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Hands Across the Sea presents the 2016-2017 Hands Wish Lists of school principals, teachers, literacy coordinators, librarians, community leaders, 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 literacy is the gift that 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 late 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   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Antigua's Literacy Gains
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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 Antigua, Lisa Tomlinson, works closely with educators, education ministries, 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.
ANTIGUA
Cedar Grove Primary School
160 students • Grades K to 6
Angela James, Principal
Ms. Soloman, Librarian

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: The library at this school is in use— library sessions are timetabled and all students check out books. Each class has book monitors who monitor the borrowing and returning of the books. The library is bright and airy, the books are well presented, and the furniture is adequate. While there is no “reading corner” area, on the whole the library is a stimulating space that benefits the children's literacy skills. The librarian uses the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools, and Principal James has given training and set standards. The students have been given excellent orientation to books and the library. The library does have a full-time librarian, Ms. Soloman (the position is funded by the government’s Work Experience Programme). There is no library committee; Ms. Soloman runs the library singlehandedly. Prior to this the student council ran the library. The collection was started by the Mill Reef Fund, continued by the Sandals Foundation, and all that they need now is a refreshment of some of their favorite books as well as some new ones.
ANTIGUA
Five Islands Primary School
453 students • Grades K to 6
Sandy Lewis, Principal

Galley Bay Resort & Spa adopted this project
Background from Hands: This vibrant rural primary school is the largest in Antigua. They have a new principal who has been faced with many challenges since her move to the school in September 2015. The library has just gone through a total transformation—the space was painted and new wall murals created, offering a much more inviting, child friendly environment. This work has been a great community effort by the student council, school staff, employees from Galley Bay Resort & Spa, and local volunteers. Due to the high number of children and the staff shortages it has been difficult to identify staff to operate the library; Hands is currently attempting to secure funds to hire a part-time library manager to make this library into an inspiring, well-utilized, well-loved resource for all of the eagerly awaiting children.
ANTIGUA
Freetown Primary School
48 children • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Nathaniel, Principal

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: This delightful rural school located in the village of Freetown in the parish of St. Phillips—far, far away from the usual Antigua tourist attractions, such as beaches and five-star resorts. The majority of the students are from the village of Freetown; parents are primarily government employees and depend on farming for a second income. The school, a recipient of resources from the Mill Reef Fund in the past, is in need of an injection of new  books. Presently the school has a functioning library which is timetabled weekly, for every class. The library has several sturdy wooden bookshelves, and some desks and chairs, and a lot of books—however, most of them are uninspiring, irrelevant, and in poor condition. The floor is concrete and the walls are adequately painted; there is no evidence of termites, there is no rug/cushion/comfy “reading corner,” but this can be remedied. Mrs Nathaniel, the school principal, is eager, enthusiastic, and excited to develop the library further—she loves to read and is committed to improving literacy at the school.
ANTIGUA
Glanvilles Secondary School
Winner, 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award
111 students • Grades K to 6
Denise Mills, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Mrs. Adams, the school’s full-time librarian, reported that since the school has received new books from Hands (over 550 books during the past two years) she has seen a significant increase in the number of students using the library. All students are able to check out books. The library is timetabled for First to Third Form students; other students can use the library during their lunch and break times. Library skills are taught in the library; the library has adequate seating and a comfy “reading corner” with cushions. Fourth and Fifth Form students have now started to borrow books for their reading pleasure; they are also using the library for research for their school-based assessments. The number of library members is increasing.
ANTIGUA
Golden Grove Primary School
344 students • Grades K to 6
Vernis Mack, Principal

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: The book collection at this school is poor but, well used; the books are mostly relevant but old and falling apart. But if the current books were to be discarded there would be no books left for the children to borrow. School staff are extremely enthusiastic and dedicated to improving child literacy. The books have been sorted into grades as best as possible under the cramped conditions; there is no color-coding system at present. The space is currently shared as a reading room/library, there is very little space for more furniture. There are two reading teachers/librarians working full-time in the room; they are very experienced and enthusiastic. All students check out books. The students who use the reading rooms do so during their library sessions; the other students come in their lunch and break times. A record of borrowing is kept; it is up to date. Mrs. Mack, the school principal since September 2015, is very enthusiastic about creating a better library. She acknowledges the space is very limited; for example, a corner of the library is partitioned off for the book scheme manager to keep her books. Mrs. Mack intends to have another space built for the book scheme manager, enabling the library to develop further. The students do enjoy coming into the reading room.
ANTIGUA
Irene B. Williams Secondary School
240 students • Grades 7 to 11
Letita Harris-Lawrence, Principal
Ms. Weaver, Librarian

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Four years ago Irene B. Williams was converted from a primary school to a secondary school, to meet demand in the area. The secondary school started with 48 students and has now grown to 240 students. Unfortunately, the school hasn't grown along with the student numbers. There are space and furniture shortages (the students have to bring their chairs with them to the library) which are ongoing challenges for the school. The school library, created by the Mill Reef Fund, remains a vibrant, busy space and the full-time, dedicated librarian works hard to make the library an inviting, stimulating place for the students. It is a well-maintained library with a varied collection of books that is well catalogued and adequately shelved. The library would benefit from an infusion of new books; there are some books on the shelves that are outdated and irrelevant, but the librarian is reluctant to discard them until she is confident they will be replaced. Space is a concern in this library; there are some old wooden two-sided bookshelves in the center of the room that take up a lot of space. It would benefit this library to have some metal bookshelves that can be put against the wall, offering more space for the students to be comfortable.
ANTIGUA
J.T. Ambrose Primary School
268 students • Grades K to 6
Neta Robinson, Principal
Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school is located in the village of All Saints; Hands Across the Sea has not partnered with this school before. It is a well-maintained school with a dedicated principal, Mrs. Robinson, who is eager to create a stimulating library that inspires the children to improve their reading skills and develop a love for reading. The room that has been identified for the library is a bright, breezy space that is adequately decorated, with strong wooden bookshelves and no evidence of termites. Presently, there are no chairs or tables in the room, however; Mrs. Robinson thinks that furniture can be sourced from other parts of the school. The library would benefit from a “reading corner” rug and cushions to create a quiet, cozy zone, and an injection of stimulating, exciting vibrant books. The space is shared with an IT suite (the room is large enough that the computers do not encroach on the library area). Recently, the school received a small donation of approximately 100 used books from the Ministry of Education; however, it has just whet the appetite of the children as it is nowhere near enough to allow the children to borrow the books to take home. A library committee has been formed, consisting of three teachers, who are are eager and enthusiastic to adopt the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools, and to receive training from Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, about the Hands methodology. The books in their collection have already been sorted, color-coded according to reading level, and appropriately displayed; the children are using them for reference and enjoyment. What the school needs is a major infusion of new, targeted books from Hands.
ANTIGUA
Jennings Primary School
200 students • Grades K to 6
Denise Solomon, Principal
Ms. Graham, Librarian

Expedia Canada adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hooray! Jennings Primary School officially opened its first-ever library earlier in 2016. The books have been beautifully catalogued and shelved. The school has worked very hard to follow the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools—to the letter. As well as new books, Hands also sent the school five sets of metal shelving and a “reading corner” floor mat. These are being used appropriately. The school has done a wonderful job of creating a comfortable, stimulating, child-friendly library space. The librarian, Miss Graham, is receiving ongoing training from Karen Browne Francis, from the Ministry of Education, and from Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua. The students, too, have been given adequate training on book care and library rules. The library is timetabled for all classes. The children love their new library—they are very proud of it and love to tell you about new books they have read. But because this is a newly created library, the school has no other reading books than the 439 books sent by Hands; more books are needed for this library to function at its best (there are currently two books per child—the ideal book-to-child ratio is about 8:1).

ANTIGUA
Kids Unlimited
115 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Amaryllis Weeks, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Background from Hands: Why does Hands occasionally fund private schools? Simply because, in the Eastern Caribbean, even private schools sometimes do not have money in their budget for new books. The library at literacy-minded Kids Unlimited is a bright, inspiring space, the books all are color-coded, the shelves are properly labelled, and the room is decorated with lots of stimulating student art projects. Children borrow books each week and are brought to the library by their class teachers. They are also welcome to borrow books in their free time. School fees are the school's only source of income, and currently the enrollment is low; recently the school’s special needs center, for example, has had to close due to lack of funds.
ANTIGUA
Mary E. Pigott Primary School
400 students • Grades K to 6
Christopher Roberts, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal
Background from Hands: Mary E. Piggott Primary, a large urban school on the outskirts of St. John's, the capital of Antigua, is a bustling, vibrant school. Recently, a new principal, Mr. Roberts, was appointed, and he is dedicated to improving literacy throughout the school. After some teething problems over the past few years, Mary E. Piggott now boasts a wonderful library, filled completely by new books from Hands, that has an active committee of three class teachers who meet regularly to discuss ideas and ways of improving the resource; one of the teachers has now been appointed as the full-time librarian. The library  is attractive, stimulating, and inviting—the children absolutely love it and visit at every given opportunity. The borrowing system is fully operational and is working very well, apart from the odd lost/misplaced books. Apart from borrowing books, the children can often be found in the library doing their homework,  researching topics for  projects, or just “hanging out” and reading for pleasure. The teachers and children have full ownership of this library and are determined to make it grow from strength to strength.
ANTIGUA
Newfield Primary School
72 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Joseph, Principal

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: Newly merged with nearby Bethesda Primary School, this small, externally well-presented school is on the top of a hill in the village of Newfield. The school’s new library is a work in progress—a couple of bookshelves filled with old books and along one wall there are desktop computers. The room is currently being used as a classroom. The Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, Lisa Tomlinson, asked the school to sort all the old books and have a general tidy up of the new library space, was very pleased to see this had been done to a high standard—all the old books had been removed, leaving lots of empty shelving, and the computers will be staying in place. (The room is large enough to comfortably hold a library and a computer suite.) With the recent makeover, it looks like the library will be well utilized.
ANTIGUA
Olivia David Primary School
165 students • Grades K to 6
Temika Christian, Principal

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: Olivia David Primary School (formerly Bolans Primary), situated in the southern part of the island,is a rural school that has benefited from the Mill Reef Fund in the creation of their library. One of their long term goals is to build a library in the grounds of the school, for the students to use in the day and the community to use in the evenings. Whether if and when that ever happens, students appreciate the school’s present library, by making timetabled visits, as well as borrowing during lunch and breaktimes. The teachers also use the library to assist them with their lesson plans. The library has a full-time librarian, funded by the Work Experience Programme (a government initiative). The library was established several years ago and was assisted with a donation of books from the Mill Reef Fund and Hands Across the Sea in 2012-2013. Although the library has a lot of books, most of them are now worn, uninspiring, and hold little interest for all but the most enthusiastic readers. Temika Christian, the newly appointed principal, is now in a position to have a major “sort out” of the older, less relevant books, hopefully making room for some new, exciting, relevant books from Hands.
ANTIGUA
Potters Primary School
214 students • Grades K to 6
Jasinter Attil, Principal
Mrs. Chochrane, Reading Specialist

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: Principal Attill and the reading specialist, Mrs. Chochrane, they have both been at the school for two years and are determined to improve the literacy levels of their students. The school is located in the center of the Island in the parish of St John. The library shares its space with the reading room. Mrs. Chochrane acts as the librarian and lends books to the students; her lending records are up to date and clear to follow, and the books are sorted by grades. The students borrow books during breaktimes, lunchtime, and before and after school. The collection of books is very limited, however; there is one full shelf of old but relatively relevant books that the students borrow from, another shelf has nothing but adult novels and paperbacks, and another small bookshelf full of old, uninteresting books, including textbooks from other countries that have been “donation dumped” on the school. The room is bright, breezy, and offers a stimulating learning environment, there doesn’t appear to be any leaks from the roof, and the bookshelves appear free of termites. There are adequate chairs and a few tables in the library, which are primarily used by Mrs. Chochrane during her reading sessions. The school has received no previous book donations from Hands (or from any organizations for many years). Mrs. Chochrane is doing a sterling job with the limited resources she has available.
ANTIGUA
Princess Margaret Secondary School
995 students • Grades 7 to 12
Mr. Samuel Roberts, Principal

The Whitehead Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Princess Margaret Secondary School is a very large, well established, urban secondary school on the outskirts of St. John's, the capital of Antigua. The school is a very vibrant, offering a large variety of extracurricular activities. The library is small and jam-packed with books, which although properly catalogued and well-displayed contain mostly material that is outdated and uninteresting. There is adequate furniture in the library and it is termite-free; there are inspirational literacy posters and charts decorating the walls. There are two experienced, dedicated, full-time librarians running the library; they are both enthusiastic and are very keen to upgrade the library to become more stimulating and inviting for the students. They have agreed to have a big clean-out and book sale of the books that hold no interest to the students or the teachers. Library periods are timetabled for Forms 1 and 2 (there are seven Form 1 classes and six Form 2 classes) and for the students who have difficulty with reading who are in Form 3. The library is open for all students for one hour after school, giving them the opportunity to borrow books at their leisure. Rejuvenating the library at Princess Margaret Secondary is a chance to have a big impact on a large, urban high school population in Antigua.
ANTIGUA
St. Mary's Secondary School
285 students • Grades 7 to 11
Casey Phillip, Principal

