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reaching 89 schools, six community reading programs, two community libraries, and over 25,900 children...
 
Today is a great day to begin a bright future for Caribbean children by adopting all or part of a 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists project!

Hands Across the Sea presents the 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists of school principals, teachers, literacy coordinators, librarians, community leaders, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean that Hands seeks to support through our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program. You can make dreams come true for these caring people who are creating school libraries, starting reading groups, and setting up literacy centers. And you can make dreams come true for all across the Eastern Caribbean by giving them a brighter future through access to great brand new books and the gift of literacy — the gift that lasts a lifetime.

Our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program helps raise child literacy levels
by:

1. Sending great books — new or near-new top-
quality books — that engage and educate Caribbean children;

2. Establishing vibrant borrowing libraries;

3. Working with educators and U.S. Peace
Corps
Volunteers to create sustainable positive change.

Can you help Caribbean kids and schools — pre-schools, kindergartens, primary schools, and secondary schools — and community libraries, remedial reading programs, and after-school youth centers by adopting all or part of a Hands Wish Lists project?

To adopt the project of your choice online, make a donation via our secure PayPal interface and write a note in the "Please add any comments here" PayPal field (example pictured at right) telling us where we should direct your gift.

Or, you can write a check and include a note or specify the name of the Hands Wish Lists project or the U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer's name in the memo line and mail your check to: Hands Across the Sea, 651 Orchard St., Suite 203, New Bedford, MA 02744, U.S.A. (You'll also find our postal address and other contact information on the Contact Hands page.)


Scroll down to see all the 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists, or click to go to the Hands Wish Lists of a specific island:

Antigua  •  Dominica  •  Grenada  •  St. Kitts and Nevis  •  St. Lucia  •  St. Vincent and the Grenadines




Antigua Leeward Islands Eastern Caribbean

All Saints Secondary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $2,500 project 
George Edwards, Principal; 740 students
Background from Hands: The library at All Saints Secondary School is a nice space, but there's way too many outdated and unsuitable books (including a large collection of the classics, beautifully bound hardcover books from the Everyman's library). The library needs culling and tidying; there are a lot of boxes of old books lying around that the school Librarian (Ms. Jennifer Williams, in photo, with Principal Edwards) just can't seem to part with. The school will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in September and could use an infusion of new books, especially young adult fiction and nonfiction for Grades 7, 8, and 9. This will be a great library when the space is cleared and new books from Hands are brought in.


Antigua Girls High School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $1,200 project 
Mrs. Yvette Samuel, Principal; 618 students
Background from Hands: Antigua Girls High School is one of the top secondary schools for girls in Antigua. Unfortunately, its library has been closed because the librarian is on study leave for two years. The Education Officer for Libraries in Antigua will be assigning a temporary librarian to keep the place open. This school has won an infusion of new books as part of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2013 Challenge, a local writing competition. This secondary school had the most writing submissions of any secondary school in Antigua and as part of the 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists shipment we will be sending them age-appropriate books that appeal to girls to liven up their (currently rather uninspiring) library collection.


Cedar Grove Primary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $600 project 
Angela James, Principal; 160 students
Background from Hands: The Sandals Foundation funded an upgrade of this library, and Hands Across the Sea assisted by shipping brand new books. We worked with Ms. Angela James when she was Principal at Villa Primary School, and along with U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Ina Howe, she led an effort to create a wonderful borrowing library at the school. Angela James has repeated her efforts as the new Principal at Cedar Grove, and has recruited the fifth graders to run the library as Student Librarians. It's an attractive, effective school library space with fresh paint, murals, color-coded books, and well organized shelves. Cedar Grove Primary School needs a minor infusion of new chapter books.


Clare Hall Secondary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $800 project 
Mrs. Jonah Greene, Principal; 711 students
Background from Hands: A recipient of the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Grant that is being administered by Hands, this school received an infusion of eight boxes of brand new books from Scholastic, Nelson Thornes, Macmillan Caribbean, Marshall Cavendish and Dorling Kindersley. The selection was designed to provide young adult fiction for fluent readers, high interest/low level reading books for reluctant readers, and reference material to broaden the students' world with a mix of famous Americans biographies, Eyewitness Guides, the Peoples of the World series, and specific study materials for passing the Caribbean-wide 11th grade exams. The library is a well-loved, busy space and a testament to the hard-working librarian, Ms. Ayanna Shadrach, the enthusiastic students who helped catalog the new books, and Principal Greene. They need a minor infusion of some more teen fiction!


Five Islands Primary School ANTIGUA
 Galley Bay Resort Antigua has adopted this $1,850 project 
Mrs. Hyacinth Barriero, Principal; 435 students
Background from Hands:This rural primary school is surrounded by farms and is close to the beautiful Galley Bay Resort, which is a big supporter of the school. The school has a literacy center used for remedial reading students and a library that was created by the school Principal, Mrs. Hyacinth Barriero (right, in photo, with Karen Browne Francis, Antigua's Education Officer for Libraries) as part of her University of the West Indies practicum. Hands spent a day there with the Principal, Deputy Principal, and Mrs. Francis culling the old books and sorting the fairly good selection of appropriate books into categories. What the school needs now are books for Grades 3 through 6, especially chapter and series books. And also a selection of "books for boys."


Irene B. Williams Secondary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $2,000 project 
Vere Shaw, Principal; 75 students
Background from Hands: This school is being converted from an old primary school facility into a secondary school, and Principal Shaw, his staff and librarian Charlene Weaver are committed and highly enthusiastic about raising the literacy levels of their students. Hands sent a selection of reference books and Caribbean study guides to update a library that was launched years ago by the Mill Reef Fund. The library space at Irene B. Williams Secondary is of adequate size and has plenty of shelving, but needs new flooring, more tables and reading desks, and a supply of young adult fiction to entice secondary school readers — Hands looks forward to supporting this library and school staff again.


Jennings Secondary School ANTIGUA
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Foster Roberts, Principal; 750 students
Background from Hands: Jennings Secondary School is a large institution serving the nearby communities of Bolans and Jennings, among other villages. The school has a large library space, but there's a lot of old and outdated books as well as shelves full of the usual tourist discards (romance and spy novel paperbacks). This school needs a fresh influx of age-appropriate books — and especially, books that are enticing to boys.


Kids Unlimited Primary School ANTIGUA
  The American Sailing Association has adopted this $1,000 project 
Amaryllis Weeks, Principal; 142 students
Cindy Reynolds, PTA
Background from Hands: One word sums up both the visual and organizational aspects of the school library at Kids Unlimited: Wow! Working together, Principal Weeks and Cindy Reynolds of the PTA transformed a workroom space into a highly appealing, welcoming library with students' art lining the walls and packed full of great books. The students love Friday library day and are reacting with lots of enthusiasm. Weeks and Reynolds raised and donated the money for the project themselves, enlisting support from local businesses and the community. We'd like to continue to support the eager readers and the highly effective principal and local parents at this school.


Mary E. Piggot Primary School ANTIGUA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,500 project 
Gayle Samule, Principal; 400 students
Background from Hands: This large primary school has a new Principal, Gayle Samuel, and she would like the school to have a library. The Principal has set aside a classroom to set up a library, but we were not able to see the space nor meet the principal on the day we visited. We understand that the Principal has already starting raising funds through the PTA, which is a really, really good sign of things to come.


New Winthorpes Primary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $1,600 project 
Mr. Whitfield Browne, Principal; 100 students
Background from Hands: One year ago, there just didn't seem to be any available space (a common problem at many schools) for a library at New Winthorpes. Getting creative, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Norma-Jean Arey and grade 5/6 teacher Ms. Anthea Anthony transformed the school's pump room — less than 120 square feet — into an exciting library for the students (and yes, the pump is still there). Fun, beautiful murals liven up the walls and front door, the shelving is clean, and the book collection is categorized with the easy-to-use color-dot system. And most important, books are coming off the shelves and going home with the students where, read and shared by other family members, they are becoming a part of the fabric of daily life. Hands wants to send more books — there's still some shelf space left.


Old Road Primary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $1,600 project 
Ryona Joseph, Principal; 96 students
Background from Hands: This freshly-painted school is across the street from the beautiful Carlisle Bay Resort. Ryona Joseph is the new Principal at Old Road Primary School, and she would very much like to upgrade their library. The dedicated space is divided into two with a beautifully set up computer room donated by the Antigua and Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Clubs. The library has shelves and a few books that need to be sorted and color-coded according to reading level, as we advocate in the Hands Primary School Library Manual. There are a number of tourist-donated books that are unsuitable and really should go. The principal and staff, especially Julia Irish, the Reading Recovery teacher, are excited about receiving new books and getting a good borrowing library up and running.


Ottos Comprehensive Secondary School ANTIGUA
 Fast Cash has donated $900; Diane and Jeff have donated $500 toward this project 
Patricia Murrain, Principal; 796 students
Background from Hands: This is a challenging school that has seen a high turnover of principals and teachers the past few years. The physical plant is in need of repair, but the library is a quiet space that could be upgraded to make it a peaceful refuge in a noisy school. The school has a dedicated Librarian in Ms. Sasha Otto (photo); the library is in need of a refresh of its entire collection. Patricia Murrain, the school's new Principal, has a lot of energy and enthusiasm to improve the school environment.


Project Hope ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $900 project 
Maria Hughes, Director; 35 children
Background from Hands: Project Hope is an Antigua-based charitable organization that has been assisting local communities for the past seven years in a wide variety of ways: anti-drug counseling and intervention for teenagers; drug treatment and recovery; job promotion; outreach and education for parents; and literacy programs for children from ages 5 to 12. When Hands visited Project Hope two literacy sessions were underway; facilitators were working with groups of six to eight children to help bring their reading and comprehension skills up to speed. We were impressed by the professional and hands-on nature of their approach, and also by the fact that Project Hope is very popular with and effective in reaching boys (in Antigua, as in nearly all of the Caribbean schools which Hands assists, boys lag behind the girls in literacy development). Project Hope has a well-organized library, but needs "books for boys" so that remedial readers can choose from a selection of exciting books with age-appropriate subject matter (instead of "baby books"!).


