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JetBlue Airways and WCNY reading program equip kids for back-to-school success

JetBlue Airways and PBS KIDS are placing books in the hands of children who need them by inviting supporters to visit SoarwithReading.com and share a title of a favorite children’s book by Aug. 31.

For every title shared on the website, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through Barefoot Books. Soar with Reading is setting 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.

Book donations in the Syracuse area are being administered through Partners in Learning in partnership with WCNY. Similar donations are being made to local literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that JetBlue 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,” said Theresa Pagano, director of Partners in Learning. “We thank JetBlue Airways, PBS Kids and WCNY for their generosity, and for sharing our commitment to early childhood education throughout the Syracuse area.”

Research cited in The Handbook of Early Literacy Research reveals a large deficit in U.S. children’s access to age-appropriate books in low-income neighborhoods, where there is one book for every 300 children, compared with 13 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.

As part of the program, children who traveled with JetBlue this summer received a free activity booklet with literacy based PBS KIDS games. WCNY has distributed nearly 1,000 activity books to children in Central New York this summer at a variety of public events.

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.

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