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Hands Across the Sea is dedicated
to raising the literacy levels
of Eastern Caribbean children
Donate to Hands Across the Sea
Hands Across the Sea presents the 2019-2020 Hands Wish Lists of school children, principals, teachers, literacy coordinators, librarians, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean. We are asking you to support the children in their care through our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) Program. You can make a real difference by giving children access to brand new, amazing, asked-for books, and the creation or rejuvenation of lending libraries—because the gift of literacy lasts a lifetime
Peek Inside a Wish Lists Shipment
What's in all those boxes we're sending to the Eastern Caribbean? Lots and lots of really great things!
Why It Works
Every summer, Hands asks educators at Hands Wish Lists projects for their "wish list" of books and resources. The Hands Wish Lists you'll find below represent highly effective, targeted assistance—we never "donation dump" unwanted, inappropriate material that students and teachers don't need. When you fully or partially "adopt" a Wish Lists project your support will be fully utilized. Your gift will be raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children year after year.
How It Works
We ship books and literacy resources to the Eastern Caribbean once a year, in September. Thanks to our relationship with the leading publishers of children's and education books, we choose from a huge range of new, top-quality children's books and literacy resources. And thanks to our logistics angels, we are able to receive, sort, pack, and send a dedicated shipment to each Hands Wish Lists project in a highly cost-effective manner.
How to Adopt
To adopt all or part of a project when using our secure online donation interface, enter the project name in the "My Adopted Wish List Project" field, and include any wishes about directing your gift in the optional "Comments & Special Notes" field. To donate by check, please include a note specifying your adopted project. Mail your check to: Hands Across the Sea, P.O. Box 55071, Suite 85043, Boston, MA 02205. Thank you for your caring support.
Don't worry: You don't have to adopt a Wish Lists project in order to support Caribbean children. If you choose not to specify where you want your donation to go, Hands will direct your gift to where it will do the most good.

•    ANTIGUA and BARBUDA   •
Vernest Mack (left) & Hyacinth Gonsalves-Barriero
Hands Literacy Links | Antigua and Barbuda
contact Vernest
contact Hyacinth


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Antigua and Barbuda's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Antigua and Barbuda, Vernest Mack and Hyacinth Gonsalves-Barriero, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
All Saints Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Clare Hall Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Jennings Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Ottos Comprehensive Secondary funded by the Sandals Foundation
Pares Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Sir Novelle Richards Academy funded by the Sandals Foundation
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
All Saints Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
740 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Denize Simon
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Antigua Wesleyan Junior Academy
180 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Jenita Benjamin, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! “The school library is big and purpose-built, with lots of bookshelves that can be used,” says Brenda Lee Browne, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua and Barbuda. “The lawn equipment has been moved out, a library team has been created, and everyone is excited to make the space a real working, lending library for the students.” Brenda Lee has been working after school with the teachers to set up the library space according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools, and they’ve been dusting, cleaning, culling the old books, color-coding and organizing the collection, setting up the checkout system, making a wish list for the types of books they need to have a well-rounded collection. Brenda has also been checking in with the school to see how the timetabled Library Time is working out, and confirming that the school will uphold their end of the Hands Partnership Agreement when books arrive in the fall. It’s on!
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Buckleys Primary School
130 children • Grades K to 6
Monica Roberts-Drew, Principal

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! They don’t have room for a central library at this enthusiastic rural school, using classroom libraries instead, but they’ve got what matters most: a love of reading. “Students are well-versed about the titles in their classroom’s collection and told us that they read their books as part of their Language Block,” reports Brenda Lee Browne, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua and Barbuda. “In fact, during a recent school emergency when the teachers were called away, the Grade 6 class was conducting free independent reading while they were waiting for their teachers to return. Grade 4 students shared with us that their favorite titles include Superman, Black Panther, Batman, Goosebumps, and Scooby Doo.

"One Grade 6 student, sitting in the back of the classroom, showed me that she was reading A River Runs Wild. Another girl was reading a chapter book called Addy’'s Race. A number of students mentioned that they loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid the most. Grade 5 boys are eager to help with their classroom’s library and would love to be part of the Hands Student Librarian Program to take on more responsibility and reduce the work load of their teacher. A Grade 3 teacher told me that her students love books on basketball, and that Efa the Mosquito was popular among her students.”

ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Clare Hall Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
711 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Ms. Chatham
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Holy Trinity Primary School (Barbuda)
140 children • Grades K to 6
Ms. Charlene Harris, Principal

Wishing Well Foundation / St. James's Club Antigua adopted this project
New library underway! Nearly every structure on the island of Barbuda, about 25 miles north of Antigua, was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September, 2017. Recovery, both physical and emotional, has been ongoing since; given the severity of the damage, the recovery at Holy Trinity Primary is moving along well. “The school is currently in a ‘temporary learning space,’ but Ms. Charlene Harris, the Principal, believes that the construction of the new school building will be finished by the beginning of the school year in September,” reports Hannah Knecht, the Hands Program Director.

"The school building had a vibrant library before being destroyed by Hurricane Irma—beautiful wooden bookshelves, a designated librarian, and all classes were timetabled to visit the school library for Library Time each week. The new library will be able to host about 25 children. Currently the school has a mere handful of books; about 10 metal bookshelves are needed, too.

"Ms. Harris is certain that the number of students at her school will increase next year to approximately 170 (incoming kindergarteners and families who will return to Barbuda after being displaced). Ms. Harris is committed to promoting literacy at her school through the library—she is very enthusiastic—just the kind of principal Hands loves to work with!”
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Jennings Primary School
230 children • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Denise Solomon, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! The library here has been operating continuously since the first Hands Wish Lists shipment in the 2015-2016 school year—we’ve now sent a total of 1,973 new amazing books, and the shipment this year is a “top up” of much-asked-for titles. The library space is on the small side and, given the embrace of books and reading among the students, often becomes a busy, busy place—that’s a sign of success! “Students are excited to check books out,” reports Brenda Lee Browne, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua and Barbuda. “However, the children can grow restless because of the crowded space—it is difficult for more than four students at a time to browse the shelves, and everyone must wait their turn to check their book back in and start browsing the shelves.”
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Jennings Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
650 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Marcia Chatham
Utica Christian
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
J.T. Ambrose Primary School
Winner, 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award

276 children • Grades K to 6
Neta Robinson, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,130 goal; Douglas donated $50
The Hands Program Director, Hannah Knecht, visited J.T. Ambrose, the 2018-2019 winner of the Hands Literacy Award for Antigua and Barbuda early in 2019 and reported, "I had the immense privilege to observe three Student Librarians run the entire library check-in and check-out system as well as re-shelve the books and help their classmates find books to read for the following week—all on their own! These students have made it their practice to include tallying how many books their classmates checked out for that week and recording it on the Hands Lending Library Borrowing Record Form. No supervision needed!

"Thanks to the Hands Student Librarian Program, schools that don’t have a full-time librarian or a librarian at all can still have Library Time for their students. It’s amazing to see schools like J.T. Ambrose have vibrant lending libraries despite this challenge! As long as the school is willing to empower their students with the responsibility to run the library and train them with the support they need until they can independently do their tasks out of routine, library 'miracles' can happen!"
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Liberta Primary School
146 children • Grades K to 6
Denmore Roberts, Principal
Ms. Shannon, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $640 goal
The story continues! "Wow! This school’s librarian has embraced the enthusiasm of reading! She is rockin’ Library Time for all of the students who come to her library!” says the Hands Program Director, Hannah Knecht. “Students are checking books in and out weekly. She provides activities and interactive read-alouds with her students (especially the younger grades) to support them on their reading journeys. Books are fun to the students at this school, and the teachers and librarian are definitely a huge component of why that is so.

“Ms. Shannon was quite proud to walk me around her library and show me popular titles among her students including Judy Moody and Anna Banana, both very popular among the girls in Grades 2, 3, and 4.  She explained that the most popular books were Junie B. Jones, Goosebumps, and Diary of A Wimpy Kid—throughout the grade levels. In fact, Diary of A Wimpy Kid is so popular that the kids in the school know who has the books checked out and as soon as the student who has had it a week checks it back in, there is a line of who gets the book next!”

ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Ottos Comprehensive Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
687 children • Grades 7 to 12
Remedial Reading Teacher
Josette Daley
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Ottos Comprehensive Secondary School
687 students • Grades 7 to 12
Foster Roberts, Principal

Mrs. Thomas, Librarian
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Flashback to 2018, when we wrote: “Almost all of the book collection at this large high school was bad, but no more, because Librarian Mrs. Thomas has thrown out all of the old, inappropriate, “donation dumped” books to make way for new amazing books from Hands. We predict that students will begin frequenting the library and begin borrowing and reading. We are also sending this large high school a Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit, a resource that will help bring struggling readers up to speed.”

We are very happy to report that the library has become a busy place, on its way to becoming a focal point for literacy at the school. Recently, the bookshelves received a jazzy new paint job, too! The 2019-2020 Hands Wish Lists shipment will fill gaps and build the collection.

ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Pares Primary School
120 students • Grades K to 6
Lois Drew, Principal
Verlyn Hector, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation ahead! It is not unusual for school staff to multitask—which means teaching subject areas and classes across a wide spectrum. Keeps things interesting! The librarian at Pares Primary School, Ms. Verlyn Hector, a full-time reading specialist and a part-time librarian, is a good example. She combines the two roles on a daily basis, and manages to train teachers at other schools how to teach reading as well. Ms. Hector clearly understands the link between teaching reading and using the library. Students at this small rural school have been given orientation to the library, and have a good understanding of how and where to look for books they want. The children definitely see the library as their space—they are relaxed and comfortable in the library. It’s been too long since Hands assisted their library—we sent 501 books in our 2015-2016 shipment, and by now many of the books have been “loved to death.” These kids are ready for new amazing books!
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Pares Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
450 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Denize Simon
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Sir Novelle Richards Academy
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation

148 children • Grade 7
Remedial Reading Teachers
Jean Quallis
Kennecia Archibald
•    DOMINICA   •
Giselle Laurent (left) & Lize Bardouille
Hands Literacy Links | Dominica
contact Giselle
contact Lize


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Dominica's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Dominica, Giselle Laurent and Lize Bardouille, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
September 2019 marks the second anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 monster that ravaged Dominica. Since then the nation has awkwardly moved on from emergency recovery to rebuilding for resilience and preparedness. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominica has experienced growth in the areas of construction, tourism, and agriculture. The reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools continues, although all schools on the island have been reopened since November 2017.

