In May 2011, the Sandals Foundation launched the Reading Road Trip, its first voluntourism initiative aimed at improving literacy, comprehension and vocabulary among students. The trip, which takes place every Thursday, is available through Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours and allows guests of Sandals and Beaches Resorts – in Jamaica, Antigua, the Turks and Caicos Islands, St. Lucia and Exuma in the Bahamas – to visit a Foundation adopted school and lend literacy support to students.
By November 2011, Island Routes Tours came on board with the Sandals Foundation in offering the literacy tour that takes visitors on stimulating volunteer travel experiences, during which they are invited to spend time with children at the primary and early childhood levels. Guests are guided by a structured programme that addresses recognition of sight words, listening, comprehension and reading.
With 1,500 visitors participating in the Sandals Foundation and Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours’ Reading Road Trip, more than 400 children have benefitted this school year from the campaign to improve literacy skills in Caribbean communities.
FOR 2012, THE SANDALS FOUNDATION HAS PURCHASED 1,000 BOOKS AND OTHER LITERACY TOOLS FROM SCHOLASTIC TO ENHANCE THE READING ROAD TRIP!
Guests interested in volunteering may sign up with Island Routes Tours via the tour company’s website, www.IslandRoutesTours.com, its call centre at 1-888-429-5478 (toll free from Jamaica), or Island Routes Tours desk at any Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple resort. Guests will be transported to an early childhood institution or primary school, which has been adopted by the Sandals Foundation. The tour is offered in Jamaica, Exuma in the Bahamas, Antigua, Saint Lucia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The cost, which covers reading material, transportation and a donation to the Sandals Foundation education fund, is US$20 per person 13 years and older. Children between the ages of 8 – 12 are complimentary and minors must be accompanied by an adult.
The Sandals Foundation is working on partnerships to obtain new material and books in time for September 2012 that will allow the adopted schools to have small learning corners with level one and two books available for use by the teachers and students.