John Spaulding/AP
July 15, 2015 10:00 AM

Forget fishing for change in your pockets to finance your mid-afternoon candy bar.

Instead of snacks, this D.C. vending machine is all about literacy – and even better, it’s free.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and JetBlue airlines teamed up to launch a new step in the airlines’ Soar with Reading initiative, which aims to improve access to reading materials for children in underserved communities.

Rather than just handing out books, as they’ve done in the past, the Soar with Reading initiative is doling them out in a more unique way: through vending machines. In the pilot program, they’ve placed free-of-charge machines throughout the Anacostia area of Washington, D.C.

Kids up to the age of 14 will be able to use these machines, located in easily accessible areas like a Salvation Army community center, a grocery store and even a church, to get brand-new books without the cost. It’s estimated that around 100,000 books will ultimately be donated to children in the area.

This initiative comes on the heels of the news that in the nation’s capital, for every 830 children there’s just one kid-friendly book, according to a JetBlue-commissioned study by Susan Neuman.

Free books and a vending machine that won’t eat your quarters? Sounds like a win-win.

You May Like