Based on my interactions with and visits to the schools that will be receiving new books in the 2019-2020 school year, I believe that their libraries will be able to make the most use of the books. Each school is at a different stage in their reconstruction/repair. Yet the principals and their staff have succeeded in continuing the culture of reading in their schools, from designating mandatory library visit times to ensuring the regular replenishment of classroom libraries. Jones Beaupierre Primary, Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary, and Christian Union Primary have full rooms designated for their libraries and have been among the earliest of this group of schools to return to their library—they have made the environments bright and comfortable for their students.

For those who have ended this school year without their libraries completed, this has not hindered the reading. They have set up small, well-stocked, regularly-rotated libraries in the classrooms and encouraged book borrowing. Even Tête Morne Primary, which was completely destroyed and is housed in temporary quarters, has made sure that the students have access to books through classroom libraries. In the end, I feel that these schools have functional libraries and will make good use of their new books from Hands. —Giselle Laurent, Hands Literacy Link for Dominica

You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Arthur Waldron SDA Academy
Castle Bruce Secondary School
Northeast Comprehensive Secondary School
St. Martin Secondary School
DOMINICA
Arthur Waldron SDA Academy
221 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Leworth Barris
DOMINICA
Atkinson Primary School
89 students • Grades K to 6
Muriel John, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal; Tony donated $235; Ron donated $150
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: “This small rural school has endured immense adversity including the roof being torn off by Hurricane Maria and looting in the aftermath of the storm,” reports Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica. Up until late January, Atkinson Primary School students were on a sharing system at nearby Salybia Primary School, but now, with a new roof on their school, they’re back in their home digs. (School is still on a shift schedule, since half of the building is under construction.)

Notes the Hands Program Director, Hannah Knecht: “This school is brimming with enthusiasm for reading! Almost every student reads! These students are devouring the small collections in the back of their classrooms; and despite the immense adversity and being crowded into another school with other students for the past year—they value their little book collections with pride.

“One Grade 6 student shared with me that her favorite book she has read from her class collection is the biography on Michelle Obama. With a beaming grin, she told me that she wants to be like Michelle Obama when she grows up. A grade 3 student shared with me that when she grows up she wants to be a lawyer, because she likes standing up for people who need help. She showed me some of her favorite books from her class’ bookshelf, which included Geronimo Stilton and books on ballet. She told me that the more she reads, the smarter she will get—and then she will be ready to tackle the books she has to read to become a lawyer one day.”
DOMINICA
Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary School
43 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Mr. Jean Marie Royer, Principal

Paula and friends adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! Way up in the northeast coast of Dominica, perched in mountains overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, there is a tiger loose at Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary School: a dazzling makeover of the library is underway.  Here’s what Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, reports: “A lot of work has been done! Four pine-board bookshelves, treated for termites and mold, have been built and painted. The layout of the library includes a reading nook and the librarian’s check-out desk next to the door. The stunning, beautiful, wall-size air-brush murals (photo) are nearly completed by Mr. Christopher, a teacher at the school. Mr. Jean Marie Royer, the Principal, told me that his staff excused him from the final stages of the work so that they could surprise him with the completed library reveal. Everyone is excited!”

DOMINICA
Castle Bruce Secondary School
358 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Vernilla Nation
DOMINICA
Christian Union Primary School
121 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Brenda George, Principal
Vernella Henderson, Teacher in Charge of the Library

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal Tony donated $285
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: With a shiny new, stronger roof and new shelving, flooring, and jazzy new paint all around, the library is once again open, says Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica. “The central library is now fully functional and borrowing is robust. The school now has a half-dozen Student Librarians and a Library Team, who have worked out the library schedule and posted it on the school’s bulletin board. The Library Team has taken ownership of the library and is very proactive. The students worked together to perform all the tasks of a library team, requiring very little intervention by the teacher in charge. The students are diligent in ensuring that delinquent books are returned. The Student Librarians do mentor reading and read alouds with the Grade K students. They take Grade K students to the library, help them pick out their books, and read with them.”
DOMINICA
Clifton Primary School
35 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Ms. Olivette Bourgeois, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $640 goal Tony donated $214
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: Ever since Hurricane Maria tore off the roof of the classroom block, office, and library space, and blew out doors and windows back in September 2017, Ms. Olivette Bourgeois, the Principal had been forced to use her car as her office. But now she is smiling (photo). Repairs on the school are nearly completed (just need a few windows here and there), and a new, modern, beautiful library space is just about ready for new books from Hands. Before construction of the library got underway, Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, researched small shared library space design, and helped Principal Bourgeois shape the layout and design of their library space. The final plan includes shelf pockets for the side of the existing large bookshelves; a five-foot-high double-sided shelf for the middle of the library room; a layout for the reading corner; and a design for the checkout desk.

“During the post-disaster recovery period,” reports Giselle, “the school never stopped its reading programs (they maintain well-stocked classroom libraries). The daily D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) periods continue, as well as Friday morning reading (a 20- to 30-minute free-reading session in the morning before classes start. The school also has interhouse (the student population is divided into two houses: ‘Middleham’ and ‘Sari Sari’) reading competitions, which include the students answering questions about the book or story which they have read.”
DOMINICA
Dublanc Primary School
40 students • Grades K to 6
Joycelyn Alexis-Joseph, Principal

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: In terms of post-disaster recovery, there’s still a way to go at this small rural school, which in recent years has been an academic high performer. Although the school structure survived Hurricane Maria, the library space suffered flooding that resulted in book loss and damage to the lower bookshelves. In addition, the library is being used as a storeroom (the storeroom was damaged during the hurricane). Finally, the village council uses the school’s classrooms to hold their meetings, which means that the teachers cannot keep classroom libraries (they must return their books to the library to secure them). There is still lending going on, although no overnight check-out. Lending is done in class groups, the Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) program continues, and students are encouraged to read throughout the day. The current book collection is passable, but a fresh “top up” of new amazing books will lift everyone’s spirits.
DOMINICA
Jones Beaupierre Primary School
Winner, 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award
73 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Martha Stephenson, Principal

Florence Stedman, Teacher in Charge of the Library
West Bay Rotary Club of Camden, Maine adopted this project
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: This little rural school is the winner of the 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award for Dominica. The commendation for the award explains why: “Exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, Jones Beaupierre Primary School was hit hard by Hurricane Maria—160 mile-per-hour winds tore off the school's roofs, blew out windows and doors, and two feet of rain—a firehose—ruined whatever was left inside the school's walls.

“The storm was the deadliest, most destructive hurricane in Dominica's history. But it did not defeat the school's spirit. Principal Martha Stephenson and her teachers vowed that the hurricane would not take away the gains in child literacy that they'd made with their school library. The extensive rebuilding of the school would include—of course—the repair and resurrection of the school library. The students' love affair with reading must continue. Now the library at Jones Beaupierre Primary School is better than ever—colorful, welcoming, child-friendly, a magnet for students of every grade and reading ability. Hands Across the Sea wishes to recognize and celebrate the dedication of Jones Beaupierre Primary School to the advancement of child literacy.”
DOMINICA
Morne Jaune Primary School
39 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Mrs. Nalda Morgan Nicholas, Principal
Judy Joyce, Teacher Assistant

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,128 goal John and Mary Beth donated $1,000
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: Hurricane Maria tore off this rural school’s roofs and blew out it walls, windows, and doors back in September 2017, and recovery has been very slow. The good news: school is no longer being held in tents. The not-so-good news: Construction work continues—the school’s walls have been rebuilt and the roof is on, but there is a lot more work to be done before the main classroom block can be reopened. Because reconstruction work is not complete, classes are still stuffed into the two classrooms of the upper wing. Classes are doubled up: Grades K and 1 are together, as well as Grades 2 and 3, and Grades 5 and 6. Former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Judy Joyce is assisting and teaching at the school, raising the morale. The students have access to their classroom libraries and are encouraged to read library books during non-class time.

The library needs rejuvenation, if not a fresh start. Many of the books on the shelves are old, worn, and have suffered water damage—they need to be culled and replaced. Once the library is up and running, hopefully in time for the opening of the school year, Morne Jaune Primary is an ideal candidate for both a major infusion of new amazing books and a Hands Student Librarian Program, perhaps run and facilitated by Judy Joyce on the days that she volunteers at the school.
DOMINICA
Northeast Comprehensive Secondary School
614 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Carol Valmond
DOMINICA
Savanne Paille Primary School
37 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Martha Austrie, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $640 goal Tony donated $214
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: Hurricane Maria completely removed this rural school’s library—a colorful wooden structure filled with books and children’s artwork—from the landscape. Just gone. Nearly every book in the school was lost or damaged beyond repair. The classroom block has been repaired, but the prospect of the library being replaced has dimmed (an early vow from a construction company to rebuild the library has been suspended). So, making the best of things, Principal Austrie has set up classroom libraries, the books arranged in the cupboards lined up under the windows, or in a little reading corner. There is a mandatory 10-minute reading session for students at the start of each school day. Hands sent the school a 679-book shipment in the 2017-2018 school year, and the 2019-2020 shipment will further beef up the little classroom libraries.
DOMINICA
Sineku Primary School
98 students • Grades K to 6
Kathleen Jno Lewis, Principal

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: Hurricane Maria didn’t quite delete this rural school’s standalone library—but the storm did remove the roof, windows, and doors, fire-hosing the books inside. All of the library books were lost. Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, reports the following: “The library, almost complete, is on hold while work is proceeding on the kitchen. The bookcases are finished and are inside the library. However, the library space is temporarily the storeroom for the kitchen, as well as the work room for the joinery work for the kitchen cupboards. Some members of staff and the community are helping to build the four tall bookcases and moving furniture into the library, as well as carrying out work on the school kitchen.

