JetBlue Airways launched its twelfth annual Soar with Reading initiative in Newark, NJ with a kick-off event at Newark’s historic Public Library Main Branch. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne Jr. joined the airline to celebrate its award-winning literacy initiative that tackles the issue of book availability in underserved communities where access to age-appropriate books for children is often limited. Since 2015, JetBlue has taken a creative approach to this issue through its free book vending machine program which previously visited New York City, Detroit, San Francisco, Oakland, Washington, DC, and Fort Lauderdale.
JetBlue’s five free digital book vending machines are available to visitors throughout the wards of Newark. Each time someone visits a machine, they will have the opportunity to order an assortment of brand new books that will be distributed to them throughout July and August, completely free of charge. The vending machines hold a diverse selection of titles and allows visitors the opportunity to search by various categories including title and author, as well as suggested reading level. To date, JetBlue, through its Soar with Reading initiative, has donated more than $4 million worth of books to children in need.
The digital vending machines, powered by Ricoh, will feature titles with a diverse cast of characters as well as options in both English and Spanish. Titles will be updated periodically throughout the summer. Publishing partners include HarperCollins Publishers, Little Bee Books, Lil’ Libros, Lee & Low Books, Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House, TOKYO POP, and Simon & Schuster. Additionally, the vending machines will include select books for adults as research shows that parents displaying behaviors like reading can improve educational outcomes for children.
Vending machines are located at:
- La Casa de Don Pedro: 23 Broadway
- The Leaguers: 200 W. South Orange Ave
- Newark Ironbound Recreation Center: 226Rome Street
- Springfield Branch Library: 50 Hayes Street
- Van Buren Branch Library: 140 Van Buren Street
JetBlue For Good – Soar with Reading is a signature program of JetBlue For Good®, the airline’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered on volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers – community, youth/education and the environment. Combining JetBlue’s corporate efforts with its customers’ and crewmembers’ passions, the common theme is Good – JetBlue For Good. Join the #JetBlueForGood conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, check for regular updates and get involved.