According to a literacy study commissioned by JetBlue, there is only ONE age appropriate book per 300 kids available for purchase in areas with higher concentrations of poverty. These “book deserts,” as they are called, exist all over the United States, and are especially problematic in the summer months when kids aren’t in school. When children don’t read over summer break, they experience what’s known as the “summer slide,” where their school readiness skills decline. This puts them in a poor position to succeed academically in the following year, and ultimately stifles their professional potential.
In 2011, realizing the gravity of this issue, JetBlue created their Soar with Reading Program, and since then, they have donated $3 million dollars worth of children’s books to communities that need them most with their ingenious book vending machines. Every summer, a new city is chosen to receive thousands of free books in at risk communities.
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- JetBlue is the sixth-largest airline in the United States, and is headquartered in New York City. JetBlue created its Soar with Reading program in 2011.
- The Matrix Center is a thriving community center located in Detroit’s eastside Osborn neighborhood. The Matrix Center is home to a vast array of essential services and resources with a focus on educating children.