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of Eastern Caribbean children
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Hands Across the Sea presents the 2017-2018 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 the gift of literacy lasts a lifetime
Peek Inside a Wish Lists Shipment
What's in all those boxes we're sending to the Eastern Caribbean? Lots and lots of really great things!
Why It Works
Every summer, Hands asks educators at Hands Wish Lists projects for their "wish list" of books and resources. The Hands Wish Lists you'll find below represent highly effective, targeted assistance—we never "donation dump" unwanted, inappropriate material that students and teachers don't need. When you fully or partially "adopt" a Wish Lists project your support will be fully utilized. Your gift will be raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children year after year.
How It Works
We ship books and literacy resources to the Eastern Caribbean once a year, in 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
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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
All Saints Secondary School
Clare Hall Secondary School
Glanvilles Secondary School
Princess Margaret Secondary


ANTIGUA
All Saints Secondary School
695 students • Grades 7 to 11
George Edwards, Principal
Ms. Turkessa John, Teacher/Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,175 goal
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea assisted this large secondary school with a shipment of 300 new books for the 2013-2014 school year—this infusion turned out to be the only new books that the school received in the years before or since. In 2016 the classroom block housing the school library suffered a fire and the library space was rebuilt; the library is now well-equipped, well-staffed, and really really really ready for new books. The Principal, Mr. Edwards, has vowed that as soon as the books from Hands arrive all of the inappropriate, “donation dumped” books will be headed to the dump. They won’t be missed.
ANTIGUA
Charlesworth T. Samuel Primary School
48 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Arian Fleming Thomas, Principal

Scotiabank adopted this project
Background from Hands: Perched on a lonely knoll by the side of the road that leads to Antigua’s mini-rainforest, little Charlesworth T. Samuel Primary School (49 students strong!) seems like a forgotten school. The school is divided into two sections (Grades K to 2 downstairs, Grades 3 to 6 upstairs), the classroom blocks are narrow and noisy, the classrooms divided only by moveable chalkboards. If a big cleanout of broken equipment is undertaken, there is room at the school for a library space; at present, small collections of books occupy a corner of the upper and lower blocks (photo). Sending the school an infusion of new amazing books may be the catalyst to renovating the school's "junk room" into a library. In the meantime, the two classroom book collections will be renovated—and the children, maybe for the first time ever, will hold new books in their hands and be able to take them home for a week and read them.
ANTIGUA
Clare Hall Secondary School
804 children • Grades 7 to 11
Jonah Greene, Principal

Ayanna Shadrach, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,830 goal
Background from Hands: Hands assisted this large high school with new books four years ago, courtesy of grants from the U.S. Embassy, Bridgetown, and the Mill Reef Fund. But in terms of new books, not a lot has happened since. The library has a large collection of the usual old, inappropriate “donation dumped” books, but the library is still used for projects and research, and a book club (eight students) is active. These high school-age kids are eager to read about and discover the world—and to begin to find their place in it. It’s time to rejuvenate the collection at Clare Hall Secondary School.
ANTIGUA
Five Islands Primary School
428 children • Grades K to 6
Sandy Lewis, Principal

Palm Island Resort & Spa adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands has been able to assist this large primary school with new reading books in the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 school years. During those years, the library has had ups and downs, due mostly to staff shortages at the school. The Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, Lisa Tomlinson, now reports that the library is well utilized, all the books are color-coded, and the checkout system is up to date, with all book borrowing and returns efficiently recorded. All classes are taken to the library weekly and children are given the opportunity to borrow books. In addition to this the children can come to the library during their break and lunchtimes to borrow books. The library has some empty shelving and would definitely benefit from an injection of new books. Recently, staff and friends from nearby Galley Bay Resort & Spa (photo) gave the library space a candy-colored makeover.
ANTIGUA
Glanvilles Secondary School
154 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Denise Mills, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,105 goal; The Wishing Well Foundation has donated $900
Background from Hands: From the 2014-2015 school year, when Hands first assisted this rural high school, with help from the Mill Reef Fund and the Sandals Foundation, the principal, librarian, and teachers have proven steadfast in their commitment to raising child literacy levels. The library is attractive, with cover-out book displays and special themes, and student use has risen each year; by now the school library has become an integral part of the fabric of the school. We are happy to report that more and more boys are following the lead of the girls and becoming avid readers, as well as utilizing the new library materials for school projects.
ANTIGUA
Golden Grove Primary School
386 students • Grades K to 6
Vernest Mack, Principal

Ms. Stacy Davis, Reading Teacher
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: The reading room/library space at this large primary school is on the small side, but that hasn't stopped the school's Reading Teacher, Ms. Davies, from working wonders. Hands, thanks to the Mill Reef Fund, sent the school nearly 600 new amazing books in 2016-2017, and the reading room/library is buzzing with children eager to read and borrow books. The school needs another infusion of new books to keep up with the students, who are very, very excited to find new books at their school.
ANTIGUA
J.T. Ambrose Primary School
250 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Neta Robinson, Principal
Scotiabank adopted this project
Background from Hands: This well-maintained school has a principal who is eager to create a stimulating library that inspires the children to improve their reading skills and develop a love for reading. And, following nearly 600 new books sent by Hands in 2016-2017, she's done it! The new library is bright and breezy and nicely decorated, reports Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua. The new books have been sorted and color-coded according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools and appropriately displayed; the children are using them for reference and enjoyment. What the school needs is another infusion of new, targeted books from Hands to get the library on a solid footing.
ANTIGUA
Jennings Primary School
200 students • Grades K to 6
Denise Solomon, Principal
Ms. Graham, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: Until just a few years ago, when the Hands crew visited this school and “discovered” a resource room filled with a printer/coper and teaching workbooks and convinced the Principal to convert it into a library, this rural school did not have a library. Neither had the school received brand new reading books—ever. Hands Across the Sea has been, year by year, thanks to the Sandals Foundation, building up the collection in this fledgling library. The school has now reached a Hands-book-per-child ratio of 4.6:1 (932 books, 200 children). Many experts agree that, for a school library, an 8:1 or even 10:1 book-per-child ratio is ideal—so the library still has a ways to go. The library is timetabled for every grade, and though there is no extra elbow room, during library time the two reading tables are jammed with children reading and sharing books together. Books and reading are well on the way to becoming part of the fabric of this school. The brisk pace of book borrowing by students is evidence that the love of reading is spreading into homes and the community.
ANTIGUA
Liberta Primary School
Winner, 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award
108 students • Grades K to 6
Denmore Roberts, Principal

Luanda Haywood, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: A cool new library is born! This school library rose from drab nothingness to jazzy coolness in a short time. Back in March, 2015, the library space, which consists of two small rooms adjacent to the school’s kitchen, was littered with black sacks of garbage and cast-off “school stuff,” and there were no books on the shelves. Librarian/Reading Teacher Luanda Haywood (at left in photo) set out to turn things around. First, she embraced the methodology of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. Then she lured volunteers to the school to help with the cleanup and painting of the library space. After the 822 new amazing books from Hands arrived, Haywood displayed them in an enticing, covers-out fashion, and has continued to stoke the interest of students with special themes and library activities. Most of all, she has made the library a welcoming, fun place for students to relax and explore new books and new ideas. Notes Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua: “The children love the library! They participated in all areas of preparation, from painting the walls and the mural to color-coding the books and putting the reading corner mat together. They have a real sense of belonging.”
ANTIGUA
New Bethel SDA Academy
340 students • Grades K to 6
Robert Nicholas, Principal

Ms. Petra Chrisopher, Reading Teacher
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: Last year, a bit of a flood hit the book collection of this vibrant, well-run rural school, damaging a number of books (90% of the books were old, inappropriate, “donation dumped” fare, anyway). So, this school has only a handful of appropriate, non-waterlogged books for its 334 children. The school staff is undertaking a cleanout of the inappropriate and damaged books in the reading room, and they are excited about an infusion of new amazing books from Hands in 2017-2018—they plan to turn the reading room into the school’s first-ever lending library/reading room. The school’s librarian, Ms. Petra, has already attended the library workshops held by the Ministry of Education—as soon as the library/reading room is created, she is ready!
ANTIGUA
Potters Primary School
240 students • Grades K to 6
Jasinter Athill, Principal
Brenda Cochrane, Reading Specialist

