When someone attends a Road Scholar learning adventure, it is obvious how they deepen and enrich their own lives through the experience. But have you ever considered the impact they make on individuals and communities around the world? The impact of more than 100,000 Road Scholar participants on local communities can be felt as far away as a schoolhouse in Africa or as close as a farm in Missouri.
And it’s not just the direct economic benefit to these communities Road Scholars bring, it’s the exchange of ideas and sharing of enthusiasm and goodwill that perhaps makes the greatest difference of all. See how Road Scholar and our participants are making a difference in communities around the world.
A is for Aye-Aye lemur. B is for Baobab tree. D is for D ho an’ny do.
There’s no shortage of exotic species to discover in Madagascar. But when a group of intrepid Road Scholars visited the country last year on the program "Like Nowhere Else on Earth: The Wildlife & Cultures of Madagascar", they learned from their Group Leaders that local schoolchildren lacked resources that would teach them about the beautiful creatures and plant species around them.
What to do? Why, write a book, of course!
With the help of Group Leaders Lalaina Ramaroson and Faniry Andriampara, the Road Scholars came up with a plan. They would create a book that matched local animals and plants with letters of the Malagasy alphabet, while also providing an English and French translation. They firmed up their concept during the program, and once they returned to the U.S., the project was spearheaded by Road Scholar participant Myra Shulman. The published booklet was completed in collaboration with the Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, and funded by the contributions of participants who had attended the program.
The completed booklet was delivered to students in the Isalo National Park area. Plans are officially underway to publish another round of booklets to distribute more widely throughout Madagascar!
With the gifts from the Road Scholar donors and the unparalleled dedication of the community, the dreams of children at the Lesedi School in Zimbabwe are no longer just that – a dream – but finally something within their reach.
“Their excitement and pride in what they’ve learned was obvious and their enthusiasm blew me away.”Read the blog
More than 1,200 participants have experienced the Katy Trail with Road Scholar since 2010. Not only have they forged friendships with local community members, but they have also played an important part in supporting the local economy. The vast majority of the tuition we charge for our bicycling program on the Katy Trail ends up helping the bottom line of the museums, farms, restaurants, vineyards, hotels and local experts that make up this program. All told, Road Scholars have contributed nearly $600,000 to the communities along the Katy Trail.
Each fall for nearly a decade, the Magnificent Moose Road Scholar Program offered through Teton Science Schools has traveled to Cottonwood Ranch to improve the wildlife habitat. The property covers 75,000 acres of classic Wyoming open range, and the Road Scholar participants work on a variety of projects, including removing barbed wire fencing.
“The Museum of Chincoteague is just one among thousands of places where Road Scholar plays an important part in helping to preserve the character and heritage of local communities around the world.”
-JoAnn Bell, Senior Vice President, Program Development