Cayman kids to try out New York air

| 07/08/2011

(CNS): A group of local primary school kids are on their way to New York as part of the reciprocal arrangements in the department of tourism and Cayman Airways' partnership with the Fresh Air Fund. Five girls and two  boys left the Cayman Islands on Sunday 7 August to spend 10 days on a 2,300-acre Reservation in Fishkill, New York. Although the fresh air fund is designed to give inner city kids from New York a taste of the countryside or in the case of Cayman a Caribbean island, the reciprocal arrangement introduced last year offers Cayman kids the opportunity to see the bright lights of the Big Apple.

Shomari Scott, Acting Director of Tourism said the kids – Tiana Smith, Charlee Walton, Athena Smith, Tiona Miller, Destinie Bush, Anthony Penock and Jonassi McLean, were selected by the education ministry based on their consistently high academic achievements, positive attitudes and willingness to apply themselves to their schools and community through extra-curricular activities.

"I cannot say enough about the positive benefits that this programme has on the kids, who are able to participate in activities that are vastly different to what they would normally be exposed to in their home environs," said Scott. "My own parents served as a host family when the partnership with FAF was first introduced, so not only is the programme very close to my heart, but I can speak from personal experience about the constructive influence it has on the on the life of a deserving child. "

Following the kids' return from the up-state camp on 19 August, DOT staffers Rhonda Cornwall and Gary Dominguez will escort the children on a brief tour of New York where they will visit the Bronx Zoo, Governor's Island and possibly even a children's musical on Broadway before returning home on Sunday 21 August.

"I am delighted that the Department of Tourism and Cayman Airways have made it possible once again for Caymanian children to travel to New York for what will surely be the trip of a lifetime and an unforgettable Summer Camp experience" said the premier McKeeva Bush who is also minister of tourism.

 "During their time away, they will undoubtedly make new friends from a variety of cultures and ethnicities and they will also have the opportunity to swim in lakes,learn about outdoor survival, and practice their photography skills as DOT has given them all new digital cameras to record their excursions," he added.

Since its inception in 1877, the Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. To date, 12 Caymanian children have benefited from the programme.

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