JetBlue Airways and Random House Partner for Summer Reading Initiative
NEW YORK, NY - JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announces its fourth annual Soar with Reading program, an award-winning summer literacy initiative that helps place age-appropriate books in the hands of children in underserved areas. For the second year in a row, JetBlue will work with Random House Children's Books and bestselling author Mary Pope Osborne, known for her Magic Tree House series which features the adventures of brother-sister duo Jack and Annie. JetBlue will donate up to $500,000 worth of Magic Tree House books, host reading events across the country and launch a new mobile app to encourage children to embark on the greatest adventure of all reading. With the nation's most recent report card reflecting stagnant reading scores for high school seniors, Soar with Reading is focused on inspiring, encouraging and sharing the gift of reading starting at the grade-school level.
"Our customers and crewmembers told us that education and children are the causes most important to them. Reading is fundamental for a good education and access to age-appropriate books is very important in building a strong foundation," said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue's Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. "We feel it is important to provide opportunities for children nationwide to have access to books in order to work towards solving this national literacy issue."
This year's program highlights Osborne's new book, Magic Tree House #52: Soccer on Sunday (a), in which characters Jack and Annie must track down the key to greatness from one of soccer's biggest stars, Pelé, as well as the nonfiction companion book, Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #29: Soccer (b).
"Throughout my career, I have seen the life-changing impact that reading and access to books can have on children," says author Mary Pope Osborne. "I am thrilled to once again be part of a literacy campaign that so perfectly aligns with my mission to reach underserved children across the country through the magic of reading."
To celebrate the launch of these books and inspire children's imaginations to take flight, JetBlue is asking customers to help the airline donate up to $500,000 worth of Magic Tree House books to kids in need by guessing where the storybook characters, Jack & Annie, are traveling. To place a guess, consumers can discover clues on their whereabouts in three ways by visiting www.SoarWithReading.com, using the new Soar with Reading mobile app, and through the inflight TV entertainment on JetBlue flights. Each guess triggers a book donation on behalf of the participant and participants can enter into a bi-weekly sweepstakes to win a JetBlue Getaways vacation package. Additionally, one lucky family of four will win a grand prize JetBlue Getaways vacation (c).
The new Soar with Reading program website www.SoarwithReading.com and a new mobile app that will launch in July will also feature activities, resources for families, and more. The app, which will debut this summer, allows consumers to take new or existing photos from their devices and add Magic Tree House themed frames and stickers. The app will also feature chapter samplers for six Magic Tree House books, including the newest releases. In addition, passport booklets filled with activities to encourage summer reading will be distributed at JetBlue terminals across the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean through August.
"We are excited to continue our successful partnership with JetBlue on the Soar with Reading initiative, and delighted that Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House books are once again the center of it," says Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children's Books. "Getting books into the hands of kids in underserved areas is a commitment we are proud to share both with JetBlue and Mary Pope Osborne."
JetBlue will take reading on the road with a six-city nationwide tour to celebrate the Soar with Reading Program and Osborne's new book, Soccer on Sunday. The tour kicks off in Boston on May 28, 2014 at Gillette Stadium with the New England Revolution. The free event will feature a complimentary copy of the book for each child, a reading by Mary Pope Osborne, a performance by Jack and Annie, and appearances by Revolution players, Revolution mascot and JetBlue crewmembers.
JetBlue will host five other free events in Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando and Washington, DC featuring free books, live book readings, theater performances, celebrity appearances, soccer clinics and more. Soar with Reading events will be hosted in partnership with Random House Children's Books, Mary Pope Osborne and professional soccer teams in each market.
To learn more about JetBlue's Soar with Reading Program and for an event schedule, visit www.SoarWithReading.com.
ABOUT JETBLUE AIRWAYS
?JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 85 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. New service to Hyannis, Mass. begins this summer. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, an overnight stay is never required and the first checked bag is free (subject to weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.