“The recovery efforts, however, have not affected book borrowing and reading at the school. Sineku Primary School is still unpacking and in many ways is still under construction, even though the classrooms are being used and school is back in session. The school had only recently moved back into its home site—they had been temporarily using space at Salybia Primary School for the past year and a half. School staffers are using the office and the kitchen to sort books, creating ‘mini libraries’ with wooden cupboards in each classroom. In addition, the rest of their books are in the principal’s office, available for the children to browse and borrow. The contractor is working with the school to finish the library soon.”
DOMINICA
St. Martin Primary School
654 students • Grades K to 6
Brinette Moreau, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,100 goal
New library underway! With a student population of 654 children, St. Martin Primary School, located in the capital city of Roseau, is the largest primary school on the island. Roof damage from Hurricane Maria was relatively light, compared to most other schools on Dominica, and the roof has since been repaired. Still, a significant number of library books was lost. The school library has, in fact, been long overdue for new books, if not a completely fresh start. Giselle Laurent, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, is working with Principal Moreau and her staff to get the reborn library off to a strong start.
DOMINICA
St. Martin Secondary School
245 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Dahlila Lee
DOMINICA
Tete Morne Primary School
76 students • Grades K to 6
Daphne Jno Phillip, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,500 goal Tony donated $500
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: Perched on the peak of one of Dominica’s impressively high coastal mountain ranges, Tete Morne Primary School was literally blasted apart by Hurricane Maria—the walls exploded due to extreme wind pressure. Reconstruction will take a while—no one is quite sure what the future holds. Meanwhile, the school has been relocated to the Tete Morne Health Centre building, where classes are being held in one room and in the basement. But the school, winner of the 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award for Dominica, has not lost its reverence for books and reading. Principal Daphne Jno Phillip has set up a bookcase inside the Health Centre—all they need is an infusion of new books. Hands had sent the school nearly 1,500 books over the years, and our plan for 2019-2020 is to begin restoring the school’s former glory.
DOMINICA
Woodford Hill Primary School
76 students • Grades K to 6
Kristy Alexander, Principal

Tony adopted this project
POST-DISASTER RECOVERY: This school, surrounded by rainforest, suffered a familiar litany of damage from Hurricane Maria: roofs peeled off, windows and doors busted in, books ruined by a fire hose of water, then flooding, and then looting. So, post-disaster recovery takes finding scarce building materials and coaxing stretched contractors into working overtime. And post-disaster recovery takes lots of patience. An example: the contractor for Woodford Hill Primary, falling behind schedule, had moved his construction materials into the library, using it as a storeroom, thus ensuring that work on the library was further delayed. This is where patience comes in. And resourcefulness in navigating bumps in the road.

In the meantime, Principal Alexander is using their new teachers’ lounge as the temporary central library. Staff are working to stamp, label, and organize their current collection of books (Hands sent the school 1,173 books in the 2018-2019 shipment). Alexander has sourced desks to be used for classroom libraries and enlisted a carpenter to build library bookshelves with scrap lumber, so that at least work can start, even if the shelves will not be installed right away. Resourcefulness. And patience.
•    GRENADA   •
Gloria Bonaparte (left) & Bernadette John
Hands Literacy Links | Grenada
contact Gloria
contact Bernadette


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Grenada's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Grenada, Gloria Bonaparte and Bernadette John, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Boca Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Grenada Christian Academy funded by the Sandals Foundation
Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary funded by the Sandals Foundation
Hillsborough Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
St. John's Christian Secondary funded by the Sandals Foundation
Wesley College funded by the Sandals Foundation
GRENADA
Anglican High School
707 students • Grades 7 to 11
Curleen Aban-Marshall, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,080 goal   Kristine donated $750
Library rejuvenation underway! Way back when, we chose Anglican High School as the winner of the 2014-2015 Hands Literacy Award for Grenada. But the library is due for rejuvenation, according to Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for the island, and the school is preparing for a fresh start under the leadership of the new principal, Curleen Aban-Marshall: “The library is now badly in need of new books, since most of their collection had to be discarded due to a termite infestation. A Library Team made up of five teachers and the librarian has been set up. The HOD English will be involved in the library. Plans include enhancing the library environment with potted plants and literacy posters. Air-conditioning is in place and seven computers will be added to the library.

“The principal is seeking training for the librarian and students to work efficiently in the library—the principal plans to identify and use students who may eventually want to pursue library science as a career for the Hands Student Librarian training. There are plans to get students to create a video to promote the importance of the library and then upload it on social media. The library space is taking very good shape—the walls have been re-painted and new wooden and metal shelves have been installed. The official commissioning of the new library will be on June 12, 2019. Most of the shelves are empty, awaiting the Hands Across the Sea shipment.”
GRENADA
Blessed Sacrament RC Primary School
249 students • Grades K to 6
Henva Simeon, Principal
Samantha Allert, Librarian
The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation ahead! A new, energetic principal, Henva Simeon, has brought fresh energy to this school and library, adding support to the solid foundation of the longtime librarian, Samantha Allert. A Library Team has been formed, made up of two teachers and the librarian. Meanwhile, students are struggling to find new books to check out since most of them have already been read. Hands has sent over 800 new books to the school, but 2015-2016 was our most recent shipment—the school is overdue for an infusion of new amazing books!
GRENADA
Boca Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
457 children • Grades 7 to 11
GRENADA
Grand Roy Government School
112 students • Grades K to 6
Jenner James, Principal
Peyton Jarrett, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation underway! The library is working well at this small rural school, reports Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “A total of 693 books were checked out from the library in Term 2. Students are excited about going to the library, the Student Librarian program is on fire (for example, Student Librarian Omar Morris received a gift from the librarian at the end of Term 2 because of his willingness to assist, his motivational skills, and his punctuality to take up his shift). To ensure that training for the Hands manual packed with tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3), is done with staff—the advice was that opportunities be taken to introduce one section at a time to the teachers.

“The Teachers Resource Guide orientation will help teachers and the U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Peyton Jarrett, see the need to work along with the librarian during library time. Principal Jenner James is very supportive of literacy activities in the school. A 'top up' of new books is needed, plus decodable books and other literacy resources for teachers. Staff orientation to the library will take place after the new books arrive.”
GRENADA
Grenada Boys Secondary School
770 students • Grades 7 to 11
Phillip Thomas, Principal
Lauren Houstone, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,400 goal
The story continues! One of the most prestigious high schools on Grenada, many present-day politicians and business leaders have graduated from Grenada Boys Secondary School (known to all Grenadians as GBSS). Bernadette John, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, reports that the school library (Hands sent 336 books in the 2015-2016 shipment) is functioning well as a lending library and is overdue for a large-size “top up” of new amazing books: “The library is open daily (the school has a full-time librarian). Principal Phillip Thomas (photo) is very interested in seeing the library improve, and is committed to creating a Library Team of teachers and students. The librarian and deputy HOD of the English Department will attend upcoming Hands library training. Students from Forms 1 and 2 (Grades 7 and 8) are timetabled to visit the library. The present collection is not sufficient to meet the needs of the student population of 770 boys. I strongly recommend supporting GBSS in 2019-2020!”
GRENADA
Grenada Christian Academy
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation

200 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Reena Matthew
Delinjah Rennie
Ulrica Thomas
GRENADA
Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
250 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Nicole Romain-Saiyed
Nicole Duncan Decoteau
GRENADA
Harvey Vale Government School
36 students • Grades 3 to 5
Thereia Lendore, Principal
Krystel Joseph, Librarian
Kenneth adopted this project
The story continues! At this small rural primary school, located on the island of Carriacou, about 30 miles north of Grenada, books are prized by students, reports Hands Literacy Link Gloria Bonaparte. “Some titles, such as Black Panther, are always in high demand. The fashion-drawing books excite many of the girls as they engage in designing different garments. Some students prefer to read ‘fact books’ about animals and science rather than fiction or storybooks. Student Librarians are actively involved in the running of the library—they help other students select books that are appropriate for their interests and reading level.

“Harvey Vale school staff have attended the Carriacou training workshop for the Hands manual packed with tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3). The librarian is very enthusiastic and functions very efficiently in her role—I encouraged her to use her spare time to read through the teachers’ resources and advise the teachers on how they can be used.”
GRENADA
Hillsborough Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
216 children • Grades 7 to 11
GRENADA
Hillsborough Secondary School
216 students • Grades 7 to 11
Brian Lendore, Principal
Mahalo Sailing Rendezvous adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! One of only two high schools on the Grenadian island of Carriacou, Hillsborough Secondary School plays a vital role in growing children into young adults. But there are challenges to overcome, both in lagging reading levels and the dormant school library, reports Hands Literacy Link Gloria Bonaparte: “Presently, no students borrow books from the library, which is packed with worn-out, outdated, ‘donation dumped’ titles. Recently, some Form 1 and 2 (Grades 7 and 8) students were told by their teacher to borrow books from the library. According to the librarian, there were no books appropriate for them, and the students cried after being forced to take a book each from the collection. About 25% of the students in Forms 1, 2, and 3 (Grades 7, 8, and 9) are struggling readers—and the majority are boys.

