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June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU),
New York's Hometown Airline™, today announces its third-annual Soar with Reading program, an award-winning summer literacy initiative that places age-appropriate books in the hands of children in underserved areas. The JetBlue initiative officially launches today in partnership with Random House Children's Books and Magic Tree House author
Mary Pope Osborne, with the debut of a new website,
jetblue.com/SoarWithReading, which offers free downloadable resources for families including Magic Tree House Soar with Reading Passport Activity Booklets, games, interactive reading lists, expert advice for keeping kids engaged in reading all summer long, and more. Passport booklets filled with activities will also be distributed at JetBlue terminals across the U.S. and throughout the
Caribbean from June through August to encourage summer reading. Since 2011, JetBlue has donated more than
$250,000 worth of books to children in need.
This year JetBlue welcomes new program partners Random House Children's Books and bestselling author
Mary Pope Osborne, known for her award-winning Magic Tree House series featuring the adventures of brother-sister duo Jack and Annie. "
Mary Pope Osborne and Random House Children's Books are the perfect partners to help achieve our mission of encouraging kids to let their imaginations come alive," said
Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility at JetBlue Airways. "With 33 percent of fourth graders only reading at or below grade level, access to books is vital. The Soar with Reading program will provide deserving children with books throughout the summer to help maintain the knowledge base that was built during the school year."
The Soar with Reading website 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
Jack, Annie, and JetBlue this summer?" Participants will be entered for a chance to win one of four
$5,000 college scholarships and other great prizes. For every submission, JetBlue will donate one book, up to
$500,000 worth of books, to
Mary Pope Osborne's Classroom Adventures Program, which puts books into the hands of underserved children across the country. Through her program,
Mary Pope Osborne has already distributed over 250,000 books.
"Over the years, I have seen the positive impact that reading and access to books can have on a child's life," said Osborne. "I am delighted to be part of a campaign and partnership that so perfectly aligns with my mission to reach underserved children across the country with the most magical gift you can give—books."