2017 is the Year for Read On the Fly

Read On the Fly volunteer Robin Brooks and her daughter Anna help stock bookshelves during the Christmas break. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Happy New Year, AKontheGO readers and friends! Certainly 2017 will be another year of adventure for our family, and I hope it is for you as well. 

Before the first day of this bright new year ends, I want to make an important and very exciting announcement on behalf of AKontheGO’s Read On the Fly project, currently operating at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport but slated for expansion this year.

Family travel is full of experiences that help shape our children into the thoughtful adults we hope they become, and Read On the Fly opens minds to different concepts and cultures just as travel opens doors to different destinations and people. From the instant this project launched in June, interest was high from other communities to have bookshelves in their airports, too. But I wasn’t sure how to do this. 

In November, exactly one year after the initial meeting with TSAIA manager John Parrot and Alaska Airlines Sales and Marketing manager Scott Habberstad, plans were made for constructing more bookshelves in other airports around Alaska. Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Juneau are scheduled for 2017, and I am very pleased that Alaska Airlines wishes to continue their financial support for the construction of bookshelves. 

But there is more: Starting today, Read On the Fly has official fiscal sponsorship support from Best Beginnings Alaska, an early-learning support organization that oversees Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, and encourages parents to take time and read with, learn from, and listen to their children. 

What does this mean? As of today, Read On the Fly can…

  • Apply for grants and conduct fundraising events
  • Secure financial partnerships with businesses and organizations willing to support our mission
  • Receive monetary donations from individuals and businesses 

Best Beginnings has created a wonderful donor page that makes giving easy. Simply go to our page, managed by Network for Good, and make a gift that will ensure kids and books and family travel remain intertwined for 2017. You can make a one-time gift, or set up a recurring donation to support Read On the Fly for several months, starting right now in a new year.

I’ve seen the faces of youngsters who’ve received books from Read On the Fly shelves. I’ve watched exasperated parents brighten at the thought of their teen or tween reading during a flight instead of tuning out with headphones and a devices. A book can open up minds and hearts, and connect a kid to his or her world in a very tangible way. 

Thank you for supporting this fast-growing, very fun, and slightly scary project. It’s never easy jumping headlong into something like Read On the Fly, but together we can make it work for kids all around Alaska. 

Erin Kirkland officially launches Read On the Fly in June, 2016. Michael Dinneen Photo.

~Erin Kirkland, founder of Read On the Fly and publisher of AKontheGO.com

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One Comment

  1. I think this program is fantastic, and would like to get it started here in Kodiak. Our airport is under renovation at the moment, and I hope we can find a place for this shelf. HOw do we get involved? Thank you

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