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: This medium-sized rural school on the outskirts of St. John, the capital of Antigua, had never had a proper library—nor had the school ever received any new reading books appropriate for primary school children, until the Stony Point Foundation assisted Hands last year. The school had a few bookshelves packed with the usual assortment of “donation dumped” books: old, moldy, inappropriate, most of them library discards. So the first order of business for Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literary Link for Antigua, was to convince the Principal, Ms. Athill, and the Literacy Coordinator, Brenda Cochrane, to get rid of the old books (hold a book sale, then dispose of the remaining books) to make way on the shelves for some new books. Before the new books arrived, the student council raised money to have the library space painted and the floor tiled. Tomlinson also briefed the educators on how to color-code and display the new books, using the easy-to-maintain methodology of the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. The school is keen to start a Student Librarian program; Tomlinson undertook the first training session of a group of twelve prospective Student Librarians. (Click for more information on the Hands Student Librarian Program.)
ANTIGUA
Princess Margaret Secondary School
1,000 students • Grades 7 to 12
Dr. Collin Greene, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,225 goal
Background from Hands: There are but three organizations attempting to reverse the child illiteracy problem in the Eastern Caribbean (the U.S. Peace Corps, the USAID-funded Early Learners Program, and Hands). Of the three, Hands is the only one that serves high school children. We believe it’s a mistake to ignore the large numbers of children entering high school with low reading levels—as low as Grade K, Grade 1, Grade 2—who, unless helped, are fated to drop out, ending their education. We are not about to forget the thousands of children in high school who are eager to read about and discover the world—and to begin to find their place in it. The library situation at Princess Margaret Secondary School is typical of many high schools; plenty of shelves, but every shelf is packed with old moldy “donation dumped” books. Until the Whitehead Foundation assisted Hands last year, the school had not received new books, ever. The first task for Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua, was to convince the school’s librarians to throw out the old books, not only to make way for the new ones that Hands shipped in 2016-2017 but because no students were reading them. Lisa was successful; a thousand or so books were taken away or sold (but there are still many more to go). The new books, particularly Urban Underground and Bluford High, two black urban high school drama series, the hardcover graphic novels (superheroes and wrestling stars), the books on careers and teen issues, and picture-biographies on pop stars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z. Such “book candy” titles get the kids into the library and reading, and from there the world awaits.
ANTIGUA
St. Andrew's School
210 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Andrea Walter, Principal
Theodore Commodore, Teacher in Charge of the Library

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: “The book collection here needs sorting out. There are some good books, but they are hidden amongst the old, irrelevant material,” reports Lisa Tomlinson, the Hands Literacy Link for Antigua. The good news is that the school is very keen to partner with Hands and develop their library. Currently, students and teachers are not using the library, though teachers take boxes of books out to share with their classes. There is no lending of books. Tomlinson, along with Mrs. Commodore, the school’s enthusiastic librarian, will assist in culling the collection and color-coding it according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. After that, all they need is an infusion of new amazing books.
•    DOMINICA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Dominica's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy 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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Dominica Grammar School
Dominica SDA Secondary School
Isaiah Thomas Secondary School
DOMINICA
Atkinson Primary School
98 students • Grades K to 6
Micheline Bruno, Principal
Duraney Durand, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: This small primary school is a bright light in the Kalinago Territory, located on the remote eastern coast of Dominica. Though the school’s lending library, stocked with new books from Hands, can be tidied up and made more child-friendly through the use of literacy posters and classroom artwork, Hands donors have given kids access to quality, age-appropriate reading. Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, has conducted Student Librarian training with six children, and will continue to check in on how they’re doing.
DOMINICA
Bagatelle Primary School
Winner, 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award
54 students • Grades K to 6
Angela Gregoire, Principal

This project has been fully adopted! Tony donated $1,225; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $500
Background from Hands: Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, reports that there is a great reading culture and staff teamwork at this small school perched above the rugged southeast coast of Dominica. The teachers use the library regularly and the older students often assist the younger ones without being asked. Most teachers accompany their students for library time. Students help keep the library in order. Bagatelle Primary School was awarded the Hands Literacy Award for Dominica, primarily on the teamwork that has fostered a rich environment for advances in child literacy.
DOMINICA
Belles Primary School
49 students • Grades K to 6
Viline Christopher, Principal

This project has been fully adopted! Tony donated $735; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $300
Background from Hands: Prior to the 2016-2017 school year, students at this isolated rural school, located in a valley deep in the mountainous interior of Dominica, did not have access to new reading books or a lending library. Thanks to the Sandals Foundation, Hands Across the Sea was able to send 609 brand new, targeted books to the school in the 2016-2017 school year, and Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, led the transformation of a storeroom of school “junk” into a dazzling school library. Sorhaindo persuaded a local sponsor to supply new shelving and paint for the library space, and the cleanup began. Over the course of two dozen interactions with school staff, from January 2015 through late March, 2017, Sorhaindo mentored the teachers in how to make best use of the books and literacy resources from Hands, and she trained a team of Student Librarians, who quickly took ownership of the school library, running the checkout system and keeping the bookshelves tidy. The Belles Primary School child-literacy project is a success. The teachers are onboard and the children are excited—the world, in the form of new amazing books, has come to their little school in the rainforest.
DOMINICA
Christian Union Primary School
116 students • Grades K to 6
Nathalie Laville, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $500
Background from Hands: Over the course of nine interactions (phone, e-mail, in person) from January, 2015 to February, 2017, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo, has guided the principal and staff of this small urban school through the rejuvenation of their dormant school library, thanks to funding from the Beverly Foundation. The library space is on the small side—just big enough for a group of kids to sprawl on the “reading pillows” or sit cross-legged on the floor—but the children are quite excited about the new amazing books that have appeared at their school. School staff and local parents (who spruced up the library with jazzy new paint) are excited, too. When the new books from Hands arrived at the school in November, 2016, everyone pitched in. “Teachers all came in to help inventory, sort, label, and shelve the new books,” says Sorhaindo. “I went through ideas for categorizing, using the Hands simple color-coding system, and helped to label the shelves. They have a very passionate and committed team.” From the removal of the usual moldy collection of “donation dumped” inappropriate books to the implementation of a simple checkout system, the reborn library at Christian Union Primary School has been a success. (The school now has a Hands-books-to-child ratio of about 4.7:1 A ratio of eight books per child, or even ten books per child, is considered by many experts to be ideal for a school library.) Next up is Student Librarian training to be conducted by Sorhaindo.
DOMINICA
Clifton Primary School
48 students • Grades K to 6
Osborne Wallace, Principal

This project has been fully adopted! Tony donated $735; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $300
Background from Hands: Just when you’ve driven about as far north on Dominica as the road will take you—past coral reefs, rainforest, mountains, rivers, and valleys—you’ll come across tiny Clifton Primary School. Hands Across the Sea last assisted this school with books back in 2011-2012, and boy-oh-boy are they ready for new books. The school has a small library, some classroom libraries, and the principal encourages teachers to read aloud to their classes. The school also has embraced Drop Everything and Read several times a week, and Literacy Week and Library Week activities once a year.
DOMINICA
Concord Primary School
57 students • Grades K to 6
Muta Matthew, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,035 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $300; the Patricia Rahr Mayer family donated $500
Background from Hands: Concord Primary School is located in a palm grove just off the main road that runs through the center of the island—blink and you’ll miss this school. Saddled with a “donation dumped” collection of old, moldy books, the children were ravenous for new books, but the principal faced a common dilemma: there was no space in the school for a library. The Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo, went to work brainstorming with the school staff, and came up with a plan: create a library space in the back of the upstairs Grade 4 classroom. With the help of several sets of parents, shelving was installed on the back wall and a moveable blackboard was set up to partition the library from the classroom. Voila! Sorhaindo continued to work with the school’s principal and teachers to prepare them for the arrival of 665 new books and two new metal bookshelves, funded by the Sandals Foundation. When the boxes of books arrived, Sorhaindo, the principal and teachers, and the students all pitched in to color-code the books according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools and create an attractive cover-out display of the books. The new library at Concord Primary School is a lending library, of course, and borrowing is brisk. At lunchtime, many students can be found lounging on the colorful pillows below the bookshelves, spending time with a good book.
DOMINICA
Delices Primary School
36 students • Grades K to 6
Priscilla Darroux, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,380 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $400
Background from Hands: This rural school, located on the remote southeast coast of Dominica, has, with help from U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Allegra Asplundh-Smith and her family over the years, nurtured an appreciative culture of books and reading among its children. The school's book collection is adequate in size, but teachers have requested more black and African history, more Caribbean books, folktales, little readers, books that concentrate on DOLCH sight words, poetry books, and books to help with low self-esteem.
DOMINICA
Dominica Community High School
100 students • Grades 7 to 11
Celia Nicholas, Principal

