STAYING true to its commitment to give back to youth – and spotlight the environment – throughout the Caribbean, The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, and Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours, the World’s Leading Caribbean Attraction Company, together have raised more than US $12,000 towards their continued commitment to increase environmental awareness amongst children.
The Sandals Foundation partnered with Island Routes to leverage its community based-tour, the Reading Road Trip, by using funds raised to purchase thousands of environmental awareness story books, games and resources. Reading Road Trip is aimed at enhancing literacy levels and education across the Caribbean by encouraging island visitors to bring the excitement of reading to children at local kindergarten and primary schools on a weekly basis.
This donation also forms part of the Foundation’s efforts to increase its environmental engagement to 100,000 people over the next ten years. All resources have been dispatched across the eight islands where Sandals and Beaches operate and will support the libraries of the various schools.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation, says the key to the sustainable protection of the region’s environment is the engagement of the young.
“Children are our best assets in developing a culture which practices positive environmental habits and change. By engaging schools, we can effectively build within our students, a deep appreciation for the Caribbean’s eco-systems and harness within them those positive behaviors that seek to conserve and protect our land and marine resources.”
Ryan Terrier, VP of Operators at Island Routes, says the Reading Road Trip sessions have been an effective community outreach programme.
“Giving back to the communities in which we work, live, and play is paramount to us at Island Routes, especially as it relates to our youth and the environment,” said Terrier. “By gifting these environmental books and games, we are unlocking a whole new world for our students to learn about the importance of our natural resources and how they can protect and conserve them.”