Kenisha Hatton, Teacher/Librarian
The Old Road Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: The library at this rural secondary school was originally created thanks to a partnership between a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and the Mill Reef Fund. It is currently being used for Library Skills classes and as a reference library for other subjects, but it is not set up as a lending library (this is something Principal Phillip is working toward). With the recent implementation of universal secondary education, many of the students coming to the school unfortunately lack basic reading skills. The school has employed a teacher to work with these students, but the school is sorely lacking in resources in this area. If Hands is able to assist the school, in addition to reference books for the sciences, history, careers, dictionaries and thesauruses, reading games and material that would inspire the students who have little or no reading skills is needed.
ANTIGUA
T. N. Kirnon Primary School
405 students • Grades K to 6
Hyacinth Barriero, Principal
Mrs. Thomas, Librarian

The Mill Reef Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: This large primary school, located in the heart of the capital city, St. John's, has a good reputation and is often over-subscribed. The Mill Reef Fund-created library is run by the reading teacher, Mrs. Thomas, and her assistant. The reading classes are held in the large-size library, which appears to work extremely well. Recently, the library received a complete makeover; Mrs. Thomas and her assistant removed all the books from the shelves, gave them a thorough “sort out,” discarded the outdated, inappropriate books, and held a book sale. The remaining books of good quality and content and have been color-coded (as per the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools) and displayed on the shelves in an attractive way, all at children’s eye level. There are murals and posters gracing the walls, and school staff have clearly made an effort to transform the library into an engaging, educational, child-friendly sanctuary. Seeing the progress firsthand, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, Lisa Tomlinson, is confident that this library will grow from strength to strength, and become a beacon library.
ANTIGUA
Urlings Primary School
60 students • Grades K to 6
Denese Parker, Principal
Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project

Background from Hands: Until just recently, this small primary has been stuck in limbo; for months, the school was on the block to be closed and changed into a secondary school by Ministry of Education. But a governmental shift in the wind has saved the school—Urlings Primary School will remain, hooray!, a primary school. The school received metal shelving as part of the 2014-2015 Hands Wish Lists shipment, but has never received books from Hands. The library is in pretty good shape—many of the old, “donation dumped” books have been culled, and the shelving is well arranged, secure, dry and termite-free. Urlings Primary School needs a big infusion of new books to pop the library into high gear, and the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, Lisa Tomlinson, is working hands-on with the school to get everything ready for new books from Hands.
ANTIGUA
Villa Primary School
295 students • Grades K to 6
Sandra Boney Felix, Principal
Pam Mellon & Tom Watters adopted this project
Background from Hands: Villa Primary School is a large, well-maintained, very busy school, with lots of different activities taking place. It is situated in the Villa area, an urban zone which suffers from high rates of unemployment and social deprivation. In recent years the library has experienced some staffing issues; however, it is now open and again functioning as a borrowing library. The library is stocked with a good selection of quality books—it is an inspiring space that the children love, especially the comfy “reading corner.” There are four members on the library committee; two teachers, Ms. Greene and Ms. Russell, have  taken the lead in opening the library in any spare time they have available. Presently, the library is open every morning for an hour before school and for four lunchtimes each week—the children can regularly be seen forming a line outside the library early in the morning waiting for it to open. The school’s principal has been working hard for a long time to obtain a full-time, government-funded librarian, and recently received the wonderful news that a librarian will be hired very shortly. This will mean that the library will stay open throughout the school day.
ANTIGUA
Willikies Primary School
71 students • Grades K to 6
Denmore Roberts, Principal
Barbara Martin, Library Manager

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,575 goal
Background from Hands: Thanks to considerable support from Hands, this school now has a model school library. The space is stimulating and inviting, and the students have told Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, that the library is their favorite place to be in the school. They absolutely love the books! The library is run by Barbara Martin (center, in photo), a part-time library manager funded by Hands, who is doing an excellent job with the help of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools and with on-the-job training from Lisa Tomlinson. She makes the children feel welcome at any time, and they are always very keen to attend the library at the allotted time on their class timetable. In addition to this the library is open for an hour after school on four days each week, and the children make full use of this hour, doing their homework, reading, and borrowing books. Tomlinson uses the Willikies Primary School library as an example of best practice and invites other schools to visit and observe this library in operation.
•    DOMINICA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Dominica's Literacy Gains
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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 Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo, works closely with educators, education ministries, 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.
DOMINICA
Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary School
44 students • Grades K to 6
Jean-Marie Royer, Principal
Melissa Didier, Librarian

Tony adopted this project
Background from Hands: Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary, named after Dominican Patricia Scotland, Secretary General elect of the Commonwealth of Nations, is a remote, rural school in Vieille Case, a mountainside village in the north part of the island. Principal Royer is very focused on literacy and tries to find new and exciting ways to make reading fun for students. With time-tabled, regular library times in place, the Principal reports that the students have been "devouring" the new books from Hands (the 2014-2015 Wish Lists shipment) and is keen not to lose this love of reading momentum. The students are fast running out of books they have not read before and have requested more books to fill their collection gaps. Children from remote villages like this often do not get exposed to as many places, people, and activities as those from larger towns and cities, so access to good books is especially important for vocabulary development and learning. What this small, literacy-minded school needs now is a "top up" of new books from Hands.
DOMINICA
Belles Primary School
49 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Viline Christopher, Principal
Mona Esprit, Librarian
Megan Re, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This tiny school, nestled in a verdant rainforest valley surrounded by mountains in the middle of the island, needs a clean out of their old books (the usual ancient donation-dumped fare) followed by a healthy infusion of new books from Hands—in other words, the start of a real library. There are quite a few things on the to-do list to make this all happen: clear out, repaint, and make the library a welcoming, child-friendly space; work to create buy-in from school staff; begin the Hands student librarian program so that students take ownership for the library; create and operationalize a book check-out system; create a library committee; put literacy activities, such as read aloud sessions, into play; have a book sale to get rid of the old books (and raise money for the school, too).
DOMINICA
Bense Primary School
55 students • Grades K to 6
Nathalie Ferrol, Principal

Tony adopted this project
Background from Hands: This small rural school received shipments of new books from Hands Across the Sea in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016—the school library now has 515 new, targeted books and a very healthy 10:1 book-to-student ratio. The school deserved it. Prior to the first shipment in 2014, the school pulled together to transform their existing library into an exciting, child-friendly space, including painting the shelves to match the color-coding (by reading level) organization recommended in the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. Student librarians have been trained and they manage book checkout and the "circulation desk." Students love the new books—they’ve been fully involved in the creation and operation of the library from the beginning. Reading is alive and well at Bense Primary School—all they need now is a “top up” to fill in some small gaps in their Grade K to Grade 1 shelves.
DOMINICA
Christian Union Primary School
116 students • Grades K to 6
Nathalie Laville, Principal

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: There’s certainly work to be done to create an attractive and welcoming lending library at this medium-size primary school. It’s the usual list for a school that Hands has not assisted before: cull the collection of old, inappropriate, “donation dumped” books with a book sale or disposal; spruce up the library to make it a bright, welcoming, child-friendly space; create a “reading corner” that entices children to curl up with a good book; operationalize a book checkout system; create or increase the amount of literacy activities, such as read-aloud sessions; cultivate involvement in the school library from parents; start the student librarian program. Lots to do, and fortunately the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo, is already on the job.
DOMINICA
Concord Primary School
66 students • Grades K to 6
Glyn Durand, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a new school for Hands. Concord Primary features a picturesque rural setting and lots of beautiful murals by local artist Aaron Hamilton (a former student at the school). The school as a very small central library room. It is quite colorful and filled with light, with two metal shelves. The books are packed into the library shelves with the spines, rather than the book covers, facing out. There are two good-condition children's dictionaries, but otherwise very few new or interesting books—including an ancient encyclopedia Britannica. So, there’s some work required to get the library space tidy and the school ready for new books: cull the collection of old, inappropriate, “donation dumped” books with a book sale or disposal; spruce up the library to make it a bright, welcoming, child-friendly space; create a “reading corner” that entices children to curl up with a good book; operationalize a book checkout system; create or increase the amount of literacy activities, such as read-aloud sessions; cultivate involvement in the school library from parents; start the student librarian program. Lots to do, and again, fortunately the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo, is on the job.
DOMINICA
Dominica Grammar School
800 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Alicia Jean-Jacques, Principal

Anna & Sam and Tony adopted this project
Background from Hands: Sometimes, child literacy is assumed to mean primary school—you know, those cute Grade K to Grade 6 children. But at Hands we believe that it is vital to reach high school kids, too. At 123 years old, Dominica Grammar School is the oldest public school in Dominica. Ms. Alicia Jean-Jacques, now the principal, has been involved at the school for 16 years; there are 72 staff members and a whopping 800 students at this large school. And, because of years of ongoing construction and the fact that the top floor of the school has been condemned for safety reasons, there is a space crunch: the school has no library, nor is there space for one, anyway. (Classrooms regularly do double- and even triple-duty, which makes classroom libraries problematic as well.)

The solution to getting great new books into hands of the students? Four lockable metal book cabinets located in the Grade 7 and Grade 8 classrooms, which will be under the lock, key, and supervision of Mr. Michael Augustine, the head of English Department, and a trio of other teachers who will swap out “library duty.” Mr. Augustine is very keen on this solution; he has two teenage sons, so he understands the importance of literacy. He personally has donated over 50 Hardy Boys books to the school, and he manages his own “book club"—he keeps books in a bag in his classroom and school teachers borrow them for themselves and their students. If you believe, like we do, that even high school kids need to grow up reading, this is a school well worth supporting.
DOMINICA
Dominica SDA Secondary School
265 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Carlotta Challenger, Principal
Phillippa Daniel, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hoping to receive new books from Hands during the 2015-2016 school year (the school was on the Hands Wish Lists but unfortunately funding was not found), this school’s staff has already cleared all the old, old, old books from their library shelves. There are still some things to work out, including: creating scheduled library times and keeping the library open as much as possible; optimizing the checkout method; grouping and labelling books; marshalling staff to get the new books onto the shelves ASAP; creating additional literacy activities; and prepping students, teachers, and parents about library rules, book handling, the importance of bringing books back on time and in good condition; and orientation sessions with students so they know where to find what in the library. Now, will someone out there please adopt, fully or partially, Dominica SDA Secondary School? They are ready.
DOMINICA
Giraudel Primary School
55 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Cuffy, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,025 goal
Background from Hands: Space is definitely limited at this tiny rural school, located atop a steep road up from Dominica’s southwest coast. Nevertheless, the school has a new principal, Ms. Cuffy, who is eager to move out the school’s collection of old, worn-out books and rejuvenate the shelves—and the interest of the students—with an infusion of great new books from Hands. The checkout system is ready to go, all that is needed is a cull (book sale!), a cleaning, and a more attractive display of the books (covers facing out, rather than spines-out).
DOMINICA
Goodwill Primary School
490 students • Grades K to 6
Miriam Lewis, Principal
Sarah Partridge, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: With 490 students from some of the most impoverished communities in Dominica and with below average literacy rates, this was one of the priority schools needing assistance. A section of the staff room was transformed into a beautiful library and was officially opened on January 15, 2016. New bookshelves have been built, old shelves repaired and improved, a partition has been erected, air-conditioning installed, and of course 680 brand new books from Hands have been selected, bought, delivered, sorted, labelled, and attractively displayed.

The timing perfectly coincided with the allocation of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Partridge to the school. With support from Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo and using the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools as a guide, Sarah, staff, and students have worked very hard to get the library up and running and to make it attractive and inviting. Some great little details have been implemented, like bookmark holders around the room and book review sheets strategically placed, so that students are encouraged to write short reviews on the books they have read, reminding them that good comprehension is a key element of literacy.

