NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep 4, 2018--JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced Jacksonville, Fla. as the winner of the #BookWithUs online vote, part of this year’s annual Soar with Reading literacy initiative. Thanks to support from the local community in North Florida, Jacksonville bested JetBlue’s other 101 cities, receiving 38 percent of the votes. Throughout the summer, customers were invited to vote for their favorite city to win $25,000 worth of children’s books and a “reading room makeover” by celebrity interior designer Tyler Wisler for a local organization. More than 544,300 online votes were cast.

“We were excited to see the Jacksonville community rally together to win the #BookWithUs vote,” said Icema Gibbs, director, corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “JetBlue is working to make a direct impact in the communities we serve. We look forward to working with local community leaders and partners to find a location in Jacksonville that will truly benefit from this donation and join in our mission to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading.”

Additionally, three runner-up cities – Cleveland; Long Beach, Calif.; and Burlington, Vt. will each receive a donation of $5,000 worth of children’s books. JetBlue will work with local community leaders and organizations for these donations and the Jacksonville reading room.

“Great design makes you happy and sparks creativity,” said Interior Designer Tyler Wisler. “I am excited to transform a local space and help make reading even more appealing to kids and families. I’m looking forward to creating an inviting reading room that helps young people envision all of the possibilities that are imaginable.”

Why Books? Soar with Reading primarily focuses on book deserts - areas with limited access to age appropriate books for children. Children in these areas lack an essential ingredient in learning and thus their educational growth can be stunted. This summer, JetBlue and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing donated 100,000 books to children in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. The books were distributed through five custom vending machines, free of charge. Children and families were encouraged to take as many books as they wanted as often as they wanted, to start their own home libraries and to help alleviate the summer slide, loss of knowledge during the summer months.

Since 2011, JetBlue has donated more than $3 million worth of children’s books in areas of need. As the program continues to grow JetBlue is dedicated to finding innovative solutions, such as free book vending machines, to tackle the issue of book deserts. Over the past four years, Soar with Reading has placed free book vending machines in Washington, DC; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.

Soar with Reading is a signature JetBlue For Good ®  program, JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered around volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers - community, youth/education and the environment. Combining JetBlue’s corporate efforts with its customers’ and crewmembers’ passions, the common theme is Good – JetBlue For Good. Join the #JetBlueForGood conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, check for regular updates and get involved.

About JetBlue

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year to 102 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights. For more information please visit www.jetblue.com.

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KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA NEW YORK

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION PRIMARY/SECONDARY OTHER EDUCATION TRANSPORT AIR TRAVEL TRANSPORTATION PHILANTHROPY OTHER PHILANTHROPY

SOURCE: JetBlue

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PUB: 09/04/2018 01:25 PM/DISC: 09/04/2018 01:25 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180904005733/en