News and Media

Find 52: Grenada: 2015

Canadian Running Magazine

By Scott Leitch March 6, 2015

Richard Clewes wasn’t an ultramarathoner before he decided to run around Grenada, an 84K loop, but one month ago he became the first to circle the small island nation on foot, finishing the loop in 11:45.

The time isn’t particularly quick, but that wasn’t Clewes goal, having stopped many times along the route to talk with locals.

The 61-year-old Caledon, Ont., man and his wife founded Rainforest of Reading in 2011, a charity which raises money to buy books for libraries in Caribbean countries. His run around Grenada was to raise money for the charity.

It came out of the fact that, like a lot of Canadians, I like getting out of the cold in the winter time and stay in a hotel or rent a house in these places,” said Clewes about starting the program. My wife is a special education teacher and one day we casually walked into the primary school in Soufriere, St. Lucia, and got sense for what education was like for these kids there and quite quickly figured that out.”

If we want to make this world a better place, we have to become better ourselves.

Dalai Lamai

Clewes, who is a graphic designer, and his wife wanted to help provide books and access to reading materials for the children in Montserrat, Saint Lucia and Grenada with the hope of expanding to more Caribbean countries in the near future.

The first thing you realize is that there are no libraries. Any library that survived over the past several decades is exceptional. Typically what happens is natural disasters like hurricanes wipe out public buildings and as a response, preserving the very little cash these local governments have, they shutter the library and move on.”

The budget for the charity is about $100,000 each year and no one draws a salary from that. All the money goes towards providing reading material for school kids in the countries Rainforest of Reading serves.

So far, Clewes has raised $32,000, but he has goals set high. He hopes to raise $520,000 by next January, when he will attempt to double up on the distance by running around St. Lucia. The $520,000 would cover the charity’s programs for five years.

For now, he’s focusing on getting the word out about next winter’s run around St. Lucia, double the distance of his loop around Grenada.

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

From: Find 52

It is by acts and not ideals that people live.

Author (1844-1924)

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

Sir Tom Stoppard

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

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

Author (1810-1889)
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

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.

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.


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

Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)
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.

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)

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

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)

Reading brings us unknown friends.

Novelist (1799-1850)