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.
ABOUT RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS
?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.randomhousekids.com), 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 LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
ABOUT MAGIC TREE HOUSE
Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning Magic Tree House series is an international phenomenon and has sold more than 120 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992, and has been translated into 33 different languages in over 30 international markets. There are currently 52 Magic Tree House books and 29 Fact Trackers, the nonfiction companions to the fiction titles. All Magic Tree House books are available in print, as ebooks and Listening Library audio books, which are all narrated by Mary Pope Osborne. The Magic Three House Fact Trackers is a best-selling series of non-fiction books that expand on the Magic Tree House fiction. Mary's husband, Will Osborne, created the series in 1999, writing eight titles. Her sister, Natalie Pope Boyce, now writes the non-fiction and has completed more than twenty additional titles. These books give children an appreciation for the wonders of the "real" world and inspire a curiosity for learning more about history and natural science.
ABOUT MARY POPE OSBORNE
MARY POPE OSBORNE is an ardent advocate and supporter of child literacy, and the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, including novels, retellings of mythology and folklore, picture books, biographies, mysteries, and the phenomenally bestselling Magic Tree House books. From 1993-1997, Ms. Osborne served as president of the Authors Guild, the country's leading organization for published authors. She has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, visiting schools and speaking on issues related to children's literacy. She has spoken at the UN regarding the importance of worldwide literacy and was profiled on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams for her continued efforts. Mary has donated hundreds of thousands of books to children in need through her "Gift of Books" program, which distributes books to Title 1 funded schools. She and her husband Will have arranged special donations of Magic Tree House books to Title 1 schools in Alaska; the Navajo Nation; Newark, NJ; Jacksonville and Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; New Orleans, LA; and Staten Island (after Hurricane Sandy) and awarded approximately 1700 individual grants to teachers of Title 1 funded schools. Their personal contributions have put hundreds of thousands of books in the hands of underserved children.
(a) Magic Tree House #52: Soccer on Sunday (Random House Books for Young Readers / On sale May 27, 2014 / $12.99 / Ages 7-10)
(b) Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #29: Soccer by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce (Random House Books for Young Readers / On sale May 27, 2014 / $4.99 / Ages 7-11)
(c) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR RECEIVE A PRIZE. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 a.m. EDT on May 26, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT on August 31, 2014.
To enter Sweepstakes and obtain complete Official Rules, go to www.SoarWithReading.com. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years or older at the time of entry. (1) Grand Prize valued at $6,336, (6) First prizes each valued at $1,611, and (5) Second Prizes each valued at $140 will be awarded. Total approximate retail value of all prizes to be awarded: $16,702. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Void in Puerto Rico, outside the U.S. and where prohibited and restricted by law. Sweepstakes subject to complete official rules. Sponsor: JetBlue Airways, 27-01 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, NY 11101.
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