St. John's Catholic Primary School ANTIGUA
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $1,200 project 
Mr. George Imhoff, Principal
Background from Hands: This school was the winner of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2013 Challenge for the most essay submissions from a primary school. The Grade 4 teacher responsible, Ms. Latoya Honore, will be receiving an infusion of new books for the school. Since the school does not have a library, as part of the 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists shipment we will send them a selection of fiction and non-fiction to be shared among the three Grade 4 classes.


St. John's Lutheran School ANTIGUA
 The St. John's Lutheran School PTA has donated $500 toward this project 
Mr. Joel Molyneaux, Principal; Cindy Johnston, PTA; 260 children
Background from Hands: It took a village, literally — the collective efffort of several dozen local businesses, parents, craftspeople, and school staffers — to bring the fabulous new library at St. John's Lutheran School into being. The venture is a big success for the school; the grand opening of the library was preceded by a church service/dedication and culminated in a ribbon-cutting by Principal Molyneaux. Then, of course, the kids flooded in and took over! The St. John's Lutheran School library has all the elements that make a school library work, including a comfy rug and throw pillows for the kindergarten crowd. But the most vital element is the support from people who are truly dedicated to literacy, especially Cindy Johnston of the PTA who marshalled enthusiasm and commitments from the community. For the 2013/2014 school year, Cindy Johnston and the PTA are raising more money to supplement the library collection with more new books from Hands.


St. Mary's Secondary School ANTIGUA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $900 goal
Mr. Casey Phillip, Principal; 170 students
Background from Hands: Creating a library at a secondary school has its particular set of demands. The students need a wide range of material, from fact-based books about careers and the world outside — everything from Tibet to technology — as well as young-adult fiction, graphic novels, and high interest/low reading level books for students who need to build reading and comprehension skills. The library at St. Mary's Secondary, a collaboration between U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Norma-Jean Arey, the Mill Reef Fund, Hands Across the Sea, and school staff, meets all these requirements. The space is clean, quiet, well-organized, and extremely well stocked with books. The local community is supporting the library too, with Mrs. Yvette Lambert serving as the volunteer librarian. The head of the English department, Ms. Sharolyn Hoyte, along with the school's dynamic new principal, Mr. Phillip, are committed to raising the level of literacy and student achievement at St. Mary's Secondary School. Well done by all! To help continue this success story, Hands would like to send specific resources and texts requested by the English department.


Villa Primary School ANTIGUA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Mill Reef Fund has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mrs. Bernadette Jarvis, Principal; 295 students
Background from Hands: Back in December of 2010 when U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Ina Howe decided to create a borrowing library at Villa Primary, the school had been without a functioning library for 15 years. Howe, along with former school principals Mrs. King and Mrs. James, began raising money for books and getting teachers, parents, local businesses, and craftsmen involved in the project. First, the school's groundskeeper, Mr. Grotton, helped clear out a room for the library; Mr. Brown from the Ministry of Education had screens put on the windows; former Villa teacher Bernard Mason enlisted the Villa Church of Christ and Hill Crest Church of Christ (in Texas) to donate paint and send a group of Abilene Christian University students in to paint the library; and local artist Edison Liburd painted the library's murals, with paint donated by H&G Paint. Howe continued her long-distance campaign to raise money from family and friends back home in Oregon, and soon books arrived from the literacy group IACL and from Hands Across the Sea (Hands shipped a total of 1,300 books over two years). Along the way, Villa staff members Mrs. Leah Robinson (Deputy Principal), Mrs. Barbara Christopher (Reading Teacher), and Ms. Delina Graham (Grade K Teacher) were instrumental in bringing the library to life. Villa Primary School's library was officially opened in November of 2011. One year later, the library's success has been measured not only by its bright, welcoming appearance and organized bookshelves and reading tables, but by the high number of books read or taken home every week by Villa's 295 students. Congratulations, Villa Primary!


Willikies Primary School ANTIGUA
 Fast Cash has donated $300; Keegan has donated $1,000; Robert and BJ have donated $250 toward this project 
Mr. Denmore Roberts, Principal; 100 students
Background from Hands: Hands Across the Sea has partnered with The Sandals Foundation to assist Willikies Primary School. There is a dedicated library in an unused classroom that is filled with some new books shipped by Hands Across the Sea two years ago as well as boxes and bags of donated, unsuitable books. Hands spent several hours with Mrs. Browne-Francis, the Library Education Officer for Antigua, sorting books and creating a huge discard pile. A well-meaning middle school in the Bronx, New York, had donated barrels of inappropriate textbooks and material to pass the New York State history exams. Now the stretched staff at Willikies has to find a way to get rid of these dumped books and make way for new, more-appropriate reading books from Hands!




Dominica Windward Islands Eastern Caribbean
Achievement Learning Centre DOMINICA
 Harry has donated $500; crew of the sailing yacht "Patronus" have donated $700 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,200 goal
Beverly Le Blanc, Director; 30 students
Background from Hands: In the Caribbean, special needs children can sometimes fail to receive the help they need, so we were very happy to find that the Achievement Learning Centre, located in bustling Roseau, the capital city of Dominica, has a dedicated and caring staff who employ a variety of teaching strategies to reach special needs children. We were impressed by the creative use of materials, from books to art supplies, to engage the students. The Achievement Learning Center also tutors primary school children after school and on weekends — this is a very busy, vibrant place! The centre's Director, Beverly Le Blanc, says "We are hoping to have our annual summer camp and would welcome school supplies and more books. We will be launching our Literature Circle during this program."


Calibishie Primary School DOMINICA
 Supporters of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Abby Shapiro have donated $1,319; Fast Cash has donated $700; Pam & Phil have donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,500 goal 
Mr. Andrew Shaw, Principal; 110 students
Abby Shapiro, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: Calibishie Primary School serves students on the rural, remote northeastern coast of Dominica — picturesque but a long ways away from the capital city of Roseau. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Abby Shapiro brings a lot of energy and dedication to totally revamping the school library...and so does the Principal, Andrew Shaw, the school staff, and members of the Calibishie community. Principal Shaw's vision is to make the school library "a place that is on the school timetable, where students, and eventually the community, can come and take out books. I want children's art and mobiles to be displayed, computers so that children can research class projects, the library re-painted in a child-friendly color, and the shelves properly arranged." This up-and-coming library is worthy of major support.


Campbell Primary School DOMINICA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $900 goal
Yvette Steadman, Principal; 41 students
Background from Hands: Under a painted concrete ceiling of starry skies and surrounded by four walls of forest, rolling pasture, and all kinds of animals — that's the great library mural hand-painted by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Maggie Rust — the library at Campbell Primary School is shaping up. A bevy of Hands volunteers, including U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Maggie Rust and Arianne Smith, organized the existing collection and the 700 brand new books that arrived from Hands in the 2012/2013 Wish Lists shipment. Using the "colored dot" system on the book spines (yellow = kindergarten to grade 1; blue = grades 2 to 4; green = grades 5 to 6; orange = reference) the library is now ship-shape and easy to keep organized. And best of all, the library is now open to the students. Our goal for 2013/2014 is to send Campbell Primary School a minor infusion of new books to fill some gaps in their collection; in particular, the school needs more books for Grades 5 and 6.


Castle Bruce Secondary School DOMINICA
 Western Union Foundation has adopted this $4,300 project 
Mrs. Octavia Alfred, Principal; 460 students
Background from Hands: Castle Bruce Secondary School serves a large segment of students on the rural, remote eastern side of Dominica, including boys and girls from the Carib Territory. For several years now, Vernilla Nation (pictured), the literacy-minded teacher who heads the English Department, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Judy Joyce have been working hands-on to revitalize the school's struggling library. Now that the new paint and shelving is in place, there's excitement at the school and the library is serving the students well. Next on the list are new weatherproof windows and air-conditioning, to protect the collection as well as an infusion of the Goosebumps, Babysitters Club, Twilight, and DK Eyewitness series books. This is a great library well worth continued support.


Coulibistrie Primary School DOMINICA
 Friends of Jill and Rod have adopted this $1,150 project 
Jocelyn Alexis Joseph, Principal; 40 students
Background from Hands: Coulibistrie Primary School has a library that was refurbished by three Rotary Clubs. The short story here is that the library has a lot of books...but the books are old, old, old. A big-time culling and cleaning operation, followed by a book sale ($.25 apiece) or book giveaway must take place to make way for new books. The library needs a clean slate of brand new books of all types.


Delices Primary School DOMINICA
 Winner! Hands "Reading Rocks!" Facebook Contest 
 Gwendolyn has donated $500, Jungle Bay has donated $250, and Terri has donated $120 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,500 goal


Dominica Community High School DOMINICA
 Tony has adopted this $500 project 
Mrs. Celia Nicholas, Principal; 101 students
Background from Hands: Dominica Community High School is a very well-run alternative secondary school with a cooperative, encouraging environment where students learn the value of teamwork. The school needs a variety of teaching resources and school supplies, from staples and staplers to pens and pencils and poster board.


Feed My Sheep DOMINICA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $1,200 project 
Pastor Lena, Director; 50 children
Background from Hands: Pastor Lina is a caring, can-do kind of person. Recognizing that a number of children in Mahaut, her village, were suffering due to missing-in-action parents or poor parenting, Pastor Lena created Feed My Sheep, a refuge where children can get support of all kinds. The space includes a tidy little library, which is increasing in popularity with the local kids, most of whom have no books at home. Pastor Lena offers an after-school homework area with tables and chairs (and snacks). The library, which is run by student librarians, needs children's reading books for Pastor Lena's growing flock.


