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Hands Across the Sea is dedicated
to raising the literacy levels
of Eastern Caribbean children
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We are raising children's literacy levels by getting them hooked on reading. And because we face competition from television and devices delivering all manner of distractions, donating books that are not new (or as-new), top-quality, and age- and culturally-appropriate is a waste of effort—yours and ours. We send only great books to Caribbean children. Do you have something for us? Please read our guidelines below
Hands Book Donation Guidelines   •   Attention: We Accept New or As-New Books Only!
You can assist the Hands mission by donating new or as-new, age- and culturally-appropriate books for pre-school, primary school, and secondary school students. Please read these guidelines carefully before deciding whether the books you want to collect or donate are suitable.

If you believe that your donation meets our requirements, please e-mail Hands Marketing Director Tom ("T.L.") Linskey first to describe your donation, when and where it will be shipped or dropped off, and when you plan to do this. We can then make sure that your donation goes smoothly. After it has been received we will send a thank you letter with an acknowledgement of your donationfor your tax records. If your books are for a specific school or a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer's project, please label the outside of the box clearly.

What kind of children's books should you donate?
• Books in new or near-new condition with covers clean and intact; pages should not be yellowed (due to age) or torn.
• Children's storybooks, with amazing illustrations, large type, and compelling themes — the kind you would read to your child or grandchild.
• Books with Caribbean themes and black people as central characters.
• Nonfiction books for elementary and primary school grades, the kind that you would find in a modern school library or a children's bookstore.
• Fiction books for elementary and primary school grades, the kind that you would find in a modern school library or a children's bookstore.
• "How to" books for children (how to sew, woodwork, cook, build a boat, play a musical instrument).
• Any children's books that you would find in a children's bookstore, the children's section of your local library, or the library at your child's school.

Especially helpful
• Early readers that feature Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, superheroes, cars, trucks, monsters and boats
• Non-fiction books published by publishers such as Scholastic
Eyewitness series Books by DK Publishing
• Caribbean children's books by publishers like Macmillan Caribbean
• Scholastic Big Books sets

Example books for younger readers
Dr. Seuss
My First Steps to Reading by author Jane Moncure
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Reading published by Grolier Book Club edition
• Books by author Rev. W. Awdry (Thomas the Tank Engine series) • Books by Stan or Jan Berenstain
• Books published by Scholastic and other school market publishers

Example books for older readers, grade 4 and above
• Classics written by E.B. White or Roald Dahl that can be read aloud to a class or read independently
Babysitters Club, Junie B. Jones and other type series
Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and other mysteries
Goosebumps series
• Newbury Award winners
• Comic books (to encourage reluctant teen readers)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid and similar books that appeal to boys
• Young Adult (YA) fiction
• Books published by Scholastic and other school market publishers

Good sources for these types of books
• Purchase new online
• Friends of the Library sales of community-donated new or near-new books (NOT library discards)
• Used-book bookstore (books must be in new or as-new condition) • Discount bookstores
• Children's bookstores
• Your child's school book fair (books must be in new or as-new condition)
• Your child's bookshelf (books must be in new or as-new condition)

Books which are not appropriate—they will not be accepted
• Library or school discards or other throwaways from a basement or attic
• School textbooks
• Books published before 2000
• Books with scratched, torn, or discolored covers or yellowed pages or scribbles on the pages
• Bibles and other religious-themed material; encyclopedia sets
• Books unsuitable for Caribbean children, such as adult spy, romance, and murder novels, diet books, political books, and U.S. history books

Good ways to collect books
• If you know of any libraries having a Friends of the Library book sale, bring cash, be first in line, and choose children's books, dictionaries, and recent atlases in new or as-new condition. Books usually go for 50 cents to $2 — $100 can buy a lot of books!
• Encourage your friends, neighbors, local day spa or hair salon, church, and school to donate new or near-new children's books.
• Throw a party and ask everyone to bring a new book or two or a cash donation.
• Your school or church may want to hold a new or as-new book drive to collect children's books as part of a community outreach program.
• Encourage donations to Hands. Even small donations—$5, $10, $25—add up and we use the funds to buy brand new children's books.

How to box the books for shipment
• You can usually find sturdy book boxes at bookstores and other retailers.
• Pack the book boxes tightly so that the box is supported on all sides. The boxes will be packed one on top of the other in six-high stacks inside a shipping container. If the boxes are not packed tightly with rigid sides, they will collapse, ruining the book bindings.

How to ship the books
Thank you for your generous contribution! Please pack your book boxes securely and send them (USPS media mail is recommended) to:
Hands Across the Sea Donations
c/o Gerry Tucker
Harte-Hanks, Inc.
600 North Bedford Street
East Bridgewater, MA 02333

Shipping questions? Please e-mail Hands Marketing Director Tom ("T.L.") Linskey. Tom can advise you on the best way to ship or send your books, and how to label the books so they reach the correct designated school.