My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Hands Across The Sea, Inc., Boston, MA, USA
I work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a coastal village primary school in St. Vincent. I've received two shipments from Hands Across the Sea and with the books provided, I was able to turn a defunct and dusty library, full of age-inappropriate books, into a great resource for getting kids interested in literacy.
While I provided literacy tutoring for all grades, I found that working in the library with classes was the best tool for getting kids excited about reading and interested in reading on their own, thereby developing fluency. I bring in classes for literacy-based activities weekly, working on strengthening their reading comprehension and just making reading fun. The library is now crowded at lunch and after school with children who previously had no access to books appropriate for their age and are clamoring for books to read.
While my service is almost over, I know that Hands Across the Sea will continue to work with my school and staff to improve the library. The interest the the kids have gained in reading for fun will not dwindle with the end of my service, and that is very satisfying to know. The library, which has turned into my main project at the school, will be sustainable and the children will continue to have a local resource to improve their literacy and maintain a positive attitude towards reading.
Tom and Harriet are also incredibly friendly and supportive and take an active interest in ALL the schools and projects they reach. They also put me in touch with a Grade 5 US teacher, who then developed a partnership with a Grade 5 teacher at my school. The teacher recently spent a week at my school strengthening that relationship, and the kids are all have pen pals. This is a great tool for resource sharing, developing cultural awareness, and just having fun. With relationships like these, I am confident that both teachers and students will continue to learn and grow.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
If only they could ship more than once a year :) The more books the better!
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