NEW YORK, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As schools across the country let out this month, a joint project launched today by New York's hometown value carrier JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) and PBS KIDS aims to keep children reading wherever they go this summer – with a combination of in-flight and online literacy resources, community reading events and a partnership with First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. 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, JetBlue will make a book donation to a child through First Book, up to 10,000 books.
"Soar with Reading is an important initiative that we hope will have a true impact on the summer reading slide, helping to shape the new school year in a meaningful way for thousands of children," said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility for JetBlue. "We're excited about the potential of this program to engage our crewmembers and children alike in reading and its promotion. We're taking the JetBlue experience to new level, creating new ways for families to take advantage of the free Soar with Reading resources – online, in-flight and on the ground in local communities."
The Soar with Reading program is a joint project of JetBlue and PBS KIDS. Children traveling on JetBlue flights this summer will receive a free activity kit with reading games based on PBS KIDS educational programming. With help from PBS KIDS animated host Hooper, the campaign will also encourage kids to learn about the world around them through imaginative travel: reading books and playing learning games on SoarwithReading.com at home or at their local library.
"By the end of the school year, kids have gained a great deal of knowledge, and we want to help them extend and build on those learnings throughout the summer months," said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children's Media, PBS. "PBS KIDS content can play an important role in helping kids bridge the summer learning gap with fun and engaging resources. The Soar with Reading project is one of the ways that we hope to inspire families to explore and enjoy educational activities together this summer."
Coming Soon to a Library Near You!
JetBlue crewmembers, PBS KIDS characters and hosts, and popular children's authors will be visiting libraries across the country this summer to read with children. The Soar with Reading tour will make stops in several JetBlue cities, including New York, Boston, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
The Soar with Reading program will also award $10,000 worth of Random House Children's Books to one lucky community's library. Another library will receive $2,500 worth of books and five other libraries will receive $500 worth of books, courtesy of Random House Children's Books and JetBlue. To nominate a library, simply visit SoarwithReading.com. Nominate a library and you'll be eligible to win a JetBlue Getaways family vacation to amazing Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas (a).
About First Book
First Book has distributed more than 80 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 www.firstbook.org or follow First Book on Facebook and Twitter.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. Each quarter, more than 27 million viewers watch PBS KIDS on TV, and PBSKIDS.org, the number one kids' entertainment site for free video streaming, attracts more than 10 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen, NTI Q42010; comScore Video Metrix; Google Analytics). For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
About JetBlue Corporate Social Responsibility
JetBlue is committed to the cities it serves through support and alignment with not-for-profit organizations that focus on children, education, communities and the environment. Through a variety of programs and activities, JetBlue crewmembers are engaged to help make an impact and inspire greatness in others while enriching the lives of individuals and communities across the airline's network. Through JetBlue's Community Connection Volunteer Program and other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, JetBlue partners with a variety of philanthropic and community-focused organizations, including KaBOOM!, DoSomething.org, The American Cancer Society and their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks; First Book, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books; and PBS KIDS, whom JetBlue partnered with to create Soar with Reading – Let Your Imagination Take Flight, a literacy campaign to help raise readers. In addition, JetBlue has created a platform called Jetting to Green that allows the airline to encourage environmentally friendly practices through education and volunteerism.
About JetBlue Airways
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 66 cities with 700 daily flights. Later this year JetBlue plans to introduce service to St. Thomas and St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and La Romana, Dominican Republic, subject to government approval. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800 538 2583 from the U.S.A., TTY/TDD +1 800 336 5530, or visit www.jetblue.com.
About Random House Children's Books
About Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company's website, Kids @ Random (www.randomhouse.com/kids) offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.
(a)No purchase or payment of money necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. A purchase or payment will not increase your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the continental U.S. and the state of Alaska, who are 21 years of age or older and is void in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and where prohibited, and shall be governed solely by U.S. law. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends September 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 PM EDST. See the official rules for complete details and entry instructions. Sponsor: JetBlue Airways, 118-29 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY 11375.