When I decided to travel to Jamaica, Sandals Foundation, Reading Road Trip Jamaica was one of the activities I was super excited about. I wanted the trip to mean something. The opportunity to give back and make a difference in someone’s life while out of the country was something that made my heart flutter. So when I got the invitation to join the elite group of bloggers on a trip to Jamaica, I had to say Yes. The fact that we get to join School Specialty, Pack for a Purpose and Sandals Foundation, on Reading Road Trip to a local school in Jamaica was a fabulous bonus to the trip.
Reading Road Trip Jamaica
For the reading road trip, we visited Mt. Airy Primary and Infant School. Where, I got a chance to sit down, read and chat with an amazing young lady by the name, Teashaned.
Teashaned is 7 years old, which makes her a year older than my youngest which is probably why I instantly connected with her. Like most young girls her age, she loves princess dolls; her favorite is Cinderella. Her best friend name is Mary, who conveniently sits next to her in class. Teashaneed’s favorite food are dumplings, a treat she enjoys making with her mom.
As we worked together on her project, she told me her favorite color was red. Her mom is a stay at home mom, taking care of her younger brother, who is about three years old. She expressed to me that when she grows up, she would like to be a mother or a teacher. To which I responded that she could do both, that I am a working mom and doing both is something she’s capable of achieving.
Her best friend, Mary lives within walking distant from school, while Teashaned takes a taxi every day. As we discussed her daily commute, I noticed she took her shoes off. When I asked her why, she told me it’s too small for her, it’s tight, and her feet hurts. Suddenly the bag of school supplies I brought with me seem insufficient. Her feet hurt, and she could hardly concentrate. I quickly changed the subject by complimenting her on her hair. My Mom did it, she said. Do you do your children’s hair too? She asked. I told her, No but I’m learning.
Even with all that’s going on with her, she sports a smile that could light up a room.
Like most kids her age, Teashaned was curious about my Canon camera, so I let her take a few shots, and at the end of our session, she emphasized the fact that she loves taking pictures.
Here is Teashaned and her best friend, Mary playing the smart bubbles shooter game on my phone.
Trying to master the art of taking a selfie.
It’s safe to say they got a handle on it. Beautiful subject+perfect light = Instagram-worthy selfie.
Here are the girls, showing off their artwork.
Another highlight of the trip was watching the girls, help with the HP Sprocket Photo Printer. That little machine drew a crowd.
The kids were happy to commemorate the moment with snapshots of the day.
Reading Road Trip Jamaica Video
Below is a video snippet of the trip.
Mount Airy Primary and Infant School
I visited the primary school expecting to show the kids some love but what I received in return was priceless. I left with a full heart and a sense of what the community is all about. As I head back home, I vow to myself that going forward I will try my best to make sure when we vacation as a family we try to add some element of volunteerism to our trip. Especially when our kids are involved, it will be a great way to teach them some core values while showing them the importance of being selfless.
If you don’t have enough time to visit a local school while you are in Jamaica. You can Pack for a Purpose by bringing along some school supplies.
Pack for a Purpose
To prepare for the trip, I bought some school supplies using the packing guide for the Reading Road Trip – Beaches Negril Resort & Spa.
Sadly, we were only allowed 5lbs each which put a limit on the amount of item you can bring into the country. However, I didn’t let that deter me. Overall, my trip to Jamaica was fulfilling and worthwhile. Anyone can participate in either program through Island Routes Adventure Tours.