MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – A local Monson non-profit program known as World on Wheels is bringing travel literacy to children in underserved communities in western Massachusetts.
The non-profit World on Wheels program is a portion of the registered 501(c)(3) public charity, Travelnitch. The charity helps bring virtual adventures to family travel grants to help children explore the world in a new innovative way.
“Travelnitch already has a global following in 40 countries, but this program is our way of connecting in-person with families here at home. I’m from western Mass. and I currently live in Monson, so it’s important for me to establish a deeper local connection with our own neighbors, friends, and family,” said World on Wheels founder and CEO, Amanda Renna.
Renna is able to share her passion for travel with kids through the World on Wheels program through hands-on activities such as story time around the world, global crafts, and books.
“We want to inspire kids who may not have the opportunity to travel,” Renna said. “Not every family has the resources to travel. Books are a window to the world when kids have no other options. They offer a way for our children to learn and connect when they can’t benefit from a real-world experience.”
Renna shares how children and parents have been reacting to World on Wheels, “we’ve had an incredible response to the World on Wheels-all positive. Families love what we’re doing and most parents with young kids recognize the benefits of travel. They want their kids to be exposed to people and places that are different. The world is a truly beautiful place, so why not share that with our kids,” Renna said.
As a military spouse, Renna received a grant last year through the National Military Family Association, that helped make World on Wheels a reality.
Ever since then the program has raised over $5,800. Other larger donations were also received from Mass Cultural Council and RE/MAX Connections. Along with smaller donations from individual donors.
Renna expressed how she wants to bring in long-term partnerships on a more regular basis which will help to inspire even more kids who may not have had the opportunity to travel. All proceeds are reinvested to ensure the continuation of World on Wheels and other Travelnitch programs to come, such as collaborating with campgrounds next summer.