JetBlue's 'Soar with Reading' Vending Machines Land In New York City

Posted On: 7/15/2019

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NEW YORK CITY -- JetBlue has launched its ninth annual Soar with Reading initiative in its hometown, marking the first time its innovative free book vending machines have touched down in New York City.

Soar with Reading, a literacy initiative, tackles the issue of book availability in underserved communities, where access to age-appropriate books for children is often limited. Since 2015, JetBlue has taken a creative approach to this issue through its free book vending machine program which previously visited Detroit; San Francisco and Oakland, CA; Washington, DC and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

This summer, JetBlue will place six free book vending machines throughout New York City's five boroughs, in neighborhoods where the ability to purchase age-appropriate books is limited, with one machine in each borough and two in Queens. To date, JetBlue, through its Soar with Reading initiative, has donated more than $3.5 million worth of books to kids in need.

"New York City is home to thousands of JetBlue crewmembers who work in the airline's New York Support Center and JFK International and LaGuardia Airports," said U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents New York's Fifth Congressional District, mostly in Queens, where two vending machines will reside. "I encourage children and their families to take as many books as they want, as often as they want, throughout the summer -- no strings attached -- in the hopes that offering free access to books in a fun and convenient way will spark a lifelong love of reading."

"As New York City's hometown airline, we're excited to bring our Soar with Reading program home. Over the past five years, we've made a tremendous impact with our book vending machine program," said JetBlue director of corporate social responsibility Icema Gibbs. "We can't deny the need right in our own backyard. This year, it was important for us to focus our efforts on the city that welcomed us from day one and made us who are."

The vending machines, powered by Innovative Vending Solutions , will be restocked every two weeks with new titles and will feature a diverse cast of characters as well as options in both English and Spanish. Publishing partners include HarperCollins Publishers, Little Bee Books, Lil' Libros, Scholastic, Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group and Barefoot Books. Additionally, the vending machines will include select books for adults as research shows that parents displaying behaviors like reading can improve educational outcomes for children.

Vending machines will be located at:

Brooklyn: Brownsville Recreation Center | 1555 Linden Blvd. | Brooklyn, NY 11212

Bronx: PAL, Inc. New South Bronx Center | 991 Longwood Ave | Bronx, NY 10459

Manhattan: Riverbank State Park | 679 Riverside Drive| New York, NY 10031

Queens: Queens Public Library - Main Branch | 89-11 Merrick Blvd | Jamaica, NY 11432

Queens: Ocean Bay Community Cornerstone | 57-10 Beach Channel Drive | Arverne, NY 11692

Staten Island: Faber Park | Richmond Terrace | Staten Island, NY 10302