“The rebirth of this library is starting now. The librarian desires to see drastic changes in the library—she felt it was an answer to her prayers that Hands will be working with the school, because she always wanted things to be different for the students. She is ready to work with the library team to rejuvenate the library soonest. The vice principal, Trevor Patrice, is taking the lead to form a library team and begin discarding old books, cleaning the room and bookshelves, and creating a vision for the improvement of the library.”
GRENADA
Holy Cross RC School
80 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Edlyn Ruffin Modeste, Principal
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! It’s taken a while, but the brand new school for Holy Cross RC, located deep in the mountainous interior of Grenada, is finished—the official handover of the school took place at the end of May. This is tremendous news for the school library, says Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “The school has an enormous amount of library space—well-painted, tiled, and air-conditioned, ready to receive books. A Library Team, five teachers and the principal, has been formed. The school has already bought software to assist with the tracking and checkout of library books (with a paper backup). Moveable shelves are being built to accommodate the books from Hands Across the Sea in September, and the principal is eager to bring the Hands Student Librarian Program to her school after the library is set up."
GRENADA
Limes Government Pre-School
70 students • Grades Pre-K to K
Deborah Ross, Principal
Deb Eastwood, Literacy Volunteer
The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation ahead! Here’s a note from Deb Eastwood, a supporter of the school: “I am very excited that Hands is considering Limes Government Pre-School for a donation of early-childhood books. The school has 70 to 75 children from three to five years old. Every June, a Secondary School youth group comes down from the U.S. and volunteers with the children in both reading and teaching swimming lessons. This year, that youth group will build a library for the school and will be funding some of the construction. It would be so wonderful to have a donation of books for our shelves!”
GRENADA
Samaritan Presbyterian Primary School
298 students • Grades K to 6
Gerard Cudjoe, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $640 goal
The story continues! Last year, Hands Across the Sea launched a new lending library at this large, rural primary school—a school with a space crunch so severe that the library had to be fitted into a small space. But it’s all working, says Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “Students are excited about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Rainbow Magic Fairies, and more—126 books have been checked out in Term 2 (and a nearby pre-school has sought permission to borrow Big Books from the library for use with their students).

“Library Time sessions are done both in the classrooms and in the library. Teachers are very supportive of the library as they have been seeing the positive impact on the students—teachers are requesting resources for use in their classes. An orientation for the Hands manual packed with tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3), was carried out with the teachers. At a recent school assembly, the team of Student Librarians—29 strong—invited the student population and staff to the library to savor the new books!”
GRENADA
St. Giles Anglican School
95 students • Grades K to 6
Jacqueline Smith, Principal
Mahalo Sailing Rendezvous adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! This medium-size rural school has had a library for years, but time has come to rejuvenate the collection (much of it is old and worn-out) as well as the management of the library, says Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “A library team has been formed. A clean-up of the room is underway, and the principal has assigned a group of Grade 6 students to assist with discarding the old books. The principal has agreed to relocate certain old books and materials currently occupying spaces in the library where children’s books should go. The librarian is eager to receive training to set up the library more effectively, following the guidelines of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. The principal promised to prepare standing shelves to hold new books and to discard all old, inappropriate books by September 2019. In the meantime, I am working with the full-time librarian to re-organize the library space, discard or sell inappropriate books, and suggest those that can remain.”
GRENADA
St. John's Christian Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
192 children • Grades 7 to 11
GRENADA
St. Rose Modern Secondary School
326 students • Grades 7 to 11
Gemma DeAllie, Principal
Paula Gall, Literacy Teacher
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! Hooray! Repairs to the school library of this rural, medium-size high school are completed, reports Bernadette John, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “The school has a great library space—very spacious, with lots of quality bookshelves, tables, and chairs. The space is packed with tons of books. The problem is that most of the books are old or not relevant—outdated textbooks (some at university level), old reference books, irrelevant books, and most of the fiction titles are beyond the students’ reading level or else very old. The library has a general organization system and a checkout system. The library recently had some computer tables put in with computers.

“The library is open every day during school hours and is operated by two IMANI (government job scheme) workers. The principal has asked the IMANI workers to stay an additional hour after school (Forms 1, 2, and 3 (Grades 7, 8, and 9) do not have any free periods due to their curriculum and are unable to visit the library during the school day). Approximately 50% to 60% of the student population participates in the library. The work of sorting out the old books, with assistance from students and HODs, has begun.”

GRENADA
St. Theresa's RC School
120 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Marlene Baptiste, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,200 goal
New library underway! It can feel like you’ve reached the mountainous, rain-forested, no-road-signs center of Grenada by the time you find St. Theresa’s RC School—turn left, go up the hill, turn right at the mango tree, then left, up another hill, then right—and repeat. But the time seems right to launch a library at this remote school, says Bernadette John, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “The principal is eager to establish the library. A library space is available, with bookshelves, plenty of windows, a tiled floor, and air conditioning. The library room has been cleared of the usual collection of old books, old computers, and a variety of ‘school stuff.’ Parents will be invited to assist with the clean-up. I will be closely monitoring the preparation of the library for new books from Hands this September.”
GRENADA
Uganda Martyrs Catholic School
329 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Kevin Francis, Principal
Briana Peterson, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,065 goal
Library rejuvenation underway! For years, the library at this ever-bustling primary school was bedeviled by falling ceiling plaster and creeping fingers of mold—unfortunately, the library room was a health hazard. But a new day is coming, reports Gloria Bonaparte, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada: “Kevin Francis, the principal, is constructing a new wooden building in the schoolyard, and discussions are being held to relocate the library there. Sixteen students have been trained as Student Librarians—they are a very interactive group. We’ve all got our fingers crossed about the new library, because this is a school full of children who love to read—1,339 books were checked out by students from all grades in Term 2.”
GRENADA
Wesley College
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
400 children • Grades 7 to 11
GRENADA
Windsor Forest Pre-School
39 students • Grade Pre-K
Galine Andrews, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation ahead! Bernadette John, a Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, reports: “Windsor Pre-School serves the small farming community of Windsor Forest, St. David. Teachers are very committed and hard working—as a former Early Childhood supervisor for the school I can testify that the teachers work exceptionally well together. One of their goals is to provide children with an effective readiness program which will ensure that they have the necessary skills for success in primary school and beyond. Receiving books and resource materials from Hands Across the Sea will provide the opportunity to lay a stronger foundation of language and literacy skills.

“Currently, there are some books in the school. Each class has a ‘reading corner,’ about ten to twelve books for approximately 20 children. Children go to the reading corner every day and choose the books they want to read, then spend about ten minutes reading the book by themselves, or sometimes with a partner or with the teacher. About three to four children are allowed in the corner at a time. In addition, teachers do daily read aloud activities from big books, or from other suitable story books or picture books.”
•    ST. KITTS AND NEVIS   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Kitts and Nevis's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Link on St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, works closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Basseterre High School

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Basseterre High School (St. Kitts)
760 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Mrs. Valarie Puran
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Beach Allen Primary School (St. Kitts)
380 students • Grades K to 6
Virgil Jeffers, Principal
Densa Tota, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! Beach Allen Primary School, the second-largest Grade K to 6 institution in St. Kitts, is located in “town” (Basseterre, the capital), and sandwiched between two large high schools—this place is busy, busy, busy. The school library, with Librarian Ms. Densa Tota at the controls, is getting better, better, better. “The library has become part of the curriculum at Beach Allen, considered a subject just as important as others,” says Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis. “Among other good things, Ms. Tota does oral book blurbs with her Grade 6 students as a way for them to learn how to summarize a book's content and information as well as to be able to teach them how to talk about books. Many of the books are well-worn favorites for the students and teachers—literally ‘loved to death’—and now need replacing. Upon arrival of new books from Hands in September, serious culling of the old books will be a good idea—they’ll go either to a book sale or classroom libraries, or be given away to the children.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Cayon High School (St. Kitts)
362 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Francil Morris, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,280 goal
The story continues! “The Student Librarian Program—30 students—is a huge success,” reports Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis. “I can see this in the growing wish list of books that students are requesting now that they are reading. More and more students are using the library and its resources. About 100 students borrow books regularly, and the number is increasing. Younger students are seeing older students go in and get books and are following the lead.   

“The CSEC exam prep books sent by Hands are being used a lot—they have been so helpful. Form 1 (Grade 7) classes are being brought to the library. This is not an official timetable, but it is being done regularly so that they can check out books. They are very aware of the collection they have and gave Hands a large list of gaps they would love to fill in 2019-2020. Learning Support has started coming to the library for library time—one Grade 7 student who was struggling became an avid reader at the library and is now performing better in classes and needs less support. Mr. Charles, the school’s beloved librarian, retired in March—we miss him! Ms. Weekes from Learning Support loves the library, and Principal Morris feels she would be a great person to take the reins.”

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Cayon Primary School (St. Kitts)
Winner, 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award
238 children • Grades K to 6
Angela Matthew, Principal
Ms. Sycely Liburd, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,130 goal
This medium-size rural school is the 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award winner for St. Kitts and Nevis, and here is why: “It’s been a highly productive year in the Cayon Primary School library. To rejuvenate their library, the new Principal, Angela Matthew, with her Librarian, Karida Morrishaw, the Library Team (four teachers), the Student Librarian team, and Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, have: removed all old books; processed and shelved the new books; fixed a long-broken table; solved the bookends dilemma; found stickier tape for library signs; removed old computers from the library area; made the teacher resource shelf more inviting, adding suggestions for the classroom use of specific books; encouraged students to look at grade level bookshelves above and below their own, as well as the reference shelf; created a follow-up policy for damaged or lost books; made library time mandated, not optional; ensured that Grade K and Grade 1 students receive read alouds by their teacher/librarian and book-handling lessons during library time; encouraged teachers to use library books to supplement their classroom lessons; and had students maintain a wish list of books for the library.

“Wow, you may be thinking, that sounds like a lot of work! Yes, it’s always true that creating or rejuvenating a school library takes passion and dedication, and another thing is always true: when the library gets better, child literacy gets better. When children are encouraged to explore the library, they become better readers, and their literacy skills—vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, writing, grammar, speaking, problem-solving—begin to rise in the process. A school library, after all, is far more than a collection of books—it is a center for the advancement of child literacy.”

