Vote to Help Your Library Win $25,000 in Children's Books From JetBlue


Children's books can be hard to find in the country's poorest communities. For a 2014 study, researchers looked for children's literature in low-income neighborhoods in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. and found that just 2 percent of businesses there sold print resources for kids 18 and younger. Now, Soar With Reading, a program sponsored by JetBlue, is looking to bring children's materials to one book desert in the Americas—and they're calling on the public to decide the location.

The initiative, called Book With Us, will provide $25,000 in children's books to a library in one of the more than 100 cities up for vote. To increase your hometown's chances of being selected, head to JetBlue's website and choose your city from the list of locations in the Northeast, Southeast, West and Midwest, or Latin America.

After the first round of voting closes July 20, JetBlue will announce the top four finalists from each region that will go to a final vote. A winner will be selected after the last round of voting ends August 31. In addition to winning $25,000 worth of books, the lucky library will also receive a makeover of their reading room.

Since rolling out Soar With Reading in 2011, JetBlue and its partners have provided $3 million in reading materials to children. When the program isn't making over libraries, it's installing book vending machines in cities that need them. This summer, JetBlue and Simon & Schuster are bringing five machines to the Bay Area that will dispense 100,000 free books throughout the season. 

Patrick Stewart Is Reading a Different Shakespeare Sonnet Live Every Day

Jack Taylor/Stringer/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Stringer/Getty Images

While they're stuck inside during the novel coronavirus pandemic, some celebrities are connecting with fans through reading. Sir Patrick Stewart has joined the trend, and as Lithub reports, the classically trained actor is bringing a Shakespearean twist to his virtual live-reads.

Since March 22, Stewart has been a reciting a sonnet a day for his Instagram followers. He started with William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, and after receiving such a positive response, he vowed to continuing reading through the Bard's body of 14-lined poems.

"When I was a child in the 1940s, my mother would cut up slices of fruit for me (there wasn't much) and as she put it in front of me she would say: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away,'" he wrote in one video caption. "How about, 'A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away'?"

In addition to Sonnet 116, the Star Trek and X-Men actor has read through sonnets 1 through 17 of Shakespeare's 154. After they're broadcast over his IGTV feed, each reading is available on his Instagram profile.

The internet is currently rife with celebrity readings to suit every literary taste. Dolly Parton has been reading children's bedtime stories every Thursday night, while LeVar Burton is hosting readings three times a week for kids, teenagers, and adults. Here are more virtual ways to stay entertained in quarantine.

[h/t Lithub]

Take a Look: LeVar Burton Will Livestream Readings on Twitter

Jesse Grant/Stringer/Getty Images
Jesse Grant/Stringer/Getty Images

LeVar Burton has been fostering a love of books in readers since the 1980s. Now, the former Star Trek star and Reading Rainbow host is taking his popular podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, to Twitter.

As engadget reports, Burton will livestream readings for various age groups from his Twitter page starting April 3. Fridays are for adults, and he's kicking off the series today at 9 p.m. EST with a selection from author Neil Gaiman.

On Mondays at 12 p.m. EST, Burton will channel his Reading Rainbow days with a selection from a children's book. And on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. EST, he'll host readings for preteens, teens, and young adults.

The success of LeVar Burton Reads from Stitcher proves that the entertainment personality's soothing voice doesn't just appeal to kids. Adults who grew up with Reading Rainbow and new fans have tuned into his podcast to hear his relaxing narrations. And with schools closed around the country, younger generations of readers at home will now have the chance to listen to him for the first time.

Whether you're tuning in for your kids or for yourself, you can catch Burton's literary livestreams on his Twitter page throughout the week. In between readings, check out these other online activities to stay busy at home.

[h/t engadget]