In 2014, the GC LAU Model United Nations program ran a book donation campaign from schools all over Lebanon; 130,000 books were collected, boxed, and stored in Rafic Hariri High School in Saida. Reach Out And Dazzle (R.O.A.D.) program aims at using a variety of books and mobilizing student volunteers to broaden the cultural, educational, emotional, and interpersonal skills of underprivileged children through intensive reading sessions.
The R.O.A.D. program in the Outreach and Leadership Academy (OLA) in Saida is due to the collaborative partnership between the Outreach and Civic Engagement (OCE) Department at LAU and the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.
Many of the volunteers in the program are LAU students but the program has also recruited high school volunteers from the Saida region. The success of R.O.A.D. can be witnessed through the enhanced literacy of children, which is dependent on the volunteers’ ability to provide a certain level of commitment in order to develop empathy, and a productive, respectful relationship with the children. We recognize that the one-on-one relationship is a key to helping some children learn to read. Through the R.O.A.D. program, children are able to benefit and grow from this one on one support provided by the volunteer tutors.
- R.O.A.D. was successful in capturing the children’s interest. It didn’t only helped with their literacy issues, it also boosted their confidence by engaging them in team work activities and showing them what leadership is truly about.
- R.O.A.D. opened their eyes to the importance of change.