Award winning Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has confirmed it will launch Reading Road Trip, the resort company’s first official voluntourism program.
In conjunction with Sandals Foundation, its the philanthropic arm, the programme is a volunteer literacy program aimed at improving listening, reading and comprehension skills of local children between the ages of five and seven.
It expands on programming developed by the Sandals Foundation through their school adoption policy.
“The chance to ‘give back’ has been a customer request for some time, so we are thrilled to finally be able to offer our guests the opportunity to take part in the work we consider so vitally important,” said SRI chief executive Adam Stewart.
Available to all guests of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts or Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts ages eight and up, Reading Road Trip is a two-hour program that takes guests into the community to one of the Foundation’s participating adopted basic and primary schools.
Schools are located in Saint Lucia, Antigua, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica.
Guests will be invited to engage small groups of children in active reading strategies. Facilitators will be on hand to guide participants on how to engage and encourage children.
“It’s an extraordinary thing to connect with the people of a place; to know them and to make a real difference in their lives,” added Stewart.
“This is our first step into developing programming that allows our guests to do just that.
“I expect guests who participate will leave our resorts feeling fabulous – body and soul.”
Reading Road Trip is offered every Thursday from 09:00 until 11:00 when schools are in session, September until mid-June.
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 favourite new or gently-used book to donate to the library of the school they visit.
World Travel Awards
Reading Road Trip is just the latest development in the growth of SRI, which has consistently been among the most innovative operators in the Caribbean.
Just last year Sandals was recognised by the industry leading World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company.