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charles E. Mills Secondary School (St. Kitts)
440 students • Grades 7 to 11
Boris Connor, Principal
Shirmel Robin and Reandra Murry, Librarians

Kelly Construction adopted this project
The story continues! Under the steady hand of Mrs. Shirmel Robin, the librarian, recent years have yielded measurable improvement in the school library at this large rural high school, says Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis. “Increased library membership, the Student Librarian program, library activities such as a Read-a-Thon, and sharing library resources and activities at general assembly has helped more and more students embrace books, reading, and the library. Student ownership of the library is an amazing, powerful thing to see!“The Student Librarian program has helped bring more students to the library. Student Librarians are self-initiating—they come to the library to clean, to shelve returned books, to read to or recommend books to their fellow students. Students are getting very familiar with the library collection, and have posted a multi-page wish list to add onto as the school year progresses.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charlestown Secondary School (Nevis)
825 students • Grades 7 to 11
Juan Williams, Principal
Paula Wallace and Uta Taylor, Librarians

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,280 goal
The story continues! What attracts a high schooler to books and reading? The Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, has some ideas and observations from Nevis: “The annual island-wide Read-A-Thon (it begins in Term 2 and lasts through Easter) for Form 1 (Grade 7) students continues to bring readers to this school library. The annual Family Feud, which kicks off in Term 3, continues to enhance parent involvement. Charlestown Secondary School held a successful book discussion group around the page-turner Someone to Love Me, a title from the Bluford High chapter book series.” (Hands regularly sends boxed sets of Bluford, as well as Urban Underground, to secondary schools. These ‘real life’ dramas are incredibly popular—Bluford and Urban stories revolve around black teens dealing with teen issues at urban high schools. High school kids want to read about other high school kids!). To help build membership, the Charlestown Secondary library needs hardcover comic books, series books everyone wants to read, books based on movies, more Bluford and Urban, and a collection of books at Grade 5 and 6 level.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Dieppe Bay Primary School (St. Kitts)
98 students • Grades K to 6
Jacqueline Douglas, Principal
Mrs Althea Jules, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! It’s a new beginning at the library of this rural school, located in the beautiful, pastoral north of St. Kitts. The Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, reports: “They have updated the library, culled the older books, and Librarian Mrs. Althea Jules has launched a reading theme: ‘Sail away with a book.’ The recent workshop for the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3), has really helped improve the library and has grown student interest—many children pop in to get a book. Student Librarians regularly come into the library during breaks and lunch and read to younger students. They are also helping make decorations for the library. Currently there are five Student Librarians, but more children want to join.“

Teachers are looking forward to library time, too. Mrs. Jules prepares Library Time in collaboration with the teachers, asking them what content is helpful to cover and what is appropriate for each grade. The teachers come to Library Time and help team teach during the time there. Parents are involved with the library in that they receive and need to sign their children up for membership to the library so they are aware that their children can borrow books. Mrs. Jules has started her first reading competition, and the Student Librarians helped her determine the parameters of the competition—they decided to make it a class competition, so whichever class reads the most books will win a prize for their classroom.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School (Nevis)
85 students • Grades K to 6
Shenelle Pemberton, Principal
Sharon Liburd, Librarian

Santelli Lumber adopted this project
The story continues! This school, located atop a mountain ridge with a view from the schoolyard of the channel between Nevis and Montserrat, has a solid record of good library management and students who are dedicated to reading. The librarian, Sharon Liburd, oversees a large, up to date collection in a roomy, well-appointed library—lucky students! The school has submitted a small, specific list of gap-filling titles to keep its hungry readers fed.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Ivor Walters Primary School (Nevis)
183 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Janice Whittaker-Richards, Principal
Shoya Lawrence, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! The library at this medium-size rural school is going gangbusters—Librarian Shoya Lawrence has methodically built up the collection and devised ways to keep students engaged over the years. The school has submitted a specific wish list for their discerning student readers: Secret Agent of Jack Stalwart by Elizabeth Singer Hunt; I SPY by Jean Marzollo; Princess Posey series by Stephanie Greene; Magic Tree House series by Mary Osbourne; Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz Schmitt; I Got Rhythm by Connie Schofield Morrison; Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan; Ming and her Poppy by Deirdre Sullivan. We’ll do our best to get these jewels to them!
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Sandy Point Primary School (St. Kitts)
343 students • Grades K to 6
Valarie Richardson Mason, Principal

Nicole Williams-Francis, Librarian
Kelly Construction adopted this project
The story continues! Nicole Williams-Francis, the school librarian, is a superstar! Listen to Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg: “With their ongoing development and expansion of literacy initiatives, Sandy Point is paving the way for others to follow. Their continued effort to increase library book usage and their creative, engaging reading contests and programs are very strong—they have gone above and beyond Hands Across the Sea’s expectations regularly and consistently for years, setting the stage for best practices for all school libraries. They run an Easter literacy camp outside of school term. They have encouraged all classrooms and teachers to get involved at their school. They introduce an annual literacy theme for the library and invite each grade to hold a literacy themed award contest during literacy week. They’ve invited the preschool next door to Library Time for read alouds. Nicole Williams-Francis continues to surprise us with new and innovative ways to promote literacy, which she shares with other schools. Many other primary schools have come up with their own library themes, following the path their colleague has paved.”

"Recently I handed out awards for the most books read by the graduating class. It was a big deal and the gift prizes were huge. Over ten students read more than 25 books for the year, and one student read upwards of 48. Striving for the award has spurred parental involvemen—they are encouraging their children to read at least 25 books for the year to get a prize!"
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
St. Kitts Spectrum Services Centre (St. Kitts)
35 children • Ages: Birth to 15 years
Dr. Sheryl Rosin, Director

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
From the organization's Facebook page: "The mission of the St. Kitts Spectrum Services Centre is to serve and support the families with children on the autism spectrum in St. Kitts and Nevis, so that they may reach their full potential. The St. Kitts Spectrum Services Centre is a free service provided by the St. Kitts Ministry of Education. It was founded by Dr. Sheryl Rosin from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and was made possible by generous donations from St. Kitts and U.S. stakeholders."
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
St. Paul's Primary School (St. Kitts)
165 students • Grades K to 6
John Gumbs, Principal
Ms. Saskia Gordon, Librarian

Kelly Construction adopted this project
The story continues! This peaceful, well-run school has kept child literacy in the forefront for years. Here’s the latest report from the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg: “The recent workshop for the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3),  has helped Librarian Gordon to see how the books in the school library can connect to the content in the curriculum. This is showcased by three book blurbs, using books in her collection, which she wrote that Hands will add to the Teachers Resource Guide and share with schools across the Eastern Caribbean. Ms. Gordon’s blurbs covered animals, science, celebrations, and repurposing old things using Bees and Wasps by Usborne Publishing, Winnie the Pooh, and Farm IQ. Ms. Gordon is finding that teachers are requesting books and information from the library, and she is better able to support their classroom lessons.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Washington Archibald High School (St. Kitts)
895 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Joanne Sargeant, Principal

Ms. Teresa Pemberton, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation ahead! At many secondary schools, getting teens to turn off their phones and explore books, reading, and the library is a challenge, says the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg. “I am working with the principal and librarian at Washington Archibald to see if we can get more students reading. After an overall evaluation, I made suggestions based on what I have seen work at Cayon High School and Charles E. Mills Secondary School, where the libraries and Student Librarian program have proven very successful. The librarian is asking students and faculty what they would like to see in the library collection, and the 2019-2020 shipment of books from Hands, which will include a set of books geared towards reluctant readers, is intended to entice students to read more for enjoyment and learn about topics they are interested in.”
•    ST. LUCIA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Lucia's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Lucia, Clara Paul and Sheila Serville, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Anse Ger Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
C.A.R.E Center funded by the Sandals Foundation
Ciceron Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary funded by the Sandals Foundation
Gros Islet Secondary School funded by the Sandals Foundation
Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School funded by Anne

ST. LUCIA
Anse Ger Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
379 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Margerita Charlemagne
Nova Philip
ST. LUCIA
Anse-La-Raye Primary School
94 students • Grades 3 to 5
Flavian Isembert, Principal

Tuta Frederick, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $640 goal
The story continues! This rural school, with the support of BodyHoliday St. Lucia, and Hands, gave their library a major makeover in the 2018-2019 year. So how are things going? Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, reports: “The principal tells me that many positive changes have come about since the library opening in January. There’s a lot of activity in the library every day, especially when students are engaged in reading activities with the Special Education/Teacher Librarian who manages the library. According to the principal, ‘I am elated to see more teachers taking their students to the library not only for the special education classes but when it is library time.’ He indicated that some teachers had reviewed the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3), and a staff training session will be held. I was pleased to learn that the checkout system is working quite well, and the number of parents who signed the consent form was high. I reviewed the school’s plan for Reading Month (author’s corner, poetry and dramatization recital, pajama day, reading day—costumes, characters, t-shirts, song, music, reading parade, and more) and suggested inclusion of the Teachers Resource Guide into the activities.”
ST. LUCIA
Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School
388 students • Grades 7 to 11
Lorna Ambrose, Principal
Fazia Charles-Dalsou, Library Coordinator

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,130 goal
The story continues! Launched. The successful opening of a new library at this high school, located in the town of Vieux Fort in the southern end of St. Lucia, is generating high interest in books and reading among the students. For the 2019-2020 school year, Hands is sending a hefty “top up” of gap-filling titles requested by the school—it’s a comprehensive wish list, from reference books to young adult fiction, study guides, easy readers, and, of course, plenty of “candy” (Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Princess Diaries). Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, is working with the school’s leadership to keep the library growing and happy. Next up: training a Student Librarian team.
ST. LUCIA
Bouton RC Combined School
46 students • Grades K to 6
Faydian Gill, Principal
Naomi Prospere, Teacher in Charge of the Library
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project

The story continues! This little school, perched on a coastal mountain ridge not far from St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons, has come a long way in recent years: a standalone library was built, and Hands sent 476 new amazing books in the 2015-2016 school year (and now the time is right for a “top up” of fresh books). Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, passes on a message from the principal: “Prior to receiving books from Hands Across the Sea, our school had only very small class libraries—most were one shelf of outdated books, as far back as the 1950s. These, of course, were not appealing or appropriate and most of them were not child-friendly—many of the books were missing their covers.

“With Hands Across the Sea coming on-stream, there has been a major transformation, both in terms of the quality and variety of the books as well as students wanting to read. The books received are very appealing, since they are colorful, child-friendly and the font size is appropriate. The students’ level of interest has increased significantly, particularly among girls. Teachers are able to source books to use in Story Telling, and books which can be used as mentor texts in their lessons.

