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Hands Across the Sea is dedicated
to raising the literacy levels
of Eastern Caribbean children
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Hands Across the Sea presents the 2020-2021 Hands Wish Lists of school children, principals, teachers, literacy coordinators, librarians, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean. We are asking you to support the children in their care through our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) Program. You can make a real difference by giving children access to brand new, amazing, asked-for books, and the creation or rejuvenation of lending libraries—because the gift of literacy lasts a lifetime
Peek Inside a Wish Lists Shipment
What's in all those boxes we're sending to the Eastern Caribbean? Lots and lots of really great things!
Why It Works
Every summer, Hands asks educators at Hands Wish Lists projects for their "wish list" of books and resources. The Hands Wish Lists you'll find below represent highly effective, targeted assistance—we never "donation dump" unwanted, inappropriate material that students and teachers don't need. When you fully or partially "adopt" a Wish Lists project your support will be fully utilized. Your gift will be raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children year after year.
How It Works
We ship books and literacy resources to the Eastern Caribbean once a year, in September. Thanks to our relationship with the leading publishers of children's and education books, we choose from a huge range of new, top-quality children's books and literacy resources. And thanks to our logistics angels, we are able to receive, sort, pack, and send a dedicated shipment to each Hands Wish Lists project in a highly cost-effective manner.
How to Adopt
To adopt all or part of a project when using our secure online donation interface, enter the project name in the "My Adopted Wish List Project" field, and include any wishes about directing your gift in the optional "Comments & Special Notes" field. To donate by check, please include a note specifying your adopted project. Mail your check to: Hands Across the Sea, P.O. Box 55071, Suite 85043, Boston, MA 02205. Thank you for your caring support.
Don't worry: You don't have to adopt a Wish Lists project in order to support Caribbean children. If you choose not to specify where you want your donation to go, Hands will direct your gift to where it will do the most good.
New for 2020-2021: Help Us Send New Amazing Books
      to Every Pre-School on Every Island!
How important is it to start children out reading at the earliest possible age? Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. Language and literacy are interrelated with child development, and an early start builds a strong foundation for putting children on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. That’s why we are excited to roll out our new pre-school program and to ask you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to every pre-school on every island that we serve. Click on this special donation page link to help us send new amazing pre-school books for 2020-2021, or choose "your" pre-school island from the sections for each island below). Thank you for getting these beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
•    ANTIGUA and BARBUDA   •
Vernest Mack (left) & Hyacinth Gonsalves-Barriero
Hands Literacy Links | Antigua and Barbuda
contact Vernest
contact Hyacinth


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Antigua and Barbuda's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Antigua and Barbuda, Vernest Mack and Hyacinth Gonsalves-Barriero, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 52 Pre-Schools on Antigua and Barbuda!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $7,320 goal; Svetlana donated $100; Brad & Ann donated $100
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 52 pre-schools on Antigua and Barbuda. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting Antigua and Barbuda's beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Pares Primary School
120 students • Grades K to 6
Lois Drew, Principal
Verlyn Hector, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
Reaching Out to Parents. Wow! The lending library at Pares Primary School (120 students, Grades K to 6) is a success! The library space is modest in size, but the reach is wide and deep: the school has a Student Librarian program, and 75% of the student population are active members of the library. “The library has expanded the students’ view of the world around them,” says Principal Lois Drew (at left in photo). “For students who might not have access to enough books to satisfy their hunger for reading, the school library satiates this need. As someone who is addicted to reading, I am delighted that we have a successful school library at Pares Primary.”

Central to the library’s success is the Librarian, Miss Verlyn Hector, who in addition to encouraging students to read and borrow books, and helping teachers to utilize library resources in their lesson, has reached out to parents and community members to broaden the impact of the library. At Pares Primary School, reading success extends beyond the school and into the homes of the students.
•    DOMINICA   •
Giselle Laurent (left) & Lize Bardouille
Hands Literacy Links | Dominica
contact Giselle
contact Lize


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Dominica's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Dominica, Giselle Laurent and Lize Bardouille, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 69 Pre-Schools on Dominica!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $9,704 goal; William donated $50; Edward donated $35; Toni donated $50
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 69 pre-schools on Dominica. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting Dominica's beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
DOMINICA
Christian Union Primary School
132 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Brenda George, Principal
Vernella Henderson, Teacher in Charge of the Library

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The Comeback Kids. "When Hurricane Maria hit our school, the storm took everything," remembers Principal Brenda George. "Our library was left with nothing—not a single book!" Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm with 160-mile-per hour winds and a firehose of horizontal rain, smashed into Dominica on September 18, 2017. It quickly peeled away the tin roof of the Christian Union Primary School library, located on the top floor, and vacuumed out the contents of the room. The rest of the school, of course, suffered greatly as well; the winds exploded a standalone classroom block, leaving only studs of the concrete-block foundation. And the school's classrooms were water-blasted when doors and windows were smashed. Picking themselves up after the storm, staff and students began the long road to rebuilding.

