JetBlue’s Soar with Reading Initiative Lands in Fort Lauderdale

Published on : Tuesday, June 27, 2017

JetBlue's Soar with Reading program unveiled five custom book vending machines in Detroit, Michigan on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The machines placed throughout the city will dispense free books for children all summer long. (Bryan Mitchell/AP Images for JetBlue's Soar with Reading Program)JetBlue and Random House Children’s Books today launched the seventh annual Soar with Reading™ initiative, which provides age-appropriate books to children who need them most. This summer the program lands in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with JetBlue installing four custom vending machines throughout the city to distribute 100,000 books, free of charge. The vending machines will include a variety of children’s books. The newest enhancements to the program include the addition of bilingual (Spanish/English) books and given research supporting higher reading scores among students who see their parents reading, a selection of titles appealing to adults. These additions will encourage a cross-generational love of reading.

The program aims to help fight “book deserts,” areas offering limited access to age-appropriate books. Soar with Reading ambassadors, including actress/singer Victoria Justice, a South Florida native, and author Mary Pope Osborne, helped reveal the machines to students at Joseph C. Carter Park. To commemorate this year’s initiative, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler dedicated June 27 as Soar with Reading Day and June 27 – August 31, 2017 as Soar with Reading Summer.

“Soar with Reading empowers children to take pride in owning books,” said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “Students who visit the vending machines are able to take as many books as they want as often as they want to build their own personal libraries. Our research shows that children are more interested in reading when they see their parents reading. As a result, we’ve added titles that appeal to grown-ups, allowing families to enjoy reading together.”

This is the third year JetBlue has funded this innovative, award-winning book vending machine program. The machines were previously installed in locations in Detroit and Washington, D.C. To measure the program’s impact, research was conducted by Dr. Susan Neuman of New York University in these areas before and after the vending machines were installed and found the program had tangible effects on local residents, including:

Three out of four children with access to the vending machines scored higher on early literacy exams than before they had access to the machines.
Parents in neighborhoods with the machines had more knowledge about their children’s reading habits than parents in areas without the machines.
“We know that access to books is a foundational necessity for children in order for them to achieve success inside and beyond the classroom,” said Barbara Marcus, President and Publisher, Random House Children’s Books. “Books allow children and adults to explore the far reaches of their imaginations, and we are thrilled to be part of the JetBlue program, which provides young people with the opportunity to experience that adventure, regardless of where they live.”



Source:- Jetblue Airways


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