NEW YORK CITY — JetBlue said San Francisco and Oakland, CA are the next locations to receive free book vending machines as part of the airline’s annual Soar with Reading program.
This literacy initiative tackles the issue of “book deserts” and provides access to age-appropriate books to children in underserved communities. To kick off the eighth year of Soar with Reading, JetBlue also announced a new partnership with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
JetBlue and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will bring books to children in the Bay Area through five custom vending machines that will distribute 100,000 books throughout the summer, free of charge. Since 2011, JetBlue has donated $3 million worth of books to children in areas of need.
This is the fourth year JetBlue has funded the book vending machine program. Last summer, the machines visited Fort Lauderdale, FL, and they previously were located in Detroit and Washington, DC. Vending machines, created by Dayton, OH-based Innovative Vending Solutions, will be installed at five locations in San Francisco and Oakland. Reading events with Simon & Schuster Children’s Book authors will also take place throughout the summer.
As the program continues to grow, JetBlue is working to ensure that the books in the vending machines represent the communities where the machines will be place. The selection of books in the machines will be changed out every two weeks so kids can come back and grab new books all summer long.