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PBS and JetBlue partner up to keep kids reading all summer long

"Soar with Reading" offers in-flight packages to entertain young travelers with reading games.

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But Rauscher said children traveling with JetBlue are only a fraction of the target audience. Another component of the program brings JetBlue crewmembers, PBS KIDS characters, and hosts and popular authors of children’s books to local libraries across the country in cities including Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; and Los Angeles.

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One nominated library will also receive $10,000 worth of Random House Children’s Books. A runner-up will receive $2,500 worth of books followed by five others that will receive $500 worth of books.

“Reading is fundamental to everything we do as adults and we know that children who read achieve greater success in life,” Rotenburg said.

For every child that registers on the Soar with Reading website, First Book will also donate one book to a child in a low-income community up to 10,000 books. First Book distributes books and educational materials to programs and schools in low-income areas throughout the US and Canada.

Studies show that students who participate in public library summer reading programs during the summer return to school in the fall more ready to learn with an improved level of reading when compared to children who do not engage in summer reading programs according to teachers, as reported in a three-year study conducted by the Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.

The study also showed that students in a public library summer reading program earned higher scores on reading achievement tests at the start of the school year.

“We love the fact that we are able to add this [program] to everything that we’re doing to make summertime about learning time,” Rotenberg said. “We are really dedicated to make sure that every child has the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”

Chloe Stepney is a Monitor contributor.

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