US Airways, RIF team in 'Read with Kids' push

TEMPE, AZ: US Airways (USA) has partnered up with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the largest nonprofit children's literacy program for the nationwide "Fly with US: Read with Kids" campaign, in an effort to spark interest in the children of consumers, employees, and at risk communities.

TEMPE, AZ: US Airways (USA) has partnered up with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the largest nonprofit children's literacy program for the nationwide “Fly with US: Read with Kids” campaign, in an effort to spark interest in the children of consumers, employees, and at risk communities.

The cause initiative will be promoted jointly by USA and RIF, with more than 80,000 book donations to children enrolled in RIF programs, USA volunteer participation in book distributions, as well as the online “Read with Kids” challenge.

In this program, USA and RIF are encouraging adults to read a total one million minutes to children, by creating a space on Rif.org, where participants could log in progress, and possibly qualify for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

“US Airways chose to work with RIF because we wanted a national partnership on an issue important to our company. In a survey, employees responded overwhelmingly that the company focus on children and educational issues,” said Michelle Mohr, USA manager of corporate communications.

Kicked off on February 29, with reading rallies led by RIF and USA execs in hub cities, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, the “Fly With US” campaign is a part of a long-term partnership, with no set end date. All USA employees, from corporate staff to those who work in the belly of the plane, will be continually briefed on the programs through internal messaging, manager updates, information hotline, and employee prizes.

“Because we're an airline, we have many ways of getting the message out to consumers,” said Mohr, who cites attendants in-flight announcements, magazines, airport promotions, along with a free children's book for domestic, mainline flights, by well-known author/illustrator Lucy Cousins, during the month of March.

RIF, which currently serves 4.6 million children, will focus on an aggressive online strategy to promote the campaign through social networking, viral videos, and overall Web coverage.

As of March 11, the site has logged more than 500,000 minutes since kicking off on February 29, Mohr said.

Frank Walter, RIF marketing and PR director, said, "When children read for fun, statistics indicate they do better in school. When children have the opportunity to choose a book, they're more likely to read it, which is not an opportunity most children from lower incomes have. ”

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