vibrant borrowing libraries in school after school...
||Exciting Things Ahead. With a spacious refurbished
library space, complete with new windows and electrical
service, Paula Blake-Toney, the principal of 375-student
Georgetown Primary School on the island of St. Vincent,
plans the creation of a new (and truly awesome)
school library with Harriet Linskey, Co-Founder
of Hands, following the seven steps of the Hands
Library Manual for Primary Schools.
to Create Truly Awesome School Libraries: It's Working!
We're well into our seventh year
of raising the literacy levels of Caribbean, and after
assisting 215 schools and reading programs across the
Eastern Caribbean, we know three things for sure. Success,
as detailed in our CLASS
(Caribbean Literacy and School Support) program,
is a three-step process: 1. Send great new books; 2. Create
3. Foster sustainability. During our work in Caribbean
schools in 2013/2014, we're making a big push on Step
2 and Step 3: we are facilitating the creation of vibrant
school libraries often where none existed before
and we're making sure that the right people and
processes are in place so that these libraries become
an integral part of the school. It's working!
Following the seven steps of the
Hands Library Manual for Primary Schools (a
highly useful guide for secondary schools, too), we're
seeing a lot of success stories. School libraries are
being born. School libraries that, over the years, have
become little more than tombs of old, discarded, inappropriate
books, are being rejuvenated. The children are discovering
the joy and excitement of reading, and the life-changing
power of literacy. As more students take books home to
share with their siblings and parents, school principals
and teachers report that positive effects of their school
library are rippling through families and the community.
It's very exciting to see this firsthand! We thank you,
loyal Hands supporters, for putting us in a position where
we can help make it happen.
Literacy Links: Making Big Strides Toward Sustainability
To strengthen Step 3 of the CLASS
Program fostering sustainability
we are recruiting "Literacy Links," on each
island. In most cases a retired
school principal, teacher, or community volunteer, Literacy
Links are people who have demonstrated a passionate commitment
to a brighter future for children and a strong belief
in the life-changing power of books, reading, and literacy.
A Hands Literacy Link must reside on Antigua, St. Kitts
and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
or Grenada. The Literacy Link helps manage the distribution
of Hands Wish Lists shipments and works to optimize the
impact and sustainability of Hands assistance. Literacy
Links interact with a variety of on-island stakeholders,
including school principals, teachers, librarians, directors
of reading programs and after-school programs, Ministry
of Education officials, U. S. Peace Corps Volunteers,
and representatives of companies or NGOs that are supporting
or funding Hands Wish Lists projects. They are representing
Hands, and they're doing everything that needs to be done
to sustain the impact of the Hands mission.
Literacy Partners: Dedicated to Children of the Eastern
We are proud and fortunate to have
the following foundations and companies supporting the
Hands mission. They clearly believe, as we do, that "Literacy
is the gift that lasts a lifetime." And they've demonstrated
a big commitment to positive change in the wonderful place
that is the Caribbean.
Harriet & T.L.
Established in 1948, the Mill Reef Fund has supported
countless medical, educational, general welfare, and religious
institutions on Antigua and Barbuda. At the moment, Mill
Reef Fund is assisting over 40 great causes including
child literacy and the creation of school libraries through
Hands Across the Sea by adopting nine of the 18
Antigua schools on our 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists. Mill Reef Fund also adopted
two of the Antigua schools of our 2012/2013 Hands Wish
List. Mill Reef Fund is a powerful, dedicated group of
people who are devoted to positive change, and the key
support they're giving to Hands and child literacy is
making difference in the lives of over 3,300 children
The Sandals Foundation, the corporate responsibility
arm of legendary Sandals Resorts, accomplishes a tremendous
amount of good in the Caribbean. Sandals Foundation assistance
brings medical assistance to those in need, is a leading
light in environmental programs, and makes all sorts of
community and educational programs possible in disadvantaged
areas. In their initial partnering with Hands, the Sandals
Foundation adopted six St. Lucia schools of our 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists with outstanding funding for
much-needed brand new books and metal library shelving
(termite proof!). We're looking forward to working with
the Sandals Foundation in St. Lucia and in Grenada for
Building awesome school libraries on Dominica, the
"Nature Island" of the Caribbean! Thanks to
its "Education for Better" global initiative
and the generous support of H. H. V. Whitchurch &
Co., Ltd., the Dominica agent for Western Union, funding
from the Western Union Foundation created school libraries
at one primary school and two secondary schools. Western
Union generously supplied funding for everything from
a large infusion of new books to infrastructure improvements
such as new windows, paint, and air-conditioning. The
result is three shining new school libraries, serving
over 800 students!
