JETBLUE AIRWAYS AND WTJX CHANNEL 12 READING PROGRAM EQUIP KIDS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUCCESS
Soar with Reading Program reached its fundraising goal of $200,000; proceeds in providing books to children in need through partner Barefoot Books.
The Family Connection will be distribute age-appropriate books to children in the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands - During the summer months, just by visiting SoarwithReading.com, thousands of Americans are placing age-appropriate books in the hands of children who need them, through one simple yet powerful action: sharing the name of their favorite children’s book. Soar with Reading, now in its second year, is a partnership between JetBlue Airways’ (Nasdaq: JBLU) and PBS KIDS. The program set the stage for back-to-school reading success through book donations, and free resources for families including an interactive reading list, reading tips and expert advice for keeping kids engaged in literature all summer long.
For every title shared on the website, JetBlue is donating an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Book donations in the Virgin Islands are being administered through The Family Connection, the early childhood initiative of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) - www.cfvi.net - in partnership with WTJX-TV Channel 12 - www.wtjx.org. Similar donations are being made to literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that JetBlue currently serves.
“Soar with Reading provides the inspiration and tools for back to school success by keeping children engaged in reading all summer long, and the means to develop a life-long love of reading. We thank JetBlue Airways, PBS Kids and WTJX-TV Channel 12 for their generosity, and for sharing our commitment to early childhood education throughout the Virgin Islands,” said Dee Baecher-Brown, President of CFVI.
"The Family Connection and WTJX have recently been working together on literacy projects for our younger community,” stated Osbert Potter, WTJX's CEO. "I am very pleased that we could have facilitated securing 100 books for The Family Connection to distribute to youngsters in need. We thank JetBlue and PBS Kids for providing this opportunity."
Research cited in The Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2 (The Guilford Press) reveals a large deficit in the U.S. in children’s access to age-appropriate books in low-income neighborhoods, where there is one book for every 300 children, compared to 13 such books per child in middle-income neighborhoods. Up to $200,000 in books are being distributed to children in need through the 2012 Soar with Reading program.
“We thank everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Soar with Reading program, and especially those who shared their favorite children’s book title and put a brand new book right in a deserving child’s hands,” said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue Airways’ Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “It is that spirit of caring, and the dedication of partners like PBS Kids and Barefoot Books, that can help kids soar throughout the new school year.”
As part of the program, children who traveled with JetBlue this summer received a free activity booklet with literacy based PBS KIDS games. With help from PBS KIDS’ popular animated host Hooper, the games and other activities encouraged kids to learn about the world around them through reading.
About Barefoot Books
Barefoot Books is an award-winning independent publisher, with offices in Cambridge, USA and Oxford, UK, that specializes in carefully crafted books, gifts and digital content to help children on their journey to become happy, engaged members of a global society. Since 1992, Barefoot Books has created more than 500 books and complementary gifts for children that use timeless stories and captivating illustrations to encourage exploration, global awareness and creativity. Barefoot Books are available online, through a network of booksellers and gift shops, in schools and libraries, in its stores in Concord, MA and FAO Schwarz in NYC, and through its fast-growing, grassroots community of independent Ambassadors. Fun, free content including a podcast, animated videos, and children’s games and activities are available online. www.barefootbooks.com
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
WTJX-TV Channel 12 is the Virgin Islands local PBS station. We have four channels that you can receive both off the air and on Innovative Cable TV. WTJX supports programs that are geared toward the betterment of the community and its awareness. We are your Education Station, and so much more! Visit us at www.wtjx.org.
About JetBlue Corporate Social Responsibility
At JetBlue Airways, our commitment to corporate social responsibility goes beyond raising cause awareness. We are dedicated to developing impactful charitable partnerships, supporting and aligning ourselves with the communities in the cities we serve, and creating significant volunteer experiences for our crewmembers. Our focus is to create programs and opportunities and fully engage our resources to connect with our communities within the areas of Youth & Education, Community, and the Environment. In addition, we align our efforts to reflect the diverse interests and core values of our business by striving to enrich the lives of others. Moving forward, we will sustain JetBlue’s charitable efforts through continuous support and unique programs that help promote positive social and environmental change.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™ with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 71 cities with 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800-538-2583, TTY/TDD +1 800-336-5530, or visit www.jetblue.com.
For more information contact:
Tanya-Marie Singh, WTJX-TV Channel 12, (340) 690-6696, firstname.lastname@example.org