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JetBlue Airways and NJTV Reading Program Equip Kids for Back-to-School Success

Soar with Reading Program close to its fundraising goal of $200,000; proceeds providing books to children in need through partner Barefoot Books

Boys & Girls Club distributing age-appropriate books to children in Newark

NEWARK, NJ, August 24, 2012 – This summer, just by visiting SoarwithReading.com, thousands of Americans are placing age-appropriate books in the hands of children who need them, through one simple yet powerful action: sharing the name of their favorite children’s book.  Soar with Reading, now in its second year, is a partnership between JetBlue Airways’ (Nasdaq: JBLU) and PBS KIDS. The program 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.

For every title shared on the website, JetBlue is donating an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Book donations in the Newark-area are being administered through Boys & Girls Club, in partnership with NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network [njtvonline.org].  Similar donations are being made to local literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that JetBlue currently 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.  We thank JetBlue Airways, PBS Kids and NJTV for their generosity, and for sharing our commitment to early childhood education throughout Newark area,” said Jennifer Mine, Director of Clubhouse Programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark.

Research cited in The Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2 (The Guilford Press) reveals a large deficit in the U.S. in children’s access to age-appropriate books in low-income neighborhoods, where there is one book for every 300 children, compared to 13 such 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.

“We thank everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Soar with Reading program, and especially those who shared their favorite children’s book title and put a brand new book right in a deserving child’s hands,” said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue Airways’ Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “It is that spirit of caring, and the dedication of partners like PBS Kids and Barefoot Books, that can help kids soar throughout the new school year.”

As part of the program, children who traveled with JetBlue this summer received a free activity booklet with literacy based PBS KIDS games.  With help from PBS KIDS’ popular animated host Hooper, the games and other activities encouraged kids to learn about the world around them through reading.

About Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books is an award-winning independent publisher, with offices in Cambridge, USA and Oxford, UK, that specializes in carefully crafted books, gifts and digital content to help children on their journey to become happy, engaged members of a global society. Since 1992, Barefoot Books has created more than 500 books and complementary gifts for children that use timeless stories and captivating illustrations to encourage exploration, global awareness and creativity.  Barefoot Books are available online, through a network of booksellers and gift shops, in schools and libraries, in its stores in Concord, MA and FAO Schwarz in NYC, and through its fast-growing, grassroots community of independent Ambassadors. Fun, free content including a podcast, animated videos, and children’s games and activities are available online. www.barefootbooks.com

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.

About NJTV

NJTV brings quality public television programs and resources to communities throughout New Jersey and its Tri-state neighbors. NJTV’s broadcast schedule combines acclaimed national PBS series like American Masters, Nature, Charlie Rose, and BBC World News America with an array of state-focused news, arts and public affairs shows, including One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Perspectives, Reporters Roundtable with Michael Aron, Due Process and State of the Arts. The station’s week-nightly news broadcast, NJ Today, features stories from across the Garden State. NJTV complements its growing news staff by partnering with state-wide media and higher education institutions. The network actively solicits viewer news tips, story ideas and feedback, along with locally-produced film shorts and long-form documentaries, making New Jerseyans part of the network’s editorial team. The network’s website, www.njtvonline.org posts the latest local news, information and program schedules, and its Education section offers local educators free, classroom-ready, digital resources through VITAL NJ.

NJTV is comprised of WNJN, WNJS, WNJB, and WNJT, which collectively broadcast throughout NJ. Formerly New Jersey Network (NJN), NJTV is operated under an agreement with the state of New Jersey by Public Media NJ, Inc. (PMNJ), a non-profit affiliate of WNET, parent company of award-winning New York public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21. Station sponsorships and partnerships are available.

About JetBlue Corporate Social Responsibility

At JetBlue Airways, our commitment to corporate social responsibility goes beyond raising cause awareness.  We are dedicated to developing impactful charitable partnerships, supporting and aligning ourselves with the communities in the cities we serve, and creating significant volunteer experiences for our crewmembers.  Our focus is to create programs and opportunities and fully engage our resources to connect with our communities within the areas of Youth & Education, Community, and the Environment. In addition, we align our efforts to reflect the diverse interests and core values of our business by striving to enrich the lives of others.  Moving forward, we will sustain JetBlue’s charitable efforts through continuous support and unique programs that help promote positive social and environmental change.

About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™ with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America’s first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue’s control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 71 cities with 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800-538-2583, TTY/TDD +1 800-336-5530, or visit www.jetblue.com.

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Contact:
Marisa Wohl, 617-585-5767, mwohl@360pr.com
JetBlue Corporate Communications, 718-709-3089, corpcomm@jetblue.com

Through Soar With Reading, JetBlue will donate one (1) book to a child in need each time a consumer enters the name of his/her favorite children’s book title at <SoarWithReading.com> between  June 25, 2012 and August 31, 2012. Barefoot Books will designate the book titles to be distributed.  A minimum donation of $50,000 worth of books will be donated regardless of the number of favorite book titles that are submitted. Up to a maximum of $200,000 worth of books will be donated to qualifying non-profit organization. Offer void where prohibited or restricted. Donation is not tax deductible to the consumer