EasyJet will be turning its British fleet of airplanes into flying libraries this summer, in a campaign aimed at encouraging children to read more.
Called “Flybraries”, kids flying EasyJet out of British airports will be able to borrow one of 7,000 classic reads like Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and The Railway Children across the airline’s fleet of 147 aircraft, for free.
The collection of travel and adventure books was chosen by children’s author and former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who is best known for The Tracy Beaker series and whose 106 children’s books have collectively sold more than 40 million copies in Britain alone.
“Books stimulate a child’s imagination and development,” Wilson said during the launch of the programme at London Gatwick Airport.
“Reading soothes, entertains, grows vocabulary and exercises the mind and a flight is the perfect place to escape into a literary adventure… I’ve chosen books that children might not have read, but are familiar with, maybe from film and television. I also wanted stories that would appeal equally to boys and girls.”
According to EasyJet’s own research, kids are reading less than they were before, with kids today reading an average of three books over the course of their summer holidays, compared to four among their parents’ generation.
The findings were teased out of a poll of 2,000 British parents of children ages 8 to 12.
The National Foundation of Education Research also says that only 37% of 10-year-olds report reading for pleasure every day.
Along with the EasyJet book club, kids can download free samples of other classics at easyjet.com/bookclub.
Books are to be left on board at the end of the flight.
It’s not the first time a major corporation has launched a reading and literacy programme for kids.
McDonald’s in Britain and the US swapped out Happy Meal toys for books in 2013.
In recent years, the New York Public Library set up an outdoor reading room in the summer. Paris also launched a pop-up library on the Seine, while Tel Aviv set up outdoor libraries along 13km of the city’s beaches. – AFP Relaxnews