Goodwill Secondary School DOMINICA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $1,200 project 
Noreen Graham, Head of English Department; 600 students
Background from Hands: Goodwill Secondary School is large — 600 students! — and is located in urban Roseau, the capital of Dominica. Many of the students are reluctant/remedial readers who do not have books at home. Noreen Graham, the Head of English Department, and Miss Clara Lee, the Remedial Reading teacher, are in need of remedial reading texts to start a classroom library. (At present there is just not enough room at the school for a library.)


Isaiah Thomas Secondary School DOMINICA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Charlie has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mr. Jerome Bardouille, Principal; 602 students
Background from Hands: The academic requirements for secondary school education are far more demanding than that of primary school. Thus the school library must serve a wide range of needs and reading skill levels, and must provide information-packed "fact books," essentially research materials, to help students grow their knowledge and pass examinations. When Jerome Bardouille, the Principal of Isaiah Thomas Secondary School, approached Hands a few years ago with the dream of creating a Literacy Center at the school, the mission was to provide the 602 students with the various tools they needed. With the completion of the Literacy Centre the school gained a great many chapter books and young-adult fiction books; with the recent renovation of the school's library (located in a separate room), the supply of reference and "fact books" was greatly increased. All of this was made possible by the rock-solid support of the Principal and the school's teachers, particularly Ms. Sandra Roberts, head of the English department. Under Ms. Roberts' guidance, many of the school's teachers and students spent weekends and vacation time cataloguing and organizing the library to get it up and running — and the teachers also spend time each week assisting the students and manning the book check-out desk. A high level of commitment from the school staff is essential to maintaining not only the school's library but the literacy levels of the students, and the Principal and teachers at ITSS have demonstrated a true passion for and dedication to literacy.


Northeast Comprehensive Secondary School DOMINICA
 Winner! Hands "Reading Rocks!" Facebook Contest 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $100 goal


Paix Bouche Primary School DOMINICA
 Tony has adopted this $500 project 
Cynthia Joseph, Principal; 104students
Background from Hands: Paix Bouche Primary needs multiple copies of story books for kindergarten to Grade 6 readers, along with a wide range of classroom supplies, from pencils to exercise books to art supplies.


Petite Savanne Primary School DOMINICA
  Jungle Bay has donated $750 and Gwendolyn has donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,500 goal
Mr. Oliver Samuel, Principal; 75 students
Background from Hands: When a school's library is a success, you know it: the library becomes the school's energy center, the place where everybody wants to be. So it is with the library at Petite Savanne, thanks to excellent leadership from Principal Oliver Samuel and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers past (Allegra Asplundh-Smith) and present (Pamela Chiang). Reading has taken off at the school, and the results of this blossoming of literacy are in: Petite Savanne students have consistently scored well on the 6th grade Common Entrance Exam. Congratulations, and keep up the good work — we know you will. Our goal is to support the Petite Savanne library with a gap-filling infusion of books.


Penville Primary School DOMINICA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Fast Cash has donated $500; Steve & Debra have donated $1,000; Bruce & Gretchen have donated $1,000 toward this project 
Euella Joseph, Principal; 101 students
Background from Hands: Located at the extreme northeast tip of Dominica, about as remote from the capital city of Roseau as you can get, Penville Primary School is becoming an important bridge between the area's Kweyol culture and standard English for its 101 students. Principal Euella Joseph has been working with Hands Across the Sea for several years now to make the school's library a place where students can soak up facts about the wider world and also float in pleasure-reading mind-stretchers, from Junie B. Jones to Spongebob Squarepants. At the school's request, Hands sent books targeted to the interests of boys, everything from cars to dinosaurs to superheroes, all with exciting illustrations, and the strategy is working: boys at the school are avid readers now. They're catching up to the girls! Principal Joseph's staff (Grade 3 teacher Mary Robinson is in charge of the library) are equally dedicated to raising the literacy levels of their students. We see a great future for the Penville Primary School library — and thus a great future for the school's students.


Pioneer Preparatory School DOMINICA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,300 goal
Miss Esther Robinson, Principal; 104 students
Background from Hands: There aren't many private schools in Dominica. Pioneer Preparatory, located a few clicks outside the capital city of Roseau, was established in 1997 as a non-profit organisation with open membership opportunities. The school offers education for Kindergarten through Grade 6. The school features small class sizes, lots of individual attention, a broad curriculum, and highly qualified teachers. The school needs storybooks for all grades and resources for teachers, such as educational games that teach literacy and math skills.


Roseau Primary School DOMINICA
 Western Union Foundation has adopted this $3,500 project 
Gretta Roberts, Principal; 250 students
Background from Hands: Principal Gretta Roberts deserves her own gold star on the School Principal's Walk of Fame. In just a few years Roberts has turned around this school by creating a feeding program (Hands is paying the cook), creating classroom libraries and reading corners, painting the school bright pink, jazzing up the students with snappy new uniforms, and instilling discipline and school pride in the students. Now, at last, Roseau Primary School is ready to revitalize their school library. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Carrie Katz is culling and organizing the school's collection, Hands has supplied Katz with (you guessed it) a couple thousand colored dots, and Hands will be supporting the Roseau Primary School library with new weatherproof windows, air-conditioning, paint, and great new books.


St. John's Academy DOMINICA
 Western Union Foundation has adopted this $2,300 project 
Dr. Juliana Magloire, Principal; 100 students
Background from Hands: This is a just-launched new secondary school in the Portsmouth area; the school is presently housed in an old convent, but a new building is taking shape fast. The Principal, Dr. Juliana Magloire, is passionate about getting a library up and running quickly, and making it better as the school grows. Because we have lots of confidence that she will achieve her goals, Hands is supporting the library launch with new books.


St. Martin Secondary School DOMINICA
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Ms. Andra Christian, Principal; 245 students
Background from Hands: This well-regarded urban school, located in Roseau, the capital of Dominica, has a library program in place but is ready to step up their literacy program in all respects. Principal Andra Christian, who began a library at the school in 1998, notes, "While the majority of SMSS students are from urban and suburban areas, students also come from other zones, including the southeast, where there is no secondary school. The poor socio-economic situation with many of our parents contributes to inadequate intellectual stimulus of their children from early childhood, visible through the types of toys, resources and experiences, resulting in poor academic performance. Many parents are unemployed or employed at menial tasks, hence experiencing difficulty in meeting students' basic needs, providing all necessary school materials and making their annual financial contribution to the school." The school already employs the "Drop Everything and Read" program and wants to expand their students' reading skils with an infusion of fiction and contemporary titles.


St. John's Primary School DOMINICA
 Teamwork! Randy & Debbie donated $1,000, and John & Amanda donated $1,000, reaching the $2,000 goal! 
Ms. Juanita Carbon, Principal; 300 students
Background from Hands: St. John's Primary School has the best classroom libraries on Dominica; reading truly is an enjoyable adventure for students in these themed reading spaces. The school needs an infusion of children's reading books for each grade level to freshen up the collections. Hands is looking for donors to step up and adopt this large primary school.


Temple SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) School DOMINICA
 The Beverly Foundation has adopted this $2,000 project 
Mrs. Erdmine Fabien, Principal; 120 students
Background from Hands: Temple SDA is a very tidy, well-run school in the village of Wesley, way up on the northeast coast of Dominica. The school has a lot of old, moldy, library-discard books in their library space, and the Principal is ready to clear the shelves and start all over to rebuild the library. Brand new, appropriate books for all grade levels and covering all subjects are needed.


Tete Morne Primary School DOMINICA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $700 project 
Nathalie Jude, Principal; 146 students
Background from Hands: Hooray for the Principal, Nathalie Jude! Her passion for and belief in the power of literacy shows in the school's well-organized, busy school library, and in the classroom libraries (each stocked with a table of neatly-arranged class sets of reading books). Tackling the Caribbean-wide issue of boys reading below grade level (most are lagging well behind the girls), Principal Jude has a "Boys Only!" book table with the books that boys love: dinosaurs, sports, adventure, cars, trucks, and anything that zooms, growls, leaps tall buildings, or travels at hyperspeed through other galaxies. Because Principal Jude's experience with boys and literacy is personal — by using reading strategies at home she brought her own learning-challenged sons to academic achievement — we expect to see the boys at this little mountaintop school making strides forward, too. Hands wants to support this school with a gap-filling infusion of new books.


Woodford Hill Primary School DOMINICA
Martha Carbon, Principal; 118 students
 The Beverly Foundation has adopted this $3,000 project 
Background from Hands: In much of Dominica, villages are relatively isolated, linked by two-lane roads that wind through the rainforest and up and over steep mountains. The isolation makes school libraries that much more important; getting to the main library in Roseau, the capital, or even to a branch library is not an easy feat when you're six years old. Woodford Hill Primary School had a library, but the books were worn out and outdated. Hands sent 500 great new books in the 2012/2013 Wish Lists shipment, and with the help of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Emily Hays and some new paint and shelving, the library has been reborn. The principal and staff are proud and the students are excited — and reading! The school is requesting art supplies as well as books to fill in the gaps in their collection.




Grenada Windward Islands Eastern Caribbean

Anglican High School GRENADA
 Randy has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mrs. Madeline Baptiste, Principal; 700 students
This all-girls high school in St. George's is poised to create a great, much-needed library because the school has three very important things already in place: a perfect-size room with plenty of good shelving; lots of student enthusiasm and energy for a library; and a passionate Literacy Coordinator, Kim Paris, and Wilfred Daniels, Head of the English Department, who will lead the charge. This is an exciting project that will open up big opportunities for advancement in the literacy and academic achievement levels of all of the school's students.


Bonaire Government School GRENADA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,500 project 
Terry Francis, Acting Principal; 350 students
The library at Bonaire Government School, which Hands Across the Sea assisted with a shipment of 800 books as part of the 2011/2012 Wish Lists, is well-organized and well-loved by students and staff alike. The school's Literacy Coordinator, Theresa Ganpot, and Youth Empowerment worker, Claudian Flanders, are working to fine-tune the library's organization and effectiveness. In the 2013/2014 Wish Lists shipment Hands will be infusing the library with new, fresh books such as the Magic Treehouse, Junie B. Jones, and DK Eye Wonder and Eyewitness series books.