"The children have contributed greatly to our school's recovery," says Principal George. "They are so good! They love books and reading, and our Student Librarians have made the library a special part of the school." The newly-refurbished library, with jazzy paint and eye-catching book displays, is attracting students every day (each class is timetabled for library visits). Book borrowing is strong and steady. Hands Literacy Link Giselle Laurent has been hands-on with Christian Union Primary, helping to speed the recovery. School staffers Kizzy Charles and Vernella Henderson are fired-up promoters and sustainers of the library.

The school has come a long way since the hurricane, but there are still challenges to address—the loss of the standalone classroom block means that classes are being held in the cafeteria until the classroom is someday rebuilt. But if you visit Christian Union Primary School you'll find optimism and excitement. These are the comeback kids!
DOMINICA
Mahaut Primary School
75 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Victoria Roberts, Principal
Ms. Kellisha Roberts, Literacy Coordinator

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,000 goal; Tony donated $1,000
Reborn. It takes quite a while to recover—physically and emotionally—from the direct hit of a Category 5 hurricane. When Hurricane Maria smashed into Mahaut Primary School on September 18, 2017, the rain turned the nearby river into an overflowing torrent of mud, rocks, and tree trunks, and the one-hundred-sixty mile-per-hour winds tore off the school’s roof. The school lost all of its library books.

When the rebuilding process got underway, classes were moved to tight quarters in the Mahaut Village Council building. Grades K, 1, and 2 squeezed into the ground floor, and the principal’s ‘office’ and Grades 3 to 6 were upstairs. Both spaces were open, separated only by blackboards and short bookshelves. Only recently has the school been re-opened (and then closed, due to Covid-19), but the recovery has reached a crucial point, reports Hands Literacy Link Lize Bardouille. “There is no library at Mahaut Primary School—the students use small classroom libraries—however the school is now building shelves for their new library. They need books, and the reborn library will be ready to open with the school year in September.”
DOMINICA
Wesley Primary School
106 students • Grades K to 6
Mrs. Nadia Prevost, Principal
Ms. Leann Joseph, Teacher in Charge of the Library

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $1,920 goal; the Prince Family donated $480
No Internet? Open a Book! The library at this small rural school, perched on a rainforest ridge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the north of Dominica, has been going well for several years now. Here’s the latest from Giselle Laurent, one of the Hands Literacy Links for Dominica.

“Wesley Primary has been doing digital lessons via Whatsapp while schools were closed during the Covid-19 lockdown. The teachers are sharing online stories with the students, but students without internet access are missing out. Principal Prevost may expand that to include take-home homework packets, including library books for the students, per the Hands Takeaway Books Program. At present, there is no internet access at the school—a legacy of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that ravaged every inch of Dominica a couple of years ago.

“The majority of the school’s library books have are well worn and in need of repair—the school’s strong reading culture is the ‘culprit.’ The Student Librarian team is energetic, from tidying up and sweeping the library to reading aloud to the younger pupils. The library is small but has been maintained well. Unfortunately, the encyclopedias have suffered water damage. The bookshelves are tidy, but need an infusion of new books.”
•    GRENADA   •
Gloria Bonaparte (left) & Bernadette John
Hands Literacy Links | Grenada
contact Gloria
contact Bernadette


Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains Grenada's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on Grenada, Gloria Bonaparte and Bernadette John, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 70 Pre-Schools on Grenada!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $13,924 goal; Republic Bank Grenada donated $5,000; Jill & John donated $3,200; Laura & Ken on sailing vessel Hope donated $2,000
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 70 pre-schools on Grenada. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting Grenada's beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
GRENADA
St. Mary's RC School
234 students • Pre-School to Grade 6
Martha Bowen, Principal

