BOOK IT! it's not

An interesting press release popped up in my inbox today. An excerpt:

With 13 million children living in poverty in the United States, US Airways has made a bold step to help end the cycle of poverty through a new cause partnership with Reading Is Fundamental. Today, US Airways and RIF are launching the ???Fly with US. Reading with Kids."

Here are a few highlights about the campaign:

  • Inflight Customized Books ??? For the month of March, a customized Maisy children's book will be in the seatback pocket of every domestic flight. With half storybook/half activity book, passengers will be encouraged to take the book and share it with a child.
  • Lending Libraries ??? Customized, aviation-themed children's libraries (75 books) will be set-up in all 21 US Airways Clubs where children can read while they wait for their flight. The Maisy book will also be distributed in 2008 in all kids' activity packs.
  • Read with Kids Reading Challenge ??? Customers and employees will log on to rif.org to track the hours they read for a chance to win US Airways' travel prizes like a Disney Vacation. It's a great site with a variety of inactive games and activities for kids. The challenge will last for three months. Visit RIF.org to participate.

Now, I love to see private businesses rolling out programs aimed at educating kids. I fondly remember participating in Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! program when I was a lad. But this is not a well-crafted press release.

"With 13 million children living in poverty in the United States" we should put more books on airplanes and enroll kids in online reading programs?! Airplanes and computers are but two of the luxuries denied most poor kids. I'd take a different angle if were U.S. Air's marketing team.

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