THE SANDALS FOUNDATION’S READING ROAD TRIP PROGRAM CELEBRATES A SUCCESSFUL YEAR
Monday, August 13, 2012 | Related Categories:
~ Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours Welcomes 1,500 Participants and Hands Over US$4,800 to Benefit Children in the Caribbean ~
Robby and Erin Stohlman, guests of Sandals Montego Bay, have their hands full with students from the Leanora Morris Basic School while on the Reading Road Trip in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Over the past year, the Sandals Foundation’s Reading Road Trip program was met with great support, with more than 1,500 visitors participating in the program and raising over US$4,800 to benefit more than 400 students in the Caribbean.
In 2011, Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours came on board with the Sandals Foundation by offering the Reading Road Trip as a two-hour excursion that takes guests of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resort into the community to visit one of the Foundation’s participating adopted schools in Saint Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica. The Reading Road Trip gives guests the opportunity to engage small groups of school children in active reading strategies. With this partnership, Island Routes Caribbean Tours is now a proud sponsor of the Sandals Foundation’s commitment to education.
“Give-back vacations have become so popular these days, with people wanting to do more during their vacation and feel like they’re a part of the community in which they’re vacationing,” said David L. Shields, General Manager of Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours. “No longer is a vacation in the Caribbean solely about sun, sea and sand, but also about exploring and making a difference in the lives of the people. The Reading Road Trip is our way of giving back to the communities we live in, and to the youngsters who will, one day, be the leaders of our Caribbean nations.”
Janet Briggs, Principal of the Culloden Early Childhood Institute in Westmoreland, Jamaica, said that the school has noticed a great improvement in the students’ literacy. “I just completed the Ministry of Education assessment with them and I’m so pleased. Out of 33 students, 27 of them achieved mastery, which falls in the grade category of 80-100 percent. This is a definite improvement over the previous year and we credit the Reading Road Trip.”
Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs of the Sandals Foundation noted that the partnership with Island Routes Tours has been successful and the Foundation is looking forward to the start of the 2012-2013 school year, when the Reading Road Trip will resume. “Island Routes Tours has been instrumental in making the Reading Road Trip possible and we are very grateful for their commitment to the Caribbean’s children. This literacy tour not only promotes education in a classroom setting, but cultural experiences that are beneficial to everyone involved,” Clarke said.
Reading Road Trip is offered every Thursday from 9am until 11am when schools are in session. The cost is US$20 per person, which covers round-trip transportation and all supplies. Children 8-12 years of age can participate at no cost and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers are encouraged to bring along a favorite new or gently-used book to donate to the library of the school they visit. Guests interested in volunteering may sign up with Island Routes Tours via www.IslandRoutesTours.com, by calling 1-888-429-5478, or at an Island Routes Tours desk at any Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Beach Resort.
The Sandals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to continue and to expand upon the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken. It is the culmination of three decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where we operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org.