To ensure sustainability, two teachers are helping Sarah manage the library. Students have also shown keen interest in becoming student librarians and from the time Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo delivered the books the students have been very excited and have helped carry boxes and have assisted in the sorting and labelling of the books. Each student from Grade 2 on up has an index card with their name on it so that the books they choose to read can be logged in and out. All efforts are also being made to ensure the books are well looked after; book-handling training has taken place and letters have been sent to parents so that they are aware of their responsibilities with regard to the books that will be taken home. The library team hope they will be able to create a comfortable little reading corner with cushions in the future, to enhance storytelling sessions in the library with the lower grades. We are confident that the new library will encourage the joy of reading at the school and will complement the other literacy improvement strategies the school is putting in place. A great start, but more books are needed.
DOMINICA
Laudat Primary School
11 students • Grades K to 6
Eugenia Richards, Principal

Tony adopted this project
Background from Hands: And the prize for smallest school in Dominica, where the mountainous topography (it’s always a long and winding road to get from A to B) dictates more, smaller schools rather than fewer, bigger schools is Laudat Primary School, perched up in the (you guessed it) mountains above the waterfalls and thermal springs of the Roseau Valley. Hands had sent 150 books to the school way back in 2012, but these books are now “well-loved” and not in great condition. Plus, the principal has asked for basal readers for all the grades, and a current encyclopedia. For such a small, one-teacher school, a few books will go a long way.
DOMINICA
Massacre-Canefield Primary School
307 students • Grades K to 6
Elizabeth Xavier Dailey, Principal
Mrs. Robertine George, Literacy Coordinator

Expedia Canada adopted this project
Background from Hands: Proud of their vibrant and colourful library, named after Shania Edwards, winner of the OECS Reading Competition in 2011, the Massacre/Canefield Primary received the missing ingredient to their literacy drive in 2014: a shipment of brand new books from Hands Across The Sea. Since then, the school has worked hard clearing out the library of old, redundant books, training keen and responsible student librarians, organizing and labelling shelves and starting regular weekly check-out library sessions with each class. Literacy coordinator Mrs. Robertine George reports that shelves have been made locally to accommodate the new books, and one of them designated specifically for "boys." They are very excited about series such as Animorphs and Captain Underpants, and she is confident this will boost the interest in reading of the reluctant boy readers. What’s next? Just a few more gaps in the collection to fill.
DOMINICA
Newtown Primary School
267 students • Grades K to 6
Jerry Coipel, Principal
Ms. Royette Celaire, Teacher/Librarian

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This medium-size primary school, located in a very, very, very colorful fishing village on Dominica’s southwest coast, is the first Dominica school assisted by Hands Across the Sea—way back in 2008. Mr. Jerry Coipel was the principal then, he is the principal now, and—wow!—the old school has been torn down (hooray for that) and a shining new lavender-painted three-story school has been built in its place. So, in terms of the library, we’re starting from a blank slate. The library space is double-classroom-large, with a gorgeous tiled floor, modern windows (goodbye to dust-admitting shutters and cinder-block walls), and even air-conditioning. This is going to be great library space! We love the new lavender school uniforms, too.
DOMINICA
Pierre Charles Secondary School
400 students • Grades 7 to 11
Jerome Bardouille, Principal
Ms. Clementina Laurent, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hooray! A high school library is (re)born! Ms. Clementina Laurent, the school’s longtime librarian, and her team did a great job of clearing out the old, old, old books from the library, not to mention painting and sprucing up the physical space. Hands shipped the school 449 great news books in 2015-2016, which were quickly card-pocketed and shelved according to grade level (categories are Adults/Teachers, Seniors/Forms 3-5, Juniors Forms 1-2, and Reference, which is color-coded by topic). There is still lots of open shelf space left, and the school needs another big infusion of new books to bring their book-to-student ratio up to an acceptable level. This is a success story for everyone, especially the students.
DOMINICA
Roosevelt Douglas Primary School
311 students • Grades K to 6
Teddy Wallace, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,800 goal
Background from Hands: Named after a former Prime Minister from the area, Roosevelt Douglas Primary School is located in Portsmouth, the second largest urban town in Dominica, and with over 300 students, is one of the larger primary schools. Receiving great books is just part of the process of creating a sustainable school library and with their experienced teacher-librarian on long-term leave, the school has been striving to get their library back in order and the new books on the shelves. With assistance from Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, the new librarian Ms. Emrica Francis has been culling the numerous redundant and damaged books, and book sales have been held; the remainder of the books have been sorted, levelled, categorized and nearly all color-coded by reading level (as recommended in the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary School) and book-pocketed.

The library was officially opened in May 2016, and the students are eagerly volunteering to assist during lunchtime. Hands encourages the wider school community to be involved with their school library so that it becomes an inclusive, vibrant, and dynamic space and one where everyone takes ownership for its survival. We are therefore grateful of the support and assistance given by the dynamic PTA President, Mrs. Cornelius, and the other parents who have been helping with book labelling and sorting. Passionate principals are also key to the success of a rejuvenated library, and Principal Teddy Wallace has been supportive in procuring resources for the library and ensuring it is a clutter-free, child-friendly space. Hands Across the Sea is all about teamwork, and with this team worked hard to get the library re-opened. All that’s needed now is another infusion of great new books to bring the book-to-student ratio up to where it needs to be.
DOMINICA
Roseau Primary School
245 students • Grades K to 6
Gretta Roberts, Principal
Mrs. Celestine, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: The Lions Club of Dominica is making great strides at this school, raising child literacy levels through their Lions Club Reading Programme. Club members work one-on-one with students, helping with reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and more. The Lions Club is also instrumental in shepherding every year's Hands Wish Lists shipment through customs and distributing the boxes to each project. In a word, the Lions Club of Dominica is fantastic! We have been assisting Roseau Primary School since 2009 with the refurbishment of a lunch room for their school feeding program, paying for cooks for the program, supplying school supplies and resources, reading corners, books for classroom libraries and most recently an upgrade to their school library. Roseau Primary School is located in the Bath Estate and near Silver Lake, a rough part of town where most of the students come from disadvantaged homes and many are in foster care. Three years ago when Hands Across the Sea first started assisting this school, one of the first steps of the dynamic new principal, Gretta Roberts, was to create a school lunch program that quickly extended to breakfast to make sure that her students were starting the school day with a full stomach. Over the years we have seen a vast improvement in this school including fresh paint everywhere, reading corners for Grades K-2, a French program, a music program, a new lunch room, new uniforms, a garden and a computer room. The principal has been able to attract more committed teachers, and children are performing at grade level, improving their behavior, and basking in the love and attention they receive in their school environment.
DOMINICA
Sineku Tunubuku Reference Library
Clara Frederick, Director
Dalmarie Prosper, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This community library is the only public library in the Kalinago territory and is used by villagers of all ages keen on learning. Students with no resources at home to assist with homework and school projects were especially excited about the books previously donated by Hands and are frequent visitors. Visitors to the library have made requests for additional titles including books on relationships, teen issues and healthy living, CXC Exam Study Guides and text books, “fact books”, young adult fiction and books for beginning readers. With the help of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Chase Jones and Aurora Fox, it has been so encouraging to see how the young people from the community invested time and effort to get their library ready by painting murals and shelves, cleaning and tidying. It would be great to help them with the additional book resources they need.
DOMINICA
St. John's RC Primary School
298 students • Grades K to 6
Glenda Peter, Principal
Janet Sheetz, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,825 goal
Background from Hands: A lot has been already done here to resurrect this large primary school’s library, which for years has lain dormant, packed solid with old, worn-out, inappropriate books (understandably, teachers preferred to create their own classroom libraries and “reading corners” using two years’ of previous Hands donations). U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Janet Sheetz and fellow Peace Corps Volunteer Mitch Stricker are working the rejuvenate the library, starting with a cull, a clean-out, and color-coding the collection according to reading level—these are big, time-consuming jobs. (The library does not seem to have been a priority for the previous principal, to say the least!) The new principal, Mrs. Glenda Peter, says that most of her students are reading at level but the school has some Haitian and Dominican Republic students where English is their second language and thus have challenges with reading. A reading teacher does some student pull-out sessions to try and get them up to speed. Once the mammoth cull, clean-out, and color-coding is finished, it will become apparent what books are needed for the school.

DOMINICA
St. Mary's Academy
385 students • Grades 7 to 11
Brother James DePiro, Acting Principal
Miss Bazil, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: St. Mary’s Academy is a well-regarded, medium-size boys secondary school, located in the capital city of Roseau. The school library was packed with mostly old and inappropriate books, and Librarian Ms. Bazil lamented that it was extremely challenging to get the boys interested in using the library. Thanks to an infusion of books from Hands in 2015-2016 this is no longer the case; more and more students are coming in and borrowing books. Ms. Bazil has been working hard getting the library organized; clearing and tidying the library and shelves, culling redundant books, book-pocketing the new books and displaying them attractively. She has also been clearing out clutter and brightening up the library by putting up literacy posters. The room looks a lot more appealing!

The students love the new books and more are showing interest and enthusiasm in reading. When Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo visited, one of the students told Ms. Bazil that she had to keep an eye on the new Jay-Z book to make sure nothing happened to it, as it was his favorite. The dictionary and the Guinness Book of World Records are also extremely popular with the students, as not all students have access to the Internet at home and some use the library for homework. Ms. Bazil is very thankful for the donation of 360 new books and says it's been the most useful and greatest gift they have received from a donor. In the past they have received books that were old and not attractive or interesting. A follow-up shipment of books from Hands is needed to help bring the book-to-student ratio up to an acceptable standard.

DOMINICA
St. Mary's Primary School
452 students • Grades K to 6
Annette Austrie, Principal
Mrs. Norissa Peter, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: St. Mary’s Primary School is a large boys-only school in the capital city of Roseau. In 2015-2016, Hands shipped 569 new books, which were sorted, labelled, and organized in sections on the shelves, and the library, formerly full of old books, looks great. The Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools was used as a guide. Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo is visiting the school regularly to monitor and ensure that the new books are fully and properly utilized. Celia will coach and support librarian Mrs. Norissa Peter to ensure that strategies (book handling training, letters to parents) are put in place so that the books are well looked after and to try and ensure the sustainability of the library through the creation of a library team consisting of teachers, students, and parents. Hands is confident that this injection of new and exciting books will rejuvenate the library and spark the interest of the boys so that they become self-motivated, independent, read-for-pleasure readers.The principal, staff, and students are all very excited. A gap-filling “top up” of books from Hands is still needed.
DOMINICA
Tete Morne Primary School
Winner, 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award
127 students • Grades K to 6
Nathalie Jude, Principal
Elena MacDonald, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,000 goal
Background from Hands: Hands has had the pleasure of partnering with passionate and dedicated Principal Nathalie Jude for the last four years and books donated have been very much needed, appreciated, and well used. The school is severely space-challenged, but their belief in the power of books and the priority they have chosen to give literacy has motivated the team to move the library into a larger, more appropriate room. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Elena MacDonald has worked wonders—the room has been painted, cleaned, shelving is in place, old books culled and the books sorted, color-coded, and shelved—and the library was officially opened in May 2015. Now that they have more room, the school has requested some specific books to ensure their library remains relevant and effective; poetry books, engaging leveled readers, series books, Caribbean and culturally relevant non-fiction books and biographies, are a few of the types of books requested. (And they need a “reading corner” floor mat, too.) Recognizing all the great work of the past few years, Tete Morne Primary School received the 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award for Dominica. Hooray!
DOMINICA
Thibaud Primary School
30 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Jacintha Marcellin, Principal
David Kurtz, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Joe and supporters of David Kurtz adopted this project
Background from Hands: Over the past two years Principal Marcellin's admirable goal of making her school "the best small school on island" is becoming a reality. Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo has been truly impressed with the hard work and commitment by the principal and her team to try and overcome their many challenges and to make best use of resources available. Previously, the school's library consisted of only one large shelf in the Principal's office, filled with old, uninteresting, or inappropriate books donated by well-meaning individuals and charities. Over the summer the principal and David Kurtz, the energetic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the school, worked hard to go through the existing collection and pull out any books which were still useful and relevant, convert a small room into a colorful library area and split the large unattractive shelf into brightly-painted, child-friendly, separate-shelf units. The library is in great shape now and all that's needed is a "top up" to fill some gaps in the collection.
DOMINICA
Warner Primary School
57 students • Grades K to 6
Ericson Bertrand, Principal
Ms. Sherian Bruno, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,225 goal
Background from Hands: Hands sent this small school, perched above the mid-west coast of Dominica, 352 new books in 2014-2015--and the students have read all of the books already! (Guess they liked them.) The school's small-yet-powerful library officially opened in January 2015, and things have been running very well ever since. What the school needs now is a "top up" of much-asked-for books.
DOMINICA
Wesley Primary School
140 students • Grades K to 6
Magdalene Bontiff-Honore', Principal
Chris Leiby, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Caroline and her GoFundMe supporters adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands is always happy to partner with schools that are willing to put the effort into getting their library spaces ready and their libraries up and running as quickly as possible. With the help of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Leiby, Wesley Primary School made great library progress: outdated, inappropriate books were removed, shelves were painted and the new books from Hands organized, labeled, and shelved. Teachers have reported that the students love the library and reading the interesting, brand new books and there are some impressive student book reports on display in the library. Principal Honore strongly believes in the benefits of school libraries and is confident this is essential to complement the literacy strategies they are putting in place to increase literacy rates at the school. But there are not yet enough books for every student to find something interesting to read each week and more reference, chapter and series books are still priorities for this school.
•    GRENADA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Grenada's Literacy Gains
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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 Grenada, Olivia Phillip, works closely with educators, education ministries, 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.
GRENADA
Boca Secondary School
457 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Cephas Belfon, Principal
The Grenada Rotary Club adopted this project
Background from Hands: According to Principal Cephas Belfon, who has been first a teacher, then the principal of this school over the last 31 years, there are serious literacy problems at Boca Secondary. Quite a number of the students are well below average in reading proficiency. There had been several attempts to start a library in the past but they had failed, primarily due to a lack of resources—such as new books. The room that had been set aside for the library was used as a study room; there was little suitable furniture for a library, and only one metal shelf and two magazine racks. And, of course, no books.

The Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, first visited the school in September of 2015 and discussed with the Principal how to create a lending library. First up was shelving. Principal Belfon contacted a couple of hardware providers asking for assistance, and the school received a donation of lumber for library shelving.  Not long after that a workman arrived to build the shelves, with guidance from Olivia. Together with the library assistant, an Imani worker (government employment scheme), and some students. Olivia also led the clearing out of the old books for disposal or for storage elsewhere. Olivia also trained the school’s Imani worker in library management.

With the addition of a full-time librarian, the library is now functioning one hundred percent. Books are catalogued and adequately shelved (a book inventory exists, books are levelled, color-coded, and grouped appropriately; books are displayed with their covers facing out; shelves are labeled; the Color Code Guide is posted; books are at eye-level and are able to be reached by students). Library furniture is now adequate (bookshelves, tables, chairs, and a comfy reading corner). Though the space is somewhat small, there are adequate chairs and tables to seat up to 15 students. Literacy murals and posters are sufficient (the school has made an effort to make the space engaging, educational, and child-friendly). All that’s needed now is another infusion of books to serve all of the 457 students.
GRENADA
Concord Government School
122 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Gordon Williams, Principal
Max Fenster, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Max Fenster and friends adopted this project
Background from Hands: Principal Gordon Williams, who has taught at the school for 18 years and is in his first year as principal, started the school library about two years ago after realizing the desperate need for improving literacy, not only at the school but also within the community. A large number of the students are struggling readers and he believes that this problem stems from a lack of appreciation for books from the home. Mr. Williams believes that if the community and parents of children in the school change their perception about reading, the students will change their attitude toward reading, too. An Imani trainee who assists in the library, Ms. Faun Walker, was instrumental in getting the space ready and setting up the library. A new and energetic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Max Fenster, is concentrating his efforts on child literacy. What’s needed is an infusion of asked-for, targeted books from Hands to help the effort on its way.
GRENADA
Constantine Methodist Primary School
160 students • Grades K to 6
Shundalyn Niles-Scott, Principal
Alex Zielske, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Katy & Justin adopted this project
Background from Hands: Great things have been happening at Constantine Methodist Primary School over the past two years, mostly due to the dynamic working partnership between Mrs. Niles-Scott, the principal, and the U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Alex Zielske. The duo has nurtured the student librarian program (every grade participates, and every child wants to be a student librarian!) and turned the 100-square-foot library space into a small-yet-powerful force for literacy at the school. The library collection needs more Grade K to Grade 1 books to serve the school’s youngest eager readers.
GRENADA
Grenada Christian Academy
200 students • Grades 7 to 11
Catherine King, Principal
Delinjah Rennie, Librarian

Stephen & Sharon adopted this project
Background from Hands: At this small secondary school, located in a rural area, most of the students are unable to read at grade level. To turn things around the school is attempting, for the first time ever, to start a library. The Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, helped launch the new library by helping to build new shelves, painting the walls and the shelves, and painting a mural; the school carried out the electrical work in the library room and purchased the paint for the floor. The Imani trainee assigned to the library, Ms. Delinjah Rennie, worked tirelessly to get the space ready. A library committee, made up of staff and students, was formed to run the library. The new library was officially opened and dedicated, and in October 2014 the school received its first shipment of 280 books from Hands Across the Sea. The books were quickly organized and placed on the shelves, and students have been checking out books—Ms. Rennie has been kept very busy! The library committee is implementing various literacy programs for the 2014-2015 school year. Looking forward to the 2016-2017 school year, the library needs another shipment of books to fill out its collection.
GRENADA
Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary School
250 students • Grades 7 to 11
Kimlyn Decoteau, Principal
The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: This co-ed high school, located in the northern, rural part of the island, has a new, young principal (a former teacher at the school) who is eager to rejuvenate the school library. In the past the school library was hampered by a severe scarcity of resources—mainly books—and lack of space to accommodate a library big enough to serve the school. The school has tried various ways to give the students access to books in the past, such as running a checkout system out of cardboard boxes. The room is still available to be used as a library, but is also used as a multi-purpose room (teachers bring their classes to the room when no other space in the school is available). There is a full-time librarian who has been with the school for the past three years; she has received training in library management and handles the management of the facility. Their main problem, she says, is a lack of appropriate books—the collection is made up of really old and worn adult fiction, hardcover donated textbooks, and a few outdated encyclopedias. The principal is ready to discard a lot of these “donation dumped” gems. The Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, is working actively with the school’s literacy coordinator to prepare the school for new books from Hands, and to ensure sustainability through the formation of a library committee.
GRENADA
J. W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School
120 students • Grades 7 to 11
Laurel Bartholomew, Principal>
John, Rosemary & Susan adopted this project
Background from Hands: Wow! This school library has the largest library committee—eighteen or so students—that we’ve ever seen. The library, which Hands assisted with book shipments in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 for a total of 580 new, asked-for books, now boasts a healthy collection of books. A few years ago, before the library was officially opened, a large number of the inappropriate books were cleared away. The library now has improved to the point where the collection is diverse enough to meet the various interests of the students. The books are mostly new or are in excellent condition, the books are catalogued and adequately shelved, there is a books inventory, the library has supported several initiatives geared at improving literacy at the school, including a reading competition. What’s needed at this point is a “top up” of new books to fill a few gaps in the collection.

GRENADA
Paraclete Government School
160 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Francis, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: At this medium-size school, located in a rural area in the northern part of Grenada, there are lots of students with low reading levels. There is a high illiteracy rate among the students’ parents, too. The school has a library building, but it’s in rough shape. The ceiling is suffering from water damage, the bookshelves are riddled with termites, and the book selection is very limited and could probably all be discarded (one bookshelf of old textbooks, teacher resources, novels, a few picture books). The principal, Ms. Francis is new, but had been a teacher at the school for over 20 years.  She is incredibly passionate, motivated, and determined to get a library up and running for the school in the form of a three-year development plan which includes a reading literacy program. Since the library building is unusable, they have revamped the library space in the IT room. A major infusion of new books from Hands, along with continuing rehabilitation of the library space, will get this library launched.
GRENADA
River Sallee Government School
164 students • Grades K to 6
Jean James-Ross, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea has assisted this rural school, located in the northeast, coastal region of Grenada, twice in recent years, sending a total of 544 great new books and a “reading corner” floor mat, and the school has made their new library a vital part of the school. To recap, as part of the 2013-2014 Hands Wish Lists shipment we sent a “starter set” of books, and the principal enlisted the help of the PTA to build bookshelves and turn a room into a library space with new purple paint. The library soon went into daily use, and a love of reading and literacy began to bloom in the school, and the reading skills of many children rose from the “frustration” or remedial level up to grade level. Like many schools, almost all of which are shorthanded, River Sallee has its ups and downs in terms of library management, but overall the trendline is up—the children are reading more and more. The school is ready for an infusion of new books to build their collection.
GRENADA
Rose Hill Catholic Infant School
47 students • Pre-School to Grade 1
Margaret Joseph, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Background from Hands: This is a small, rural school located in a village where the economic background of most residents can be described as “challenging.” There is presently no physical structure available for a library at this open-plan school, though there are a lot of cabinets which are packed with old and seldom-used books—these should be discarded to make way for new books. Another possibility is, given a responsible teacher in charge, the open area can hold about four to six shelves, each classified according to reading levels. The teachers of the older students can bring them to check out books or just to read to them without creating a disturbance; if the space is large enough to fit a rug or mat so the kids can come and read during break. The library space can be located in a central area and thus be easily monitored by all the teachers, including the principal. Classes can still be held in the open area, sectioned off by movable partitions. It won’t take many new books to rejuvenate the library at this school, just a fresh approach to using the space.
GRENADA
St. Dominic's RC Primary School
320 students • Grades Pre-School to 6
Cephas Ettienne, Principal
The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, Pam & Phil, and SeaDream Yacht Club adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands first assisted this school back in 2010-2011 with 600 books when a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer created the library, and we followed that shipment up with 225 book in the 2013-2014 school year. Principal Mr. Cephas Ettienne, who was principal back then, is enthusiastic about receiving a “top up” of new books—they are greatly needed. All of the books in the library look worn; the Hands-donated books look well-used, and there are other, older books which may have previously been in the library or donated since. Some of these books should be cleaned out so that the remaining books can be displayed more engagingly. The school has a literacy committee and there is a teacher who assists after school with the struggling readers. Principal Ettienne reports that the school has some strong readers but they also have some who are really struggling—picture books that have very simple words (one sentence per page and one word per page) are needed for these students. Rhyme and repetitive texts, and “books for boys” are also desperately needed (when stories are read in class, the boys will be quick to tell the teacher that it’s a girl book they’re reading to the class!). So, superheroes, cars, Magic School Bus, non-fiction transportation picture books, and chapter books such as A-Z Mysteries, Magic Tree House, and Goosebumps it is!
GRENADA
St. George’s Anglican Junior School
376 students • Grades K to 4
Rosetta Braitwaithe, Principal
The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund and Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: This busy school, located in the heart of St. George’s, the capital of Grenada, is part of two separate schools which share the same building (the senior school is located on the top floor while the junior is below). The library area is tiny—approximately 8 feet by 12 feet, with shelves on three sides almost up to the ceiling. Up until recently, the library was a very active and vibrant place. The teachers brought their students to check out and read books, but borrowing was suspended due to a lack of staffing to run library. Repeated attempts to get assistance through the government’s Imani employment program have failed. At present, three boxes of used books, chapter books and some readers, make up the library; most of these are in fairly good condition. In advance of an infusion of new books from Hands, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, will be training the older students to take charge of the library as student librarians, with a committed teacher supervising. After that, what the school desperately needs is new books.
GRENADA
St. John's Christian Secondary School
193 students • Grades 7 to 11
Anthony Wellington, Principal

The Sandals Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Gradually, the library at this high school is being transformed and gifted with new life now that the new 307 books from the Hands 2015-2016 shipment are on the shelves. The furniture and shelves have been rearranged to create an inviting atmosphere with the books displayed to arouse the user’s curiosity and thirst for information as borrowing. All of which is a long way up from a year or two ago: The school’s large male population showed little to no interest in books, mainly because the existing books were old and inappropriate (yep, that will do it). These days, with too many students still performing below expectations, the school has placed special emphasis on developing the school’s literacy program; staff started a reading club, and November was declared Literacy Month and featured choral reading/speaking, public speaking, debates, and reading competitions. This school is making good progress, and another infusion of new books from Hands is needed to maintain the momentum.
GRENADA
St. Joseph's RC Primary School
315 students • Grades K to 6
Patsy Clyne-George, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: This school library had received 300 books from Hands as part of the 2012-2013 Wish Lists shipment, and these days the collection is a reasonably attractive one (we had encouraged the school to discard the large number of old, inappropriate books and unusable “donation dumped” textbooks from their shelves, and they did so). The library can, however, benefit from some nonfiction titles and books for lower level readers. According to the principal, the collection has been the same for quite some time and the students are hungry for new books. All of the books have been color coded and grouped appropriately, with plenty of enticing “cover out” displays as recommended by the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. The shelves have also been rearranged to increase the child-friendliness of the library; though not ideal, the library does contain some chairs with the desk attached. There isn’t a comfy “reading corner,” but there is space enough for one. There are no literacy murals or posters in the library, but all the classes have been given orientation in how to use the library—the students understand the layout and where to find the books for their level. Now they are ready for new books from Hands!
GRENADA
St. Matthew's RC Primary School
233 students • Grades K to 6
Paul Marshall, Principal

Expedia Canada and Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: Things are going very well indeed in the school’s new library. Hands sent 557 amazingly great books as part of the 2014-2015 Wish Lists shipment to Grenada, which pretty much created the school’s new library (the existing collection was the usual “donation dumped” dreck, which was promptly discarded). At present, about 70% of the students in Grades 4 to 6 borrow books, with a slightly lower rate among the lower grades. The library is in need of more chapter fiction books. The Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, helped the new Imani trainee who will be assisting full time at the library, Ms. Lisa Ranger, with pointers on how to effectively manage and promote the library including: how to divide the titles into different levels; setting up book displays; getting the parents and community involved; running an effective  checkout system; promoting the use of the library; and getting the students involved, from forming a library committee to learning how to become a student librarian; and getting the assistance of the principal to select the students for the library committee. There is still a need for more books at the library, especially for Grades 3 to 6. Overall, the library is a happy, happening place!