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: This small high school, located on the outskirts of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, is very well run, a tribute to the high standards and inspiring leadership of Celia Nicholas, the longtime principal. Hands Across the Sea assisted the school with a whole bunch of books back in 2011, so the school is overdue for an infusion of new amazing books (the quality of Hands books, in terms of relevance to today’s teen, is much improved these days). Vocational books and books that deal with adolescent issues, from substance abuse to cyber-bullying, are particularly popular at this and every high school across the Caribbean.
DOMINICA
Dominica Grammar School
800 students • Grades 7 to 11
Ms. Alicia Jean-Jacques, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,660 goal; the Beverly Foundation donated $2,450
Background from Hands: A lot of schools claim that they don’t have space for library—and then it turns out, they do have space. But Dominica Grammar School, at 800 students the largest school on the island, really does not have space for a library. Really! So, thanks to Anna & Sam and Tony and Scotiabank Bright Future, in 2016-2017 we shipped a “starter set” of 431 new amazing books, along with two large metal lockable book cabinets to function as the “library.” The cabinets were placed in a Form 2 class downstairs and a Form 1 to Form 3 class upstairs. The Head of the English Department, a passionate reader, volunteered to act as the librarian (along with no space, the school does not have a full-time, or even a part-time, librarian). How are things going? The lending library is off to a slow start, but students are able to read the new books while at school (school leadership is nervous about books going missing). With more books, we are hopeful they will allow children to borrow.
DOMINICA
Dominica SDA Secondary School
253 students • Grades 7 to 11
Carlotta Challenger, Principal
Mr. Bannis, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation adopted this project
Background from Hands: Hands shipped books to this school for the first time last year, and the school has made an excellent start: they have cleared out some of the old books and made room on the shelves for the new books, painted the shelves white, put in new tiled flooring, labelled the new books, and put new labels on all the shelves. The space looks a lot neater and more inviting. There is a lot more culling to be done but that will happen over time as they get more books. It was very evident by looking at some of the book pockets that books are being checked out. We met three keen First Form (Grade 7) readers who have read many of the new fiction books and will be giving some feedback. One of them wanted to be a student librarian so we left the Hands Student Librarian Handbook, and the principal said she would consider implementing it. She said for civic duty the students currently do community work. Students don't currently assist with library maintenance. This library is on its way to becoming relevant again; more books are needed now that we’ve verified the school’s passion for the project.
DOMINICA
Grand Bay Primary School
236 students • Grades K to 6
Evan James, Principal

Kiah Thorn, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,415 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $750
Background from Hands: Classroom libraries were given a go at this medium-size urban primary school, but a lack of accountability (books went missing), and the fact that all of the children did not have access to all of the books swung the focus back to the central library, reports the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Celia Sorhaindo. Around about that time a previous U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stepped in and gave the library a jazzy makeover, but the book collection needs an infusion of new, targeted books. The current highly skilled and enthusiastic Peace Corps Volunteer, Kiah Thorn, says: "Books that focus on a particular letter sound, diphthong, or spelling pattern (many short ‘e’ words, for example, ‘I have ten hens. The hens are in the pen. The hens are my pets.’) are what we need! Also, repetitive texts. ‘I see a boy. I see a girl. I see a cow.’."
DOMINICA
Grand Fond Primary School
60 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Hatty Leslie, Principal

Annisha Bell, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: “Thanks to help from the Beverly Foundation, the school has been focused on literacy for many years and there seems to be a good reading culture at the school,” reports Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica (Sorhaindo has been working closely with the school’s educators since 2014). In addition to making the school library a welcoming, child-friendly place, the school has hosted a successful Summer Reading Workshop, designed to keep kids reading and improving their literacy skills, for the past several years. Several teachers are utilizing the library to augment their lessons by encouraging their students to check out books on a subject currently being taught.
DOMINICA
Isaiah Thomas Secondary School
602 students • Grades 7 to 11
Ms. Sarah Abraham, Principal
Sandra Roberts, Head of the English Department
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,830 goal
Background from Hands: This large rural high school has, thanks to the high-energy enthusiasm of Sandra Roberts, HOD English, and her stalwarts in the English department, brought books, reading, and literacy skills to the forefront of school life and are keeping them there. Long, long ago (well, it was 2009) the Hands crew and friends built a literacy center and revamped the library, and over the years we’ve been replenishing the collection (over 3,800 books to date) as needed. The school needs an infusion of new amazing books—most of the books we’ve supplied to the school have been “loved to death.” That’s when you know that the library, and the leadership behind it, is a success.
DOMINICA
Kelleb John Laurent Primary School
106 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Andrea Williams, Principal
Mary Ann Knockeart, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,380 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $400
Background from Hands: This rural primary school, located in the fishing village of St. Joseph on the west coast of Dominica, has a well-stocked library, courtesy of a generous American family. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Mary Knockeart is determined to improve its layout and operation, and has drawn upon the school's crew of Student Librarians every step of the way to make good things happen. The library still has a few gaps in the collection—and more than a few old books to remove from the libary. Knockeart notes, “Although well meaning, people sometimes donate books that are in poor condition and have reached the end of their useful lives. As ruthless as it may seem, it is best not to incur the expense of shipping books we can't use. We want our students to have nice new (or as-new) books to read—children like having clean, modern books. As proof, our students checked out over 1,000 books between January and July last year.”
DOMINICA
Morne Prosper Primary School
35 students • Grades K to 6
Algernon Ducreay, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $500
Background from Hands: There’s a whole lot of sky riding above this tiny school, which is perched atop a mountain ridge over the dramatic green folds of the Roseau Valley. Back in 2010 Hands sent about 700 “gently used” books to Morne Prosper Primary School, but these days there is no central library at the school (no space), only classroom libraries with varying degrees of management. But the teachers are committed to raising literacy levels through comprehension tests and embracing Drop Everything and Read (daily reading sessions in class) and activities during Literacy Week. With an infusion of new books coming from Hands, the Grade 4 teacher has stepped up to act as the school’s library coordinator.
DOMINICA
Newtown Primary School
267 students • Grades K to 6
Jerry Coipel, Principal
Ms. Royette Celaire, Literacy Coordinator

The Beverly Foundation, the Rotary Club of Dominica, and Dominica Marine Center adopted this project
Background from Hands: This medium-size urban primary school, located in the busy fishing village of Newtown, is the first school that Hands Across the Sea assisted, way back in 2008. The then-principal, Jerry Coipel, helped us paint bookshelves, and Mr. Coipel is now the proud principal of the brand-new Newtown Primary School, built by the Chinese government. The new school came with a sparkling new library space, but no books or shelves. In 31 separate interactions (phone, e-mail, in person) Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, worked with the school staff to create a library, which involved everything from commissioning a local artist to paint literacy murals featuring characters from classic children’s books to working with Ministry of Education carpenters to build shelving. Sorhaindo also mentored Ms. Celaire, the librarian/remedial teacher, in how to color-code and organize the library collection, and Sorhaindo trained a bevy of student librarians to help run the library. For the 2016-2017 school year Hands Across the Sea, thanks to the Sandals Foundation, was able to send 920 new amazing books to fill this new amazing library.
DOMINICA
Penville Primary School
63 students • Grades K to 6
Euella Joseph, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,415 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $700
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea has a long, successful history with Penville Primary School and its Principal, Mrs. Joseph, and the good things are continuing at the school, reports Celia Sorhaindo: “There is excellent teamwork at the school and everyone seems to be focused on literacy improvements. The school has seen very good improvement in literacy rates over the years. The team has worked hard to put a number of procedures in place to ensure sustainability, including a big emphasis on teamwork, with all teachers taking responsibility for the library, and the principal and teachers taking personal responsibility for students not performing well.” Hands sent the school books from 2011 through 2015, but the school is overdue for an infusion of new books.
DOMINICA
Roseau Primary School
248 students • Grades K to 6
Gretta Roberts, Principal
Mrs. Celestine, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $500
Background from Hands: Despite a recent incursion into the library space—two Grade 1 classes have been added to the school, and there is no classroom for them, so a makeshift “classroom” with its boxes, table, and chairs was set up in a corner of the library. But the library continues to function, largely thanks to Mrs. Celestine, a retired vice-principal who acts as the school librarian. Coached and encouraged by Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, Mrs. Celestine conducts read-aloud sessions, helps students find the right book, and has trained several sets of Student Librarians. But the buy-in of the teaching staff at the school is less than ideal—for example, teachers do not visit the library with their students. Often, teachers feel underpaid, overworked, and under-resourced —and they do have a point. Also, older teachers have not grown up with a culture of reading.
DOMINICA
Salybia Primary School
85 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Lorraine Frederick-Belle, Principal
Ms. Durand, Teacher Librarian

The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: This is a bright and shiny school in the Kalinago Territory of Dominica, home of the island’s indigenous Carib culture. A recent note we received from the Principal says it all: “My school has been the recipient of books and other library resources from Hands Across the Sea for a few years now and we are indeed grateful. These donations to our library have not gone to waste. The students have become much more interested in visiting the library as the books are of a wide variety and very much in their interests. The boys in particular have taken a keen interest in reading and spending time in the library. The infants absolutely love the new look of the library and are always excited to go there. The teachers have also found the reference section to be very beneficial to their teaching which they refer to as guides and additional learning materials for delivering lessons. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to say thank you to Hands Across the Sea for your commitment to help us and thereby assisting our students to be more literate and enthusiastic about reading."
DOMINICA
Savanne Paille Primary School
39 students • Grades K to 6
Martha Austrie, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $862 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $250
Background from Hands: There is construction going on at this school—the government plans to fence the school compound, completion date unknown—and, as is customary in the Caribbean, all of the construction materials have been dumped into the library (the bookshelves shoved into a corner) and the library has been closed. We do have hopes that the fencing will be completed by the opening of the 2017 school year and the library reconstituted and opened by mid-October. In the meantime—and whether the fencing is completed or not—the principal and teachers will keep up their commitment to raising child literacy levels with ongoing literacy activities. The classrooms have small libraries, and the principal has asked for literacy teaching resources instead of books.

