JetBlue to Expand Soar with Reading Program to Florida Next Summer

ht_jet_blue_as_160912_12x5_1600JetBlue's second annual "Soar with Reading" program has reached its successful conclusion in Detroit, and the airline announced on Monday that next summer the program will expand next summer to include Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Fort Lauderdale was named the program's next destination after winning the #BookBattle online voting competition, which ended last month.

The book vending machine program aims to distribute free books to children living in areas known as “book deserts.” The vending machines also help combat the “summer slide,” a term Susan B. Neuman, professor of literacy development and early childhood at New York University, describes as occurring when children do not have reading resources readily available during their summer break.

Five book vending machines were placed at locations throughout Detroit this summer, including at Matrix Human Services, where 9-year-old Paige Godbott and her friends visited to get books for their book club.

“It’s cool to come to a vending machine with books, instead of snacks,” Paige said.

The program started with three vending machines in DC last summer, and they were followed by five vending machines installed in the Detroit area this summer. The machines were placed in areas which JetBlue described as "book deserts", areas which have a low density of books to children.

Locals disputed that description of Anacostia last summer, but nitpicking details aside  these machines can only do good.

Last summer, for example, Soar with Reading distributed almost a hundred thousand books via vending machines and through community partners in DC.

There's no info yet on the number of books distributed in Detroit, and do you know what else has been left unsaid?

I can't find any info on whether the vending machines remained in DC and Detroit after the end of the summer. The press release suggests they were removed, and that JetBlue was hoping we would not notice that they had abandoned the "book deserts", but the point is not clear and JetBlue is not talking.

Does anyone know?

About Nate Hoffelder (11464 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on JetBlue to Expand Soar with Reading Program to Florida Next Summer

  1. I see tweets showing the book vending machines in Detroit on August 23, but nothing after that. The machine was nearly empty of books.
    The press release says Fort Lauderdale is getting 100k in free books, so that implies after the books are gone the vending machines go with them.

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