Find 52: St. Lucia: 2017
No matter who you are or where you live, the world runs on literacy.
From Monday, July 3 to Friday, July 7, thousands of St. Lucians – including students, parents and teachers – took enormous steps to improve their future by participating in a 198KM relay. The relay is a fundraiser benefitting literacy development in the Eastern Caribbean.
Find 52 Thousand: The Road to Reading National Relay linked St. Lucia in a rough circle. For 5 days, teams of ten students ran 1 – 4 kilometre segments under the guidance of former Olympic athlete Dr. Verneta Lesforis (Sydney Summer Games 2000). Each child carried a hollow baton containing a pledge sheet from 8 different Ontario schools. The relay was run during daylight hours and took five days to complete.
The goal of raising $52,000 to purchase books for annual Rainforest of Reading Festivals and school library development is at 90% thanks to the astonishing efforts of Ontario schools like Haliburton Highlands Secondary School who raised $5,200. The Slaight Family Foundation gave $25,000 to the campaign.
In St. Lucia on Saturday, July 8, Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy welcomed runners and volunteers and spoke about the secondary benefit of creating sustainable links between Ontario and St. Lucia schools to support global literacy.
For the second year in a row, Co-Executive Director, Richard Clewes, led an elite team of runners who cover every step of the route – a distance equivalent to 4.5 marathons in 5 days. Said Clewes: “By increasing awareness of the need for literacy, thousands of St. Lucians, young and old, will write a new chapter in the story of their country.”