GRENADA
St. Michael's RC Primary School
108 students • Grades K to 6
Desmond Lewis, Principal
Rachel Passmore, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: This small primary school is located in a rural, agriculture-dependent community, a far way off the main road. The school has a tiny library, but it is packed with old, “donation dumped” books. There is no literacy coordinator, but the school has an energetic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Rachel Passmore, who will be rejuvenating, with help from Hands, the library. The students show a great interest in reading, but they have already exhausted the meager selection of decent books; there are classroom libraries with, again, old not-so-wonderful books. (Teachers are asked to source the books from wherever they can.) Most of the students, given the lack of books, are reading below grade level. Other factoids: there are several literacy initiatives planned for the library; a Readers and Writers Club is run by Spanish teacher; children are asked to source books from wherever they can; there is reading and sharing during assembly; the school struggles with getting parents involved; there are a lot of young parents, often unemployed, with multiple children.

GRENADA
Uganda Martyrs Catholic School
301 students • Grades K to 6
Kevin Francis, Principal

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: The library at this big, bustling primary school is in limbo. Right now the library is closed due to instability in the concrete ceiling—chunks of concrete are falling in the library, putting the staff and students at risk (one of the teachers has promised to repair the ceiling soon). Though there appears to be a good amount of books in the library, most of them are old and inappropriate—books that the students find boring and do not read. Meanwhile, the handful of favorite books are read over and over again. According to the principal, there is a need for “books for boys” at all reading levels. Olivia Phillip, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, went over the collection with the librarian and recommended books to be discarded. A group of student librarians assists Sanika Cadore in running the library. The librarian has introduced the students to literacy activities that would assist their spelling and vocabulary, but most have come to a standstill because of the temporary closure of the library. So we are standing by, and the whole school is waiting for the library ceiling to be fixed.
GRENADA
Westerhall Secondary School
454 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Martin Mitchell, Principal
Agnes LaBarrie, Literacy Coordinator

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Background from Hands: After the school’s staff reached out to us early in 2014, Hands sent its first shipment (360 books) to Westerhall Secondary School in October 2014, and then another infusion (324 books) as part of the 2015-2016 Wish Lists shipment. We have been very pleased to see that the excitement of the new titles has reinforced the already-energetic library coordinator, Mrs. Agnes La Barrie, and the library’s Imani worker, Elizabeth Felix. (The students are very excited, too!) Most of the students, particularly the boys, are struggling to catch up on their reading and writing skills, and the rejuvenated library is attracting their attention. Principal Mitchell and Vice-Principal Roxann Bhola share the library team’s passion to do all they can to help “their boys” come up to speed in order to pass on to the next grade. In the meantime, we have awarded the school the 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award for Grenada. The prize is $1,000 in new books or literacy materials of their choice. Well done, Westerhall!
GRENADA
YWCA St. George's
38 children
Akesha Alexander, Director
Robert adopted this project
Background from Hands: Just to get you situated, “St. George’s” refers to the capital of Grenada, and “YWCA” refers to....c’mon, you know what YWCA stands for! In addition to activities and support for girls and women, the YWCA St. George’s has a small library, established in 2009, that is mostly used as a support to their after-school program (the organization also offers afternoon classes in baking, cooking, arts and crafts, and sewing. The organization is nonprofit, but charges a small fee for programs). Students enrolled in the after-school homework program are eligible to check out books from the library (the library is not open to the public, however). Though there is a fair number of books in the YWCA library, most of them are in terrible condition; the entire collection, fiction and nonfiction, needs an overhaul. Over to you!
•    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
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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, education ministries, 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.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Cayon Primary School (St. Kitts)
267 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Marva Williams Buchanan, Principal
Ms. Glenditta Halliday, Librarian

The Christophe Harbour Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: The school library is a large, modern, beautiful space—wonderfully crafted literacy murals decorate its walls—with lots of shelving and room for students to relax and read. The library is open to students before, during, and after school, and every class has a scheduled time to be in the library. For the past two years there has been a full-time librarian, and also a teacher who assists when needed. The librarian has a special program for the remedial reading students in which she plays games with them to help them read; the librarian also wants to start read-a-thons and spelling bees. But in common with most schools on St. Kitts, Cayon Primary School library has a lot of old books, and the organization of the library can use improvement (the librarian categorized the 2015 Christophe Harbour Foundation-funded books using the color-coding system, as advocated in the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools). The librarian has also created a book checkout system. The librarian promised to give away the old books to students and parents to make room for the new ones coming from Hands.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Cayon High School (St. Kitts)
410 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Francil Antonio Morris, Principal
Violet Gordon, Librarian

The Christophe Harbour Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This medium-size high school is located on the rural coast of the windward side of the island, but the picturesque village of Cayon is marred by violence, gangs, and drug activity. All the more reason to rejuvenate the school's large, well-equipped, but dormant library, which for years has been packed with "donation dumped" castoffs (ancient encyclopedias, bodice rippers, adult spy novels, diet books) of absolutely no interest to teenagers. ("None of our students are reading," the head of the English Department told Hands, and it's no wonder. The kids are bewitched by the games and social media of their cellphones.) Through a major infusion of contemporary, exciting, relevant, and attention-getting books, we've turned around plenty of "tough" secondary schools before, and we think we can do it at Cayon High School, too. The principal and librarian are 100% onboard with the effort. This is a good school to support, and a way to invest in the future of 410 boys and girls who, outside the gates of the school, are surrounded by failed role models.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charles E. Mills Secondary School (St. Kitts)
475 students • Grades 7 to 11
Carla Mills-Diamond, Principal
Shirmel Robin, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: For years, the "donation dumped" books in the library at this school held little interest for the students. Correction: Actually, the old, inappropriate books held zero interest for the students. Hands, with help from the Christophe Harbour Foundation, first assisted the library and its stalwart librarian, Ms. Shirmel Robin, with shipments of new, targeted books in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, for a total of 535 books. Ms. Robin has been building up student membership and participation in the library steadily ever since. To bring the library even close to the optimum 8:1 book-to-child ratio, more books are needed. How important is access to relevant, exciting books that educate and open up the world for young people transitioning from childhood to adulthood? Really important—for the large majority of students, high school is the last chance at education.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charlestown Primary School (Nevis)
328 students • Grades K to 6
Miss Latoya Jeffers, Principal
Eulana Batson, Librarian

The Four Seasons Homeowners Association adopted this project
Background from Hands: What a difference a new, energetic, highly motivated principal makes! Add to that a dynamic librarian, and literacy takes off! Principal Latoya Jeffers and Librarian Eulana Batson have injected rocket fuel into the school's newly energized library (under the previous principal, the library served as a graveyard for old, moldy books). First of all, everyone was on board with getting rid of the old books (through a book sale, a giveaway, incineration) to make way for new, exciting books from Hands in 2015-2016. Batson then embraced the proven methodology (simple to set up, child-friendly, easy to sustain) of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools and added improvements of her own. The library has an inventive layout, candy-colored shelving and a full-time librarian, a comfy "reading corner" that is a favorite read-aloud destination of the Kindergarten crowd, and a seemingly endless series of literacy activities. The only thing the library needs is a sizeable infusion of books to keep building the budding 641-book collection of books from Hands and the Four Seasons Homeowners' Foundation.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Deane-Glasford Primary School (St. Kitts)
160 students • Grades K to 6
Avonelle Martin, Principal
Ms. Kristy Daniel, Teacher in Charge of the Library

The Christophe Harbour Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Recipe for supercharging child literacy: Take an old storeroom, convert it to a library (repurposing the existing wall shelving), purge the space of any old, "donation dumped" books, bring in the 521 new books from Hands, thanks to the Christophe Harbour Foundation, color-code them according to the recommendations of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools, arrange them covers-out in colorful, child-grabbing, subject-specific displays (Adventure, Mysteries, Scary Stories, Caribbean Stories, Travel, and many more), unroll the foam cushion "reading corner" mat (sent by Hands), and bring in the kids. We've seen nothing better than the literacy environment created by Ms. Kristy Daniel, the teacher in charge of the library (she's also the Grade 6 teacher)....it's just superb. The only thing needed now is more books to build the library up to a healthier book-to-child ratio.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Dieppe Bay Pre-School (St. Kitts)
39 children
Ms. Kimroy Francis, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $875 goal
Background from Hands: The principal of this rural pre-school is eager to start a small lending library for parents to come in and take books home for their young children. She wants to encourage parents to read to their children at home by not only lending books to families, but asking parents to come in and do read-alouds to the children. There is plenty of space and shelving for a small lending section in the principal’s office, as well as a reading and writing center in the pre-school’s classroom to shelve books for teachers to use. Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, will be supporting the teachers there with ways to use the books for weekly activities. This is the first pre-school that Hands will be helping in St Kitts. We are excited to get feedback on the benefits of providing this type of parent interaction with books at the early childhood level. We believe this approach will work; once we get feedback on best practices we hope to expand our reach to more early-childhood centers in St Kitts and Nevis.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Dr. William Connor Primary School (St. Kitts)
299 students • Grades K to 6
Valencia Syder, Principal
Ruth Duporte, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,760 goal
Background from Hands: This school-library success story is ready for more books. Over the past few years, Librarian Ruth Duporte has transformed the space from an uninspiring collection of the usual “donation dumped” books (Hands, with funding from the Christophe Harbour Foundation, assisted the school with 1,444 new books over the course of three shipments) to a truly child-friendly, welcoming environment for reading and discovery. This busy library does all the right things: the books are cataloged and attractively shelved, color-coded, and grouped appropriately; the books are at eye level and easily reached; the room has some couches, a rug, and some tables and chairs (they would like a “reading corner” floor mat and bean bags, too); the library is decorated and engaging; the librarian is full-time; the checkout system is operating well; the library is timetabled and the children come regularly (the timetable is displayed on the librarian's desk); the library is open and accessible throughout the school day; the community and parents are involved, and the students are excited about the library. All that the library needs now is a “top up” of gap-filling books.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Gingerland Secondary School (Nevis)
350 students • Grades 7 to 11
Lorna Brandy, Principal
Carian Dore, Librarian

The Four Seasons Homeowners Association adopted this project
Background from Hands: After the school lost its previous full-time librarian in September of 2015, the library at Gingerland Secondary School has been in transition. Finally, it looks like Carian Dore, the new librarian who had stepped in to manage the library in addition to teaching classes, is now the full-time librarian. Hooray for that! Hands assisted the library with 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Wish Lists shipments of 1,200 books, plus a Four Seasons Homeowners' Foundation-funded 408-book shipment in 2015-2016, and the space has come a long way. In 2016 a major cull (too much of the precious bookshelf space was still taken up with old, moldy, inappropriate adult reading, such as paperback spy and romance novels) and a reorganization of the bookshelf layout gave the library a much-needed reset. Now that the librarian is full-time, what Gingerland Secondary needs now is an infusion of subject-area resource books to bring more students and teachers into the space.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Ivor Walters Primary School (Nevis)
167 students • Grades K to 6
Janice Whittaker Richards, Principal
Corril Clarke, Teacher-Librarian

The Four Seasons Homeowners Association adopted this project
Background from Hands: The library at this bustling primary school is well-used and in good physical shape—plenty of bookshelves and all that—but the collection, composed of so-so used books that have found their way to the school over the years, is yellowed, dog-eared, and worn. Time for a "top up" of brand new books to keep the students excited about reading! Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, is working with Teacher-Librarian Corril Clarke with strategies for refreshing and rejuvenating the library.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Nevis Academy (Nevis)
60 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Lucia Wilkinson, Principal

