solutions, 5716 Michigan Avenue