With the end of another school year here, the Sandals Foundation and Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher, and distributor of children’s books, are encouraging reading as the perfect past time for the summer holiday to help prevent the “summer slide”—the learning loss which can occur over the summer months.
In a continued effort to improve literacy across the Caribbean, the Sandals Foundation is ensuring that schools and libraries within the 8 islands where they operate are equipped with newest and most popular titles to keep kids’ minds engaged this summer and prepared for the school year ahead.
For a second consecutive year, Scholastic Book Fairs has teamed up with the Sandals Foundation to donate 25,000 brand new children’s books that are currently being distributed across the islands of Antigua, Nassau, Exuma, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks & Caicos through the Foundation’s “Reading Road Trip” program. The “Reading Road Trip” program, which is operated by Caribbean Island Routes, gives guests the opportunity to distribute books to students in Sandals Foundation supported schools.
In addition, the Foundation aims to extend book ownership beyond schools and into the wider communities by providing books to local libraries. This initiative ensures that a larger number of children have access to quality books during the summer months and the opportunity to discover the power and joy of reading.
“Providing students with access to engaging books is the best way to ensure that reading becomes a habit at an early age,” said Larry Wissinger, Director of Business Development, Scholastic Book Fairs. “Children who develop a love of reading at an early age grow to become life-long learners with critical attention and comprehension skills which serve them in school, the workplace, and nearly everywhere else for the rest of their lives. The work between Scholastic and the Sandals Foundation creates a lasting legacy of literacy and learning for young readers in the region.”
Carolyn Spencer, the deputy director of the National Public Library, one of the institutions in Antigua & Barbuda that received books, said the donation assists the library in achieving its goal of providing relevant reading materials that satisfy the needs of its varied patrons.
“To be the recipient of the generosity of the Sandals Foundation was the realisation of the Public Library’s wish list. Indeed Scholastic and the Foundation have proven to be one of the leading contributors to the growth of education,” Spencer said.
The Sandals Foundation continues to innovate and engage in opportunities that will lead to the improvement of literacy for all ages in the Caribbean.