How far would you go to get your hands on a book?

SAINT LUCIA July 3 – 7, 2017.


Some people will go to enormous lengths – just to get their hands on a book.

In St. Lucia, over 1,000 school children ran a relay of 198k and completed the first-ever circuit of their nation on foot. The successful bid showed the world how stories carry readers – and nations – to new, unimaginable heights. That no one – much less a cohort of kids – had ever run all of St. Lucia proves what filmmaker George Lucas says about having a goal: You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.”

Richard Clewes and Sonya White of OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation (OWSH) organized an international team of volunteers, including two former Olympic athletes from St. Lucia, to led teams of ten students. Despite 40 degree heat and frequent downpours, runners covered every quarter of a small but hilly nation in five days.

I offer my sincere congratulations to all involved in Find 52 Thousand: The Road to Reading National Relay”. You have drawn attention to the road to reading” that leads our children, our communities and our nation to seek bigger dreams. You have shown us an extraordinary future can happen when we work together.
Governor General of St. Lucia

In a unique gesture of solidarity, a number of schools in Ontario ran their own relays prior to the event. Their efforts raised $10,000 to develop school libraries. Special batons from Guelph Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute, Haliburton Highlands and several other schools were brought to St. Lucia and carried by the children.

Find 52 Thousand increased awareness of OWSH’s book drives in Ontario schools and the Rainforest of Reading” festival that bring Canadian authors and illustrators to meet over 11,000 students annually in St. Lucia. OWSH congratulates everyone who contributed to the success of our fundraising goal. You did it; you raised $52,000!

OWSH offers its congratulations to the children who will someday run” St. Lucia. Literacy development will help them imagine a better future for their communities. Will you help connect small citizens to big dreams ?

A good story has the potential to inspire us to do more. To be more. Now, thanks to students in two widely separated nations, we may glimpse how a simple, shared activity can link us and lift everyone higher.

The world runs much better on literacy. 


Find 52: Pass the Baton” occurs during track and field season right across Ontario. We invite your school to join the students of St. Lucia and make global literacy part of your school’s fundraising plan. Contact us for more information. To see what the 2017 campaign looked like, go here!


After all is said and run

OneWorld Schoolhouse gratefully acknowledges The Slaight Family Foundation. They shared our vision of the event; without Gary and his family’s participation Find 52 Thousand would not have been possible.

To Eric Gillis, Canadian Olympian, whose school visits in Guelph inspired kids to run Find 52: Pass the Baton events. Thanks for giving of yourself.

To Robin Todd and Luc Renaud, superb runners and exceptional educators.

To Albert Klein, who ran every step of the way and still found time to keep Richard running, thanks for your compassion – and knowledge of human anatomy.

To Catherine Goulet-Paradis, who masterfully managed hundreds of excited St. Lucian runners, thanks for your unfailing good humour in English et en français.

To Jason Lupish and Erica Sherwood for extraordinary footage of the big picture and capturing a great story, thanks for your indispensable skills.

To Michele Shapiera and the students of Halibuton Highlands Secondary. Your extraordinary generosity showed us the way.

To Lisa Richards and Brad Hulme at Magic 106.7 for a very sound plan”. You engaged Guelph’s students in Find52 runs of their own.

To Eric Coffey, Richard Ponsonby for amazing shoemaking skill and Rick Thurston who weaves the web beautifully.

To Stéphane Dovert, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of France, who’s offered the idea of relay segments in Martinique in 2018 and has agreed to run with us next year. Nous vous remerçions beaucoup!

To HRH Prince Harry who listened politely to the idea of a Royal Jog” but wisely told Richard he’d retired from running.” Maybe next year?

To Olympian marathoner Zepherinus (“Knockay”) Joseph and Marinus (“Skelly”) Stephens, for your big hearts and unbreakable spirits.

To Olympic sprinter Dr. Verneta Lesforis, who went a lot farther than 800 metres organizing PE teachers and over 75 schools to participate in Find 52 Thousand. You own the podium.

To Nigel Simon and a tremendous transport team who moved mountains. Merçi beaucoup. En aller!

To Commissioner Moncherry, Royal St. Lucia Police Force especially Marcus George, Ali Winters, Irwin Mason, Blackberry” and Felix Cools who kept us safe – and entertained.

To Mrs. Gaillard and her St. Lucia Red Cross Society staff, including MacIver and Ritsuko Kamizawa: thank-you.

To Pris Lucien, the Maestro. Your choir soared as we listened in awe. Congratulations to 70 children from Vieux Fort and Micoud for their moving performance.

To Flow St. Lucia for their financial and logistic support, thanks Anselm Mathurin, Terry Finisterre and Shermalyn Sidonie-John.

To Blue Waters St. Lucia for quenching thirsts and cooling heads, a toast to Aida Azaire.

To Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of St. Lucia: thanks to you and your able staff, Adelina Alexander and Solange Charles-Bélizaire, for making us feel at home in your home.

Above all and always, our thanks to Leonise François who routinely makes the impossible happen, and persuades everyone she meets to help her do it, too.

Soirée en Blanc
A few years ago we ran a fun picnic that had 50-100 "flash mob" diners assemble in a secret Caledon location. The "Soiree en Blanc" fundraiser is being revived in St. Lucia, July 2017.

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.

Finding the way for Fundraising
Olympian Jake Holden and Richard Clewes survey the route for Find 52x2 St. Lucia in January 2016. The duo were joined by St. Lucian Olympic athletes and members of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force.

A road is a song, a poem, a movie, an adventure. It's hope and optimism, and inquisitiveness.

The Angry Isle
Find 52 started in Grenada
52 miles gets you right around this small, beautiful island. Companions on the second day included: Philip Clift from Petite Anse Hotel, an enthusiastic young boy and one very fit dog named "Dodgy".

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.

International Literacy Day 2016
Soufrière Primary ran a relay on September 8, 2016 to celebrate reading. The event was filmed as part of the "run-up" to our Find 52 Thousand campaign. From July 3-7, 2017, students from grade 3-12 will run 1 mile segments right around St. Lucia.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Albert Einstein
Fundraising is an Uphill Battle
In 2015, I ran 52 miles in Grenada. Let me dismiss athletic motives; it so happens 52 miles gets you all the way around the island. I did it for money – $40,000 – all of which has gone to our charity. CTV National news ran the story on May 25, 2015.

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber