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.