JetBlue Airline is launching its eighth annual Soar with Reading initiative, which provides free books to children who need them most. This summer, Soar with Reading lands in San Francisco and Oakland. This award-winning literacy initiative tackles the issue of “book deserts,” areas with limited access to age-appropriate books.
Since 2011, JetBlue has donated nearly $3 million worth of books to children in areas of need.
JetBlue and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing are bringing books to children in the Bay Area through five custom vending machines which will distribute 100,000 books starting this week through August 31, 2018, free of charge. To commemorate this year’s initiative, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Jane Kim recognized June 27, 2018 as “Soar with Reading Day.”
The vending machines, powered by Innovative Vending Solutions, will be restocked every two weeks with new titles. Children and families are welcome to visit the book vending machines as often as they would like and can take as many books as they’d like. Local partner organizations include B Magic, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Oakland Public Library and City of Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development, with vending machines located at:
- San Francisco Public Library Main Branch| 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102
- Bayview/Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library| 5075 Third St.,San Francisco, CA 94124
- Columbia Park Clubhouse| 450 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA94110
- East Oakland Sports Center| 9161 Edes Ave., Oakland, CA 94603
- Willie Keyes Recreation Center| 3131 Union St., Oakland, CA 94608
“I am pleased that JetBlue is bringing their innovative Soar with Reading program to San Francisco this summer to foster our children’s love of reading and help their imaginations take flight,” said San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell. “Our residents spoke, as San Francisco beat out three other metropolises in a national online voting competition to receive this honor. Access to books is key to learning, and that is what Soar with Reading is helping to provide. The vending machines will provide free books all summer-long, and I encourage all San Francisco families to take advantage of this exciting program.”
“Oakland is proud to partner with JetBlue’s Soar with Reading Initiative to bring free books to all our residents and young readers. Children who once had limited access to age-appropriate books now have a free program designed to give them equitable access to books to read, learn, and expand their intellectual horizon,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
This is the fourth year JetBlue has funded this innovative book vending machine program as part of its Soar with Reading initiative. The vending machines will include books in English, Spanish and Chinese (at select locations, upon request) to provide parents from a range of backgrounds the opportunity to read aloud and along with their children. Research shows that greater adult support for reading enhances children’s opportunities to learn.