WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit social enterprise First Book, which recently announced its commitment to provide books and educational resources to 10 million children in need worldwide by 2016, made its first inroads in two countries last month, visiting and distributing books to impoverished youth in Haiti and Peru.
First Book's visits were conducted in partnership with JetBlue Airways, which recently launched service to Port au Prince, Haiti and Lima, Peru. In Haiti, where 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, First Book and JetBlue provided hundreds of books to the students of Ecole Herve Romain. The local school, which is supported by the US-based Edeyo Foundation, lies in the Port au Prince "red-zone" of Bel-Air, an area known for high crime and extreme poverty. Prior to First Book and JetBlue's donation, the school had just 50 books for its 250 students.
Unik Ernest, founder of the Edeyo Foundation, expressed gratitude and optimism for an increased First Book presence in Haiti's areas of highest need. "We believe education is the way out for Haiti," said Ernest. "We are hopeful this collaboration with First Book will result in more books for the least fortunate children in Haiti."
In Peru, First Book and JetBlue delivered books to San Francisco Solano, a primary school supported by the Coprodeli Foundation. The school is located in the port city of Callou, where 60 percent of children under the age of 14 live in poverty.
"Education is a core pillar of JetBlue's Corporate Social Responsibility platform. We are committed to providing age-appropriate books to children in need across our network," said Kate Wetzel, manager of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue Airways. "We not only work in the communities we serve, our crewmembers live there too. So we are simply providing resources to our neighbors."
First Book met with representatives from USAID and other global and national NGOs and foundations while in Port au Prince and Lima. "Building relationships with valuable partners in Haiti, Peru and around the globe will be critical in reaching millions of children with an ongoing supply of books and educational resources, " said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "We're working to understand local needs and connecting the dots to help kids in need all over the world read, learn and rise out of poverty."
About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
JetBlue is a leading carrier in New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach) Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 82 cities in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. Upcoming destinations include Detroit, Mich.; and Savannah, Ga.; as well as Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, subject to receipt of government operating authority. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
Contact: Julia Hornaday
SOURCE First Book