Book Vending Machine Donation

Family's Donation Buys Book Vending Machines for A.Z. Kelley Elementary
Posted on 06/09/2023
Robert Starnes with image of his wife next to book machine

Man holding image of wife next to book vending machine

MNPS and A.Z. Kelley Elementary School would like to extend a big thank you to Robert Starnes for his financial contribution, which is bringing two book vending machines to the school.

Starnes made the donation on behalf of his late wife, attorney Dorothy Elizabeth Leach Starnes, who died in 2020. Mrs. Starnes was a nursing graduate of Meharry Medical College before attending law school at the University of Memphis.

The Starneses, the proud parents of Andrea Crews, a longtime MNPS educator who is a student learning coach at A.Z. Kelley, have always been committed to education. With this contribution, they continue their support by ensuring all children receive a quality education that encompasses individualized academic support, mentoring, character development and resources.

To support the student incentive program at A.Z. Kelley, the Starnes family donation was used to purchase two book vending machines for the school. Students are given opportunities to earn tokens to receive books for demonstrations of good character. The machines are customized so that younger students can earn larger books and older students can earn chapter books.

“We are so grateful for the support and generosity of the Starnes family,” Principal Pippa Meriwether said. “Our staff and students have greatly benefited from the generous monetary donation that they have provided to us. The book vending machines will have a huge impact on character development and literacy skills for our students for years to come at A.Z. Kelley Elementary School.”

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