Corinth Government School GRENADA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Will & Beth have adopted this $2,500 project 
Joslyn Augustus, Principal; 200 students
Building upon the groundwork laid by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Amanda Dombach and an infusion of 1,800 new books and 12 boxes of teaching resources (including educational games) from Hands, school Principal Joslyn Augustus and her staff have made sure that the library at Corinth Government School serves all of its 156 students. The library features a reading corner with a comfy rug for K to Grade 1 students, a reading table and chairs for Grades 2-4, and an area in the library stacks for higher grades who know just where to find their favorite Goosebumps or Nancy Drew books. In addition there is a library committee at the school to ensure its ongoing sustainability and community volunteers come in to tutor remedial readers. (Jesmine McSween, a Youth Empowerment worker, and Rasheba Pierre are the librarians.) "Reading has improved since the advent of the library," says Principal Augustus. "And the children really love the books."


Crochu RC Primary School GRENADA
 Mary & Keith donated $1,000; Scott & Icy donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Kester Lyons, Principal; 440 students
Principal Kester Lyons has demonstrated both leadership and creativity in creating a great library at the school. The school was refurbished following heavy damage by Hurricane Ivan, but in the rebuilding process the space for the library was removed. Undaunted, Principal Lyons transformed a small storeroom into a library, and installed a well-organized and fully-functioning book borrowing system for the students. Crochu RC Primary School has a good start on a library for its large student body, and Hands will be supplementing their collection with more of everything.


Grenville Secondary School GRENADA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Fast Cash has donated $1,200 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Olivia Phillip, Librarian; 535 students
Two years ago, the school library at Grenville Secondary School did not exist. Back then, the room was in chaos — a tiny collection of moldy, outdated books crowded into a corner by a collection of "stuff," from broken desks and chairs to an ever-growing pile of cast-off junk. But school librarian Olivia Phillip, along with teachers from the English department and the school's literacy specialist, were determined to create a library for the school's 535 students. Their passion and commitment impressed us at Hands Across the Sea; we shipped the school nearly 1,400 new books as Phillip and her crew began repainting and organizing the library. The result is an outstanding borrowing library, both in terms of layout and organization and utilization by the students. An inner "ring" of waist-high shelving separates the study area from the browse-for-books aisles, grouped by subject matter and reading level, which encircles the room. The use of educational posters (such as those included with the DK Eyewitness series) helps create a learning atmosphere, and there are several initiatives which are engaging students, such as the popular "Write a Review!" area where students rate the books they've read. There are plenty of "books for boys" in the library, too. "We see an increase in the boys using the library because of the new books on interesting and appealing topics," says Olivia Phillip. Grenville Secondary School's new library is a tremendous boost for the school — a resource for teachers and students that will enable the pursuit of learning for many years to come.


J. W. Fletcher RC Secondary School GRENADA
 Tim has donated $500; John has donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mr. Elvis Morain, Principal; 120 students
A former primary school, this secondary school is starting from a clean slate, and a school library is high on the list. A trio of teachers — Glen Alexander (Maths and Science), Kwame Hypolite (Social Studies, Geography, and Physical Education), and Miss Laurel Bartholomew (Literacy Specialist) — are spearheading the drive to turn the library, with shelves currently occupied by outdated and unused textbooks and encyclopedias, into an up-to-date reading and resource center for students and staff alike.


Mac Donald College GRENADA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,600 goal
Lorraine De Allie, Principal; 515 students
For nearly 20 years, Mac Donald College has not had a library for its students — the room was taken over by the technical drawing class. Principal Lorraine DeAllie was determined to devote the school to literacy, and with the help of a generous Public Affairs Grant by the U.S. Embassy set the creation of a new library in motion. Hands Across the Sea sent a selection of young adult fiction for the avid readers, high interest, low level reading books for reluctant readers, research resources in social science and science topics and titles specific to the CXC exams. The result is a library that is active, well-used and vibrant. In the 2013/2014 Wish Lists shipment, Hands will be augmenting Mac Donald's collection with new books on sports and subjects such as woodworking, food nutrition, accounting, electronics, electrical texts, and girls' fiction favorites, such as the Sweet Valley High series.


Mt. Zion Library, Homework, and Reading Centre GRENADA
 Click here to adopt all or part of this $2,500 project
Oonya Kempadoo, Director; 50 children + members of the public
A small library is being established in a historic building in the heart of St George's. It is open to the public and is a response to the closure of the National Public Library, to provide a central space for children and adults that encourages literacy and provides free access to books. It is a collaboration between Oonya Kempadoo, a Grenadian citizen who is on the Hands Advisory Board, youth organizations and a faith-based organization and includes the start-up of a Homework and Reading Centre also. The program proposes to offer: "One-to-one volunteer to child support, for homework and reading, which will provide invaluable attention to a child's development in a way that is not possible in school and sometimes neglected or limited at home." This initiative promotes library services as a career option and provides part-time employment and training for unemployed women and youth in this economically challenged location. Visit the website www.mtzionlibrary.com for more information on what Hands donors can support.


St. Andrew's Anglican Secondary School GRENADA
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Pamela Moses, Principal; 719 students
Principal Pamela Moses notes that, "Our students have interest in a range of fields and aspire to be teachers, lawyers, police officers, computer technicians, woodworkers, doctors, farmers, hairdressers, and mechanics...just to name a few. Our strengths are writing, mathematics, debating, and art; our weaknesses are reading, phonics, and comprehension." Because the school has a dedicated librarian, Pamela Benjamin, and two remedial reading teachers (Natalie Pierre and Marcia Francis), we believe that the resources Hands is sending, funded by a generous grant from the U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, will be utilized to the fullest.


St. Dominic's RC Primary School GRENADA
 Wendy & Sam have donated $500 toward this project 
 Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal 
Mr. Cephas Ettienne, Principal; 320 students
Carrying forward the work of Alyssa Galeema, a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Principal Ettienne is making sure that the library at St. Dominic's continues to be well-used and an important part of the school's focus on literacy. A Youth Empowerment worker acts as the librarian, and the library needs an influx of new books for all grade levels, particulary non-fiction and "books for boys." The school has recently added a pre-school class — it's never too early to get books into the hands of children.


St. Joseph's Convent Grenville GRENADA
 Bill & Sue have adopted this $2,500 project 
Ms. Linda Francis, Principal; 519 students
"The careers, aspirations, and interests of students at our school include business, law, medicine, agriculture, science, social science, and home management," says Principal Francis. Most of the children at this girls school come from underpriviliged families, however, so they have a steep hill to climb to bring their literacy skills up to speed. Getting great new books to this school will greatly help these students begin to take a first step toward their dreams.


St. Joseph's RC Primary School GRENADA
Click to adopt all or part of this $2,500 project
Patsy George, Principal; 315 students
Also known as Pomme Rose School, St. Joseph's RC Primary School was damaged by Hurricane Ivan but the school has a wonderful, large library space with lots of shelves and potential. The school has been struggling to get books to fill the shelves. As part of the 2013/2014 Wish Lists shipment, Hands will be sending the school new science and reading books for all ages and reading levels. Special Education teacher Ruth Williams and Denton Fonteau, a 4th Grade teacher, will be shepherding the library project.


Victoria School for Special Education GRENADA
 Winner! Hands "Reading Rocks!" Facebook Contest 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $100 goal


Wesley College GRENADA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mr. Alex Phillip, Principal; 400 students
The school's Literacy Coordinator, Alarna Charles, is overseeing a newly refurbished library space with good shelving and tables and needs books (a collection of 20- 40-year old encyclopedias and textbooks are taking up space at the moment) The library needs high interest/low reading level books to engage a large contingent of remedial readers, almost all of them boys. There is a major opportunity, with the right books and buy-in from the school's administration and board, to bring the school's reluctant and struggling readers up to speed.




St. Kitts and Nevis Leeward Islands Eastern Caribbean

Beach Allen Primary School ST. KITTS

 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has
 adopted this $400 project 
Mrs. Emilita Warner, Principal; 440 students
Leah Archibald, Librarian
Background from Hands: A decidedly large primary school in urban Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts, Beach Allen Primary celebrated its 20th anniversary last year by refurbishing the library: laying a new tile floor and installing Plexiglass over the windows to keep the elements out. (Funding was generously provided by an American now living in St. Kitts.) Leah Archibald, the school's Librarian, says the library still needs color-coding stickers, tape, scissors, glue, library supplies and — now that the windows are sealed with Plexiglass, air-conditioning!


Bellevue International School NEVIS
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,300 goal
Lucia Wilkinson, Principal; 35 students
Background from Hands: This private primary school may be small (only 35 pupils) but the staff and students are very enthusiastic about books and reading. Hands supported the school a few years ago with a 2011/2012 Hands Wish Lists shipment of 700 books, and the school now needs an infusion of new titles, especially "books for boys." The school also needs to buy or build more shelves for their library, and then to categorize the books better. One thing we suggest is to make a special table for "Boys Only" books. Don't worry, the girls can borrow the "boys only" books, too!


Cayon Primary School ST. KITTS
 Fast Cash has adopted this $250 project 
Marva Williams Buchanan, Principal; 265 students
Background from Hands: Cayon Primary School has a large, beautiful library that was completely refurbished (thanks to funding from a local bank) in 2008/2009 — beautiful murals, study areas, great bookshelves, air-conditioning, and even a check-out desk. Unfortunately, over the Christmas holiday in 2012 a troubled young man broke into the library and vandalized the murals with obscene graffiti; sadly, the library had to be closed to students while paint was purchased and the graffiti was painted over. The Cayon School library is in good shape with books, but the school needs help paying for the cost of the paint and painting supplies used to give the library walls a fresh start.


