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Friday 13th December 2013

Dickenson Bay, Antigua – Many children believe that their parents have Santa Clause on speed dial, but for those in Antigua and Barbuda this week, it would seem that it’s their teachers who have the coveted connection, as over 600 children are being treated over the course of the holiday season by the Sandals Foundation.
The exciting and festive Sandals Foundation Christmas Treats kicked off on Wednesday with Santa and his Foundation helpers celebrating the holiday season with the kindergarten and first grade students of the Villa Primary School.
The initiative saw staff from Sandals Grande Antigua coming together in the school’s auditorium to spread cheer amongst the scores of children, all bursting with energy and excitement.
While at the treat, Tasheka LaVann, a representative of the Sandals Foundation, spoke of the foundation’s commitment to the development of the Antigua and Barbuda Community, citing several areas of focus including the developmental projects in adopted schools and the regionally acclaimed collaboration with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the High Performance Cricket Camp.
Principal of the Villa Primary School Mrs. Sandra Felix said she and her teachers embrace the tremendous support afforded to the school by the Foundation. She noted the Foundation’s presence is felt in the classrooms long after its representatives have departed.
“Sandals Foundation has a good relationship with the Villa School, having partnered with us in many instances. The teachers have said that the students really appreciate the story times with the Sandals Foundation team and the resorts’ guests,” Principal Felix said.
Back in the festive arena, the children enjoyed a wide assortment of foods prepared specially for them by the expert culinary staff at Sandals Antigua.
After lunch, Santa’s helpers distributed the much-anticipated toys to the eagerly awaiting bunch.
Santa then made his way over to the Willikies Primary School where new helpers – this time from Grand Pineapple Antigua Resort – entertained the students there.
Principal of the Willikies Primary School Denmore Roberts commended the Sandals Foundation for working with the school. He said the children, from kindergarten to grade six, look forward to the Foundation and Santa’s presence. “The children have certainly grown accustomed to it and they really appreciate it. Sandals Foundation has assisted us in many ways and has indeed made our lives here a lot easier,” said Principal Roberts.
The Christmas Treats continued with Santa making stops at Cedar Grove Primary and Pares Primary schools.
The initiative has also brought smiles to the children at Salvation Army and continues with the Children’s Hospital, the Boy’s Training School, the Good Shepherd Home, Holberton’s Care Project and ends on December 20 with the Child and Family Guidance Centre.

The Sandals Foundation Christmas Treats and Toy Drive take place annually in Antigua, St. Lucia, The Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, where Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Resorts operate. Sandals Foundation Christmas treats are also taking place in Grenada for the first time this year.

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