News and Media

Find 52: St. Lucia: 2016

Canadian Running Magazine

By Sinead Mulhern January 18, 2016

Last year he took on an 84-kilometre loop around Grenada and this year, Richard Clewes is upping the mileage for another Caribbean adventure, one that started on Jan. 15. This runner who resides in Guelph, Ont. has conducted a four-day run around the island of St. Lucia with each run equaling marathon distance.

The cause: to improve the literacy levels of children in St. Lucia. To do that, Clewes and his wife, Sonya White, created their own organization called Rainforest of Reading and the proceeds he raises from the St. Lucia run will go to that foundation.

The purpose is to put people in the shoes of St. Lucian kids for whom literacy is extraordinarily hard to obtain because there are so few community libraries and so few schools have libraries.

Richard Clewes

Rainforest of Reading was started four years ago. How does it work? The couple raises funds to bring books by Canadian authors and illustrators into schools in St. Lucia, Grenada, Nevis and Montserrat.
Every single dollar raised by his run is going towards the cause, he says. With last year’s run around Grenada, he was able to raise $40,000.

The location isn’t the only thing that differs this year. For one, the distance is longer and two, he has had the company of Olympic athletes for the entire duration. One of them is Canadian snowboarder Jake Holden who Clewes met through Holden’s mother– a friend and mentor of his. (The other athletes are St. Lucian athletes, Zepherinus Joseph and sprinter Vernetta Lesforis.)

Last February, Clewes says he mentioned the run to Holden. His response was God I’d love to go for a run with you.” That’s how the two decided that they would run together in St. Lucia. Clewes adds that after they made that decision, they committed to training together doing all of their long runs together on the roads of Guelph, Ont. or the trails in Caledon, Ont.

While Clewes’ wife, Sonya, has travelled with him to the region before, she was unable to attend the St. Lucia runs. Prior to the run last week, he said he’d be keeping her updated through social posts.
I’m uploading every mile on Instagram so my wife won’t worry about me,” he said.

Article originally appeared in Canadian Running Magazine ©2016 Gripped Publishing Inc.

From: Find 52

Start some kind words on its travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Humanitarian, Medical Missionary (1865-1940)
Out of this world
After reading "Postcards from Outer Space' a student in Montserrat is inspired to be the next Chris Hadfield.

Too many people grow up. That's the trouble with the world.


Life is too deep for words so don't try to describe it, just live it.

C. S. Lewis
Author, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
It's a long story
Books packed by kids in Ontario for their peers in the Caribbean travel 1,800 kilometres by road then another 5,275 kilometres by container ship.

Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)
Challenging literacy development
Although English is the official language of St. Lucia, Krewyol is spoken as much or more outside the classroom.

I read. I travel. I become.

St. Lucian author & 1992 Nobel Laureate

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

Philosopher, Psychologist (1842-1910)

All I know is what I have words for.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The future is always beginning now. Each moment is a place you've never been.

Poet (1934-2014)
And the Winner in Montserrat is....
Marlaina White (Left) announces the Second Annual Rainforest of Reading Award to Illustrator Jan Dolby (Middle) and Author Joyce Grant for "Gabby."

At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross...that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever.


If you believe what you can, quite literally, believe anything.

Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)

If you get the right [words] in the right order, you might nudge the world a little.

Sir Tom Stoppard

A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.

Author (1810-1889)

Reading brings us unknown friends.

Novelist (1799-1850)
Find 52: The Road to Reading in Grenada
In February 2015, Richard ran right around Grenada, a distance of 52 miles. 52 "Mile Captains" raised $40,000.

If we want to make this world a better place, then we have to become better ourselves. There is no easy route.


It is by acts and not ideals that people live.

Author (1844-1924)