March 6, 2012 COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
Readership WT Students Heading to Honduras
Airport Send-off is March 8
CANYON, Texas—It may be the shortest international sojourn yet, but winners of the annual Readership WT essay contest will still get the experience of a lifetime when they depart Thursday, March 8 for an eight-day trip to Honduras.
Family and friends will join with WTAMU faculty and staff members at 3 p.m. just outside the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport’s security gates to wish the travelers farewell. The group includes the 15 students whose essay-writing skills won them the all-expense paid trip to Honduras, plus a member of the University faculty, a WTAMU staff member, a guest sponsor, one student peer leader and the author of the 2011 common reader.
The essay contest was based on the 2011 Readership WT book Where Am I Wearing by Kelsey Timmerman, and the trip will expose the WTAMU students to a new culture and encourage them to become global citizens. The trip marks the fifth international trip for winners of the contest, and the first time for the author of the common reader to travel with the students.
“He’s excited about joining us on this trip,” Kendra Campbell, director of First Year Experience and a trip sponsor, said. “He traveled to Honduras when working on his book, but we are visiting a different part of the country so it will be new to him, and we are all looking forward to it.”
Previous Readership WT trips have taken students as far as Poland, Africa and Cambodia, but this year’s trip to Honduras is just a four-hour flight once the students leave Houston after an overnight layover. The 15 freshmen are excited and have been preparing for the trip for several weeks. They have been attending classes to learn about Honduras and will post blogs about the trip and their experiences at http://readershipwthonduras.wordpress.com/.
The eight-day trip will introduce the students to Honduras and its culture through home stays with families in the rural mountain village of Piscinas. The village is very remote and will entail an eight-hour canoe ride down the Patuca River followed by a hike to reach Piscinas. The students will help finish out a new school in the community and spend time with the students there. They have been collecting school supplies and will present the items to the village for use in the new school.
On Wednesday, March 14, the Readership group will leave Piscinas and head to Danli, where they will visit a textile factory and meet with some of the workers to learn more about their lives. They also plan to visit Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras and meet students there. The group will end their Honduras trip with an overnight stay in the Valley of the Angels before flying out of Tegucigalpa and arriving back in Amarillo On Friday, March 16.
Dr. Wade Shaffer, interim provost/vice president for academic affairs, is joining Campbell as a sponsor on the trip along with Timmerman and Aaron Hunt, assistant principal at Westover Park Junior High, who has traveled to Honduras and will act as guide and translator. Brittany Stewart, junior marketing major from Amarillo, is traveling with the group as peer leader.
The 15 students traveling to Honduras as Readership Ambassadors are listed by hometown.
Benton Allen, pre-engineering major
Brittany Castillo, mass communication/broadcasting major
Samantha Hearn, equine major
Clara Saenz, education major
Erica Knowles, wildlife biology major
Marisol Benavides, pre-veterinary medicine major
Zinzan Elan-Puttick, marketing major
Reid Copelin, biology major
Jacob Smith, pre-veterinary medicine major
Hannah Follis, equine major
Hope Sorrells, agriculture education major
Trent Kelly, pre-engineering major
Chris Hart, pre-engineering major
Delanie Crist, agriculture business and economics major
Sarah Horn, sports and exercise sciences major