Charles E. Mills Secondary School ST. KITTS
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mrs. Carla Diamond, Principal; 494 students
Background from Hands: With their own librarian(Mrs. Shirmel Robin), remedial reading teacher (Mrs. Ingrid Berridge) and a functioning school library, Charles E. Mills Secondary has the basic elements for improved literacy in place. Principal Diamond notes that the school needs reading books and resources to help the students in the following subject areas: "English, French, Spanish, Geography, Social Studies, Biology, History, Food and Nutrition, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, General Science, Health, Physical Education, Music, Mathematics, Grammar, Fiction for teens, and supplementary materials for school-based assessments and projects for the science fair." Thanks to a generous grant from the Christophe Harbour Foundation, an infusion of great new books is on the way.


Charlestown Primary School NEVIS
 The Caribbean Students Association of Midwestern State University, Texas, has donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Mr. Kevin Barrett, Principal; 350 students
Eulana Weekes-Batson, Librarian
Background from Hands: The color scheme, bookshelves, and layout of Charlestown Primary School's library add up to a space that is appealing and practical for use by individuals or classes of students. But there are too many old, old books on the shelves — books that need to be sold ($.25 each at a school book sale) or given away to the community. The school needs new books in these categories: reference and non-fiction; West Indian/Caribbean titles; Kindergarten books; "books for boys"; and (a specific request) Diary of a Wimpy Kid.


Charlestown Secondary School NEVIS
 Zetta has donated $1,025 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mr. Edson Elliott, Principal; 800 students
Background from Hands: Charlestown Secondary School is the largest high school on Nevis, and one of the largest in the Eastern Caribbean. The school has a modern, well-equipped library with metal shelving, computers, and two librarians. What the library doesn't have — not nearly enough, anyway — is up-to-date books for the students. Most of the titles in the school's collection are random donations of inappropriate used books, very few of them of much use to high school students. The school needs young adult fiction, "books for boys," and a wide range of reference and information-packed books that the students can utilize for school projects. The library collection needs a complete makeover, starting with brand new, age- and content-appropriate books.


Dr. William Connor Primary School ST. KITTS
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $2,200 project 
Miss Valencia Syder, Principal; 287 students
Background from Hands: Dr. William Connor Primary School has a very tidy, color-coded book collection, and the teachers oversee the library on a timetabled, rotating basis. The school needs an infusion of "books for boys" — sports (such as cricket and soccer) and adventure, plus books about fast cars and big, gnarly trucks. Grade 6 female students have requested more of the Sweet Valley High series, and books by old-time-favorite Enid Blyton.


Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School NEVIS
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Heidi and Steve have adopted this $2,500 project 
Marion Lescott, Principal; 104 students
Sharon Liburd, Librarian
Call it a Caribbean conundrum. Often times, when a new school is built, the shining, modern library space comes with a tiled floor, plenty of bookshelves and tables and chairs, air-conditioning, an array of audio/visual equipment and computers, and even a check-out desk. But one important thing is missing: books. A book-less library was the situation that Sharon Liburd, the school Librarian, was faced with when we sent the first shipment of 1,600 books to Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School as part of the 2009/2010 Hands Wish Lists. Librarian Liburd made great use of the books, attracting a growing number of students to the library, so we shipped another 600 books in 2011/2012. We watched as the library continued to improve every year, thanks to Sharon Liburd's energy and dedication, and also thanks to a generous grant from UNESCO that brought e-books, a TV, digital projector, and a laminating machine to the space. Now the library is serving as a model for other schools on Nevis to follow. Of course, not every school will start out with a new, modern facility, but it's worth noting that at Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School the focus is staying on the most important parts of a library: books, reading, and literacy.


Gingerland Secondary School NEVIS
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,200 project 
Ms. Lorna Brandy, Principal; 350 students
Ms. Londa Brown, Librarian
Background from Hands: Gingerland Secondary School, which Hands has assisted in years past, has a library that is in need of new, relevant books. In common with a situation found at many other school libraries, too much of the precious bookshelf space is taken up with old, moldy, inappropriate books, such as ubiquitous paperback spy novels and romance novels that seem to find their way into schools — dumped by tourists or misguided charities, no doubt. Gingerland Secondary needs an infusion of great new books to push the duds off the shelves and get the students excited about reading. Time for a book sale!


Irish Town Primary School ST. KITTS
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $3,525 project 
Mrs. Jean Boddie, Principal; 150 students
Dion Brown, Librarian
Background from Hands: Irishtown Primary School's newly re-organized library (the old, moldy books were moved to a storeroom) is very child-friendly, has enough books for the 150 students, and the library is time-tabled, so each class visits the library regularly. Hands supported U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Tom Wieland (now returned home) with books when he created the library a few years ago, and the books are holding up well. When Tom ended his Peace Corps service he took the initiative to hire and pay for a young man, Dion Browne, to work as a librarian at the school. Dion reads to the children, keeps the collection tidy, and helps children find the right book. Hands will be paying Dion in 2013/2014 to run the Irishtown Primary School library (he volunteers a lot of unpaid time there, too), and we'd like to see Hands supporters step up and help support Dion and the Irishtown library, too.


Ivor Walters Primary School NEVIS
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,200 goal
Mrs. Ilene Mills, Principal; 170 students
Corril Douglas Clarke, Librarian
Background from Hands: The school has a nicely-done library and, in Corril Douglas Clarke, a highly enthusiastic Librarian. But the library needs a number of things to make it really pop. On the librarian's list are: reference materials for teachers (content for use in lessons); easy readers for Grade 1; educational games and puzzles; CD player and audio learning books; school texts (for children whose parents can't afford to buy them); a cozy rug and pillows for a reading corner; curtains for the windows and cloths for the tables, to make the space more child-friendly; and air-conditioning.


Joshua O. Williams Primary School ST. KITTS
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Jocelyn Mitcham, Principal; 108 students
Background from Hands: At first glance, the school library looks like it is in good shape: there are nice murals and there are plenty of bookshelves, all of them jammed with books. On closer inspection, though, the books are old and falling apart — tape is the only thing that's holding the books together, notes Linda Stanzler, a community member who serves as the school's librarian. All of the books in the library are used books donated by well-meaning folks, but it's well past time for new books in all categories. The library also needs to be color-coded, to make maintaining the collection easier. Who wants to adopt this project and help Hands get new books onto the shelves?


Newton Ground Primary School ST. KITTS
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $2,500 project 
Violet Jones Mawnlawde, Principal; 95 students
Background from Hands: Newton Ground Primary School has been an instituion in its rural community for fifty-four years now. Principal Violet Jones Mawnlawde, who is very energized about raising the literacy level of her students, has brought in a local volunteer as well as a government-paid PEP (People Empowerment Program) worker to help out in the school library. The library has plenty of shelf space, but too much of the space is occupied by teaching reference books and curriculum books. The collection of children's books is old and needs a big infusion of new, contemporary titles, including books for Kindergarten to Grade 2 and "books for boys" — sports, adventure, comics, animals, cars, trucks, and all that good stuff. The library structure is there, the library volunteer and PEP worker are ready, all that the Newton Ground Primary School library needs is a bunch of great new books!


Sandy Point Primary School ST. KITTS
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,500 project 
Jennifer Dolphin, Principal; 326 students
Background from Hands: The library at Sandy Point Primary School typifies a lot of primary schools on St. Kitts in that it is nicely organized with plenty of bookshelves, but its book collection is old, old, old. Virtually all of the books were donated from, well, here and there — the books are old and worn and, worse, inappropriate for primary school students. The library needs an infusion of new books in all categories, especially "books for boys" — sports, adventure, comics, animals, cars, trucks, and much more. Meanwhile, the school needs to have a book sale to make way for new books!


St. James Primary School NEVIS
 Zetta has donated $975 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,200 goal
Mrs. Janice Richards, Principal; 52 students
Background from Hands: Thirty-five-year-old St. James Primary School, several classroom blocks perched on the spectacular windswept coast of Nevis, has its own full-time librarian, and a well-organized, color-coded library that was created years ago by a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (sadly, the Peace Corps has recently pulled out of St. Kitts and Nevis). But virtually all of the school's library collection — books donated from various sources — is worn out and outdated. The school needs an infusion of new books in all categories, including a set of "books for boys." In addition, the school's guidance counselor has requested books on virtues and values.


St. Paul's Primary School ST. KITTS
 Fast Cash has donated $900; Embry has donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Mr. John Gumbs, Principal; 186 students
Background from Hands: Before he became the school's Principal, John Gumbs taught at St. Paul's Primary School for, oh, twenty-five years or so. So he knows the school, the local community, and the kids — and he believes strongly in the importance of reading and literacy for his students. The school has no librarian, so teachers share the library duties. All of the books in the collection have been donated — including the usual romance novels and library discards — so the school needs a major infusion of new, contemporary books targeted to Caribbean children. We know exactly what to send! In the meantime, John Gumbs will be culling and clearing out the old clunkers from the bookshelves.


Tyrell Williams Primary School ST. KITTS
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mr. Terrence Edwards, Principal; 250 students
Strong, Literacy-Focused Leadership. Ever since Hands Across the Sea began working with Tyrell Williams Primary School in 2009, we've been impressed with the dedicated-to-literacy leadership of Mr. Terrence Edwards, the Principal. With the assistance of two U. S. Peace Corps Volunteers a few years back, Mr. Edwards transformed an unused classroom into a borrowing school library that, these days, is packed with children. We sent the first Hands Wish List shipment of 1,700 books to the school in 2009/2010, and followed that up with 400 books in 2011/2012. After the Peace Corps Volunteers ended their service, we watched as the school library continued to sparkle under the guiding hand of Mr. Edwards. The library is now a vital part of the school; it's hard to imagine Tyrell Williams Primary School without it. "Our aim at the school," says Mr. Edwards, "is that every child who graduates from the school must not only be able to read, but be able to read at their grade level." Mr Edwards notes that because most of the children in this rural community do not have books at home and the village does not have a public library, the school library is a crucial element in raising the literacy level of children at the school. And with the strong, literacy-focused leadership of Terrence Edwards, we see a long and bright future for the vibrant school library — and the students! — at Tyrell Williams Primary School.