DOMINICA
Sineku Primary School
86 students • Grades K to 6
Kathleen Jno Lewis, Principal
Kimberlie Hansen, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: The school library at this rural school in the Kalinago Territory has seen ups and downs in recent years, from vandalism to staff shortages to, most recently, being closed and removed from its room to make way for teacher training. Hands has sent the school 1,000 new books over the past two school years, and our hope is that the present teacher training will be completed shortly and the library returned to its previous working state. The school is very short on space, and a promised addition by the government, at this point, remains but a promise. The school library deserves its own home.

DOMINICA
St. Mary's Primary School
415 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Mary Didier, Principal
Ms. Shellye Daisy, Librarian

The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: With 452 students, this is the largest all-boys primary school on Dominica—class sizes are 35 kids or so—and getting the library rejuvenated to Hands standards cannot happen overnight. In fact, Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, has been working steadily with the school since January, 2015—nearly 30 interactions (phone, e-mail, in person) to date. The good news is that the library has continued to serve the school population during this time, and the school’s new principal, according to Sorhaindo, is very keen, motivated, dynamic, and approachable. The library is timetabled for all grades (taking ten students at a time, as 35 bodies in the library would be chaos), and parents and the PTA are involved and committed to the library and child literacy. One issue has become a bit of a sticking point: some staffers feel that there are not enough new, good books in the library to enable borrowing without overly depleting the collection. They have a point. At present the Hands-books-per-child ratio (1,080 books, 452 students) is about 2.4 books per child; eight or ten books per child is considered ideal for a school lending library.
DOMINICA
Temple SDA Primary School
120 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Erdmine Fabien, Principal

The Beverly Foundation and the Rotary Club of Dominica adopted this project
Background from Hands: Celia Sorhaindo, the Hands Literacy Link for Dominica, has been working hands-on (including bringing in volunteers to add a snazzy paint job to the bookshelves) at this school for some time now, and reports: “The students love the library and there is a strong reading culture at the school. The boys especially love to read. The principal said the students who hated writing stories before are now volunteering to write stories for their homework assignments.” The teachers use the previous Hands-donated 465 books (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) for research and lesson plans—another sign of success. Now the school needs an infusion of new books to fill some gaps in the collection.
DOMINICA
Willis Strathmore Stevens Primary School
181 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Alvin Abraham, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $500
Background from Hands: The library at this school frankly needs a lot of work, and more commitment to that work by the principal. Hands Literacy Link Celia Sorhaindo, along with the school’s teacher/librarian, recently undertook a major cleanout of old and inappropriate books, but more remains to be done (including disposal of the old, bad books of a previous cleanout, still piled into a corner of the library). Ultimately, the library needs a full-time person to run it and oversee the various remedies that have been in the pipeline for years (termite remediation, new flooring, new shelves), when and if they come to pass.
DOMINICA
Wotten Waven Primary School
40 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Pastora Mills, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,207 goal; the Rotary Club of Dominica donated $350
Background from Hands: This tiny, two-room school in the rainforest uses classroom libraries instead of a central library (a long story—the library block is now being used as a storeroom). Space is at a premium at this school, so classroom libraries are the only option; unfortunately, children are not allowed to borrow books and take them home. On the brighter side, the principal has been trained in literacy and the school has adopted the Drop Everything and Read activity. The school needs more books for Grade K to Grade 3 students.
•    GRENADA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Grenada's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy 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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary School
Happy Hill Secondary School
MacDonald College
St. Andrew's Anglican Secondary School
St. Joseph's Convent, Grenville
St. Joseph's Convent, St. George's
GRENADA
Constantine Methodist Primary School
Winner, 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award
156 students • Grades K to 6
Shundalyn Niles-Scott, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: While Principal Shundalyn Niles-Scott readily admits that her school library is small (about 10 by 12 feet, she has dubbed it "Our cute little closet-size library"), she knows how powerful it is. With the help of a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, a storage room stuffed with cleaning supplies and unused, “donation dumped” teacher’s workbooks were cleaned out and the space was turned into this rural school’s first-ever library. Hands partnered with the school and sent 789 new amazing books, thanks to the Sandals Foundation. About a dozen children were trained in the Student Librarian program, and suddenly the cute little closet-size library was facilitating 168 students from Grade K to Grade 6. This little library is a big success story in every respect—especially because the school decided that books and reading are so important that the school library was a priority. Is available space, whether it is big, medium, or small, the determinant of a great school library? If not, what is? One word: Passion.
GRENADA
Grenada Christian Academy
150 students • Grades 7 to 11
Catherine King, Principal
Delinjah Rennie, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: The lending library at this medium-size high school was started by the Hands Literacy Link, Olivia Phillip, and her husband, Ferdinand, who designed, built, and painted the bookshelves. Bravo! Olivia Phillip also trained a flock of Student Librarians (in the photo, Phillip, at left, has presented the new Student Librarians with their badges). The library space is an exciting place (posters, flower pots, special themes and activities), thanks to the creativity of Delinjah Rennie, the librarian, and her Library Team. Over the past two years Hands has sent the school over 650 new amazing books, and this amazing library and librarian deserve another infusion.
GRENADA
Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary School
250 students • Grades 7 to 11
Kimlyn De Coteau, Principal
Rena Charles, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: What a makeover! When we visited Grenada SDA Comprehensive Secondary last year to see if the school was ready to rejuvenate their library with new books, the principal and said one word: Yes! The library, packed solid with the customary-for-the-Caribbean load of old, moldy, inappropriate “donation dumped” books, was dormant—absolutely no students visited the library. Months before the arrival of the new books from Hands, the school undertook a major cull of the old bad books, followed by a book sale. Right before the boxes of new books, funded by the New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, came to the school, the library and shelves were painted a jazzy lime green. The Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, Olivia Phillip, tells the story from there: “The librarian began tagging and shelving the new books with the assistance of some Fifth Form students. I recommended some changes and we reorganized the books to make the presentation more appealing to the students and teachers. She later called the members of the Literacy Committee to view the set up, and they were pleased and impressed with the display and layout and said that it would easily capture the students’ attention. The principal said that they wanted to have an official opening of the library before lending started, but the students were so impatient that they started pestering the librarian for the books as soon as the term started. Checkout started on the second day, and over 400 books were borrowed since the start of the term.”
GRENADA
Happy Hill Secondary School
412 students • Grades 7 to 11
Jonathan Lacrette, Principal
Marcia Williams, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,865 goal
Background from Hands: The library at this large high school is spacious, well-equipped, and has plenty of shelves and reading tables—it's a beautiful setup except for the books. In common with almost every other library in the Eastern Caribbean, the school has been subjected to decades of “donation dumping” (old, outdated, inappropriate books, many of them adult-level library discards) by well-meaning individuals, groups, and even the Ministry of Education. Which means, for Happy Hill Secondary, that all but a very few books in the library must go—either via a book sale, a giveaway, into a teacher’s classroom collection, or into their final farewell in a dumpster—before the new books from Hands arrive in the fall of 2017. We understand that no one likes to throw books away, but we apply a simple test when deciding whether a book in a school library should stay or go: Are the students using the book? If not, it has to go.