“We are very grateful to Hands Across the Sea. Without your help and generosity our library would not have come to fruition.  We as a staff try hard to encourage students to use the library—and as we are celebrating Literacy Month, we are embarking on initiatives and activities that will propel students into using the library. We look forward to greater things and your continued support.”
ST. LUCIA
Centre For Adolescent Renewal and Education (CARE)
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation

200+ children • Grades 7 to 11
ST. LUCIA
Ciceron RC Combined School
240 students • Grades K to 6
Martin Hippolyte, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, knows this school: she served as principal from 2000 to 2014. Now the time is right to launch a central library, says Clara: “I was extremely happy to learn that much of the preliminary work to create a library was in progress—the fact that a Library Team was already formed indicated that the school was ready. I met with the principal and the other five members of the Library Team, and answered quite a few questions. School staff are highly motivated to undertake the clearing out of the room where the library shelves will be positioned. The school sought funding from a local group to assist with shelving and more. When the new books from Hands arrive in September, they will have a great home in the library.”
ST. LUCIA
Ciceron Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
520 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Meika Jules
Nedra Dantes-Charles
Laurie Anthony
ST. LUCIA
Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
540 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Hannah Modeste
Fabienne Fernal
ST. LUCIA
Dennery Primary School
253 students • Grades 3 to 6
Benedict James, Principal
Christine Milton, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! Hands Across the Sea has enjoyed a long, productive partnership with Dennery Primary School. Back in 2010 we began working with a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer to create the humble beginnings of the school library, and we eventually sent 1,730 books to the school. Mr. Benedict James, the principal then and the principal now, presided over a major upgrade to the library a few years ago—now all they need is an infusion of new books. Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, recently visited the library and reports that all is well: “Children were borrowing books, which was an indication that children were enjoying reading (they did request more early readers). There is a need to assist the librarian with color coding of books, to conduct Student Librarian training, and to label the bookshelves—all of it is on my ‘to do’ list.”
ST. LUCIA
Desruisseaux RC Combined School
219 students • Grades K to 6
Jacqueline Inglis, Principal
Umelia Monero, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Libby Wheeles, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! “The library here is a beautiful air-conditioned space that is well-kept,” reports Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “The hard-working Peace Corps Volunteer, Libby Wheeles, is dedicated to child literacy and making the most of the library. To encourage more boys to become active readers, motivational activities for boys were incorporated into Reading Month. The action plan for this school includes: start a full-fledged Student Librarian Program, recruiting students as young as Grade 3; encourage parental involvement; create a Library Team; ensure that an inventory of Hands books is kept; share ideas on the use of the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3).”
ST. LUCIA
Entrepot Secondary School
658 students • Grades 7 to 11
Arthur Scott, Principal
Laurelle Eugene, Literacy Coordinator
Donald & Cathey adopted this project
The story continues! Wow! What a high school success story! Thanks to great teamwork by Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, and Principal Andrew Scott, Librarian, Learning Resource Centre Manager Laurelle Eugene, Community Librarian Ms. Oliviann Weekes, and Nicholas Gajadhar, plus an enthusiastic group of students, this large high school now has a first-class library. Hands sent the school a “starter set” of books—we often do this with a new project, to let the library get started—and in the 2019-2020 shipment we’ll follow that up with a jumbo-size “gap fill” of great books that the school wants and needs.

Here’s a small sampling of their Wish List request: Alex Cross; Calvin and Hobbes; Lionheart Gal (Jamaican Anthology); Biology CSEC Study Guide, Social Studies CSEC Study Guide, English Matters Book 4  for CSEC Examination, and Junior Atlas, 3rd Edition (Macmillan Caribbean Education); Diary of a Wimpy Kid; “Make your own ending” interactive adventure books; From Columbus to Castro; The Miseducation of the Negro; The Complete Caribbean Teacher: Literacy; Marvel Characters; books on football; Captain Underpants; Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys; Dork Diaries; Junie B. Jones; Goosebumps; Geronimo Stilton.
ST. LUCIA
Forestiere Methodist Combined School
85 students • Grades K to 6
Alphia Earnest, Principal
Sophia Jean, Library Coordinator

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! What does it take to turn a spare classroom into a library? Quite a lot, says Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia: “Since my first visit to Forestiere Methodist Combined in February, the principal and staff have decided on another room that is more conducive to being converted into a library. When finished, the new space should be child-friendly and inviting. Among the work which the school has undertaken: paint the room in bright colors; buy bins and containers for color-coded books; get reading tables, reading mats, floor cushions, and establish reading corners; re-tile the floor; hold a fundraising barbeque; send letters seeking donations from specific companies and persons who are past students and stakeholders of the school; secure funding from donor agencies and embassies to complete the project; work with parents to raise funds with a ‘buy a tile' project.’” The room is expected to be ready for books by the end of summer.
ST. LUCIA
Grace RC Combined School
130 students • Grade K to 6
Mr. Danney Cooman, Principal

Anne and David adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! This school, in the Vieux Fort area in southern St. Lucia, desperately needs an infusion of new amazing books (Hands last sent books, 371 of them, back in 2015-2016). Enthusiasm for reading is high, reports Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia: “The students are highly motivated to read. There is a Wish List put together largely by the students requesting new titles—the boys asking for ‘boys’ books’ and the girls asking to replenish the chapter books they love. The library has newly-painted walls and a healthy number of books—but still there is some frustration, because so many students have read all of the books in the library. To reduce the huge number of old and worn-out books and make room for new books, I suggested a fundraising book sale—books which are not sold can be given away.”
ST. LUCIA
Gros Islet Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by the Sandals Foundation
504 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Sherma Cenac-Modeste
Lizberth Pitcarin
ST. LUCIA
L'Abayee SDA Primary School
198 students • Grades K to 6
Pamela Leon-Modeste, Principal
Lelia Nelson, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,255 goal
New library underway! Oh yeah, there is lots, lots, lots to do to launch a new library. Here are the main points of L'Abayee SDA Primary School’s summer-long to-do list, from Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia: “The selected room for the school’s library is located on the upper floor in the middle of the school. The school board has given permission for the room to be converted into a library. All necessary work towards this end will be completed during the summer vacation. A Library Team has been set up with the principal, librarian, and two teachers. The principal is visiting other school libraries in the district to get ideas on library shelving, organization, and layout. A timeline with deadlines to complete every library preparation activity has been set. Replace the bad floorboards, paint the floor, get a floor mat and cushions so students can be comfortable. Clear out the entire room. Burn or throw out old books. All walls and most of the bookshelves must be brightly painted.”
ST. LUCIA
Laborie RC Boys Primary School
110 students • Grades K to 6
Julian Darcheville, Principal
Madeleine Humm, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Sam and Lisa adopted this project
The story continues! “This school library is a good one, spacious and fully air-conditioned. A few of their bookshelves suffered a termite infestation, and the school is in the process of replacing them,” reports Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “I had an insightful meeting with the entire Literacy team. The Literacy Coordinator, Ms. Amanda Francis, is ready to implement Hands' suggestions to benefit the boys of her school. There is a functioning checkout system, and the children use the library effectively during their break periods, with U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Madeleine Humm reading to and assisting them. Reading Month is very busy at the school—the Book Worm activity and Fathers Reading to Students are among the highlights."
ST. LUCIA
Laborie RC Girls Primary School
142 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Donna Peter-Joseph, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! The book collection here is adequate—though aging and compromised by “donation dumpers”—and the library is utilized by students. Hands Across the Sea last sent books in the 2013-2014 school year, and the plan is to send a targeted infusion of books: chapter books and series books; action, adventure, sports, and superheroes; mysteries, fantasy, and science fiction; books about values and morals; “fact books” (such as DK’s EyeWonder and Scholastic’ True Books) and biographies; class sets of guided reading books.
ST. LUCIA
Micoud Primary School
365 students • Grades K to 6
Fern Dornelly, Principal
Emily Combs, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation underway! Things are trending up in the library at this large primary school in southern St. Lucia, says Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “The new, very enthusiastic principal converted a classroom into a library and ensured that the area functioned as a full-fledged library. The room was painted, tiled, fitted with air-conditioning, and secured with suitable lighting and security bars over the windows. There is a time-tabled Student Librarian program, the children recruited from Grades 3 to 6, and the school has an effective Library Team and an enthusiastic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.”
ST. LUCIA
Millet Primary School
Winner, 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award
104 students • Grades 3 to 6
Sophia Auguste-Lamontagne, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,130 goal
Millet Primary School is the winner of the 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award for St. Lucia, and here’s why: You won't find Millet Primary School (103 students, Grades K to 6) on any tourist map—the school can be found at the end of an unmarked, narrow, winding road through the rainforest—but what you will find are children, teachers, and a principal who are super-excited about reading and their new library.

