JetBlue Launches a Free Book Vending Machine as Part of #BookBattle

 - Jul 15, 2015
References: mhpbooks & marketwired
JetBlue Airways has launched a National #BookBattle in partnership with Random House Children's Books for its fifth annual Soar With Reading Program to combat the lack of books in low-income areas. A pilot project of this initiative sees the placement of free age-appropriate book vending machines in the Southeast of Washington D.C., selected after a study concluded that the Anacostia section of D.C. is a "book desert" where residents have little access to children's books.

Childhood literacy expert, Susan Neuman, claims that there is a huge disparity in access to books nationally. In the Anacostia neighborhood, there is access to only one age-appropriate book per 830 children. President Obama recently launched an initiative to get major publishers to provide free e-books to low-income students as part of his ConnecEd program.

Five cities – Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York City -- are competing through online public voting in the #BookBattle for a chance for one of their communities to receive 100,000 new children's books. Since 2011, the Soar with Reading program has donated more than $1,250,000 worth of books to children in need.