Zetta & Frances and The Christophe Harbour Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This small private school needs books not because the ones they have are inappropriate or in falling-apart condition (Hands sent the school 418 new books as part of the 2014-2015 Hands Wish Lists shipment) but because every book in their collection has been read over and over by the students. The small-but-effective library has only one bookshelf, and the librarian has been rotating books on and off the shelf in an effort to keep refreshing the titles. But that tactic has, shall we say, a limited shelf life with the students. The school especially needs series books for Grade Two and Grade Five; the school does have a new encyclopedia set from Hands. The current book collection on the little library shelf is correctly color-coded by reading level. All that’s needed is a “top up” of new, exciting books for the school’s avid readers.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Sandy Point Primary School (St. Kitts)
Winner, 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award
312 students • Grades K to 6
Jennifer Dolphin, Principal
Nicole Francis-Williams, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Background from Hands: Wow! What a difference an inspired librarian can make. Nicole Francis-Williams, the architect of the Sandy Point Primary School library makeover, not only embraced the methodology of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools (color-coding the books by reading level, artfully displaying them, and more) but she has brought a vitality to the library, making it much more than a newly-painted room with a collection of books. She has created different literacy activities for each grade at the school, including a new theme for the library every term; read-alouds dramatized with in-character costumes from books; a “Read a Book” challenge, with rewards; and occasional literacy “parades” through the community. Since 2013-2014, Hands has sent 783 great new books to the school, thanks to Scotiabank Bright Future and the Christophe Harbour Foundation, and they've made great use of every single one. Which is just one of the many reasons why we awarded Sandy Point Primary School the 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award for St. Kitts and Nevis.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
St. James Primary School (Nevis)
35 students • Grades K to 6
Daniele Wallace, Principal

The Four Seasons Homeowners Association adopted this project
Background from Hands: This cute little primary school, perched on the beautiful, empty coastline of rural Nevis, has had a busy library for several years now. Hands sent the school new books in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Wish Lists shipment, and they are due for a "top up" of gap-filling titles. Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, is working with the principal and staff of St. James Primary School to keep the kids engaged with the library and reading.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Tucker Clarke Primary School (St. Kitts)
500 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Sylvester Charles, Principal
Beverly Prentice, Librarian
Shorna Maynard, Reading Coordinator/Library Teacher

Expedia Canada adopted this project
Background from Hands: With 500 students, this is the largest primary school on St. Kitts. It is also chronically underserved—a visit to the school library, stuffed with old, inappropriate books donated by unthinking individuals and agencies, confirms the lack of support given to this school. Hands sent the school 591 great new Christophe Harbour Foundation-funded books in the 2015-2016 Wish Lists shipment, which is a start. Though there is not enough room for children to sit and work at desks, the classroom-size library space has adequate shelving and both a full-time librarian and a library teacher. The staff, assisted by Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, is gradually getting rid of the old books. To reach all of the children at this big school, several more shipments of books from Hands are needed.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Violet O. Jeffers-Nichols Primary School (Nevis)
70 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Shea Swanston-Wilkin, Principal

The Four Seasons Homeowners Association adopted this project
Background from Hands: Another case of “donation dumped” books strangling a school library (and turning children away from reading in the process). The good news is that major culling, along with help from Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, is underway. In this kind of “overstuffed library” situation, we can’t be sure how much of the collection is worth keeping until the old tattered books are gone and the shelves have opened up a bit. Some of the existing collection is color-coded, but the system is no longer functional; a new cataloging process will have to be instituted along with the cull of the books. The library has plenty of shelving—possibly too much—and there are plenty of desks and chairs. There are two people in charge of library, and they are very keen to get it up and running properly. When it's all done, the library may need just a "top up" of new books.
•    ST. LUCIA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Lucia's Literacy Gains
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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. Lucia, Jacqueline Vidal-Atherly, works closely with educators, education ministries, 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.
ST. LUCIA
Anse La Raye Infant School
84 students • Grades K to 2
Albert Joseph, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,950 goal
Background from Hands: This rural school, located in a fishing village midway down St. Lucia’s west coast, seems to have a well-rounded curriculum (special education, art, music, environment, library, and physical education). The school does have a library but it is packed with old, old, old inappropriate books—and the bookshelves are riddled with termites. The school had a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer previously who assisted in the library, and they are trying to get another. The school also has a reading club and the library is timetabled; the school also does a silent reading session for 30 minutes after break. They are interested in sets of books that can be read together in class (as well as new reading books).
ST. LUCIA
Ave Maria RC Primary School
528 students • Grades 3 to 6
Mrs. Valerie St. Helene-Henry, Principal
Rufina Haynes, Library Coordinator

Expedia Canada adopted this project
Background from the Principal: At this crowded, urban school which had previously insisted that there was no room for a library, the new library space (a converted classroom) looks very nice. They have new shelving, fresh paint and new windows. The librarian’s sister is in the U.S. and the librarian is having her find blinds for the space, which gets too blinding and hot in the afternoon when the sun is shining in. They also have an air-conditioner which they are working on getting installed. They are still packing away some of the old materials and teaching resources that are taking up space in the library. Right now each class/grade comes for 30-40 minute sessions during which they will have silent reading time. The librarian, Ms. Rufina Hayes, also does pull-out sessions with struggling readers; she reports that the students get very excited when they advance from one level to the next.

The school also has a thriving student librarian program. Grades 3-6 are involved in the program, with three students from each class selected by the teacher. The program is very popular and students are constantly asking to become student librarians. The student librarians clean up and organize the library space and provide insight and recommendations to the librarian on color-coding labels for the books. Older student librarians are paired with younger librarians to provide a sense of guidance. The students are very proud of their badges and have a sense of accomplishment. Ms. Hayes is interested in receiving more material on teaching the students library skills and conducting lessons and activities with the students.

ST. LUCIA
Banse La Grace Primary School
100 students • Grades K to 6
Virginia Edward, Principal
Doug Temple, U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Margo & Sam adopted this project
Background from Hands: U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Doug Temple arrived at the school in September and is co-teaching Grades 1 and 3 as well as working with the library teacher. Their old library was termite-ridden, and the German Embassy renovated the space (new material for the ceiling, paint, made the space into two rooms, and more).  The materials from the old library were sorted through for termite-ridden books and put into the old IT lab upstairs where a temporary library space was created using the metal bookshelves sent previously by Hands. Doug is on the school’s Literacy Team with Ms. Edward (the literacy coordinator), along with his other co-teacher, and they are working on a new literacy policy. As part of that policy, the library is now timetabled with each class having a period, teachers are reading aloud to students in the infant department, and a new literacy framework is being created. The library is still lending books to students in the interim. Once the new space is opened they want to also create a space for secondary students and adults in the small front room of the library so that they can get the community involved. The principal estimated that about 60% of the students are struggling readers.

ST. LUCIA
Bexon Primary School
123 students • Grades K to 6
Ancie Albert, Principal
Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: Located in the village of Bexon, which is on the road crossing the island from Castries to Dennery, this rural school suffers at every flood and was badly damaged during the Christmas Trough in 2013. It was recently repaired with the help of volunteers from Canada. The school library, shared by the music teacher, is a fair size, in good condition, and has decent shelves. Unfortunately, the room is filled with old, inappropriate reading books, old textbooks, and boxes that have to be removed to make space. Ancie Albert, the young principal, is very interested in making the library functional—however she appears to have difficulties motivating her staff. But we think that with enough help from Hands Across the Sea, her dream of a functional library can come true.
ST. LUCIA
Bocage Secondary School
450 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Cuthbert Elizee, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,250 goal
Background from Hands: Originally a primary school which was destroyed by Hurricane Allen in 1980, it was rebuilt and turned into a secondary school in 1995. This school, located on the hills behind Castries, caters to a wide cross-section of students. There is quite a large literacy problem in the school. Many students cannot read, and those who can struggle quite a bit.  As a result, they have blocked together struggling readers and they do English/math at the same time. The boys are struggling the most with reading—over 25% are really struggling. They also tend to see behavior issues evolve from students struggles in class. A room already equipped with wooden and metal shelves could receive some adapted easy-readers in sets. Unfortunately, the room is moldy; it is located underground with no windows and only one access door, which means that neither teachers nor students want to go there. Another building is under construction and a library is planned for next year.
ST. LUCIA
Canaries Infant School
81 students • Grades K to 2
Simona Jn. Baptiste, Principal
Hannah Jiang, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Russell adopted this project
Background from Hands: U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Hannah Jiang is in the library in the afternoons and after school; during the mornings she co-teaches. Though the school's grounds are prone to flooding (the previous library was destroyed by a flood), the school had a new building which opened a year ago. It’s a flood-smart design—classrooms are on the second floor. The new library is still very much being sorted out; Hannah has been working to organize their book selection, and the library is still being used to store a lot of toys and teaching resources which were just thrown in bags and bins after the flood. School staff are trying to organize the materials and take inventory. It is clear that the library aspect of the room is a priority, though—bookshelves were recently built by the principal’s husband. Hannah is culling the old books (there are many books that could be removed and sold). Hannah wants to see the space become a thriving library that could be shared with nearby Canaries Primary School, since their school is too crowded to have a library of their own. Lots to do!
ST. LUCIA
Castries Anglican Infant School
229 students • Grades K to 2
Christine Merville, Principal
Vilma Auguste Literacy Coordinator

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal
Background from Hands: This large, bustling infant school (Grade K to Grade 2) is located in the heart of Castries, St. Lucia's capital city, in a noisy environment. There are some very messy and unused class libraries with nothing but old, inappropriate, moldy books. The Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, Jacqueline Vidal-Atherly, identified a possible library space in a small room adjoining the sick bay. However, a lot of work will have to be done before Hands sends any books. The good news is that the principal, Christine Merville, and her Literacy Coordinator, Vilma Auguste, are taking action—they're culling the old books, holding a book sale, and cleaning out the space to receive the new books. They'll be ready for new books when school starts in September!
ST. LUCIA
Deniere Riviere Combined School
177 students • Grades K to 6
Martiniana Smith, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,610 goal
Background from Hands: This is a very bright and cheerful school that has received a lot of support from BEEP (Basic Education Enhancement Program). Most recently they received a number of ABC-tile foam mats. The program also assisted in renovating the school and provided them with computers. The school has classroom libraries (which they plan to keep) but they are working very hard on renovating the library which will open soon. The library is already looking really nice. They custom-built the shelves to meet their needs (including a cool book column which they plan to put on wheels) and have painted the shelves in bright colors. The parents raised the fund to make the shelves. They already have some nice cushions for a comfy "reading corner."

A Canadian “donation dumping” outfit sent the school a shipment of books. They are going through all of the books (they appear to have a lot of picture books), deciding which of them to keep. Once they finish reviewing the books, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, Jacqueline Vidal Atherly, will come back to help them color-code the books by reading level. There is a very mixed make up of readers at the school—some are reading below level and some students can read up to Grade 7. The greatest need for material is in the Grade K to Grade 3 category.
ST. LUCIA
Desruisseaux RC Combined School
198 students • Grades K to 6
Pius Bastien, Principal
Kimberly Shannon, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Don & Cathey and Jeb & Dianne adopted this project
Background from Hands: Literacy is a priority at the school and some of the goals of their 2013-2015 Educational Plan were to have at least 90% of the students reading at grade level and have at least 90% of their students at grade level in writing. They are utilizing differentiated instruction, doing daily read-alouds in every class, and using diagnostic tools with struggling students. We went to the library space which is really nice—beautiful bookshelves and furniture, nice flooring. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Kimberly Shannon has already cleaned out the old books; what’s remaining are mostly readers and class sets. The resource center is already timetabled and they want to lend books, but they need more books. We'd recommend this school for a "top-up" of new books from Hands.
ST. LUCIA
George Charles Secondary School
400 students • Grades 7 to 11
Wulston Alfred, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal
Background from Hands: The boys are actually reading! (Hands sent the school 534 great new books in 2014-2015.) About 80% of the school population is boys; students are really enjoying the library and are spending time there; The students are actively reading the non-fiction and using it to do research. More books are needed to meet the needs of the large student population. Teachers are working on raising funds to replace the library space’s air-conditioner. They’ve already arranged for the art department to make cushions and make portraits/paintings. They also might be making a rug because they want to make a comfy reading corner. They will be hosting an event having people come and read to the students. More books are needed here.
ST. LUCIA
Gros Islet Secondary School
497 students • Grades 7 to 11
Delia Alcindor-Charles, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal
Background from Hands: One of the newest secondary schools in St. Lucia, this beautiful facility, located in the proximity of Gros Islet village, caters for a wide cross-section of students, some of whom are academically challenged. A large resource room (functions also as the library) is equipped with books from a previous Hands shipment, but could really use a top up of books, including a new encyclopedia. The students are actively using the library and have read through most of the material. The librarian seems very energetic and involved. She is also in the Junior Achievers club and was talking about possibly doing a Valentine’s Day raffle to benefit the library. The Gros Islet Secondary School library is due for a "top up" of new books.
ST. LUCIA
Jon Odlum Secondary School
200 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Irene Dujon, Principal
Isha Dornelly, Learning Resource Coordinator

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: Built in 2006, this beautiful rural school (formerly known as Marigot Secondary) is located in the agricultural Roseau Valley caters for a wide cross-section of students, many of whom are academically challenged. A large resource room is already equipped with metal shelves ready to receive some adapted easy-readers. Isha Dornelly, the energetic learning resource coordinator, has already sent a proposal for assistance from Hands. The students are using the library but more books are needed.