Hands Literacy Link Clara Paul mobilized everyone into a Library Team, and together they transformed a large, underutilized room of various "school stuff" into a colorful, enticing, child-friendly library space. Clara also trained a dozen children, ranging from Grades 3 to 6, as Student Librarians. All this took place several years ago, and the school's library has been chugging along happily since. Hands sent the school 539 new amazing books, plus a "reading corner" floormat, as part of the 2016-2017 shipment to St. Lucia, and we plan to "fill in the gaps" of their collection. But no number of books can make a difference if the passion and commitment of the school staff is lacking, and these essentials are fully present at Millet Primary School, where we see the level of child literacy advancing every day.
ST. LUCIA
Piaye Combined School
110 students • Grades K to 6
Jeanneve Charlery-Etienne, Principal
Sharlen Pologne-Edgar, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! Hands Across the Sea sent 461 books to this rural school in 2015-2016, which in child-years is eons ago—hey, Black Panther didn’t even exist back then—and now Piaye Combined School is overdue for an infusion of new books. The library should be a place that is warm and inviting for students, a haven to engage in reading and research. In order to attract students, a school library must contain books that capture their interest. The school has sent Hands a long list of amazing books they want for their library. We’ll do our best!
ST. LUCIA
Piaye Secondary School
182 students • Grades 7 to 11
Ms. Faye Wilson, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,280 goal
Library rejuvenation underway! “The Library Team (photo) is very passionate about the library and getting students to an acceptable level of literacy,” reports Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “They work extremely hard. The English teachers have timetabled one period per cycle for Library Time. Students use the opportunity for silent reading or to borrow or return books. In addition, teachers also engage students in library skills. In order for the library to be truly sustainable and successful, a full-time librarian should be hired. Also, the library is showing some wear and tear—the floor tiles need replacing and much of the furniture needs to be repaired or replaced altogether. The library is overdue for an infusion of new, exciting books—the present collection does not look very healthy or attractive.” (Hands will be sending a shipment of “hi-lo” books for boys on subjects such as food and nutrition, construction, technology, and agriculture.)
ST. LUCIA
Richfond Combined School
240 students • Grades K to 6
Sonjane Marcelle-Etienne, Principal
Evie Betancourt, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
Library rejuvenation underway! This medium-size rural school has kept child literacy in the forefront and maintained a successful library for ten years now. Sheila Serville, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, met with school staff and offered some suggestions on a bit of tidying up and a refocusing of the library space: “Clean up the room: clear all clutter, remove all unnecessary items. Paint all walls to brighten the room. Purchase plastic baskets to store categorized books. Redesign some of the shelves, especially the one for Big Books. Include library time on each teacher’s timetable. Redo the index cards.” Evie Betancourt, the resident U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, has trained eight Student Librarians, from Grades 3 to 6, who assist her in many different ways in the library.
ST. LUCIA
Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Anne
900 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Janin John-Gaillard
Leona Melius
Abegail Jean-Joseph
ST. LUCIA
Soufriere Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre
45 children • Grades K to 3
Claret Regis, Director
Stevia St Jean, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Donald & Cathey adopted this project
The centre, located in the town of Soufriere in the southern part of St. Lucia, was established in January 2001 to serve students who are differently-abled. The main objective is to allow the children to socialize. The centre also serves students who are very slow learners and would have otherwise been left behind at school. Programs include: Life Skills, Academics (up to Grade 2), Sports, Computer, Agriculture, Itinerant Program (support for visually-impaired students).
ST. LUCIA
St. Aloysius RC Boys Primary School
407 students • Grades 3 to 6
Julian Monrose, Principal

Francine Beharry, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! Officially opened in February 2019, the library is moving forward, reports Hands Literacy Link Clara Paul. “While the school has yet not been able to undertake book checkout with all 407 students, checkout has started with the student librarians. Ms. Beharry, the teacher in charge of the library, noted that the Student Librarians hold bi-weekly meetings to discuss the library. During May, which is Reading Month, the Student Librarians visited classrooms to sensitize other students about library use.”
•    ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Vincent and the Grenadines's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Enna Bullock and Yvette Pompey, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Teen Emergent Readers Library phonics system; pocket charts and word cards; rhyming and phonics puzzles; word and letter tiles; flashcards; sight-word Bingo; Bananagrams word game; and training workshops for teachers.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Bethel High School funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
Dr. J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
North Union Secondary School funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
Troumaca Ontario Secondary School funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
Union Island Secondary School funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Bequia Anglican Primary School
266 students • Grades K to 6
Gillian Graham, Principal
Roseanne Gordon, Librarian

The John & Margaret Sagan Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! The largest primary school on Bequia, an island five miles south of the main island of St. Vincent, the library here has recently been culled, reorganized, and energized. “The metal shelves in the library have been treated with anti-rust primer and repainted, and Hands is funding a trained librarian, Roseanne Gordon, to keep the library accessible throughout the school day,” reports Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “Books are well presented and categorized. Shelves are labelled, and grade-appropriate books are displayed together. The books are placed to be easily accessible to even the younger grades. Up next: train a team of Student Librarians, work with the Library Team to share with teachers what is available in the library, and encourage the school to create an active wish list.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Bequia SDA Secondary School
105 students • Grades 7 to 11
Morrie Hercules, Principal
Janeal Ollivierre, Teacher/Librarian

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! The library at this well-run high school was rejuvenated with a “starter set” of 235 books in the Hands 2018-2019 shipment, and the library has been attracting students ever since. “Form 5 (Grade 11) students told me that the library has been as busy as a supermarket since the new books from Hands Across the Sea arrived,” says Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “Books were moving off the shelves like hot bread! The library is neat and the shelves are labeled, the books are neatly displayed, the checkout system is a simple notebook that is easy to follow, and the students are requesting new books.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Bethel High School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation

603 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Lecia McKie
Ms. Akiyana John
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Brighton Methodist School
216 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Bernadette Latchman, Principal
Natalie John, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! “The library at this school had been out of commission for quite a while,” reports Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The room was termite infested and had become a storeroom for broken furniture and old computers. Then the new principal formed a Library Team and began to get the library functioning again. Progress has been steady: the library team has painted the room in two bright contrasting colors; the shelves are now neatly arranged and the few books in the library are displayed with the covers out; most of the books are now color-coded; the book catalog is completed; eleven students have been trained as Student Librarians; a librarian has been trained along with the Student Librarians; the space is cleaned up and ready for lending books; the school has an active wish list; an action plan is in place for when the new books from Hands arrive.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
C.W. Prescod Primary School
746 students • Grades K to 6
Suzette Abbott-King, Principal
Ms. Noella Duncan, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $855 goal
The story continues! Under the steady hand of Librarian Noella Duncan, the library is doing very well. Hands Across the Sea has shipped new amazing books to this large school for five of the past six years—the school now has 2,850 titles. Here’s a note from sailing friend Christa Henry, who visited the school with her family: “We met Principal King briefly, and then went to the library where we met the librarian and special reading teacher. It is apparent that both of these ladies are passionate about helping the kids read. We were impressed by the size of the library, the organization, and the Student Librarians.

“Five Grade 5 boys came in for their special reading tutoring session. The librarian mentioned to me that the boys were reading at Grade 2 level but were greatly improving with special tutoring sessions several times a week. After the boys left, a very large Grade 4 class came in. They seemed happy to be there and to spend some time reading. As impressive as the library is, it was clear that it needs more chapter books—most of the ones they have are looking worn.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Calder Government School
69 students • Grades K to 6
Rebecca A. Snagg, Principal
Andrea Celestine, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is busy helping school staff turn the old computer room into a new library: “The principal is committed to preparing and sustaining a lending library that will be ready for Term 1 of the 2019-2020 school year. A Library Team has been formed with three members of the staff. The cleanup has started, and the room will come alive with new paint. Culling of the old books has started. There are adequate bookshelves, the school has created its wish list, and an action plan is in place for when the books arrive.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Diamond Government School
93 students • Grades K to 6
Hannah Harry, Principal
Sheridan Baynes, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! Back in 2012-2013, we chose Diamond Government School as the winner of the Hands Literacy Award for St. Vincent. But these days the library is due for a fresh start. Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is working with the school on rejuvenation efforts. “The Library Team has very good ideas about improving the library space, including sorting out and getting rid of old encyclopedias, new curtains, a new wall mural, new wall paint, a new floor plan, and fundraising activities for the library. Most of the old stuff that had accumulated in the library has been thrown out. Although the room needs to be more student-friendly, the library is functioning—students are borrowing books and all classes are timetabled to use the library. My to-do list includes training a team of Student Librarians.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Dorsetshire Hill Government School
60 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Patricia James, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! When you finally reach the top of the mountain where this school is perched, you’ll feel like you are flying: windswept Dorsetshire Hill Government School commands sweeping views of St. Vincent’s jewel-like Grenadines, a spread of islands, reefs, and islets going over the horizon. The school, led by Principal Patricia James, is repairing the old library building. “I really do like the passion of this principal to get the work done,” says Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “She and the Library Team have been doing a good job getting donations and help, such as repairs to the roof. The library is detached from the main school building and has been used as a storeroom. The space is adequate for the school population but the room is crowded with cupboards and other things which do not belong there. There are enough chairs and tables but the room is dull and unattractive. The principal will continue to seek help from other parents and businesses to get the work done. I am happy to work along with this team to launch a new library!”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Dr. J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
180 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Ms. Branch
Mrs. Bushay
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Dr. J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School
180 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Suzette Cupid-Ferdinand, Principal
Mrs. Sherminna Williams-Bushay, Literacy Coordinator

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Here’s a report from Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines: “The school has a well-organized remedial reading program. When the students enter Form 1 (Grade 7) at the beginning of the school year, they are assessed with an Informal Reading Inventory instrument. The students are then grouped according to their reading levels. The school has embarked on several initiatives, most of them involving the library, to help improve the students’ literacy levels, including: a  book club, a book drive ( the need for books at all levels and genres is great), story-writing competitions, Authors Chair, and the reading of stories, poems, and other literary works during morning assembly. This school is indeed ready to receive a shipment of appropriate books from Hands Across the Sea. I will be working closely with the school to create a Student Librarian team and assist in the reorganization of the library.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Fairhall Government School
263 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Denise Huggins, Principal
Lavern Alexander, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! “Earlier this year, upgrades to the large library at this school included color-coding the books and creating a catalogue of the collection,” reports Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “Also, the school had a sponsored walk to raise funds to buy paint to repaint the room and build additional shelves. The school is committed to culling the old books upon the arrival of new books from Hands—an action plan is in place. I will be training a Student Librarian team as well as training the Library Team in the use of the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3).”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Fancy Government School
64 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Colbert Bowen, Principal
Shanette Nanton, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! Hooray! For years this school, in the remote village of Fancy at the rugged northern tip of St. Vincent (literally, the end of the road), has gone without a library—there was room in the jam-packed school for small classroom libraries only. But now, thanks to the leadership of Colbert Bowen (photo), the new, energetic principal, and funding from the Zero Hunger Project and Mustique Charitable Trust, a good-size storeroom underneath the classroom block is being converted into a dazzling new library. Hands Across the Sea is happy to be a part of the teamwork among these funding agencies. Hands Literacy Link Yvette Pompey is working closely with the principal and his equally energetic staff to bring their library dream to fruition.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Kingstown Anglican School Annex
170 students • Grades K to 2
Chellise McPherson, Principal
Je Vhan Alexander, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Moving day: “Recently the school received word from the Ministry of Education that they would be moving from their present building to the main building (Kingstown Anglican School) for the 2019-2020 school year,” reports Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “This will be done to accommodate some of the classes from Kingstown Government School. I will include teachers from both schools on the Library Team, sort and re-establish the library at the main building, and examine how best the shelves can be rearranged to accommodate the books from Hands—a “top up” for Grades K to 2. The current library space will be maintained while renovations are made to the school to accommodate more classes. Moving is never an ideal situation, but I will work with the leadership to have the Kingstown Anglican School Annex library functioning as soon as possible.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Kingstown Government School
400 students • Grades K to 6
Thedica Commissiong-Jones, Principal
The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project

