JetBlue’s second annual “Soar with Reading” program has reached its successful conclusion in Detroit.
The airline JetBlue announced on Monday that next summer the program will expand next summer to include Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Fort Lauderdale was named the program’s next destination after winning the #BookBattle online voting competition, which ended last month.
The book vending machine program aims to distribute free books to children living in areas known as “book deserts.” The vending machines also help combat the “summer slide,” a term Susan B. Neuman, professor of literacy development and early childhood at New York University, describes as occurring when children do not have reading resources readily available during their summer break.
Five book vending machines were placed at locations throughout Detroit this summer, including at Matrix Human Services, where 9-year-old Paige Godbott and her friends visited to get books for their book club.
“It’s cool to come to a vending machine with books, instead of snacks,” Paige said.
The program started with three vending machines in DC last summer. They were followed by five vending machines installed in the Detroit area this summer. The machines were placed in areas which JetBlue described as “book deserts”. These areas have a low density of books to children.
Locals disputed that description of Anacostia last summer, but nitpicking details aside these machines can only do good.
Last summer, for example, Soar with Reading distributed almost a hundred thousand books via vending machines and through community partners in DC.
Credit: The Digital Reader