Reading Road Trip

Well, it is official.

I need a vacation from my vacation.

That is why I slept over ten hours last night and still haven't gotten out of my pajamas.  

It just can't be helped.  My hands are tied.

And, by the way, I worked on my vacation.  I actually went to a school and I worked.

Except not really.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.  

The Sandals Foundation has a weekly Reading Road Trip that anyone can go on during a stay at one of their resorts.

So the hubby and I signed up months ago, ordered some children's books, packed them up, and off we went.  

We went to the West End Early Childhood Preschool in Negril. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 attend this school.  I was concerned I would be attending a high school or something and I was so nervous.  But nope.

Children between the ages of 3 and 6 -- well, I'm taller than they are so I just automatically felt a lot more comfortable.

The school has 191 kids.

The average class size is 52.

Did you hear me?

FIFTY-TWO KIDS!  In one class!!

The next time I complain about having 30 kids (with a max of 32), please slap me upside the head.  But not too hard because I'm delicate.  And 32 is too many kids if you really want to know, but 52?


And, even though there were FIFTY-TWO kids in an open concept school, with no walls or doors and just furniture separating the classes, this is what greeted us:

Smiles, high fives, and hugs.

These kids were so excited to see us!  I fell in love with them.  They were so adorable and sweet and enthusiastic.  

We took a million pictures.

A million.  Because they wanted us to.  And they kept saying cheese!  

We toured the school.  Which took about one minute because it was about the size of my school's staff lounge/office building.  If that.

And then we went onto a covered back patio and did some intervention with small groups of kids who are struggling.

My hubby was a little nervous.  He said he was there to take pictures.

But the Sandals Foundation representative told him he could do it and that she would sit him at the table next to mine.

So he did it.  And he was great!  At one point, I thought he was having more fun with his group than I was with mine and I felt competitive.

Like, hey!  I make kids laugh, not you!  And, hey!  I'm the teacher here, not you!  And, hey!  Looky here, Mister, get a handle on that boy that's under your table, he is up to no good, and you have no clue!

Because he was up to no good and was coloring on my hubby's brand new Top Sider shoe that he had to have for this trip.

But that's neither here nor there and I'm sure Nordstrom will take it back because there is crayon all over it and surely that happens all the time.  It must be a Nordstrom issue.  


And, now my husband knows exactly what I mean when I talk about having a little stinker in my class except he doesn't at all understand how I deal with it all.day.every.day.  But he completely comprehends why I like wine.

This was my little group.  Kericka and Raheim.

We were working on the letter j.  They had to color the pictures that started with the letter j.

And it was so hot that the crayons were melting as we were coloring.  TRUE STORY.   

It really messed up my picture, but Kericka told me I was a great colorer.  Which I am.

We worked for about twenty minutes, read a story and went over comprehension questions, etc, and then it was time for recess.

Whether you're in Jamaica or California, no one likes to share their swing or wait their turn.

It's recess, for crying out loud.

Get off the swing!  I want the swing!  My turn!

There were tears and smiles and whoops and hollers and laughter and it was exactly like recess at home.

The time flew by.  I could have stayed all day.  I wanted to say to one of the teachers to please step aside, I will read a story and sing a song with your class, but the hubby persuaded me not to.  He said something about it being rude and mentioned something about the pool back at our resort.

So we got back in the van and went "home".  And by home, I mean the ocean, the pool, the food, the rum, and the sunset.

It was a truly rewarding experience and I can't stop thinking about it.

I definitely need to go again.

And again.

And again.

But first, I need to rest up a little.

Vacations sure are tiring.



  1. Swoon . . . I so heart you, Teeny. You are one in a million :) Oh, and I am still laughing about yesterday's post. I actually had to spit the water back into my glass so it didn't shoot out of my nose. True story. What a trip my friend :)

  2. I admire you even more now than I did before. Incredible; so envious! Of the school work in Jamaica, not necessarily the vacation. Okay, maybe a little bit of the vacation. What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. What an amazing opportunity! Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great vacation, you're in the home stretch now :)

  4. Love seeing those smiling faces! You are such a sweetie to go volunteer while you are on vacation. Looks like an amazing experience!

  5. Now that sounds like fun and I loved all of your comments!

  6. Wow! What an incredible experience! Thanks for sharing!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  7. Love you! Love this post! Love all of those cuties!! LOVE!

    Crayons and Whimsy

  8. That's such a cool thing to do! Glad your vacation was fun! You are so funny but what a great heart!! Those kids were blessed.

  9. Wonderful! I have never heard of this program. You are great & so is your hubby! Carol

  10. This sounds awesome! What a great way to learn first-hand what local schools are like.
    Love your writing too!

  11. Of course you end up in a classroom! I love it and you!

  12. I have never heard of this program but it is awesome. I really proud of such people. We need new experience from time to time, first of all because of those cutie faces on the photo and also to reassess our own job. We complain that we have lack of space in the room or need additional equipment. But still we use internet resources (like this one this service for students ) and use comfortable furniture while they study in a stuffy room. Maybe they need some other assistance?

  13. Have you checked to ensure that they continue to serve students and member colleges well. College code or high school code *school name *first name. Since 1996 the study guides and strategies website has been researched, authored, maintained and supported as an international, learner-centric, educational public service. 1 - home page 2 - skip to content 3 - site map 4 - search field focus.
    my essay writer online