This year the San Francisco and Oakland areas book desserts are being filled with free vending machines. Over 100,000 free books will be available to children in the Bay Area.
“Soar with Reading encourages a life-long love of reading in children and allows families to build new traditions around reading,” said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “Children can start their personal libraries by visiting the vending machines and collecting new books throughout the summer. Providing access to books opens children’s imaginations and empoers them to envision new places.”
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell agrees: “Access to books is key to learning, and that is what Soar with Reading is helping to provide. The vending machines will provide free books all summer-long.”
Local partner organizations include B Magic, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Oakland Public Library and City of Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development, with vending machines located at:
• San Francisco Public Library Main Branch| 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102
• Bayview/Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library| 5075 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124
• Columbia Park Clubhouse| 450 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA94110
• East Oakland Sports Center| 9161 Edes Ave., Oakland, CA 94603
• Willie Keyes Recreation Center| 3131 Union St., Oakland, CA 94608
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf states, “Children who once had limited access to age-appropriate books now have a free program designed to give them equitable access to books to read, learn, and expand their intellectual horizon.”
Vending machines are just one piece of the program. Community members are invited to #BookWithUs and JetBlue will donate $25,000 in children’s books to their favorite JetBlue city. Additionally, the winning city will receive a “reading room makeover” decorated by interior designer Tyler Wisler. Voting is now open at SoarwithReading.com. At the time of this writing, Buffalo, NY was ahead in the polls.
The summer slide is all too familiar to parents, educators and students. It’s great to see JetBlue out there filling the void with books for our youth.
by Elizabeth Atkinson