GRENADA
MacDonald College
410 students • Grades 7 to 11
Lorraine DeAllie, Principal

Dalia Hillaire, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,830 goal
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea last assisted this high school, perched on a dramatic, ocean-view peninsula at the northern tip of Grenada, with a total of 1,600 “gently used” books back in 2011-2012 and 2013-2013. The library is well-organized and well-run, but overdue for an infusion of new amazing books. According to Olivia Phillip, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, “There is a need for new books that will reignite the students’ appetite for reading. Since the shipment from Hands years ago, the school has not received any new books. As a result, the collection is worn and dated. There are also very few non-fiction books covering social issues and other topics relevant to teen readers. The collection needs to be culled and the old and inappropriate books removed from the library.” No problem—the very enthusiastic Library Team (photo) at MacDonald College is ready to swing into action.
GRENADA
St. Andrew's Anglican Secondary School
715 students • Grades 7 to 11
Dianne Abel-Jeffrey, Principal

Stephen Jones, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,830 goal
Background from Hands: The library space at this large high school, located on the outskirts of Grenville, Grenada's second-largest city, is modern and well equipped. The school's librarian, Mr. Jones (photo), has organized the collection by subject (careers, teen issues) and made the most of the previous new-book donations by Hands (936 in total, over two years). But more new amazing books are needed to serve this large school—and we believe that, once again, Mr. Jones will make the most of them.
GRENADA
St. Dominic's RC Primary School
335 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Cephas Ettienne, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,260 goal
Background from Hands: This medium-size rural primary school was one of the first that Hands assisted on Grenada back in the 2010-2011 school year. After we helped a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and her cadre of student volunteers create a colorful library space from an old storeroom, we sent books. The good news is, thanks to top-notch leadership from the school’s principal, the library has flourished ever since. Last year, however, we noticed that the collection was looking rather tattered (“loved to death,” we like to call it). So the infusion of 347 new amazing books from Hands in 2016-2017, funded by Pam and Phil, SeaDream Yacht Club, and the New Zealand High Commission, Bridgetown, Barbados, has rekindled the interest of a new crop of students. The library looks set to continue operating strongly. The school has a full-time librarian, the library is timetabled for all grades, and the library is open during lunch. Hands has already begun training a team of Student Librarians to bring another measure of sustainability to the library.
GRENADA
St. George’s Anglican Junior School
368 students • Grades K to 4
Jacqueline Forbes, Principal
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,587 goal
Background from Hands: There are a lot of children packed into a small space at this urban primary school, which itself is wedged into a side street in downtown St. George’s, the capital of Grenada. The library room, which does double duty as a resource room, is also congested—there is just enough shelf space to accommodate the 347 new books, funded by Scotiabank, for the 2016-2017 school year. But the tight quarters have not dampened the excitement of the children for the new books, especially as Olivia Phillip, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, has trained about 15 children to be Student Librarians. The Principal is highly committed to child literacy and the school library, and has already had plans drawn up for a new library to be built. She has shown she is a fundraising “go getter” with other school infrastructure projects, so it is possible that the library will spread its wings. In the meantime, the new books are in the hands of the children, every grade, and that is the most important thing.
GRENADA
St. John's Christian Secondary School
193 students • Grades 7 to 11
Nerine Augustine, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: Despite a slowdown in the color-coding and shelving of the new books sent by Hands in 2016-2017 due to the librarian going on maternity leave, the new books are now on the shelves and the “donation dumped” hordes of old moldy books have been dumped (Olivia Phillip, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada, happily assisted the students in throwing the old books from the second floor down to the dump truck!). The principal is overjoyed now that the rejuvenated library, which has been functional since March 2016, has been officially opened, and the students are on their way to discovering the world of books and ideas. “Checkout is most regular among the students of Forms 1 and 2, and some 5th Formers,” says Olivia Phillip. “Approximately 40 students visit the library each day. The library is open after school and there have been 71 book checkouts since the library officially opened two weeks ago, mostly for the new books in the fiction category.”
GRENADA
St. Joseph's Convent Grenville
524 students • Grades 7 to 11
Ms. Linda Francis, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,485 goal
Background from Hands: This highly-professional all-girls high school has a tidy, well-used library. Hands sent the school 300 new books back in 2013-2014, and it's time for another infusion of books to fill the gaps. Also, because the number of publishers we buy from, both large and niche, increases every year we have a larger selection of targeted titles, such as books dealing with teen issues, to suit each school's wishes.
GRENADA
St. Joseph's Convent St. George's
685 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mrs. Jill Philbert, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,140 goal
Background from Hands: The process of rejuvenating the library at this large all-girls school has gotten off to a very slow, painful start, delayed by ongoing construction and staffing issues. But new leadership in Principal Philbert has placed the library on the front burner. "Work is continuing on a brisker pace on discarding all the old, outdated books in the library, scraping the old paint off the walls, removing the old, termite-riddled shelves, installing new shelves, and repainting," reports Olivia Phillip, the Hands Literacy Link for Grenada. There is new hope that a proper library can be established for the 2017-2018 school year.
GRENADA
St. Martin de Porres RC Primary School
440 students • Grades K to 6
Kester Lyons, Principal

Riley Doerrler, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal; supporters of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Riley Doerrler have donated $500
Background from Hands: This large rural primary school, located on the scenic, breezy east coast of Grenada, is fortunate to have a principal who has, for years now, been committed to sustaining the school library through the challenges of staff shortages. Add to that an energetic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer who is working with Grade K to Grade 2 kids on their literacy skills, while also keeping a close eye on the library, and child literacy is on the upswing.
•    ST. KITTS AND NEVIS   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Kitts and Nevis's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Link on St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, works closely with educators, 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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Cayon High School
Verchilds High funded by Connie & Scott
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Cayon High School (St. Kitts)
393 students • Grades 7 to 11
Mr. Francil Antonio Morris, Principal
Elvis Charles, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,140 goal; the Patricia Rahr Mayer family donated $500
Background from Hands: Thanks to the Christophe Harbour Foundation, the library here has gone from “needs an overhaul” to “this is in overdrive!” The cleanout of “donation dumped” books from the library began in November of 2016. Ever ready with her pickup truck, Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, hauled away two truckloads. When the 497 new books arrived for the 2016-2017 school year, Mr. Charles, a former school principal and now librarian for Cayon High, got them on the near-empty shelves quickly—and the students put their phones away and began coming to the library to check out the new stuff, including black urban teen fiction series such as Urban Underground and Bluford High. “One day in March I went into the library unannounced and what I saw was great,” says Heidi. “Students were quietly reading and studying. Many had books from the shelves and were reading them. It was just around lunchtime, so though the library was open without adult supervision the Student Librarian Program is working as well, and so is the support from the Principal, Mr. Morris. The library has really become the perfect place for students. They love the books!” The lending library at Cayon High School is now launched.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charles E. Mills Secondary School (St. Kitts)
468 students • Grades 7 to 11
Boris Connor , Principal
Shirmel Robin, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,140 goal
Background from Hands: Yes! Finally, after assisting this school (thanks to the Christophe Harbour Foundation, with support from the Advancement of Children Foundation) nearly every year since 2013-2014, we cracked the code. The librarian, Ms. Shirmel Robin, was always passionate about the library and she was perfectly in tune with the Hands credo: let’s get rid of the old, “donation dumped” books that the students will never read. But year after year, nothing changed. The old horrible books, most of them adult-level library discards, stayed on the shelves. Then, in 2016, a new principal came to the school and change—big change—came to the library. The library at Charles E. Mills Secondary School is undergoing a cleanout (yes, that means that the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, has taken truckloads to the dump). The librarian is happily culling and rearranging “her” library the way we all knew that it should be: an exciting, welcoming place where students can explore the world and the world of ideas. Next up at the school: Heidi will roll out the Hands Student Librarian Program.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Charlestown Primary School (Nevis)
Winner, 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award
292 students • Grades K to 6
Miss Latoya Jeffers, Principal
Eulana Weekes-Batson, Librarian

Kerry from Florida adopted this project
Background from Hands: A dynamic duo at Charlestown Primary School—Principal Latoya Jeffers and Librarian Eulana Weekes-Batson—have created an irresistible, candy-colored library that draws children inside, where they find over 1,000 new amazing books from Hands (funded by the Four Seasons Homeowners' Foundation) and fun activities that make books and reading come alive. Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, reports: “The children, especially the boys, are showing great interest in the library. They are not only reading but helping to stamp books, open the windows, and make book pockets. The school has also started a Saturday Book Club where they read storybooks, do a word-search puzzle, play ‘hangman,’ and have discussions about what they have read. They regularly invent literacy activities, such as a ‘Book Blast’ with ice cream, where a child has to summarize their book in one minute in order to have an ice cream. There’s another activity called a ‘Book Fiesta’ where books are on display as the story is being dramatized by children, cookbooks are on display along with prepared foods, and a class libraries competition is held.” For pure creativity and inventiveness, Hands has awarded Charlestown Primary School (328 children, located on Nevis) the 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award for St. Kitts and Nevis.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Estridge Primary School (St. Kitts)
53 students • Grades K to 6
Ms. Suzette Cannonier, Principal
Jadeesha Thomas, Librarian