ST. LUCIA
Laborie RC Boys Primary School
116 students • Grades K to 6
Julian Darcheville, Principal
Alan Strathman, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
The Rotary Club of West Chester, Pennsylvania, & Carol adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school has a spacious library with newly-painted shelves, but also has a recurring termite problem. U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Alan Strathman has been using the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools to sort out books from some previous “donation dumped” shipments from Canada. The school is still using classroom libraries until completion of the library. Strathman is very dedicated—coming in on weekends and staying late after school. The team at the school has been working hard to renovate the library and eradicate the termite problem. They have already gone through all the books and set aside all the termite-damaged ones. They have also cleaned out the books that were old or inappropriate. (We recommended a book sale as that would help the school bring in money).

Still, they have some nice books on the shelves—Captain Underpants, Flat Stanley, Horrible Harry, Junie B. Jones, lots of Dr. Seuss. They have also repainted the shelves and worked on the floor. Alan has sourced donations from his family and friends in the U.S. to finance the paint and “reading corner” rug; they have also sent some used books. The school needs an encyclopedia, reference materials, and simple readers.
ST. LUCIA
Millet Infant School
90 students • Grades K to 2
Junia Peters, Principal
Velda Donovan and Marea Octave, Library Team
Sandy & Karen adopted this project
Background from Hands: Located on the hills in Millet, a remote area at the heart of St. Lucia, this small dilapidated rural school is in serious need of repairs. Junia Peters, the young principal, is doing her best, even though her school seems to be forgotten by the government. There exists a library which will need to be cleared of old books and equipment, and a book sale will be organized during Reading Month to raise funds for a comfy “reading corner” with mat and cushions. The team of teachers is young, dedicated to their kids, desperate to see things improve, and enthusiastic about making the library their priority.
ST. LUCIA
Millet Primary School
103 students • Grades 3 to 6
Sophia Auguste-Lamontagne, Principal
The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: Millet Primary School is located in the center of the island, in an isolated part of the rainforest; the school is separated from Millet Infant School by the Ti Millet River. Students walk down to Millet Primary School from the surrounding hills. The new principal, Sophia Auguste-Lamontagne, is young and eager to improve things at her school. There exists a library (currently shared by the music teacher) with old, dusty and outdated books. We offered our help to sort out the books and reorganize the space. It would not take long to turn this into a great library. The principal will organize the clearing out of the books with our help and sell them during Reading Month to raise funds. The team of young teachers who lament the lack of reading material for their students is ready to put in the extra effort to make their library a reality.
ST. LUCIA
Mon Repos Combined School
180 students • Grades K to 6
Marcellina Newton, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal
Background from Hands: The library is packed with old infested (termites) and obsolete books; a major cull and clean-out must be completed before Hands will ship any books. The library was supposed to be a community/school library but no one ever visited it from the community (although there is a lot of adult reading material) and there are no books suitable for children—just a few old Scholastic titles with damaged covers and pages. The school has cleared out some of the space (still need to find somewhere else to put the teachers’ resources). The principal also had two sets of shelving made. The school also received a shipment from a Canadian “donation dumper”—many of these old, inappropriate books went into the classrooms and the remainder went in the library. They had also just received two used-book shipments from the States. Plenty of old, inappropriate books on hand!

Each class comes to the library once a week and students can borrow books for a week at a time. The librarian does circle-reading sessions with the younger students and will work with struggling readers.  She also assists students with choosing books on their levels. The principal also goes around and reads to students. The librarian is full-time. They want to fix a few issues with the library space—for example, rain comes under the door, and as a result they can’t leave the beanbags or reading mat on the floor. Well, there is work to do on all fronts.
ST. LUCIA
Morne Du Don Primary School
290 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Julietta Charles, Principal
Lynda Sargusingh, Library Coordinator
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Background from Hands: Located on the hills overlooking Castries, Morne Du Don Primary School enjoys a breathtaking view of Castries Harbour. The school was established in 1982 to serve the low-income population of this area. We have been helping them to renovate their library space and they have moved promptly to effect the changes. The floor has been tiled, the walls and new shelves have been built and freshly painted. The 2014-2015 shipment of books from Hands has been labeled by Mrs. Andreulle Nurse, a librarian retiree volunteering her time. The principal and the special education teacher, Ms. Lynda Sargusingh, worked hard on the project and were very excited to officially open the new library at the end of February 2015. Currently everything is running smoothly. The library is still looking good. The students aren’t going home with the books yet—afraid of book loss or damage, they are rolling out a gradual lending program. The students each have a Ziploc bag that they use to take out a book to their classroom for two weeks. The principal is moving toward timetabling the library. Two days a week a volunteer from the community comes in to help in the library.
ST. LUCIA
Plain View Combined School
619 students • Grades K to 6
Isla Sammie, Principal
Daniella St. Helen, Librarian

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: The library seems to be going very well and Daniella St. Helen, the librarian, is energetic, dedicated, and enthusiastic about working in the library. The library is timetabled and students are able to come into the library as well (however they are only able to borrow books during their timetabled period when the class teacher is present, which helps the librarian better manage 30 students). Students are using the reference materials to research for class. They also come in to borrow the dictionary, and teachers are using the new encyclopedia set from Hands. They recently took down the partition which was separating the library space from the IT room because it had termites and they didn’t want them spreading to the books. The school is working on getting the materials so the groundskeeper can repair the partition. The librarian is also in the process of assisting her friend who is painting murals around the room.

The librarian has started a Reading Club which is very popular with the students; she has had to limit it to 30 students because that’s all she can handle on her own. The Reading Club meets in terms 1 and 4 (non-sports terms).  She is doing fun, interactive literacy activities with them (she really liked the activities in the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools and specifically mentioned the jump-rope spelling activity). It would be great to send this school a top-up of books since they have only 1,012 books for 619 students, far below the ideal 8:1 book-to-student ratio.
ST. LUCIA
Roseau RC Combined School
138 students • Grades K to 6
Brenda Joseph, Principal
Cladia Plantin, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Philomena Julian, Reading Coordinator

Anne and David adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school has a large, well-stocked library—but the collection is mostly old, uninteresting books that have been (you guessed it) donation dumped. Also, mold and mice have damaged the books. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Cladia Plantin has begun the massive clean-up, sorting, and culling of the books, and she is also leading the charge to fund an infusion of new, targeted books from Hands. We expect this "library rescue" to rejuvenate the library and revive the thrill of reading at the school. If you'd like to rescue a St. Lucia library, support Cladia and this school!
ST. LUCIA
Ti Rocher RC Combined School
140 students • Grades K to 6
Judy Johannes, Principal
Andrea Gajadhar & Victoria Cornibert, Library Team

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,610 goal
Background from Hands: This school was recently renovated and the classrooms are beautiful. A spacious special ed classroom is also used as resource room, music room/storage space, and library. Only a few books are available, but every class has its own shelf of books. Right now the school only has classroom libraries and visits from the mobile library (which offers only old, worn-out books).
ST. LUCIA
Vide Bouteille Primary School
460 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Elizabeth Prudent, Principal

Randy & Debbie and Charles & Katrina and Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: When Jacqueline Vidal-Atherly, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, first visited this school in May 2014, the library was in a very sorry state—cluttered with sports equipment, musical instruments, cardboard boxes, and a handful of inappropriate, old dusty books. After discussions with teacher Melissa Hippolyte, Vidal-Atherly and some school staff started cleaning and clearing out the space. A book sale was organized and over EC $1,000 was collected, which was used to paint and retile the room. The rejuvenated library was ready in September when the 2014-2015 shipment of 563 new books from Hands arrived. The books were quickly color-coded and displayed on the newly-painted shelves. What’s needed now is a “top up” of new books, enough to serve this large student population.
•    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
Hands Literacy Links in Action
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, Elaine Ollivierre and Christobelle Ashton, work closely with educators, education ministries, 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.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Barrouallie Anglican Primary School
221 students • Grades K to 6
Adonis Charles, Principal

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund and Scotiabank Bright Future adopted this project
Background from Hands: This bustling school has a classroom-size library space with plenty of shelving, but in need of a "tlop up" new, appropriate books—in addition to the 533 great new books we shipped to the school as part of the 2015-2016 Hands Wish Lists. Meanwhile, the school’s newly-rejuvenated library is popping along, with the prospect of another U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer for the 2016-2017 school year. With the current U.S. Peace Corps child literacy initiative, every Volunteer in a St. Vincent school will be succeeded by another Peace Corps Volunteer (each has a two-year service period) over a six-year period—a major boost to the long-term sustainability of the school library. This school needs another shipment of books to build the library collection to the size it needs to be.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Belmont Government School
200 students • Grades K to 6
Bernadette Craigg, Principal
Kathleen Joyles, Literacy Coordinator/Librarian

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: This medium-size primary school, perched atop a mountain ridge between the capital city, Kingstown, and St. Vincent’s fertile Mesopotamia Valley, received a 320-book "starter set" from Hands in 2015-2016 to get their library going. The school transformed a space that was previously used as a community library into the school’s library (the library area is within a room where a section is also used to house a class). The area was repaired and furnished, and the renovation was completed by May 2015. The books were delivered last November. The library is in now in full-time use. There is a time-table which schedules the various activities of the library, including the period for borrowing books. Librarian Kathleen Joyles uses a notebook to keep track of the books borrowed by students. What Belmont Government School needs now is another similar-sized infusion of new books from Hands.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Bethel High School
574 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Miriam Pompey, Principal
Mrs. McMaster, Librarian

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: The real strength at Bethel High School is the quality and commitment of the leadership, from Principal Miriam Pomprey to Mrs. McMaster, the librarian, and Mrs. Joseph, HOD English. The majority of the students who attend the Bethel High School reside mainly in the southwest corner of mainland St. Vincent, including Kingstown, the capital. Bethel High has a spacious, well-organized and well-utilized library. The collection of books includes fiction, non-fiction of a historical and cultural nature as well as reference books according to the various subjects. The librarian uses a dual system to catalog the books: fiction books are cataloged by author and others according to the Dewey Decimal system. The school does not have a library committee, however, the librarian receives assistance from the head English Department and other teachers. The library is opened throughout the day. Students can borrow books for up to two weeks. Teachers, and all other staff, are members of the library and do regularly borrow books.

The school regularly receives old, donated books from well-meaning donors, but the books are almost never appropriate for the students—or the teachers. The principal and librarian detest the constant stream of old, unwanted books that are “donation dumped” on the school, and are culling the unusable books (book sale, giveaway, or incineration) now that a "starter set" of 257 new books from Hands have arrived. The school really needs three-year commitment (“starter set”; strengthen the collection; fill the gaps) to establish a proper library for the students and teachers.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
C. W. Prescod Primary School
741 students • Grades K to 6
Gloria Glasgow, Principal
Alicia Antrobus, Librarian
Suzette Abbott-King, Literacy Specialist

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: This primary school, the largest and busiest in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is located in the urban heart of Kingstown, the capital city. The school library is a large room on the top floor which, thanks to a lot of effort on the part of the staff, is now renovated and cheery. There are plenty of shelves and the books are properly categorized and displayed. The Librarian, Alicia Antrobus, is ably supported by the school's Literacy Specialist, Suzette Abbott-King. Students have access to the library at three different time slots during the day. Apart from these times any teacher can take his or her class to the library. All students, from Grades K to 6, are allowed to borrow books for a period of two days to one week. The school is now working to acquire a set of computers to complement the reference component of the library. Additional work to enhance the ambiance of the library is ongoing. Hands assisted the school with shipments of new, targeted books in 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016, for a total of 1,253 books. To adequately serve the 741 students at this school, even more books are needed.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Clare Valley Government School
150 students • Grades K to 6
Godfrey James, Principal
Mr. Asif Dover, Literacy Champion

The Whitehead Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school has an unofficial Literacy Champion, Mr. Asif Dover, and at Hands Across the Sea he is nothing short of a hero. Mr. Dover, who has been teaching at the school for ten years and is now in charge of the library, is an amazing force for child literacy. Thanks to Mr. Dover, students are highly enthusiastic about the library, and about books. “The library programme at our school has just taken off and the students are head over heels in love with books. The problem is there's not enough books to sustain their voracious appetites, and those that are being constantly borrowed are being quickly worn out!” Over the past few years, Hands has shipped the school close to 800 amazing new books, largely on the strength of Mr. Dover's infectious enthusiasm—and the fact that he follows through 110% on his promises. So, what the school needs now is a "top up" of titles to fill a few gaps. In the meantime, we'd like to clone Mr. Dover and send one of him to every school in the Eastern Caribbean!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Colonarie Government School
99 students • Grades K to 6
Wayne Dabriel, Principal