Mrs. Rhonda Farray-Herryn, Acting Principal
Mrs. Bernadette Shockness, Literacy Coordinator

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
Yes, We Love Our Library! St. Mary’s RC Primary School, a medium-size rural school in the mountainous middle of Grenada, has 251 students. And thanks to a focus on books, reading, and the school library by the school’s Principal, librarian, teachers, and the Hands Literacy Link for the school, Bernadette John, nearly all of the students love the library. That, folks, is one way that Hands measures success. The library is fully functional, staffed with a committed and dedicated librarian. An updated library schedule ensures that all classes from Pre-School to Grade 6 visit the library; borrowing records are kept. The school has a wide range of literacy programs and activities, including a remedial reading class, which currently has ten boys from Grades 4 and 5. This class is conducted in the library space because the staff believes that the atmosphere will create a greater love for books among those students.

Hands Literacy Link Bernadette John, who works hands-on with school staff, says it best. “As the Literacy Link for St. Mary’s RC Primary, I have witnessed the students’ love for the library. They love visiting the library, not only to check out and check in books, but also to enjoy library activities facilitated either by the librarian or a class teacher. Currently, there are six Student Librarians; they perform their daily tasks with pride and confidence.

“The school boasts of many literacy activities, all of which complement the functions of the library. For example, Reading Carnival, Poetry and Reading competitions among grades, Departmental Banner competition, House Quizzes, Language Buzz, Book reports, and Career Days. Parents are on board with the school’s literacy plans too. At Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings, parents are always reminded to encourage their children to borrow at least one book per week. There was also an Open Day for parents to visit the school—and a visit to the library was mandatory. At the community level, students from St. Mary’s R.C. School read the scripture passages during both school and Sunday Masses.”
•    ST. KITTS AND NEVIS   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Kitts and Nevis's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Link on St. Kitts and Nevis, Heidi Fagerberg, works closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 47 Pre-Schools on St. Kitts and Nevis!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $6,612 goal; Arthur donated $500
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 47 pre-schools on St. Kitts and Nevis. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting St. Kitts and Nevis's beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Dr. William Connor Primary School (St. Kitts)
350 students • Grades K to 6
Jean Nisbette Boddie, Principal
Shawndreka Pringle, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
A Shining Star!
The library at Dr. William Connor Primary School, a busy urban school in Basseterre, the capital city of St. Kitts, has been functioning well for several years now: a large, well-organized space, the collection arranged artfully, with book covers facing out, and an embrace of reading by many of the school’s 331 Grade K to Grade 6 students. But in the last year or so, a star has been born at the library: Lisa Pringle, the Librarian. Lisa has further energized the library and students with her creative themes and programs.

Notes Hands Literacy Link Heidi Fagerberg, “Dr. William Connor Primary school has shined this year. All the support from the Principal making the library a priority, to the librarian making the library the place to be, to the teacher's commitment to bringing the children to library time and for the ongoing support from Library Services, Petrine Clarke and her staff, as well as the parents supporting the lending program and making sure their children take care of the books and return them. It takes a village to raise a child and Dr. William Connor Primary is doing just that with their library.

"There has been an increase in borrowing in the past two school years. Dr. William Connor provided input as we piloted a borrowing record tally sheet to use. It has been one of the first schools to have term comparisons and they show increased borrowing numbers, which is a great sign of library development. Lisa Pringle, the teacher-librarian, has outdone herself, working tirelessly outside of school terms to prepare the library space and activities. I have enjoyed helping her strive for greatness. From monthly changes in displays that encourage teachers and children to come to the library, to interactive read alouds and reading competitions with unique prize-giving techniques, to sharing with other schools her ideas and her materials. She continues to try new things to inspire a love of reading in the little ones.

"One of the things we are working on at the school is creating an intrinsic motivation to read by providing books that children really want to read. But we are also trying to reach reluctant readers with extrinsic motivation using positive reinforcement techniques and incentives. For example, Lisa has filled 200 balls with M&Ms as reading prizes—she has hung the M&Ms balls—the motivation!—from the library ceiling.

“Lisa has also created a grab bag (also known as a dip bag) with 100 lines/excerpts from books in the library written on slips of papers. Children will dip and pick a paper and if they successfully are able to read the excerpt, they get to cut down an M&Ms ball. This will not only let them practice their reading skills, but share with them a book excerpt they may not know about from the library. Lisa also has six 24-inch balls as prizes for the children who read the most books in the literacy week of activities, and two five-foot balls for children for overall exemplary library behavior—showing readiness, interest, attendance, proper care of books, returned books on time, and more.