Verchilds High School ST. KITTS
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Mary A. Clarke, Principal; 350 students
Haley Stapleton, Librarian
Background from Hands: Verchilds High School has a very modern library space. On first glance, the library has everything: lots of metal shelving, a student study area, plenty of large tables for reading and projects, a well-equipped check-out desk, and a very capable full-time librarian in Haley Stapleton. But the most important element — up-to-date, new books appropriate for high school students — is in very short supply. Almost all of the books at the library have been donated, which means the usual collection of old books and library discards. It's hardly the stuff to get students excited about reading; in fact, we have found that old, donated books have the effect of turning off bright young students from reading. The alternatives — surfing the Internet, computer games, TV — are merely the equivalent of junk food for the brain. All that Verchilds High School needs to turn a great library space into an outstanding library is an infusion of great new books. Dear Hands supporters: Will you adopt this school library?


Violet O. Jeffers-Nicholls Primary School NEVIS
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $870 goal
Mrs. Shea Wilkin, Principal; 67 students
Sasha-Gay McDermott, Librarian
Background from Hands: You want to see the best-ever collection of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys? Visit Violet O. Jeffers-Nicholls Primary School, where the library also has a 2012 World Book encyclopedia set. Sasha-Gay McDermott, the school Librarian, is doing a great job with her collection of mostly donated books (courtesy of a local resort). But as is all too common with donated books, many of the books are old — too old, and in some cases (romance novels, spy novels) simply inappropriate for primary school children. The library needs an infusion of new books in all categories (except an encyclopedia set, and Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys!), especially "books for boys" — sports, adventure, comics, animals, cars, trucks, and all that exciting stuff.


Washington Archibald High School ST. KITTS
 The Christophe Harbour Foundation has adopted this $3,200 project 
Mr. Clifford Govia, Principal; 834 students
Ms. Teresa Pemberton, Librarian
Background from Hands: Washington Archibald High School is one of the top-achieving secondary schools on St. Kitts, and with 834 students may well have the largest enrollment of any high school in the Eastern Caribbean. There's a lot going on at this busy school, and the school's library space is correspondingly large. The library is in need of non-fiction titles to support student study and research in these subject areas: math, science, history, English, physical education, home economics, accounting, business, food and nutrition, chemistry, biology, integrated science, Spanish, French, music, needlework, woodwork, and technical drawing. The library also needs an infusion of young adult fiction, and high interest/low reading level books to help bring reluctant readers into the library and up to speed.




St. Lucia Windward Islands Eastern Caribbean
Babonneau Secondary School ST. LUCIA
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $5,000 project 
Mr. Terrence Fermelon, Principal; 550 students
Background from Hands: The school has a "Young Readers" club and the Principal and staff want to dramatically improve the school's library, principally with an infusion of brand new books that will appeal to all levels of secondary school readers. The school is planning classroom libraries for each of its 13 homerooms, staffed by student librarians; lockable cupboards are needed for these libraries.


Balata Primary School ST. LUCIA
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $3,500 project 
Theresea Heliodore-Dujon, Principal; 140 students
Background from Hands: The library building that was donated by The Sandals Foundation is very actively used, but it's time for an infusion of new books. Hands met with teachers Stephanie Edward and Vernetta Paul-Primus, who have requested writing instruction resources; Hands is looking into the Writing Traits program from Scholastic. Balata Primary School also needs non-fiction books for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students, such as the DK EyeWitness and EyeWonder series, and "books for boys," (dinosaurs, animals, and more). This is a very active, very successful borrowing library.


Banse La Grace Combined School ST. LUCIA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,000 goal
Virginia Edward, Principal; 100 students
Kyle Pyke, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: Banse La Grace has recently reorganized and color-coded the library according to the new Hands Library Manual to make it more easily accessible to its many eager readers. Due to the perseverance, hard work and positive attitude of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Kyle Pyke, reading specialist Sylvie Edward, and Hands Program Director Kate Wallace Rogers, the library is an even better organized, more vibrant space from which students love to borrow books. Each class visits the library once a week as a group, but students also visit frequently during the day to browse the collection and read. Activities like all-school poetry recitation day help keep the interest in new books active. Banse La Grace hopes to increase the number of early reader adventure and non-fiction books especially about cars, trucks, sports, and machines. They would like also to replace some termite-ridden shelves with metal ones and create a reading nook with a carpet and comfy chairs.


Belle Vue Combined School ST. LUCIA
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $3,000 project 
Anna Zilma Poleon, Principal; 150 students
Rachel Johns, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Rachel Johns: "The reading room at our school is currently utilized by each class and a service learning program, where older students read to the children from neighboring pre-schools." Rachel Johns, along with the help of three primary teachers and Kate Wallace Rogers, Hands Program Director, recently reorganized their library, shedding many worn and outdated books and color-coding the collection using the Hands Library Manual. The library at Belle Vue Combined primarily needs a lot of metal bookshelves and plastic sheeting to protect the books.


Bonne Terre Preparatory School ST. LUCIA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Jim & Adean have adopted this $2,500 project 
Jennifer Alexander, Principal; 175 students
Staci Landwehr, Volunteer Librarian
Background from Hands: Every school needs volunteers. When parents step up and donate their time and energy by assisting teachers and students, every school becomes a better school. Such is the case at Bonne Terre Preparatory School where Staci Landwehr, a local parent, gives generously of her time, energy, and creativity to make the school library a truly special place. Over the past several years, Landwehr has worked with Hands Across the Sea to bring 1,150 new books into the school, and she has organized the library into an appealing and accessible resource for students. In addition, Landwehr holds weekly reading classes for every grade from K to Grade 6 in the library — she finds the time to do all of this, in addition to raising three boys of her own, because she believes that reading and literacy skills are absolutely vital to the advancement of a child. What makes this success story possible, of course, is that Landwehr has received the support and encouragement of Principal Jennifer Alexander and Bonne Terre's teaching and administrative staff. Because even with the best principal and teachers, every school needs community volunteers to help it become the best school it can be. The library at Bonne Terre Prep needs an infusion of new books, in all catergories.


Cannon Laurie Anglican Primary School ST. LUCIA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $5,600 goal
Nikita Alexander, Principal; 350 students
Background from Hands: This is a very crowded urban school, located right downtown in Castries, St. Lucia's capital, that consists of a large open block of classrooms separated by chalkboard dividers. The school is extremely short of library space; with no room or shelving for a library, the books that Hands shipped to the school have been living in Rubbermaid plastic containers — hardly an ideal situation for borrowing by students. The book collection needs to be organized into classroom libraries. This can be accomplished by supporting the school with six metal-shelved rolling carts that can be moved into classrooms. This is a project that needs major support from generous Hands donors.

Dennery Primary School ST. LUCIA
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $2,500 project 
Ben James, Principal; 272 students
Background from Hands: Dennery Primary School has a newly organized library thanks to U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Desteni Monai (whose service ended in April, 2013). The library is on the timetable and is thronged by students each and every day. Student librarians, including volunteer students from the nearby secondary school, have taken ownership of the library and helped make it a vital part of the school. However, the library does need an infusion of new books for Grades K to 1 students, plus books for older children, including Goosebumps, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, DK EyeWitness guides, reference books, adventure stories, fairy stories, Incredible Hulk, Spongebob Squarepants, and (of course) Spiderman. We'll be watching the library at Dennery Primary — the teachers are motivated, and the project looks very sustainable. That's why we want to send them a whole bunch more books!


Grande Riviere Primary School ST. LUCIA
 Windjammer Landing has adopted this $1,000 project 
Mauricia Alcee, Principal; 250 students
Background from Hands:Thanks to Digicel, a Caribbean telecom company, the school library has been completely renovated: new paint, flooring, shelving, and bookcases. Working with U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Bob Heitker, Hands shipped a number of books to the school in September 2012, including several sets of guided reading books, more books in March 2013 from Jeremiah Hyacinth, a member of the Hands Advisory Board, and thanks to a grant from Windjammer Resort, Hands is planning to send Grande Riviere Primary School educational games and "books for boys" this September to round out their collection.


Laborie R. C. Girls Primary School ST. LUCIA
 Supporters of U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Tatjana Bicanin have donated $1,680 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,500 goal
Mrs. Donna Peter-Joseph, Principal; 125 students
Tatjana Bicanin, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: We love what they say around the school: "Laborie girls must shine!" We also love the fact that everyone wants a school library, like, yesterday! Laborie R. C. Girls Primary School has a new, energized Principal in Mrs. Donna Peter-Joseph and a project-management savvy U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Tatjana Bicanin. In addition to a big infusion of books of all kinds, books of these genres are needed: self-esteem, values, life skills, decision-making, and problem-solving.


La Ressource Combined School ST. LUCIA
 Supporters of U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Torres have donated $200; Bruce & Susan have donated $2,000 project toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $3,500 goal
Ms. Clarette Rameau, Principal; 153 students
Melissa Torres, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: La Ressource Combined School has a new Principal, a new Remedial Reading Teacher, and a new U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer — that's a lot of fresh energy focused on creating a better literacy environment at the school! The challenge is to start a school library from scratch (the photo at the very top of this page, showing two La Ressource students standing in front of empty shelves, tells you the story of the library at present). We are confident that, with a lot of help from Hands donors and a little help from the Hands Library Manual, a great school library will take shape and blossom at La Ressource.


Micoud Secondary School ST. LUCIA
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,500 project 
Mr. Guibion Ferdinand, Principal; 800 students
Background from Hands: This 800-student secondary school, located in St. Lucia's agricultural belt on the east side of the island, is ready for an infusion of new books, from age-appropriate fiction to reference books. The school's Principal and staff are eager to revamp their existing library, throwing out the old and inappropriate books in a cleanup campaign, and they plan to use the new books from Hands to start a a FUN-damental Reading Program designed to make reading fun and interesting. "The project will mean that the school could embark on a reading program thus addressing a serious reading deficiency in the general student population,"says Principal Ferdinand. "This can be accomplished by promoting an aggressive reading campaign including reading clubs and reading competitions." Larger literacy goals include: 1. To help students meet grade-level or above reading goals each academic year; and 2. To encourage students have the knowledge and skills they need to read a variety of academic materials. Micoud Secondary is ready to raise the literacy levels of their students, and, with generous funding from the Scotiabank Bright Future Program, Hands is glad to be able to send some great new books to the school.


