If you build it...they will read!
 April 2010 
  Thanks to your donations, Hands built a Literacy Center for a 600-student high school!
Remember that 1989 baseball movie, Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner? In the story, a man follows his (some would say crazy) dream and builds a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield...and sure enough, he sparks some epic baseball action. The analogy can be applied to Mr. Jerome Bardouille, the principal of Isaiah Thomas Secondary School on the island of
Dominica. Bardouille's vision was to create a "literacy center" in his high school — a school whose students have suffered from a lack of infrastructure and resources for many years that has led to a precipitous drop in reading skills. When Hands Across the Sea heard about Mr. Bardouille's dream, we pitched in to help — all made possible, of course, by the cash contributions and donations of "gently used" books by generous Hands supporters as part of our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program.

Much of the impact of Hands literacy projects, such as getting needed classroom resources to teachers and books to students, is incremental, measureable only in the long run. But the instant success of the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School Literacy Center has been exciting (to see all the photos, please click here: Hands Photo Album 4). To hear the "oohs" and "aahs" from the first group of students to visit the center — along with the
occasional shriek as a student found a book they've been dying to read — has been as gratifying for Hands as it is for the principal and staff of the school. On Dominica, as throughout the Caribbean, books are breathtakingly expensive — two to three times more costly than the same titles in the States — if they are available at all. Many families have little or no money to buy books of their own, and many communities lack a library, so the only place young students can read is in school. The ITSS Literary Center will be playing a key role in improving reading skills for many, many years to come.

We owe a huge "thank you" to our partners, Tropical Shipping, Boaters for Books, AIT Worldwide,and Harte-Hanks for their awesome logistical assistance, and to you, our generous Hands contributors. Your support means that the young people at Isaiah Thomas Secondary School are getting the chance to reach their full potential as students during this crucial stage in their education. Thank you for supporting Hands Across the Sea and our non-profit work! T.L. and Harriet
ways you can work with Hands...
how to donate
Cash donations can be made through a check made out to "Hands Across the Sea, Inc." and mailed to Hands Across the Sea, Inc., 651 Orchard Street, Suite 203, New Bedford, MA 02744.
Or you can donate via the secure PayPal interface on the Donate to Hands page. If you have a specific school or project you'd like to "adopt," please tell us in the Comments section of the PayPal interface or on your check. You'll help us fulfill the specific Wish Lists of our recipients.

how to donate books to Hands
If you'd like to donate new and nearly new books, please go to our Hands Book Drop page or contact us!

purchase books for Hands If you'd like to help us purchase nearly new children's books at a Friends of the Library Sale, please contact us!

sort or pack books for Hands Want to work hands-on? Please contact us!

host a Hands presentation or Hands fundraiser If you'd like to do either— contact us!

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