“Lisa has been modeling her methods and sharing best practices, many adapted from the Hands Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K-3), with library staff at every primary school across St. Kitts. Because she is so dedicated and creative, and is getting support from Ministry of Education, her principal, the teachers, parents, and us at Hands Across the Sea, she is a peer mentor and a shining star.”
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Tucker Clarke Primary School (St. Kitts)
450 students • Grades K to 6
Mr. Leslie Richardson, Principal
Beverly Prentice, Librarian

Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,600 goal Colleen donated $700
Busy, busy, busy! Have we mentioned that Tucker clarke Primary School, one of the largest on St. Kitts, is busy? Prior to the Covid-19 school closures it certainly was—and we expect, when schols reopen in September, the bustling will continue. The school has a high number of eager readers, and that includes the teaching staff. Miss Petty, the Grade 2 teacher, is on track to receive a special allotment of books for her class, courtesy of Colleen, a Hands donor, and we hope that additional Hands donors step up to help fund books for the rest of the school. When we send books to Tucker Clarke (since 2014 Hands has sent 2,967 asked-for books), we know that they will be read, and re-read, and re-re-read. Because this is a school that is not only very very busy, it is very busy reading.

•    ST. LUCIA   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Lucia's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Lucia, Clara Paul and Sheila Serville, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 127 Pre-Schools on St. Lucia!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $17,860 goal; John donated $100
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 127 pre-schools on St. Lucia. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting St. Lucia's beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
ST. LUCIA
Blanchard Combined School
152 students • Grades K to 6
Merle Langellier Emanuel, Principal

Nephritire Ferdinand, Literacy Coordinator
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
Way cool makeover. Yay! It seems like every year—thanks to our dedicated and ever-busy Hands Literacy Links, Sheila Serville and Clara Paul, the island of St. Lucia sprouts multiple births of new school libraries and makeovers. Just a year ago, the library space at Blanchard Combined School, a rural school way up in the green rolling mountainscape of southern St. Lucia, had issues: old, moldy books, a leaking roof, termite-ridden bookshelves, a lack of table and chairs for students to read. Kudos to the St. Lucia Ministry of Education for coming to the rescue; now the school library is bright, colorful, and poised to blossom.

“The library space is ready for new books!” says Literacy Link Sheila Serville. “The room is painted in child-friendly murals, and a Library Team of enthusiastic teachers has been created. The library now has three triangular bookstands, ten additional bookshelves with three shelves each, and one big brown bookshelf with 12 shelves. The space also has three new round reading tables with chairs.

The Principal is excited about (finally!) having a library, and making book lending a part of the school’s culture. The library is timetabled for weekly visits by each grade, and (when the COVID lockdown eases) I will be training a Student Librarian team. The Student Librarian ‘job positions’ include Check-In, Shelver, Shelf Monitor, and Bouncer (the Bouncer regulates the number of children coming into the library to avoid overcrowding, ensures that food and drink aren’t brought in, and maintains peace and quiet in the line outside).”
ST. LUCIA
Entrepot Secondary School
658 students • Grades 7 to 11
Arthur Scott, Principal
Laurelle Eugene, Literacy Coordinator
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
All Together Now. Generally, it’s a lot harder to create a successful lending library at a high school (Grades 7-11) than at a primary school (Grades K-6). In addition to the hormonal bombardment that hits teens, one challenge stands out: many high schoolers are addicted to their phones. Theoretically this wouldn’t be bad, in terms of literacy (“You can read on your phone!” many folks assure us), but most teens use their smartphones for games, social media, and music—all of which does little to advance the literacy skills and acquisition of useful knowledge crucial for their fast-approaching future as adults. So, it takes a concerted team effort by the school to turn around the smartphone brain drain.

At Entrepot Secondary School, a large urban school on the fringes of Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, the school staff and students have pulled together to create a vibrant, busy library. Principal Andrew Scott made it a priority. The already-busy Learning Resource Manager, Ms. Laurelle Eugene, championed fitting the library into one half of her room, taking space away from the computers, photocopiers, and more. The school built their own library shelves and tiled the floor. Ms. Oliviann Weekes, the local community librarian, donated her time and expertise, categorizing and organizing the book collection. Hands Literacy Link Clara Paul mobilized staff and students into a Library Team. Students put aside their phones and became avid readers of fiction, nonfiction, and reference.

