The first term of The Ritz-Carlton Buddy Reading program at West Bay’s Sir John A. Cumber Primary School wrapped up last month with a celebratory field trip to the resort.

The school’s buddy reading program, in its eighth year, has been instrumental in contributing to the improved reading levels and motivation of the students involved.

The 17 students in the program visited The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Dec. 14, touring the premises and participating in a gingerbread cookie decorating challenge with their reading buddies, a press release states.

The event was coordinated by Kristen Ford, human resources manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and Sir John A. Cumber teacher and library resources coordinator Annette Vaughan.

“It was an experience that they will long cherish,” said Ms. Vaughan.

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On arrival, the students made their way to the Santa and His Elves workshop and Christmas tree displays that were made entirely of chocolate, then along with their buddies rolled up their sleeves to come up with their own gingerbread creations. Four of the students were rewarded for the most creative, most fashionable, most “Christmassy” and the funniest gingerbread decorations.

The students had good things to say about the overall experience.

“It was really fun to learn about [the workshop] and the time it took them to make it. It was beautiful,” said Brooklyn Ebanks.

Paige Powery-Livingston said, “I liked the ginger bread decorating contest, [and] I liked the experience and the ballroom,” she said.

“It was fancy there. I also liked the Christmas display in the lobby.”

Student Tessanne Hull liked decorating the gingerbread man cookies.

“And buddy reading is fun and fantastic,” she added.

Germaine Webster and Arianna McKayle also liked decorating the cookies and spending time together with their reading buddies.

“It was fun decorating, I enjoyed myself,” said Shante Hydes.

“Thanks for allowing us to go and we are wishing you a happy New Year.”

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