Scotiabank adopted this project
Background from Hands: It’s been steady progress renovating the formerly dormant, formerly “donation dumped” library at Estridge Primary School, thanks to Ms. Thomas, the librarian, and Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts. The library was officially opened in June, 2016, and has quickly become an integral part of school life. Children are coming to library time and borrowing books. Ms. Thomas has held literacy readathons (with prizes), and held a reading contest—they handed out the prizes, which they had secured from different businesses on St. Kitts, during the school's graduation ceremony. Meanwhile, we suspect that teachers have been busy making lists of what new books they’d like to get next.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Jocelyn Liburd Primary School (Nevis)
196 students • Grades K to 6
Barbara Hendrickson, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,175 goal; the Patricia Rahr Mayer family donated $500
Background from Hands: At long last, Jocelyn Liburd Primary School will get a real library! For years and years, a handful of bookshelves in a shared office area (photo) constituted this space-starved school’s library—and no one, especially the students, was happy about the situation. Then, early in 2017, a large section of a classroom, which conveniently had plenty of shelving already, freed up: voila! With help from Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, the school is preparing to launch their library: color-coding the new books from Hands (to arrive in early October, 2017), creating a checkout system, enlisting teachers to lend a hand as needed to run the library, and starting a Hands Student Librarian Program. Exciting times!
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Joshua O. Williams Primary School (St. Kitts)
118 students • Grades K to 6
Janelle Williams-Jacobs, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $862 goal
Background from Hands: Thanks to a total of 1,010 brand new books sent by Hands in 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 (funded by Scotiabank), this school boasts a generous 9.25 Hands books per child ratio. (Most experts consider 8 books per child an optimum ratio for a school library.) Still, the students here are asking for some favorites—a gap-filling "top up" of books is on the way.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Maurice Hillier Memorial Junior School (St. Kitts)
267 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Icilma Springer, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: Yep, that's an encyclopedia set—a decades-old encyclopedia—in this photo of the library at Maurice Hillier Primary School. In common with almost every school in the Eastern Caribbean, this venerable encyclopedia has to go (we plan to send the school a current World Book encyclopedia). Principal Icilma Springer, with a Ministry of Education backgound in starting libraries in public schools, is very involved with the rejuvenation, working with Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, of the Maurice Hillier school library.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Newton Ground Primary School (St. Kitts)
84 students • Grades K to 6
Michelle Rochester-Woodley, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $862 goal
Background from Hands: There's a roomy library space (spare classroom) and well-organized shelving. Hands sent the school 225 new books back in the 2013-2015 school years, but the library is overdue for an infusion of new books. No doubt, most of the students have already read most of the books—and we bet that more than a few students have read all of the books. In addition to a shipment of new amazing books, the Hands Student Librarian Program is coming to the school very soon.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
St. Paul's Primary School (St. Kitts)
180 students • Grades K to 6
John Gumbs, Principal

Averil Gumbs, Remedial Reading Teacher
Shakia Henry, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $862 goal
Background from Hands: This is a tidy, peaceful school at the scenic northern end of St. Kitts. The principal, remedial reading teacher, and librarian are passionate about books and literacy—the library recently received a snazzy overhaul, and the reading room is a dazzling display of sight words and all kinds of enchanting literacy eye-catchers. Hands last sent the school books back in 2013-2014, so they're overdue for an infusion of new titles. Plus, we think that the new books we're sending now are way better than the new books we sent back then!
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Tucker Clarke Primary School (St. Kitts)
518 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Sylvester Charles, Principal
Beverly Prentice, Librarian

Scotiabank adopted this project
Background from Hands: The largest primary school on St. Kitts, Tucker Clarke Primary School fits a lot of children into a small area—and the school library is jam-packed, too. The principal is enthusiastic about the massive donation of 893 new books from Hands in 2016-2017, and the borrowing of books by students continues at a brisk pace. On top of that, there is a heartening amount of community and parental support for the library, books, and reading. Notes Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis: “Parents are happy that their children are bringing home new books to read, and they even check in at the school if for some reason their child has not brought home a new book for the week.”

Next up is a cull and cleanout of the old, “donation dumped” books from the overstuffed library, followed by moving all of the non-library furniture out of the library. “The principal is keen on changing the library arrangement and making more space for the library,” says Fagerberg. “At present the library is shared with teacher resources, a photocopy machine, and a small computer lab, and there are two desks and reading recovery materials that can be moved to the science lab where remedial reading instruction is done and where the ‘reading corner’ floor mat is for the students. The plan is to clean out the ‘donation dumped’ books, see what is left and what should be thrown out, and make a good list of needed books for this large school.” As with many schools, at Tucker Clarke Primary School there is a fight for space—and as with the other islands, the Hands Literacy Link is fighting for the school library.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Tyrell Williams Primary School (St. Kitts)
241 students • Grades K to 6
Stewart Joseph, Principal

Vandalyn Henry, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,587 goal
Background from Hands: This large rural school has a full-time librarian and a great library setup on the second floor—there's plenty of shelving, and the comfy couches and reading rug are packed to capacity during lunchtime and timetabled class visits. Hands Across the Sea has been assisting this school on an as-needed basis since 2009; we've sent a total of 2,671 books, but many of them are nearly worn out—"loved to death." The school needs an infusion of new amazing books to keep the kids engaged.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Verchilds High School (St. Kitts)
325 students • Grades 7 to 11
Roger Woodley, Principal

Haley Stapleton, Librarian
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: This medium-size high school may not have the sports clout of the bigger secondary schools on St. Kitts, but it does have one of the best libraries. Hands sent the school 525 new books back in 2013-2014, and the library is due for an infusion of new material. These days we send, among other more "serious" titles, gotta-read books such as Urban Underground and Bluford High, two black urban high school dramas, hardcover graphic novels (superheroes and wrestling stars), books on careers and teen issues, and picture-biographies on pop stars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z. Such “book candy” titles get the kids into the library and reading, and from there the rest of the books, and the world, await.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Violet Petty Primary School (St. Kitts)
86 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Dale Phipps, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,310 goal; Bruno & Heidi donated $500
Background from Hands: School principals, being merely human, vary in their leadership ability and their passion for literacy—but when you find an inspirational go-getter, such as Principal Phipps, you know that good things are going to happen. Violet Petty Primary School has a large, well-organized library space (lots of shelves and reading tables), and now, with Dale Phipps newly installed as principal, the passion needed to make it come alive. The school recently had a major cleanout of the library’s old, “donation dumped” books, so all they need now are new amazing books from Hands. The children have been waiting a long, long time for this!
•    ST. LUCIA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Lucia's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Lucia, Clara Paul and Khrystal Lucien, 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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
Babonneau Secondary School
Gros Islet Secondary School
ST. LUCIA
Augier Combined School
286 students • Grades K to 6
Kajana James, Principal

Brenda Diaz, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: The library at this large-size primary school is on the small side but boasts a quality collection of relevant books (unfortunately the librarian, a government work-scheme employee, is no longer with the school). “Teachers and students use the library regularly,” reports Khrystal Lucien, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “The principal is very excited about receiving new books. The Special Education teacher is operating the library until a more permanent solution can be implemented.” Augier Combined School has an active Student Council, and the students, along with their young and energetic principal, are eager to get the Hands Student Librarian Program up and running.
ST. LUCIA
Babonneau Secondary School
545 students • Grades 7 to 11
Terrence Fernelon, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $7,175 goal
Background from Hands: This high school enjoys excellent leadership from Principal Fermelon but suffers from an ongoing space crunch. To get quality reading into the hands of the students, back in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Hands sent the school 658 new books and six large, lockable book cabinets (thank you, Sandals Foundation). The metal cabinets, placed in classrooms, constituted a sort of library until a suitable space for a central library could be found or built. Time has marched on, and there is still no library space Babonneau Secondary School—and meanwhile the requests from the students for more books has increased. What the school needs now is another infusion of new amazing books, and additional metal cabinets in which to store the books. Not to worry—a space crunch at a school, especially one located anywhere near an island’s capital city, is common. And there is always a way around it to get quality, relevant books into the hands of children.
ST. LUCIA
Bexon RC Infant School
106 students • Grades K to 2
Mrs. Martha John, Principal