“Ms. Eugene is extremely happy to see the increased level of interest by teachers and students in the library resources," notes Clara Paul. "Teachers use the ‘fact books' (on exam subjects as history, computers, science, and more) for research and lesson planning as well as to direct students who do not have their own personal copies. Teachers also read some of the novels while they sit in with their classes.” The library at Entrepot Secondary School is on the way to becoming an integral, important part of school life. Students are on the way to becoming readers and informed adults.
ST. LUCIA
Laborie RC Boys Primary School
110 students • Grades K to 6
Julian Darcheville, Principal
Amanda Francis, Literacy Coordinator
FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The Total Takedown of the Terrible Termites. We’re not here to spin the fairy tale that everything is wonderful all the time at Caribbean school libraries. In fact, they are hit by plenty of challenges: fire, flood, tropical storms and hurricanes (Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 storm that tore through Dominica in Sept 2017, comes to mind), leaking roofs and windows, staff layoffs, and—most insidious of all—termites. Over the past few years, termites have been chewing their way through the wooden bookshelves—and the books—of the formerly-happy library at Laborie RC Boys Primary School. A termite infestation impacts a school library in all manner of ways: kids stop visiting the library, funds need to be somehow raised for a carpenter and replacement shelves, and morale takes a hit.

This school, nestled in the picture-postcard village of Laborie, on the sleepy southwest coast of St. Lucia, has not only claimed victory over the termites (new shelves of treated wood), but they have recovered their lost mojo. “The library space has been reorganized and a Library Team has been formed that includes a Grade 5 teacher, the reading teacher, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Catherine Phillips, and a committed parent volunteer, Liza Fletcher,” reports Hands Literacy Link Sheila Serville. “Before their hard work in restarting the library, termites had destroyed a lot of the books and shelving, and the library was dirty and in desperate need of attention. In addition to cleaning and organizing, the Library Team reworked the checkout system, organized the book collection by genre, and decorated the space with a new invigorating theme.

“The ‘library rescue’ was successful. Students use the library effectively during their break periods. Reading Month is very busy at the school—the Book Worm activity and Fathers Reading to Students are among the highlights. Following that, it was Hats Off to Reading day at the school—another chance to celebrate books, reading, and the school library.” Going forward, members of the community are lending a lot of support and time to the school's library and literacy activities. Take that, termites!
•    ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES   •
Investing in Sustainability Every Hands Wish List Project comes with Hands Literacy Link assistance
How Hands Sustains St. Vincent and the Grenadines's Literacy Gains
Sustainability is absolutely vital for every Hands Wish Lists project—that’s why our on-island Hands Literacy Links mentor, monitor, and troubleshoot each Hands project, helping school libraries thrive year after year. The Hands Literacy Links on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Enna Bullock and Yvette Pompey, work closely with educators, ministry of education officers, and local communities to: encourage the use of Hands library methodology • help train students, teachers, and library managers in book care and library operation • share innovative ideas and resources to improve child literacy and integrate libraries into schools • support schools with strategies for the long-term sustainability of their libraries.
Oh Yeah! New Amazing Books for 125 Pre-Schools on St. Vincent and the Grenadines!
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $17,580 goal
Transforming pre-school children into pre-school readers can set them on a winning trajectory for the rest of their lives. Early reading is not only highly correlated with academic achievement for years to come, but it is transformative for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. That's why we're asking you to help us send new amazing pre-school books—board books, storybooks, and more—to 125 pre-schools on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. To fund new amazing pre-school books, click on this special donation link. Thank you for getting St. Vincent and the Grenadines' beautiful shining children on their way with books in hand!
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
C.W. Prescod Primary School
730 students • Grades K to 6
Suzette Abbott-King, Principal
Ms. Zoriah Cato, Librarian

FirstCaribbean Foundation adopted this project
The story continues! With 730 children from Grade K to Grade 6, C.W. Prescod Primary School, located in the busy urban crush of Kingstown, the capital city of St. Vincent, this school is a busy, busy, busy place. But it also has a big and growing appetite for reading. After overcoming physical challenges (pigeons in the rafters, termites in the bookshelves) a few years back, the library is charging along, reports Yvette Pompey, one of two Hands Literacy Links for the island.

