Detroit Wins Soar With Reading Online Book Battle -- JetBlue to Provide Local Children With 100,000 New Books

Detroit Wins Soar With Reading Online Book Battle -- JetBlue to Provide Local Children With 100,000 New Books

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Detroit Wins Soar With Reading Online #BookBattle @JetBlue #CSR local children receive 10K new books #education

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: JetBlue’s Corporate Social Responsibility Platform

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW YORK, NY, 09/08/15 /3BL Media/ -- 95 Percent of American Adults Agree That Children Should Have Their Own Books at Home, According to Recent Survey

JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced Detroit as the winner of its first-ever online #BookBattle. This was part of the airline's award-winning Soar with Reading program. Since July, the public actively participated in an online competition by casting their votes for one of five cities -- Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York -- to determine which community would receive 100,000 new children's books. Nearly 1.3 million online votes were cast and Detroit beat out the other cities receiving 48 percent of the votes to bring books to children in its city who need them most. Books will be distributed in 2016.

The announcement comes after a recent survey found that 95 percent of American adults agree that children should have their own books at home. The survey also found that 85 percent of U.S. adults agree that access to age-appropriate books in communities cannot be provided by schools alone.

Last year, JetBlue commissioned a study with education expert Dr. Susan Neuman and discovered book deserts in communities across the country. Book deserts are found in communities where children and their families have little or no access to purchase age-appropriate books. Results from Dr. Neuman's 2014 study show that in low income communities, the majority of the children had limited access to purchase books to keep versus in middle income communities where access was plentiful. In Michigan'sHamtramck neighborhood, there was only one age-appropriate book available for every 42 children, while in the University District there was only one book for every 11 children.

"Our customers responded loud and clear that they wanted this book donation to go to Detroit. The Motor City received nearly half of the online votes," said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue's director of corporate social responsibility. "After hearing staggering statistics that children in Detroit had little access to purchase books, the community responded so we could help replenish this book desert. The best way to provide a lifelong love of learning is during early childhood, we are simply providing the means and access. We are making a direct impact by enabling the children of Detroit to build their own libraries at home and take pride in book ownership."

Earlier this summer, to combat the lack of books in Washington, D.C., JetBlue launched a pilot program that distributed free children's books via vending machines to local residents. Washington, D.C. was chosen to launch this program after Dr. Neuman's study found that the Anacostia neighborhood of D.C. is a large book desert, leaving residents little or no access to purchase age-appropriate children's books. JetBlue's book vending machines were placed in select locations in the community and allowed children to receive books, free of cost.

Since its launch in 2011, Soar with Reading has donated more than $1,250,000 worth of books to kids across the country. Soar with Reading was designed to encourage kids' imaginations to take flight through reading and to get books into the hands of kids that need them most. JetBlue is proud to have partnered with Random House Children's Books and Magic Tree Houseauthor Mary Pope Osborne as well as celebrity spokesperson Victoria Justice during the 2015 program.

For additional information on the online Book Battle or Soar with Reading program, please visit

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 32 million customers a year to 90 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 875 daily flights. For more information please visit

*This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of JetBlue Airways from August 20-24, 2015 among 2,021 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Becky Brand at

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JetBlue Corporate Communications

Tel: +1 718 709


CATEGORY: Education