New library underway! The library at this large primary school has lain dormant for years, but a new day is coming! “The principal is committed to preparing and sustaining a lending library,” says Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “However, the wing of the school that houses the library and Grades K to 3 is undergoing renovation work this summer. When school reopens in September the library and these classrooms will be at a new location until work is completed. In the meanwhile, the library’s large number of extremely old, worn-out, inappropriate books will be discarded. All broken-down furniture will be removed from the library, and a space for a comfy ‘reading corner’ will be created. There’s lots of work to do, but we will get it done!”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Kingstown Preparatory School
910 students • Grades K to 6
Susan Abraham, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Ever since Hands began sending new amazing books to this school, the largest primary school on the island, the library, complete with much-hugged teddy bear, has been going gangbusters! Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, meets regularly with the Library Team and the school’s literacy teachers to discuss library sustainability and usage issues. “According to the principal, because the school population is so large there are not enough books for all students from Grade 1 to 6 to borrow a book each week. However, the greatest need is books for Grades 4, 5, and 6. The librarian also has asked for ‘books for boys.’” Since 2017-2018 Hands has sent the school 1,500 books, but to serve their 910 students, we’ll be sending more.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Layou Government School
250 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Macdowell, Principal
Myranda James, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! There’s a dynamic duo here—Principal Purnell Macdowell and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Myranda James—and they’re creating consensus and excitement on the way to launching a new library. Progress has been swift and impressive, says Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The clutter and old books have been removed from the library. The black (!) walls and shelves have been whitewashed and are ready to be painted with bright vibrant colors. The Library Team—Mr. Purnell Macdowell (Principal), Mrs. Fiona Taylor (Literacy Coordinator), Ms. Myranda James (U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer), Ms. Rusan Jack (Teacher), Ms. Cheresia Connell (Teacher)—is up and running. The school has created a wish list for Hands. The school doesn’t have a librarian but the Peace Corps Volunteer, members of the Library Team, and Student Librarians will assist in the lending of books and other functions of the library.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Leeward District SDA Primary School
78 students • Grades K to 6
Jeaneth Pierre, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! After a flash flood swept through the village in 2013 and wiped out nearly all the books in this school’s library, recovery has been bittersweet—the library room and bookshelves are intact, but the school has barely any books. This school is dedicated to improving child literacy, and the students are actively reading—and re-reading—the books that remain from the 2013 collection. Hands Across the Sea is happy to be able to bring the library to life again in 2019-2020.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Lowmans Leeward Anglican School
443 students • Grades K to 6
Youverne White, Principal
Janelle Prescott-Grant, Literacy Coordinator

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! The new library, launched in the 2018-2019 school year with 1,500 new amazing books from Hands Across the Sea, shares space with the computer room, and things are coming along (at present, there is not enough free space to establish the library on its own). Because the collection is not big enough—yet—for each of the 443 students to borrow a book each week, book loaning is on a rotating basis, reports Hands Literacy Link Enna Bullock. Our 2019-2020 shipment to the school will be a major “top up” focused on Grades 2, 3, and 4.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Mountain View Adventist Academy
260 students • Grades 7 to 11
Gabriel Bowman, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! At this medium-size, rural high school, there is a large room full of empty bookshelves on the second floor—this is the library space, and after much work, it’s ready for become a real library. “There is a team of four English teachers who are committed to raising the literacy level of the school,” reports Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The principal is positive that they will get through what needs to be done in preparation for books from Hands in September. The newly-formed Library Team will continue to improve the library space—they’ve already discarded many, many old books that have been hiding in boxes and barrels. Students will be involved in painting the shelves, and the English department will be in charge of the functioning of the library—the HOD of English is very much interested in getting a library for the students.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
North Union Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
395 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Mrs. Samantha Small Daniel
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
North Union Secondary School
395 students • Grades 7 to 11
St. Clair DaSantos, Principal
Sylvern Miller, HOD English

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Not even the departure of some key staff members has stopped this library, launched in 2018-2019 with a “starter set” of 330 books from Hands, says Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The new HOD English, Sylvern Miller, is applying a steady hand as the library becomes part of student culture—and it’s beginning to work. Students are finding themselves in the library to read for enjoyment. It was a pleasure to see students coming in during the lunch period to sit and read. According to the librarian, the most popular books are Sisters and Smile (both published by Scholastic). As soon as students return the books, they are borrowed again. Rockaylia John, a Form 2 (Grade 8) student likes to read books in a series. She has almost completed reading the Raven series and is very happy that they are in the library. The books for CSEC (Caribbean high school examination) are used very much by the Form 5 (Grade 11) students.

“Roles have been assigned to Library Team members so that the HOD English will not be so burdened. Students are gradually accepting library rules (but they have to be constantly reminded about leaving their bags and reducing the noise level). A copy of the catalogue was created and printed, and the librarian will adjust the quantity column as instructed by the HOD.”

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Questelles Government School
Winner, 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award

346 students • Grades K to 6
Donnette Ferdinand, Principal
Mauricia George-Moncherry, Literacy Coordinator
Rosia Roberts, Library Teacher

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
Questelles Government School was chosen as the winner of the 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and here’s why: In terms of the emphasis on child literacy and library sustainability, not every handoff from a retiring Principal to his or her replacement goes as well as we hope. But we are very happy to report that at Questelles Government School the embrace of books, reading, and the new school library has continued its upward climb after retiring Principal Albena Jack-Samuel, who worked with Hands to establish the library, handed the school's reins to incoming Principal Donnette Ferdinand.

Ferdinand, who has a degree in literacy, has the full and continued support of her powerhouse staff—seven teachers at the school are highly credentialed in literacy. And Hands Literacy Link Yvette Pompey has trained ten Student Librarians (photo), who color-coded the latest shipment of new books from Hands (in total, Hands has sent the school 1,963 new amazing books). 'Nothing can stop us now!' says Principal Ferdinand. We look forward to assisting this up-and-coming rural school in the years ahead.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
St. Vincent Girls High School
670 students • Grades 7 to 11
Michele Beache, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! “This is all-girls school is one of the top secondary schools in St. Vincent,” reports Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The library is colorful, very spacious, and has comfortable seating. There is a full-time librarian and Form 1 (Grade 7) students are timetabled for library skills. The school has cleared a lot of old books from the shelves and the room is freshly painted in vibrant colors.

“The principal is greatly concerned about providing access to books for students from underprivileged homes. The collection of encyclopedias, which are over 20 years old, needs to be removed, and as many of the books as possible should be displayed cover out. I will train a team of Student Librarians and encourage the school to create a Library Team. The library has great potential to become a successful lending library.”

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Stephanie Browne Primary School
168 students • Grades K to 6
Lorette Coy-James, Principal
Kenya Forde, Literacy Coordinator

Palm Island Resort & Spa adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! Back in 2008, this is one of the very first schools that Hands Across the Sea assisted, and we’ve sent books to school on eight occasions since. The Principal, Lorette Coy-James, was the principal then and is now. The library has been active these last eleven years, and has become an integral part of student life. But, not surprisingly, given the heavy use, many of the books have been “loved to death,” so the time is right for a major infusion of books. A group of Grade 6 girls has already culled the most tattered and torn of the books, and we are tasking the school with a few other things, too: color-code and organize all the books, create a Library Team, and recruit a team of Student Librarians.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Tourama Government School
103 students • Grades K to 6
Moses Stay, Principal
Brook Dunlap, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
New library underway! No new books have reached this school library in a decade—or two. The children and staff are absolutely elated at the prospect of a new Hands library. Yvette Pompey, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who interacted with the Principal, Mr. Moses Stay (photo), and the Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Brook Dunlap, reports: “On my first visit, the library was full of clutter and was hot and smelly. Books were falling off the shelves and mold was everywhere. A very depressing situation! The principal and Ms. Dunlap promised to assist with the cleanup and also to source the funding for a small air-conditioning unit.

“On my next visit, all of the clutter and old books had been removed from the library! The students and teachers are excited about the revitalization of the library. The principal is very cooperative and is giving support to the project. Next up: get the room and bookshelves painted and introduce the Hands manual of library tools and strategies, the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K–3), to the school and teachers.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Troumaca Ontario Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
262 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teachers
Ms. Catina Scott
Ms. Goldin Bulze
Ms. Joline Lewis
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Union Island Secondary School
Remedial Reading Toolkit funded by Mustique Charitable Foundation
184 children • Grades 7 to 11
Remedial Reading Teacher
Ms. Dana Prime
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Union Island Secondary School
184 students • Grades 7 to 11
Vernette Ollivierre, Principal
Laverne Roberts, Librarian

Jill adopted this project
Library rejuvenation underway! “It has been a long time—2011—since we last visited this high school,” says Harriet Linskey, Co-Founder of Hands. “The school was newly built by the European Union and the library was filled with good new books. The library is now quite overcrowded with old, used books, some of which look like they have been ‘donation dumped’ by well-meaning folks. It was not an inviting space for teenagers. The back room of the library was filled with textbooks and there were boxes of text books by the door. The leadership of the principal and the HOD English is vital to the success of high school libraries. At other successful high school libraries, supplying hi/lo books has gotten reluctant readers involved. Often, a book sale such as held recently by Union Island Secondary (photo), is the first step to rejuvenating a library and making a fresh start.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Westwood Methodist School
52 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Pearlette Harry, Principal

The Mustique Charitable Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! Hands Across the Sea, with the on-site mentoring of Enna Bullock, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, helped launch the new library at this small rural school in 2018-2019 with a “starter set” of 1,164 books, and now they are due for a gap-filling “top up.” A lot of renovation has gone into the library since then: louvres changed to slide windows; floor tiled; the ceiliing was accentuated with lights; electrical upgraded; room painted with vibrant colors; long desk installed for computers; and new bookshelves.