Longwood Rotary Club adopted this project
Background from Hands: Not only has Principal Martha John crafted a beautiful and tidy infant school, she has placed books, reading, and literacy skills at the forefront of each child’s learning. The school’s compact library is bursting with color and engaging literacy posters and artwork—a garden of reading. The school needs only a “top up” of new amazing books from Hands to fill a few gaps in the collection.
ST. LUCIA
Castries Anglican Infant School
236 students • Grades K to 2
Christine Merville, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: This bustling infant school (Grade K to Grade 2) is located in the heart of Castries, St. Lucia's busy capital city. Last year the principal, Christine Merville, and her staff did a great job culling their collection of "donation dumped" old books, holding a book sale, and cleaning out the library space to receive the new books that Hands shipped in 2016-2017. They do need another infusion of books to build up their library, and they're ready for them!
ST. LUCIA
Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School
980 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Ethelene Leonce, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,440 goal
Background from Hands: This well-run and progressive institution, named after Dame Pearlette Louisy, the revered Governor General of St. Lucia, is the largest primary school on the island—nearly one thousand children bustle through the breezeways every day. But in contrast to the school's academic prowess, the school library needs both a makeover and a serious infusion of new books. The library room needs brightening to make it child-friendly and attractive to kids, and a lot can be done with the book display and library themes and activities to bring the library into the life of the school. The principal and staff are eager to get started, and new amazing books from Hands will give them something to work with.
ST. LUCIA
Gros Islet Infant School
135 students • Grades K to 2
Merlisa Joseph-Charles, Principal
Virginia Evariste, Teacher/Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,070 goal
Background from Hands: Things are going very well at the library here—maybe we’ve been doing this too long, but there’s nothing cooler than seeing a Grade 1 child traipsing out of the library clutching Dora the Explorer or Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Gros Islet Infant School is the foundation of child literacy in the fishing village of Gros Islet—from infant school the kids graduate to Gros Islet Primary (just across the grassy courtyard), and from there most move on to Gros Islet Secondary (down the road a bit). What’s needed at this school is a gap-filling “top up” of new books—much of the existing collection (Hands sent 580 books in 2013-2014, thanks to the Sandals Foundation) is worn out—what we call “loved to death.”
ST. LUCIA
Gros Islet Primary School
179 students • Grades K to 6
Paula St. Luce, Principal
Marie Annette Frederick, Literacy Coordinator

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, Inc. adopted this project
Background from Hands: There has never been a library at this medium-size primary school, and Principal Paula St. Luce (at left in photo, with Khrystal Lucian, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia) wants a library—and we want to help her. We’ve identified a room that will serve, with minimal rehabilitation, as the library, and the search for funding and the usual to-and-fro with a contractor are under way. A Library Team, led by the school’s literacy coordinator, is working to establish the library-to-be’s setup and operation. Meanwhile, the students are making do with the small collections of old books in the classrooms. Khrystal Lucien is working closely with the school, contractor, and the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association to make this dream come true.
ST. LUCIA
Millet Infant School
70 students • Grades 1 to 2
Junia Peters, Principal
Velda Donovan and Marea Octave, Library Team
Longwood Rotary Club and Angela adopted this project
Background from Hands: Located in the hills in Millet, a remote area at the heart of St. Lucia, this school is on the upswing. Junia Peters, the young principal, has cleared the library space of old books and equipment, and the 539 books sent by Hands in 2016-2017 are in place and being devoured by the students. What the school needs now is a gap-filling "top up" of new amazing books to keep the momentum going.
ST. LUCIA
Mon Repos RC Combined School
165 students • Grades K to 6
Marcellina Newton, Principal

Ellen Pirie, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: This is what positive change looks like: the school librarian and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer are at work culling this school library’s many old moldy “donation dumped” books and color-coding the 538 new books from Hands sent in 2016-2017. “The school hosts a Reading Vigil which is attended by parents, students, faculty, and members of the community,” reports Khrystal Lucien, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia. “The teachers put on a production based on a book. This will help promote the newly functional library.” So, the library is on the way to becoming integral to school life! Next up: the Hands Student Librarian Program. Oh, and a “top up” of gap-filling new books iin 2017-2018.
ST. LUCIA
Odsan Combined School
188 students • Grades K to 6
Angela Boulogne, Principal
Arwena Prescott, Library Coordinator
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,675 goal; DuBoulay Anthony & Co. donated $1,500
Background from Hands: Wow! Amazing progress in a short time is making the first-ever library at Odsan Combined School a reality. Working closely with the principal and teachers, Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, has the inside track on helping to create a library at this medium-size primary school: she taught there for many years. The team, along with former students and community members, created a great libary space by renovating the walls, windows, and, most all, the damaged concrete floor (now beautifully tiled) of an unused classroom. One of St. Lucia's premier law firms, DuBoulay Anthony & Co., helped fund the amazing transformation. When the new books arrive in September, Odsan Combined School is ready!
ST. LUCIA
Reunion Primary School
164 students • Grades K to 6
Anthia Lafeuillee, Principal

Janice Athill, Teacher in Charge of the Library
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal; Financial Investment & Consultancy Services, Ltd. donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea sent 1,500 “gently used” books to this rural school back in 2010-2011—but that was a long time ago. The school has never had a properly organized and operational central library, but that’s about to change. Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia, is working with the principal here to clean out the old, worn-out books from the school’s multipurpose room, and get local carpenters to build lockable book cabinets in a library area of the room. Along with that, other work is afoot, including: securing some comfy couches for laid-back reading, forming a Library Team to organize and operate the library, and getting a quote and action on new bookshelves and lockable cabinets. Things are moving along!
ST. LUCIA
Riviere Doree Anglican Combined School
100 students • Grades K to 6
Secondina Alcee, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal
Background from Hands: Besides the lack of any space for a central library, there are lots of challenges at this school, notes Clara Paul, a Hands Literacy Link for St. Lucia: “The school is in serious need of physical repair due to wear and tear, and due to age of the school—183 years.” That said, the way to get new amazing books into the hands of students at this school is to send lockable metal cabinets, to be positioned in a “library space” in the back of the Grade 3 classroom, along with a “starter set” of books. Children will have access to the books during lunchtime, and before and after school. Not a perfect setup, but it’s a start!
ST. LUCIA
Saltibus RC Combined School
Winner, 2016-2017 Hands Literacy Award
110 students • Grades K to 6
Joyceline Nuptial-Charles, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands What is the purpose of a library? Is the purpose to look orderly and beautiful, or is it to enable beautiful thinking and exciting discoveries, and to open the door to new ideas and opportunities? At Saltibus RC Combined School, a 110-student rural school way up in the mountains of the southern end of St. Lucia, school staffers have created a library that is beautiful in every sense of the word. And it’s all working in real life. Teachers read aloud to their classes when they bring them to the library. The library is a very busy place during Literacy Month (May), when activities include: Character Day, Get Caught Reading, Reading 50 Books Competition, Sustained Silent Reading, Drop Everything and Read. There are also activities for parents and school staff: Spelling Quiz, Elocution, Essay Competition, Round Robin Reading, and more. The school has a Student Librarian Program in operation, too. All of which makes the library—and the Principal, teachers, and students responsible for it—a beautiful thing.
ST. LUCIA
Soufriere Infant School
190 students • Grades K to 2
Sandra Prospere, Principal

Kathryn Maitland, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal
Background from Hands: Way back in 2011-2012 Hands sent this school 1,300 “gently used” books, and a cleanout of the library a year ago revealed that the school has a total of about 3,400 books—that’s a very healthy 18:1 book-per-child ratio. Even so, a just-finished reorganization and reopening of the library by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Kathryn Maitland revealed that the school has tons of chapter books but needs remedial reading packages for Grade K and struggling readers in Grade 1 and Grade 2. We can do that!
•    ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Vincent and the Grenadines's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 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.
You can give teachers the tools they need!

