The Red Dirt Path
In 2003 I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Jamaica and volunteer with The Allen-Shaw Foundation in Resource District for two weeks. This was my first visit to Jamaica and I could not wait to experience all of the sights and sounds the island had to offer and more importantly to volunteer at The Allen-Shaw Reading Room and Summer School.
Each day I would walk down the red dirt path to the summer school with my host mother and two host sisters. The weather was hot and the air smelled like sweet fruit. The rich colors of the island enveloped and mesmerized me.
As we walked through the bush, we passed neighbors and friends all offering a friendly hello, even to a perfect stranger like me. They all knew we were headed to the Summer School and The Allen-Shaw Reading Room.
Once we arrived at school, it was time for class. The children appeared so excited to be there. To me this reaffirmed the positive impact the Allen-Shaw Foundation was having within the community. After school the children practically sprinted to The Allen-Shaw Reading Room, where they would hang out for hours, visiting with their friends, writing and best of all browsing the hundreds of donated books available for check-out. I was so impressed by their eagerness to learn and hoped that the Reading Room and its fan base would continue to grow well into the future.
While I was only in Jamaica for two weeks, the impression that it left on me was tremendous. It is rare that a day goes by that I do not think back to Resource District, the school and the reading room. I am so thankful for people like Paula Shaw who have committed themselves to improving the lives of others.
Imagine if there was no Reading Room in Resource Districtů.