Richfond Combined School ST. LUCIA
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $2,500 project 
Sonjane Etienne, Principal; 280 students
At Richfond Combined School Mrs. Sonjane Etienne, the Principal, and Mrs. Leticia Regis, the Remedial Reading teacher, have raised literacy levels of the students by raising the level of awareness and participation of students' families. Creative initiatives, such as Richfond Combined's "Reading Extravaganza," brings parents and families to an open-air get-together to spotlight the benefits of reading and sharing books at home. The school's "Bedtime Stories" program brings out families in their pajamas to discover the joy of reading aloud to their children (it's also a good way to lull the kids to sleep!). And now, after several years of the initiatives, the community is onboard with literacy. Meanwhile, back at the school, because Richfond Combined does not have available space for a school library, the staff (led by now-returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Aria Grabowski's efforts) has created well-stocked classroom libraries for every grade. Remedial Reading teacher Regis conducts a special "catch up" reading program just for boys — the program has proved so popular that the girls insisted on joining, too. Richfond Combined's dedication to books, reading, and the advancement of child literacy — and the effectiveness of their community outreach — make the school a shining example for others to follow. The school needs to replenish their classroom libraries, started by Peace Corps Volunteer Grabowski, with more "books for boys" and DK Readers, DK EyeWonder, and DK EyeWitness, Goosebumps, and Magic Treehouse series titles.


St. Aloysius RC Boys Primary School ST. LUCIA
 Fast Cash has donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,250 goal
Julian Monrose, Principal; 450 students
Background from Hands: As with every primary school that Hands assists, we are sending the Hands Library Manual; St. A's library, revamped a few years ago by a U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer, is overdue for a "harvesting" of old books, and the Hands Library Manual has tips for doing that and much more. We'll be sending the school an infusion of "books for boys"—action-packed, dazzingly illustrated, darn near irresistible books about subjects (tarantulas, sharks, volcanoes, cars, trucks) that boys are intensely interested in. The school, located in the middle of always-busy Castries, the capital city of St. Lucia, just a few blocks from the cruise ship docks, has an only-in-the-Caribbean program: calypso training for the kids. They love it!


Soufriere Primary School ST. LUCIA
 Fast Cash has donated $500; Don & Cathey have donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mr.Felix Gill, Principal; 250 students
Background from Hands: Soufriere Primary School is a colorful, vibrant school with an obvious focus on improving literacy. There is so much to learn all around the courtyard and library rooms: murals with favorite story characters, signs with affirmations like "I am too smart to waste my time because I am college bound," posters announcing Nobel laureate month. Mr. Felix Gill, the Principal, fosters a dynamic yet disciplined environment for learning. The library, which serves 250 students from Grade 3 to Grade 6, is exceptionally attractive and well organized, and includes 1,000 books donated by Hands. The librarian, Cecilia Clovis, also teaches remedial language and reading in the other half of the room. There is a special cabinet highlighting early readers and chapter books that are especially appealing to boys. To keep encouraging these young growing readers, Soufriere Primary is eager for more popular titles like Dr. Seuss, Geronimo Stilton, Nancy Drew, Junie B. Jones, Horrible Harry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and biographies and other non-fiction.


Soufriere Public Library ST. LUCIA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Catherine Prospere, Librarian
Background from Hands: The Soufriere Public Library stands on a patch of grass near the river in walking distance to most of Soufriere. Ms. Catherine Prospere, the librarian, looks forward to an expansion when the collection, which is currently close to bursting its seams, might settle into a larger building on the current location. The children's section has been beautifully organized by subject matter with the help of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Stella Clingmon, with popular authors sorted into book caddies so children can easily locate and pore over their favorites. They have made good use of the shelving and 1,500 books donated by Hands in 2011. They are requesting bean bag chairs, carpet and pillows to create a comfy area for the youngest readers, with crayons, art supplies, and more book caddies.


Tapion School ST. LUCIA
 Laura & Shakir have donated $500 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $880 goal
Arlette Cenac, Principal; 162 students
Background from Hands: Tapion School, serving children from pre-school to Grade 6, is well-organized and ready to start a school library. Books for all grade levels are needed to get this library project up and running!


Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (Campus A)
ST. LUCIA
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Cardelia Ambrose, Principal; 525 students
Adam Wohlman, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: Librarian Isla Sammy reports that they have an exceptionally active library at Campus A, which serves 525 students ages 11-14. They have a banner thanking Hands Across the Sea for their donation with the quotation from George R. R. Martin: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads leads only one." Students use the library mornings before school, during class, breaks, lunchtime, and after school. This library is especially popular with the boys, who love the collection of magazines and graphic novels. To help satisfy these eager readers the library would like more Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Goosebumps, graphic novels, Animorphs, TV series books like High School Musical, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew, how-to books, especially about music, updated encyclopedia, non-fiction books or magazines about cars, football (soccer), cricket, basketball, and biking.


Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (Campus B)
ST. LUCIA
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Josephine Eugene, Principal; 1,200 students
Background from Hands: At 1,200 students, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (Campus B) is the largest high school that Hands serves. Both the size of its student body and the dedication of the school staff to literacy mean that the comprehensive range of books (funded courtesy of a genmerous grant from the U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown) that Hands will be delivering will be utilized fully. The school, which also has a community college component, has a focus on arts, secretarial/business, technical/vocational, sciences, and general education subjects. The school has a library, but the school's principal uses one word to describe the present collection: "archaic." Not for long—Hands is frankly thrilled with the quantity and quality of the books we are sending, and we think the students and staff will agree.


Vieux Fort Primary School ST. LUCIA
 Fast Cash has donated $500; the McCurdy Family Foundation has donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,000 goal
Mr. Moonie, Principal; 300 students
Background from Hands: The Vieux Fort Primary School has no official library at this time, though it uses the limited space in the resource room for many reading activities. Teachers may borrow up to 20 books a week from the Vieux Fort Public Library, in lieu of classroom libraries. They also have a program of book sharing, where older students read to the students at the infant school. In the Vieux Fort Primary population, where boys outnumber girls 3-1 in several classes, reading skills are often below grade level. The teachers, including Mrs. Mary Romelia Jean-Baptiste, the Special Needs/Resource Room teacher, are especially interested in any primary level/basal readers, remedial books with tapes for the listening center, and teacher activity books to help create introductory level books (such as on vowel sounds) with the children.


Vieux Fort Public Library ST. LUCIA
 The Sandals Foundation has adopted this $1,000 project 
Mr. Egbert Fanus, Librarian
Background from Hands: The Vieux Fort Public Library, at the southern end of the island, is a popular place for both children and adults. Recently, Mr. Egbert Fanus has taken over from Dawn Leonce, who retired after 30 years of service. Mr. Fanus is eager to spruce up the library's collection and improve the community's involvement by hosting popular summer literacy camps and reading nook activities for the tiny tots like a pajama party. The library's adult collection upstairs suffered significant damage after Hurricane Tomas due to a leaky roof. Since then, Hands has donated 600 books. As the library currently serves as the only school library for Vieux Fort Primary and Technical Secondary Schools across the street, they are eager to replace and update their reference section, and they find they never have enough chapter books for young readers.




St. Vincent and the Grenadines Windward Islands Eastern Caribbean

Barrouallie Government School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
 Supporters of U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Sances have donated $1,802 toward this project 
Mr. Vibert Pierre,
Principal; 302 students
Jessica Sances, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Sances (photo) has been very, very busy at Barrouallie Government School the past year. Before Sances got to work, the library at this medium-to-large primary school, located in a rural fishing village on the west coast of St. Vincent, lacked organization, excitement, and books capable of attracting children. Working with the Principal and a core group of literacy-minded teachers, Sances transformed the space into a very nice library (Hands helped by sending 581 great new books). And, with an eye on the sustainability of the project, Sances has already begun turning over the library to teachers and student librarians. It's great to know that the Barrouallie Government School library will live on and on!


Buccament Bay Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 This school has been awarded a U. S. Embassy, Bridgetown, Public Affairs Grant, administered by Hands Across the Sea 
Mrs. Kay Martin-Jack, Principal; 232 students
Background from Hands: This secondary school has a dynamic, well-regarded Principal with a challenge on her hands: the majority of students at this school come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and as a result have a big hill to climb in terms of learning to read and developing attendant literacy skills. The school already has a good library space, and the new books, covering a wide range of interests, from sports to young adult fiction to career skills, is designed engage reluctant readers and give students the tools to go forward into new fields.


C. W. Prescod Primary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
 James has donated $1,000 toward this goal 
Yvette Antoine, Principal; 789 students
Background from Hands: This very very large urban primary school, located in the bustling downtown heart of Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent, has a standalone library that Principal Antoine is currently refurbishing—new paint, floor tiles, bookshelves, the works! Hands is sending the school a big infusion of great new books...we can't wait to see the revamped library at C. W. Prescod Primary in all its glory. And, of course, it's always fun to see 789 students getting very very excited about great new books!


Cane End Government School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Emily and Gerald have adopted this $2,500 project 
Ave-Maria Weekes-Stephens, Principal; 135 students
Background from Hands: Reading is about more than grammar, sentences, and punctuation — reading is how children learn, how they find and travel to exciting places and stretch their minds with challenging new ideas — and a great school library becomes a sort of launching pad for children. At Cane End Government School the school library had been neglected for a long time, and literacy levels at the school were suffering as a result.But a couple of years ago the incoming Principal Ave-Maria Weekes-Stephens, with Literacy Coordinator Rouna Burke and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Greathouse, decided that Cane End should have a first-class borrowing library. (Around this time the Mustique Charitable Trust gave literacy a great boost at the school by funding the creation of a Literacy Centre.) Principal Stephens, Literacy Coordinator Burke, and Peace Corps Volunteer Greathouse went to work creating a new library; they got new shelving, created a color-coded cataloging system and an easy-to-use check-out system, and they began training students to become Student Librarians — giving the children "ownership" of the library has been a key element of their plan. Hands Across the Sea fulfilled Cane End's Hands Wish List for the new library by shipping more than 1,200 great new books over a two-year period. And now the library is a succcess! The library is in near-constant use by Cane End's 135 students. And, just as important, the library is indeed a special place where children of every grade come to read, to learn, and to soar.