Scotiabank does business in all of the islands
where Hands works, and through the global philanthropic
reach of their Scotiabank Bright Future program, the financial
institution touches a lot of lives. Because education
and children's causes are one of the pillars of Bright
Future, the bank is supporting Hands with a three-year
grant. Scotiabank adopted one 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists school on each of the six islands
(Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada), making it possible
for Hands to ship brand new books to the schools. Community-minded
Scotiabank employees on each island have rolled up their
sleeves and are volunteering their time to assist the
schools with a variety of projects, from painting/refurbishing
to working one-on-one with students.
On the island of St. Kitts there's a new luxury
residential resort development, Christophe Harbour, taking
shape: a 300-acre marina, mega yacht harbor, 18-hole golf
course, beautiful homes and villas and a companion
foundation dedicated to community outreach (conservational,
educational, recreational, cultural, historical, and social
development projects) in St. Kitts. The Christophe Harbour
Foundation generously adopted seven St. Kitts schools
on our 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists, including Tyrrell Williams Primary
School, the St. Kitts winner of the 2012/2013
Hands Literacy Award. Funding from the Christophe
Harbour Foundation allowed Hands to get great new books
into the hands of over 2,500 children (five primary schools,
two high schools).
Rightly famous as two ultimate Caribbean hideaways,
Island Resort (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Bay Resort & Spa (Antigua) are becoming known
for their dedication to improving child literacy, too.
From the 2013/2014 Hands
Wish Lists Palm Island Resort adopted two primary
schools on nearby Union Island (one of them a 2013/2013
Literacy Award winner), while Galley Bay Resort
& Spa adopted a primary school just a mile away. With
their support, Hands was able to send brand new books
to all three schools prompting one school to create
their first-ever library! The donation reached 810 students,
from Kindergarten through Grade 6.
For the second year in a row, Hands was awarded
a Public Affairs Service (PAS) Grant by the U. S. Embassy,
Bridgetown, to replenish the libraries of six secondary
schools, one each on Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica,
St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.
Working closely with school principals and librarians,
Hands sent a comprehensive collection to each school,
from the best in young-adult fiction to remedial reading
books to a wide range of reference, career, and character-building
books. Demonstrating the United States' enduring commitment
to the Eastern Caribbean, the Hands-administered PAS Grant
shipped 3,150 truly great, brand new books to the six
high schools, reaching over 3,500 students.
Doing business locally and giving back locally.
FastCash was started in 2007 on the island of Dominica,
and quickly opened offices on Antigua, Grenada, St. Lucia,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts. They're
expanding their philanthropic reach, too. FastCash adopted
six schools from the 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists, one on each island, making it
possible for Hands to ship each school a healthy selection
of brand new books (with titles requested by the schools).
In all, the donation from FastCash reached over 2,000
children (three primary schools, three secondary schools).
folks at Windjammer Landing, a "villa beach resort" nestled
along one of St. Lucia's white-sugar sand beaches, also
believe in assisting local schools and they have
been doing so for years. When Windjammer Landing found
one of their favorite primary schools listed among the
projects of the 2013/2014
Hands Wish Lists, they adopted the school and
made a generous donation to augment the school's newly-refurbished
library with "books for boys" and educational
ways you can work with Hands...
network with Hands
If you have a project in which Hands can help or if you
want to help with the current Hands projects contact
sort or pack books for Hands
Want to work hands-on? Please contact
host a Hands presentation or Hands
fundraiser If'd you'd like to
do either contact us!
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