We are pleased to announce Detroit as Soar with Reading’s first-ever online #BookBattle winner! The online book battle down to the wire. With more than 1.3 million votes cast, Detroit with a furious late rally won with 48% of the votes. The competition was stiff between five select cities – Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York –, where Books will be donated in 2016.
Detroit will receive 100,000 new children books as Soar with Reading seeks to replenish this known book deserts. Book deserts are found in communities across America where children and their families have little or no access to purchase age-appropriate books. Results from a 2014 study we commissioned with educational expect Dr. Susan Neuman discovered that in low-income communities, the majority of children had limited, restricted access to purchase books for keep versus middle-income communities where access is plentiful. In addition, according to recent survey – 95 percent of American adults agree that children should have their own books at home and 85 percent of American adults agree that access to age-appropriate books in communities cannot be provided by schools alone.
The city of Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit, currently has only one age-appropriate book available for every 42 children, compared to the University District where there is one book for every 11 children.
These 100,000 books that Detroit has now won will contribute immediately toward providing access to age-appropriate books for the children and families in low-income areas of Detroit who want to read and learn. And we cannot think of a better way to help inspire humanity.
Today marks the start of our third annual ‘Soar with Reading’ program. This initiative was designed to encourage children’s imaginations to take flight through reading. We are excited to welcome new program partners Random House Children’s Books and best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne, known for her award-winning “Magic Tree House” book series.
There is a large deficit in the U.S. regarding children’s access to age-appropriate books. In low-income neighborhoods, there is an average of one book available for every 300 children, compared to 13 such books per child in middle-income neighborhoods. Soar With Reading provides deserving children with books throughout the summer to help maintain the knowledge base that was built during the school year.
Head over to our new website jetblue.com/SoarWithReading for some great interactive activity booklets, games, reading lists and more. If you’re traveling this summer, activity booklets will also be distributed at JetBlue terminals through August to encourage summer reading.
The ‘Soar with Reading’ website also provides an opportunity for children, along with a parent, to create and share an adventure by answering the question, “What magical places would you like to travel to with Magic Tree House’s Jack and Annie and JetBlue this summer?” Participants will be entered for a chance to win great prizes including a $5,000 college scholarship. For every submission, JetBlue and Random House Children’s Books will donate one book, up to $500,000 worth of books, to Mary Pope Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program, benefiting underserved children.
Reading events with Mary Pope Osborne and characters Jack and Annie will take place in JetBlue cities including Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Orlando and San Juan throughout the summer. Children in attendance at each reading event will take home a copy of a “Magic Tree House” book by Mary Pope Osborne to help keep them reading and let their imaginations soar. For dates and times visit jetblue.com/SoarwithReading for more information.
Our 2012 Soar with Reading campaign has come to a close and we’re happy to share that we’ve reached our goal of donating $200,000 worth of books to children in need. Check out some final photos of our crewmembers reading to children and thank you to everyone who participated this year!
Soar With Reading came to Orlando recently, where the Orlando County Public Library was jam-packed with eager readers—and one NBA player. More than 900 children and 400 adults flocked to see Glen “Big Baby” Davis from the Orlando Magic readThe Gigantic Turnip. The player also joined Mr. Steve from PBS Kids on stage to sing and dance to the Soar With Reading song and “Recess Rocks”. Characters Hooper and Super Why made an appearance and took several photos with the children.
School’s out for summer but learning is always in with the launch of our second annual Soar with Reading program, the award-winning initiative with our partners at PBS Kids that places age-appropriate books in the hands of children in need and helps keep kids reading throughout the summer months. The JetBlue network-wide initiative officially kicked off today in Boston at the BCYF Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill, a facility within the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the city’s largest youth and human services agency providing city residents with opportunities for social, educational, recreational and cultural enrichment. Children at the center today were treated to a special performance by PBS KIDS host Mr. Steve, shook paws with PBS KIDS’ Hooper, enjoyed a reading by Barefoot Books author Laurie Krebs and took home a supply of reading materials published by program partner Barefoot Books, all designed to spark imagination and curiosity.
Soar with Reading aims to inspire every child, everywhere, to get excited about reading by providing free resources for families at SoarwithReading.com, including an interactive reading list, reading tips and expert advice for keeping kids engaged in literature all summer long.
While on the website, adults can help get books into the hands of kids in need across the country by simply sharing the name of their favorite children’s title. For every submission received, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Donations will be made to local literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that we currently serve. As a special thank you, all adults, including parents, teachers and administrators, who share their favorite book titles on the Soar with Reading site can also be entered into a sweepstakes to win great prizes, including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package.
Up to $200,000 in books will be distributed to children in need through the 2012 Soar with Reading program, and you can help us achieve that goal by visiting SoarWithReading.com today. When you share, kids soar. As part of the program, children flying with us this summer can receive a free activity booklet with literacy based PBS KIDS games. With help from PBS KIDS’ popular animated host Hooper, the games and other activities encourage kids to learn about the world around them through reading.
Widely recognized as a national authority on how to expand learning opportunities for young people, Ron Fairchild, founder of the Smarter Learning Group is joining the JetBlue Soar With Reading Facebook Page on August 17 to answer your questions about reading, summer learning and transitioning from summertime to the school year.
We teamed up with PBS KIDS to help kids keep reading while school is out for the summer. JetBlue Crewmembers, PBS KIDS characters and hosts, and popular children’s authors paid visits to libraries across the country this summer to read with children. The Soar with Reading tour made stops in several JetBlue cities, including New York, Boston, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
Check out the below video of toddler-famed Mr. Steve signing some tunes at our most recent event in Los Angeles.
This past week, our Corporate Social Responsibility Team and Crewmembers from Boston joined our partners at PBS Kids for the second of our Soar with Reading events. 350 toddlers showed up at the Boston Public Library with their adults to see children’s author Jared Krosoczka, to hear PBS star Mr. Steve sing and of course to listen to our Director of CSR Icema Gibbs speak about the importance of reading.
Critters including Super Why, Arthur, a chipmunk and a large dog delighted the children, and everyone got a gift bag which included a book, an activity kit and a JetBlue bookbag.
At the center of the program is the newly launched SoarwithReading.com, where parents can download a free reading activity kit, create a summer reading list with recommendations from Random House Children’s Books and log their children’s reading minutes, among other activities. For every reader who registers on SoarwithReading.com, we’ll make a book donation to a child through First Book, up to 10,000 books.