JetBlue battles Bay area 'book deserts'



JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) has announced San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. as the next locations to receive free book vending machines as part of its annual Soar with Reading program, the company said.

This award-winning literacy initiative tackles the issue of “book deserts” and provides access to age-appropriate books to children in underserved communities. To kick off the eighth year of Soar with Reading, JetBlue also announced a new partnership with Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing.

JetBlue and Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing will bring books to children in the Bay Area through five custom vending machines which will distribute 100,000 books throughout the summer, free of charge. The program aims to help fight “book deserts,” areas offering limited access to age-appropriate books. Since 2011, JetBlue has donated USD 3 million worth of books to children in areas of need.

This is the fourth year JetBlue has funded this innovative book vending machine program. Last summer, JetBlue´s vending machine initiative visited Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and previously Detroit and Washington, D.C. During an online vote, JetBlue´s customers, crewmembers and the local community overwhelmingly voted for San Francisco to receive 100,000 free children´s books in 2018.

This summer, JetBlue will invite customers to #BookWithUs and take their city´s reading adventures to new heights. Customers and community members will be invited to vote for the city they would like to win USD 25,000 in children´s books plus a “celebrity reading room makeover” for a local community organization. Voting will start in June at SoarwithReading.com.

JetBlue is New York´s Hometown Airline®, and a carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year to 102 cities in the US, Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights. For more information visit www.jetblue.com.

Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing, one of the children´s book publishers in the world, comprises the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing, visit www.simonandschuster.com.