“This year, termites have staged another attack on the bookshelves, but the school purchased replacement materials and the government is working on the repairs” says Yvette. “The school’s longtime librarian, Ms. Noella Duncan, has migrated to the U.S. but she has trained another young lady, Zoriah Cato, as a part-time librarian. We now have 25 children trained as Student Librarians, and the Principal is planning to re-launch the new, improved library when school reopens in September.

“The students and teachers at this school have really embraced the library. All classes are coming to the library with their teachers to engage in literacy activities and to borrow books. The borrowing is improving steadily.”

Yvette also notes that, of the Hands 11 measurement points for a successful library, C.W. Prescod is a resounding “Yes!” to every one of them:

1.  Are all classes coming to the library weekly?
2.  Are all classes recording the number of books borrowed weekly?
3.  Is the book check out and check in system working?
4.  Has the library team had sufficient training with the Hands Library Manual and the Hands Teachers Resource Guide to the Library (Grades K-3)?
5.  Are the class teachers requesting/seeking information making use of the librarians to find books that would support their lessons in the classroom?
6.  Has the library team shared with teachers and students what is available in the library through book displays, conversations, read-alouds, library activities, and/or reading contests?
7.  Does the library have inviting places for children and teachers to sit and read?
8.  Does the school have an active Wish List that teachers and students can add to for books they would like to see in the library in the future?
9.  Does the school have a Student Librarian program?
10. Is the library accessible for teachers and students to spend time in the library during break times and lunch time?
11. Has the school involved the students’ parents in the use of the library?
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Focus: Islands of the Grenadines
If you’ve ever wondered what the words “and the Grenadines” mean after “St. Vincent,” the Grenadines are a stunning array of 32 gumdrop islands and cays—the Tobago Cays Marine Park (photo) is a magnet for sailors. After meeting John and Darcy Dillon, U.S.-based free spirits who are now cruising the region on their sailboat, Kindred Spirit, on their recommendation we’ve added a pre-school and a primary school on the island of Mayreau to the 2020-2021 Hands Wish Lists, along with a pre-school and two after-school programs on the island of Bequia. All are worthy of your support!

BEQUIA: The Learning Centre
60 students • Grades K to 6
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $4,000 goal
Library makeover! For years, after-school programs at the Learning Centre helped children build their academic and literacy skills. Now the staff has reorganized the center library according to the color-coded, covers-facing-out guidelines of the Hands Library Manual for Primary Schools. Recently, the culled the worn-out books (book sale or giveaway), and the library needs an infusion of new books to feed its voracious readers.

BEQUIA: Bequia Children's Reading Club
60 children • Grades K to 6
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,000 goal; Molly donated $25
The Saturday readers. Cheryl Johnson, who runs a bookstore in Admiralty Bay, the large, beautiful bay which acts as “yachtie central” for many hundreds of visiting sailors and charter-boat parties each season, also runs a very popular Saturday reading club for local kids in the patio of The Fig Tree waterfront restaurant. Sailors volunteer to read to and mentor the children—a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

BEQUIA: Glen's Pre-School
30 children • Ages 3 to 4+
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $880 goal
Eager early readers. Notes from John and Darcy: “This school has earned a sparkling reputation on Bequia. The school grounds are lovely and clean, and the interior features bright colors and learning on every wall. Money is very tight for supplies, but Glynis (photo) and her team of four teachers do their very best. When the kids graduate, they have grasped phonics and can read."

MAYREAU: Mayreau Pre-School
35 children
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $880 goal
Hooray! A pre-school for Mayreau! The children are ready. The parents are ready. The school staff is ready. The school building is built. At long last, the island of Mayreau will be opening its very own pre-school. John and Darcy Dillon, sailors on Kindred Spirit, want to fill the bookshelves so that all is ready for the first day of pre-school. That is going to be one totally exciting day in the history of Mayreau, the tiny island with big dreams!

MAYREAU: Mayreau Primary School
48 children • Grades K to 6
Click to adopt all or part of this project: $2,800 goal
The one-room schoolhouse. Mayreau is a very small island, with a small but very proud population. The primary school is a classic Caribbean one-room structure. The grade “classrooms” are separated by moveable chalkboards, and the ventilation is provided by holes in the concrete-block walls. The Principal does a great job, despite limitations, and the 360-degree view from the school, which is perched on top of the peak of Mayreau, encompasses the Grenadines and more.















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