) has teamed up with the National PTA to bring Kindle e-readers
to low-income and at-risk youths and families throughout the
United States. The online retailer will be the exclusive sponsor
of the National PTA's new Family Reading Experience program,
which will be hosted by local PTA in cities across the
"National PTA is honored to work with Kindle to provide
parents with proven techniques for improving their child's
reading fluency, comprehension and passion," National PTA
President Betsy Landers said in a
. "The role of families in literacy does not end when children
enter school. Families' continued interest, involvement, concern
and caring make a significant difference in this crucial area of
Neil Lindsay, vice president of Amazon's Kindle division,
concurred. "Making reading more accessible and more enjoyable is
a core mission at Amazon," said Lindsay, who was also quoted in
the release. "We are thrilled to be working with the National PTA
to help parents get their kids excited about reading. Reading is
just more fun when you can access millions of books quickly,
carry your library with you and look up words in the dictionary,
which is how Kindles can help children read more."
The National PTA has officially branded the reading program
with a "Powered by Kindle" notation, effectively turning this
donation into a stellar advertising opportunity for Amazon.
Kindle is also being promoted as the "Official E-reader of the
While Amazon should be commended for its donation, this is
also an interesting corporate strategy for the company to take.
Roughly 13 months ago, Amazon's leading device competitor --
) -- made a
to enter schools across the nation.
The Mac maker announced that it would charge $14.99 for high
school text books, prompting at least one analyst to speculate
that Apple could eventually control
95 percent of the digital textbook market
Amazon attempted to reinforce its presence in schools last
fall when it announced Whispercast, a free service that
simplifies the user's ability to share
By donating Kindle e-readers to the National PTA (and by
becoming the exclusive sponsor of its new reading program),
Amazon has found a way to infiltrate a market Apple cannot
For now, Amazon will not earn anything for its effort except
the praise of its customers and a few thousand "thank-yous" from
parents, teachers and children who appreciate the donation.
Long-term, however, the benefits could be insurmountable. In
addition to the goodwill and free publicity, Amazon has
effectively dropped its products into the hands of potential
customers -- kids who may not be able to afford Kindle e-readers
and tablets today, but could become loyal customers when they
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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