Diamond Government School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Heidi and Steve have adopted this $2,500 project 
Mrs.Elizabeth Johnson, Principal; 125 students
Background from Hands: Way back in 1995 Mrs. Sharon DeFrietas Hopson, a teacher at Diamond Government School, started the school's library and worked year after year to keep it going. In June of 2011, U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Julie Mills organized the Diamond Government School Library Project and enlisted over two dozen members of the school (including former teachers), the Diamond Village community, local businesses, the Ministry of Education, and the local PTA to rejuvenate the school library. The project was extensive — from new paint to furniture and bookshelves, along with many hours of volunteer labor from members of the community — but in only 15 months the project was completed. The summary of the school's project overview states: "The Diamond Government School Library Project works with the school community to develop a library that promotes literacy development and a lifelong love of learning in children. The school seeks to create a library atmosphere that supports reading and learning, provokes the imagination, and promotes new ways of thinking. The project expands the role of the school library by providing a space for children to have class library time, library skills training, tutoring, and after-school homework assistance. The school created a library committee of parents, teachers, and community members to spearhead the library development effort. In the 2011-2012 school year, the committee worked tirelessly to raise funds for furniture, paint, and new books for the library. On September 20, 2012, the Diamond Government School Library opened its doors to its students and the Diamond Village Community." To read the rest of this informative, in-depth look at how it all happened, please click here: Diamond Government School Library Project.


Fancy Government School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $1,200 project 
Mrs. Elna Michael, Principal; 63 students
Background from Hands: This small rural school is located literally at the end of the road, in a fishing community perched on the windswept, rugged far north tip of St. Vincent. The school overlooks the channel between St. Vincent and St. Lucia; above the classroom block the lush green slopes of a towering active volcano rise sharply. The remote location means that the school receives little attention or funding; at present, the school does not have a library. Fancy Government School does have classroom libraries, though, which are badly in need of fresh books.


J. P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Fast Cash has donated $1,200 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mr. Alwyn Joseph, Principal; 585 students
Background from Hands: This school, located in a rough neighborhood of St. Vincent's captial city, Kingstown, is newly built and has some new books donated by the local Rotary Club. Hands spoke with the HOD English, Marcia John, and the Librarian, Marlene Haynes, and we discussed displaying the books with the covers turned out so the school library would be more enticing to the students. J. P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School needs an influx of titles appealing to reluctant readers, such as Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, Hardy Boys, Cam Jansen, Captain Underpants, romance books, Junie B. Jones, and The Magic Treehouse.


Mammy Joy's Reading Club
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Ed & Mary Ellen & ADP have adopted this $1,300 project 
Joy Dublin, Director; 60 children
Background from Hands: Joy Dublin (known to all as Mammy Joy) is one of the most inspiring citizen-volunteers we've had the pleasure to meet in the Eastern Caribbean. Realizing that a little encouragement and tutoring can make the difference between children learning to read or failing to learn to read, Dublin started her after-school and Saturday reading club several years ago in the village of Chateaubelair. Hands assisted Dublin by shipping the books she needed (including superhero comics!), and now the program is pulling in more children every month. Kids are improving their reading skills — and who knows, really, where that will take them. Joy Dublin — Mammy Joy! — thanks for your kind heart and your selfless work. More new books are on the way.


Mary Hutchinson Primary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Palm Island Resort has adopted this $1,850 project 
Miss Claudia John, Acting Principal; 125 students
Background from Hands: This school is located in the small village of Ashton on Union Island — a beautiful setting but a long way, in terms of funding, from the main island of St. Vincent. The physical structure of Mary Hutchinson Primary School is old — thus most of the students are housed in one large room separated into classrooms by moveable blackboard dividers. But the school has a new principal who is excited about raising the literacy levels of her students. The need here is for new books for the classroom libraries (since there is not enough space in the school for a dedicated library).


Petit Bordel Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $800 goal
Mr. Alden Douglas, Acting Principal; 302 students
Background from Hands: This high school is located in a rural area that suffers both from high unemployment and marijuana-growing "farmers" (let's just be honest and call them gun-toting criminals) and their sold-on-the-street crop. Despite these challenges, the teachers and the teenagers at Petit Bordel Secondary School, including school Librarian Nicole Codogan, are striving to make the school library a sanctuary for literacy and learning. The school was the recipient of a Hands-administered Public Affairs Grant from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, which brought in over 600 brand new books to augment their collection. Sure, there's still work to do, especially in helping to bring remedial readers up to speed. But things are getting better! Our goal in 2013/2014 is to support the library with a gap-filling infusion of teen fiction.


Sandy Bay Primary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
  Scotiabank Bright Future Program has adopted this $2,000 project 
Mr. St. Elbert Walters, Principal; 301 students
Background from Hands: Located in a rural, fishing-village area on the windward (east) coast of St. Vincent, Sandy Bay Primary School has a dedicated room for a library — but most of the books are tourist discards (adult reading such as paperback romance novels and spy novels) and donations from well-meaning people or organizations, almost all of the books unsuitable for primary school students. The school needs new books of all kinds for all of the grades, especially for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students.


Spring Village Primary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,800 goal
Mrs. Carol Edwards, Principal; 107 students
Background from Hands: The library space at Spring Village Primary School, a tidy school in a tidy village, is spectacular. The newly-built library room is large and has more than enough shelving and reading desks for the school population, and the book collection is nicely color-coded. The students borrow books regularly, and the teachers are requiring book reports (even from the Kindergarten students!) before the next book can be borrowed. One thing we suggested is, given the bonanza of shelf space, that almost all of the books be turned so their cover is facing out. This makes the library visually appealing and the browsing better for the students. Other than that, the Spring Village Primary School library is going well; we see the need for a medium-size infusion of new titles.


Stephanie Browne Primary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Winner, 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award 
 Palm Island Resort has adopted this $2,500 project 
Lorette Coy-James, Principal; 250 students
Background from Hands: Even before Lorette Coy-James became the Principal of Stephanie Browne Primary School (located on Union Island in the Grenadines), she created a library at the school — that's how strong her enduring commitment to literacy is. The library project was launched as part of Coy-James's practicum for her B.A. in Education from the University of the West Indies — that she chose to start a school library is a clue to her professional dedication to child literacy. She sustained the project and made it a focus and priority at her school. Over the years her energy and enthusiasm for sustaining the library has not flagged in spite of the redeployment of her Youth Empowerment (YES) worker. Recently, volunteers reorganized and categorized the library to make it easier to manage without a dedicated librarian. We are honoring this library for its sustainability through the six years we have been running Hands Across the Sea and for Lorette's commitment to literacy among her students as well as the adults in the Union Island community.


St. Clair Dacon Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Supporters of U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer Vicky Vail have donated $1,727; Jocelin has donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mrs. Hyacinth Richards, Principal; 353 students
Vicky Vail, U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Background from Hands: Hands assisted St. Clair Dacon Secondary School with their remedial reading program several years ago, with lots of success. The school has a new Principal in Mrs. Hyacinth Richards, a new Remedial Reading teacher, and a U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Vicky Vail. The school has a trained librarian and a great library space — air-conditioning and plenty of shelves — but their existing collection is old and worn. All this setup needs is an infusion of great new books to make it a great new library!


St. Vincent Reading Association
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Mavis Joseph, President
Background from Hands: On mainland St. Vincent Hands was warmly hosted by the Ministry of Education and the wonderful women of the SVG Reading Association. Mrs. Joycelyn Blake-Browne drove us up the windward coast of the island, all the way up to Fancy, the northerly end-of-the-road on St. Vincent, to visit schools and assess libraries. This delightful group of women is dedicated to fostering literacy and improving reading teaching and learning. We look forward to continuing to partner with this group as St. Vincent and the Grenadines adopts the new 6th Grade Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment that requires children to read a lot of books and write book reports. Books and libraries are a critical component of this initiative, and the Reading Association will help lead the way.


Student Support Centre
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,200 goal
Jasmine Francois-Creese, Director; 15 students
Background from Hands: This facility is located in Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent, and caters to students who are struggling with reading, who have encountered discipline problems and have been suspended from school, or who are in the courts system. The centre is staffed with guidance counselors and a remedial reading and maths teacher. There is a gardening and an arts programme, and some of the students are placed in work attachments on Fridays.


Troumaca Ontario Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
 Tony has donated $1,000 toward this project 
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Mrs. Esther Providence-Burke, Principal; 253 students
Background from Hands: The students at this rural school, located on the northwest coast of mainland St. Vincent, come from families dependent on subsistence farming and fishing. The need here is for remedial reading materials, and high interest/low reading level books to engage the students in reading.


West St. George Secondary School
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,500 goal
Ms. Dianne Williams, Principal; 358 students
Background from Hands: The students at this rural school, located in a small village on the east (windward) coast of St. Vincent, come from families dependent on subsistence farming and fishing. The focus is on remedial reading materials, and high interest/low reading level books to engage the students in reading.


 
 
ways you can work with Hands...
how to donate
The easiest way to donate is via the secure PayPal interface on the Donate to Hands page. Cash donations can be made through a check made out to "Hands Across the Sea, Inc." and mailed to Hands Across the Sea, Inc., 651 Orchard Street, Suite 203, New Bedford, MA 02744. If you have a specific school or project you'd like to "adopt," please tell us in the Comments section of the PayPal interface or on your check.

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

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

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