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a small school located on the northeast, rural coast of St. Vincent. Principal Dabriel is keen to establish a library at Colonarie Government School; a room has been selected and is being prepared. Work includes the building of shelves, converting some large cupboards into open shelving, and painting and decorating the room; in the past, the space had been used for storing "school junk" (every school has a ton of it!). They still need more shelving and chairs—as well as lots of books for all ages and interests.The school has a collection of books but precious few are suitable for the library. These books are being sorted—which ones should stay and which should go. Principal Dabriel is hoping that all the preparatory work will be complete for the start of the new school year in September 2016. The library is ready for new books from Hands. Attention, funders: Colonarie Government School needs your help!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
George Stephens Secondary School
236 students • Grades 7 to 11
Dr. George Bristol, Principal

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: Principal Bristol has a keen interest in giving his students realizing the best education possible—and that includes a lending library stocked with new, relevant books.
The school's library, located in an enclosed classroom-sized space, remains open all day, expect when the Librarian takes an hour for lunch. There are well-stocked shelves that occupy half the room; however, the books are old, unattractive, and mostly above the reading level of many students. Ashanna Allan, the fill-in librarian, reports that the library is used by older students for conducting research, while the First and Second Form girls are the ones who mainly borrow books. The boys rarely use the library. More appropriate books, in addition to proactive measures such as scheduled library time for students, should help improve the students’ interest in reading and the use of the library. That, and great new amazing books from Hands will stoke the fire of reading. This is not an empty promise—we've seen it happen at nearly 300 schools.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Lauders Primary School
160 students • Grades K to 6
Marcia Peters, Principal
Chazia Rawlins, Librarian
Edmira Walker, Literacy Coordinator

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: Lauders Primary, like many other primary schools on St. Vincent, has a literacy coordinator—Edmira Walker. Mrs. Walker provides the supervision for the librarian, who is a YES (government work scheme) intern. She, along with the principal, spearheads the library development efforts.The library was recently renovated, thanks to U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Alison Patchen-Ng, who has now returned to the States.

There are well-arranged shelves, reading areas with tables and chairs, and a "reading corner" floor mat, which is mostly used by the younger children. The library has a welcoming atmosphere that is brightened by a beautiful mural which is drawn along the length of one wall. The books are color-coded in three categories: easy, medium, and hard. There are approximately 1,800 books, including 243 resource materials. All students, from Grade K to Grade 6, use the library. There is a schedule which guides access to the library. Students can borrow books for one week. The writing of book reports is one strategy that is used to stimulate interest in reading and in using the library. The students begin writing their book reports from Grade 2. There is a reading club which comprises 24 Grade K students and parents. The literacy coordinator would like to see, a gap-filling "top up" of selected titles, along with larger picture books for small children.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Lodge Village Government School
385 students • Grades K to 6
June Russell, Principal

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a large primary school on the low-income outskirts of St. Vincent's capital, Kingstown. The school’s catchment area is a very tough one, and Principal Russell, despite many efforts, finds it almost impossible to get parental support for the school and its programs. The school runs some very creative reading programs and the classrooms are decorated with all kinds of literacy devices, posters, and games. However, the chronic lack of a library assistant means that the library space is, quite frankly, a mess. And, of course, the books are old, moldy, "donation dumped" clunkers. If and when the library is cleaned up and organized and the bad books are discarded, the school staff should be able to manage without a library assistant. If the clean-up of the library goes forward, Hands is ready to help the school with a supply of new, amazing books—particularly "books for boys."
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Mary Hutchinson Primary School
115 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Claudia John, Principal

Palm Island Resort & Spa adopted this project
Background from Hands: The mini-library at Mary Hutchinson Primary School—Principal Claudia John transformed a storeroom into a cool little library—is going very well. The books are displayed in an enticing, accessible fashion—covers are facing out, and books for Grade K are on the lower shelves, chapter books for Grades 5 to 6 are on the upper shelves). Making the most of a small space, a nucleus of literacy (otherwise known as a lending library) has taken root at this school. The students are excited. And they are reading. What the school needs now is a "top up" of great new books to fill some gaps in their collection.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
New Prospect Primary School
Winner, 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award
40 students • Grades K to 6
Albert Harry, Principal
Michael S. and Helene V. adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a tiny school with a big heart and a Principal, Mr. Albert Harry, is totally committed to raising literacy levels of his students. Impressed with his passion, Hands shipped the school 400 new books in 2015-2015—the only question was, Where would the books go? There is hardly a scrap of space at this little school. Undaunted, Principal Harry designated a library space (the school office was cut in half, and the school records were stored in cupboards). The principal purchased lumber for bookshelves and asked a local business to donate paint. The result is cozy, inviting library space that the kids love. The library is well-used, and Mr. Harry bemoaned the fact that many of the books were so well-loved that they were quickly becoming dog-eared! Child literacy has been advanced in many ways, which is why we've awarded New Prospect Primary School the 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Congratulations!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Owia Government School
174 students • Grades K to 6
Natasha Nero, Principal
Robbie McGarry, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea first assisted this rural school, perched on a rocky ridge overlooking the sea on St. Vincent’s windswept east coast, with a shipment of 800 books back in 2011-2012. We sent another 471 books in 2015-2016, so the library is looking very healthy. Meanwhile, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Robbie McGarry is doing a superb job with the students, cultivating a crop of excited readers. The library at Owia Government School could use one more infusion of gap-filling books from Hands.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Pamelus Burke Government School
125 students • Grades K to 6
Jasmine Spencer, Principal
Carissa Lampkin, Librarian

The Whitehead Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school is situated in the farming-and-fishing village of Byera, south of Georgetown on the windward coast of St. Vincent. Unlike many primary schools, Pamelus Burke has a large purpose-built library space (instead of a classroom or a storeroom converted into a library). Principal Spencer was appointed to her post from Diamond Government School, which received the 2012-2013 Hands Literacy Award for St. Vincent—so she is determined to bring this library up to scratch! While they have plenty of shelf space and furniture, they need more books. The school received 1,000 books as part of the 2010-2011 Hands Wish Lists shipment but their space could take more. The library is well used; many students spend their free time sitting and reading in the library. All students are allowed to borrow books for a week. The records which are kept by the librarian show that many do borrow books, and do so frequently. Teachers also take their class to the library for periods of reading. What the library needs now is an infusion of new books from Hands Across the Sea.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Paradise Primary School
35 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Kathryn (Ave) Friday, Principal
Janice Mitchell, Literacy Coordinator

Kin and Meredith adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a tiny private school situated in Port Elizabeth on the island of Bequia, a popular hangout for visiting sailors and villa-dwelling expats. The school's principal, Mrs. Friday, is keen to acquire more library books. The school is in rented accommodation and has no room for a central school library, but the teachers do have small collections of books in each classroom. The majority of books that they currently lend originally belonged to Mrs. Friday, who is a Canadian-trained kindergarten teacher. The school runs on an extremely tight budget—and the fees of most of the students are paid by kind-hearted expat sponsors. Mrs. Friday says they have no extra funds to pay for library books, and they would be very grateful for any help they can get from Hands Across the Sea supporters.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Park Hill Government School
120 students • Grades K to 6
Elizabeth Johnson, Principal

Expedia Canada adopted this project
Background from Hands: This school has not had a decent library in recent years, but that was then. The new Principal, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, was formerly the principal of Diamond Government School, where she created (with help from Hands and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer) a wonderful library. So when she was transferred to Park Hill Government, she was horrified by, and galvanized by, the state of the school library.

The library, at first sight, although rather dark and dingy, looks tidy with a lot of neatly-arranged books. However, the books are mostly adult paperbacks and old encyclopedias—only part of one shelf contains children’s books. In addition, the shelves, which are quite high, are pulled away from the wall so that all kinds of stuff (old furniture, musical instruments, and more) can be stored and forgotten behind. Let the cleaning and clearing begin.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
South River's Methodist Primary School
166 students • Grades K to 6
Maria Burke, Principal
Chris Cannito, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Supporters of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Cannito and the Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund adopted this project
Background from Chris Cannito: "With the 1.5 years of Peace Corps service I have left, some serious gains can be met with the look, feel, and usage of our school's library. The space was a small library prior to my arrival, but never used by the staff or community because the books were from donation dumps, injured texts, or generally unorganized in disarray because no one was able to take point on the project or care for the room. My role as a literacy teacher and coordinator places me within the classrooms of Grades K to 6, but also partnering with the staff, administration, and community to revitalize the library into something sustainable.

"We have formed the school's first Library Committee with the aims to refurbish the space, bring in newer books for Grades K to 6, create a checkout system to lend books to students outside of the classroom, discard the 'donation dumped' and inappropriate texts, partner with community/outside organizations, and normalize the library's usage into the day to day of the teachers' and students' routine and schedule.
 I currently do pull-outs for Grades 1 to 5 in the space, and have done my best to organize, label, beautify, rearrange, and run a small-scale lending operation. With the combined efforts of our new school team, the community, and Hands Across the Sea I believe we can bring the library space within the school to a higher standard, and a formative place within the school's culture and student bodies' minds."

Hands supporters, this is a great effort to fund. Over to you!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Spring Village Methodist Primary School
112 students • Grades K to 6
Carol Edwards, Principal
Heather Higgins, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Benjamin R. Bibler Memorial Fund,Scotiabank Bright Future, and supporters of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Heather Higgins adopted this project
Background from Hands: Spring Village Methodist Primary School, a winner of the 2013-2014 Hands Literacy Award for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is also a UNICEF Child Friendly school, with murals that provide information in a most eye-catching manner. The school has a great library, too—spacious, well-kept, and clean, with bookshelves arranged into three sections: reference materials for the librarian (who is also the literacy specialist) a large section of books for the students, and a reference section used mainly by the teachers. There are seating areas within these three sections. Coreas Limited, a hardware and general supplies company, donated the materials which were used to make the tables and benches in the library.

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Heather Higgins, the librarian and literacy specialist, is leading the charge for new books to fill the gaps and replace a few worn-out books. She has trained a group of 4th Graders to assist with shelving and checking out books, and the library schedule gives each class time to borrow books or sit and read in the library (students in Grades 4 to 6 can borrow as many as four books). In addition to borrowing books, students spend time in the library playing educational games.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Stephanie Browne Primary School
145 students • Grades K to 6
Lorette Coy-James, Principal

Palm Island Resort & Spa adopted this project
Background from Hands: Principal Lorette Coy-James and the library she created long ago at the school are still going strong. Over the years her energy and enthusiasm for sustaining the library has not flagged. We’ve seen this library function sustainably through the nine years we have been running Hands Across the Sea. The commitment to raising the literacy of students at Stephanie Browne Primary School, a winner of the 2012-2013 Hands Literacy Award, has never wavered. These days the much-loved book collection is looking worn—overdue for replacement. That's the sign of a successful library.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Stubbs Primary School
204 students • Grades K to 6
Andrew John, Principal
Shelby Miller, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, adopted this project
Background from Hands: Stubbs Primary School is a medium-sized school in the village of Stubbs, a few miles out of Kingstown on the main Windward Highway in the southeast of St. Vincent. The school has had a library for some years but it was not properly organized or used. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Shelby Miller, who started her service at Stubbs in September 2015, has achieved an almost miraculous transformation of the room, cleaning and clearing and re-organizing so that students are now able to borrow books again. The school is in need of storybooks, especially for the lower grades. While the library appears, at first glance, to have a lot of books, closer inspection will show that old encyclopedias and textbooks are on the shelves to make the room seem less empty. These should be discarded to make room for new books. Principal Andrew John is newly appointed from within the staff, so he is familiar with the school, teachers, and students.  He is very excited about having a rejuvenated library. Hands wants to support this school with amazing new books—they have worked very hard preparing the space, and they are ready!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Troumaca Government School
203 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Mrs. Deanah Heywood, Principal
Joetta Cline, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Whitehead Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This fairly large rural school is situated on mainland St. Vincent’s rugged northwest (leeward) coast; in this farming-and-fishing community, most of the students come from underprivileged families. The school is a combined primary and pre-school institution (there are 53 pre-school children). There are four early-childhood education teachers and two assistants in the pre-school section. The primary section has seven teachers and three YES (government work-scheme) workers.

The library is run by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Joetta Cline, who spearheads literacy development in the school. Students can borrow books every day; a notebook is used to record checkouts. The majority of students do borrow books; for example, during the week May 2nd, 2016,17 of 22 Grade 6 students had borrowed books. The school's librarian has noted that the number of students who borrow books has increased from since she arrived two years ago. There are some old, inappropriate books that should be removed from the library. The too-old books, in some cases outdated reference books, take away from the ambience of the library (but some administrators are reluctant to part with books). It is anticipated that the old books will be removed at the end of the school year, in June 2016. Hands sent the school 476 new books in 2015-2016, and they need a lot more.