DONATE NOW Send a Toolkit

Learn about the program
The Hands Remedial Reading Toolkit for high school educators includes the Decode Teen Emergent Readers phonics system; phonics and word family workbooks, word sort cards, pocket charts with phonics and word family cards, rhyming and phonics puzzles, word and letter tiles, alphabet, phonics, and word family flashcards, phonics listening centers and CDs, and sight-word Bingo and Bananagrams word games.
Donate to fund a Toolkit for:
George Stephens Senior Secondary School
Petit Bordel Secondary School
Sandy Bay Secondary School
West St. George Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Argyle RC Primary School
96 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Suzannie Briggs-Boyea, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: This primary school, located close by St. Vincent’s new $800 million airport, is showing wear and tear—the usual level of governmental neglect on this island. The library room needs new everything: new bookshelves, new paint, new books. Plus, a cull and cleanout of the standard collection of old, inappropriate “donation dumped” books. Principal Briggs-Boyea is excited at the prospect of new books from Hands, but, as with many projects that are starting from near-zero, we need to seem commitment to the project from the rest of the school staff. We’ve learned from experience that sending new books into a space before it is prepared for their arrival is not the way to go. We'll look for progress here, first.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Barrouallie Government School
324 students • Grades K to 6
Maxford Jones, Principal
Maya Tims, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,140 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Back in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Hands sent 900 new and “gently used” books to the new library at this school, created and run during that period by a U.S. Peace Corp Volunteer. Sadly, after the Peace Corps Volunteer’s service was over and she returned to the States, a lack of leadership from the principal and lack of buy-in by school staff meant that the library literally fell apart. Now the school has a new principal, Maxford Jones, who is an energetic, can-do personality bent on restoring the library to its former glory and beyond. The bones are still there: plenty of space, sturdy shelves, tables and chairs. All that is needed is a powerful dose of passion to make the project work (the school has just received a new Peace Corps Volunteer, too), and an infusion of new books from Hands. We’d like to see the Hands Student Librarian Program employed here, too, to add a measure of sustainability to the proceedings.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Calliaqua Anglican Primary School
310 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Corselle Smith, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,175 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: At this large primary school, wedged into an urban neighborhood, child literacy holds a high priority. The widespread problem of children reading well below grade level is openly acknowledged instead of covered up, and the principal and staff are actively fighting to reverse the norm. The school needs new books to fire up students who have been turned off of reading by “donation dumped” fare, and the literacy coordinator has asked for a remedial reading package or two.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Cane End Government School
122 students • Grades Pre-K to 6
Ave Weekes-Stephens, Principal
Shereese Peters, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,310 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Steady and outstanding leadership by the principal of this high-energy school, nestled in the fertile Mesopotamia Valley, has paid off not only with a love of books and reading among the students but high academic scores. Hands has sent the school over 1,500 new and “gently used” books (2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014), but those books are worn—they truly have been “loved to death.” Hands has arranged for a church group visiting from the U.S. to help renovate the library with new paint and shelving, and we look forward to receiving the school’s Wish List for 2017-2018.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Chateaubelair Methodist Primary School
226 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Edmie Charles, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; Rotary Club of St. Vincent South donated $575; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Ever since helping to create this large library back in 2010, we have watched as the library, the schools’ focal point for reading and literacy skills, has become both stronger and more important to the students. Really, that’s all we can ask for—we salute the consistent leadership and dedication to child literacy by the principal that has been a cornerstone of this library’s sustainability. Hands has sent the school over 1,700 new and “gently used” books over the years, and these days the well-worn collection is overdue for an infusion of new amazing books.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Kingstown Preparatory School
250 students • Grades K to 1
June Russell, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,620 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Stepping into the echoing hallways of this school, located right downtown in Kingstown, the capital city of St. Vincent, is like putting your head inside a beehive. The school has a serviceable library space that needs brightening up, but the last time any new books arrived here is, well, who really knows? Not recently—at least during the last ten years—is a safe guess. The principal and staff assure Hands that a cleanout of the usual “donation dumped” books will take place before the new books from Hands arrive. They’ll also need to color-code the new books, institute a checkout system, enlist the buy-in of the teachers, and (last but not least) get the Hands Student Librarian Program up and running. Lots to do.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Lauders Primary School
153 students • Grades K to 6
Marcia Peters, Principal
Mary Gregory, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: The library at this rural school, which recently had a dazzling “makeover” by an energetic U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, is still in near-perfect shape: it has a full-time librarian (another Peace Corps Volunteer), and a team of teachers who share library duties. “The library is open all day, it is timetabled for all grades, and read-aloud sessions and classes are held in the library,” reports Christobelle Ashton, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “There is good parental and community involvement in the library, too. Parents of Grade K students participate in a weekly reading club, and during the February 2017 Literacy Week activities, students recited poems to several older members of the community.”
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Park Hill Government School
120 students • Grades K to 5
Elizabeth Johnson, Principal

Rae Schmidt, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: There is fresh leadership—from the new Principal—and new energy—from a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer—fueling the lending library at this small rural school. A massive cull and cleanout (the school was the recipient of decades of old, moldy, inappropriate “donation dumped” books) of the existing dormant library was the first order of business. When the 583 brand new books from Hands arrived in November 2017 (the first new books in the history of the school!), they were color-coded and arranged cover-out on the bookshelves, according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools. The library is timetabled for each grade; the space is small but features a “reading corner” where kids can sprawl on a rug and pillows to read. The first signs of progress in advancing child literacy at the school are evident: excitement and engagement with the new books. The next order of business is the training of a team of Student Librarians.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Questelles Government School
299 students • Grades K to 6
Albena Samuel Jack, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,310 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: The principal at this busy rural school is energetic and fully committed to raising child literacy levels at her school. One obstacle has been the library—like most Caribbean school libraries, the bookshelves are overstuffed with decades of old, inappropriate, “donation dumped” books—including a mold-blasted book on English grammar, published in 1935. So, there is plenty of physical prep work to do (cull and cleanout, new jazzy paint) and management tasks ahead (color-coding of the books according to the Hands Across the Sea Library Manual for Primary Schools, starting a checkout system, a Student Librarian Program, and more). But there is no doubt in our mind that, with help from Christobelle Ashton, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Principal Jack will make it all happen.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Richland Park Government School
Winner, 2015-2016 Hands Literacy Award
200 students • Grades K to 6
Carol Miller, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Some school libraries depend upon a “champion”—one energetic teacher or a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer to create/rejuvenate and then maintain/operate the school library. That is fine—except that when the champion is transferred to another school or decides to go elsewhere, very often the library goes dormant because no one else steps up to run it. (It’s really too much time and responsibility for any one person’s shoulders, especially when they have other duties, such as teaching.) That’s why Hands always advocates forming a Library Team, like the one you see here at Richland Park Government School, a 199-student rural school located high above the fertile Mesopotamia Valley in central St. Vincent. Three teachers, a Literacy Coordinator, a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, and the school Principal happily share the library duties. Each person is committed to the long-term sustainability of the library and its resources, and each person has a say in the operation and activities that take place in the library. Did we mention that a Student Librarian Program is next for the school? Their teamwork will grow stronger than ever.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Rose Hall Government School
110 students • Grades K to 6
Jennis Cyrus-Lewis, Principal

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Perfect timing! An industrious U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer had just completed a snazzy re-org of the school’s new standalone library building, and was looking for new books to fill it with—and the Hands crew walked in the door. The school, located in Rose Hall, the childhood village of Christobelle Ashton, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is perched on a mountain ridge above the dramatic northwestern coast of St. Vincent. Ashton will be working closely with the school’s principal and staff to make the most of the new books coming from Hands in 2017.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Sandy Bay Government School
284 students • Grades K to 6
Hepcie Roberts, Principal
Amanda Reveles, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,655 goal; Blue Lagoon Hotel and Marina, Ltd. donated $1,300; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: The spacious, multipurpose library at this school is an integral part of student life, and a new U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Amanda Reveles, is using some clever techniques to immerse children more deeply into books and reading. Hands has sent 1,357 new and “gently used” books to the school in recent years, and the culling of the old “donation dumped” books is ongoing. The school, located on the windward coast of the northern part of St. Vincent, has a challenge reaching local parents and bringing them onboard a culture of reading. Unemployment is extremely high in this area (some estimates of joblessness hover at around 70%) and job prospects, outside of farming marijuana, are bleak. As with other landscapes of chronic poverty and lack of opportunity, education is the only real way forward.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
School for Children with Special Needs, Kingstown
64 children
Phedra Samuel, Director

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,200 goal
Background from Hands: This is a well-run and inspiring special education school—one of the very best we’ve seen in the Eastern Caribbean. Hands will be sending some books and some boxes of special ed “stuff,” such as manipulatives and educational games, that the school’s director and staff will choose from Lakeshore Learning, a school supply company in the U.S. that has just about everything any kind of school could ever need.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Sion Hill Government School
146 students • Grades K to 6
Verona L. Richards, Principal
Grace Dennie, Literacy Coordinator

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,450 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: Like too many schools in St. Vincent, the physical structure of Sion Hill Government School is exhibiting advanced signs of government neglect—it is a shame that part of every student’s education is weathering a debilitating classroom environment every single day. On the brighter side, there is a positive-thinking principal at this school, and a library setup that only requires the culling of the “donation dumped” books to make way for literacy materials from Hands to get onto the shelves. We can't fix all the infrastructure problems we see at schools, which is frustrating and frankly depressing. But at least we can get new amazing books into the hands of kids who have never had them. And that is worth a lot.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
South Rivers Methodist Primary School
172 students • Grades K to 6
Maria Burke, Principal
Chris Cannito, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,725 goal; Mustique Charitable Foundation donated $1,000
Background from Hands: This medium-size rural school is located way up in the mountains on the windward side of St. Vincent. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Cannito has energized the school and, along with the Principal, staff members, and community members, created a great little library at the school. Things have been going very well for over a year now, and the November 2016 arrival of new books from Hands have given the project heft and staying power. (The Hands goal with each library is to make it not only sustainable but an integral part of school life.) “The students continue to embrace the library, and student borrowing is growing,” reports Christobelle Ashton, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “One new initiative that Chris Cannito has introduced is that students who succeed in borrowing 12 books will be able to borrow an additional book. They are given lovely stickers for each book that is read and returned. There is now in place a Student Librarian Program, with two teams of three students. These students were selected with the help of teachers and trained by Cannito.”