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Hands Across the Sea, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Libraries, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: Hands Across the Sea is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children by assisting schools and libraries in Eastern Caribbean communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25,000+ students at 100+ schools

Geographic areas served: Eastern Caribbean

Programs: Hands Across the Sea's Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) Program has shipped over 265,170 new amazing books to 422 primary and secondary schools and libraries on Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, giving 74,000 children access to age-appropriate, culturally- appropriate top-quality reading material.

Community Stories

280 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 4

WoodfordHill Primary School
Dominica

In September of 2017, our entire library -books and other resources- was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. For months, students had virtually nothing to read except the recommended reading text on their book list and a few readers that had survived the storm. The students were overjoyed when the books from Hands Across the Sea came in. Our school was on a shift system, sharing the plant of another school. There was no available space to have the books out for use. However, each class was assigned a set of books which were rotated among the students. We are now back in our plant, and are using a class library method of borrowing books. With the assistance of Hands across the Sea, we are expecting to begin the reconstruction of our library this month so that in the new term the library will be fully functional. Through school visits, emails and calls by our literacy link and the cofounders, we are given much needed assistance, encouragement and support. The education of our students is being greatly enhanced.

The students and staff of the WoodfordHill Primary School express heartfelt thanks to the donors whose generosity has made this all possible. A simple 'thanks' to Hands Across the Sea does not seem enough. Your work in facilitating this scheme is unrivaled. Your desire to see the realization of a literate world cannot be questioned. We are indeed grateful for your partnership with us.

Kristy Alexander
Principal (Ag)

Client Served

Rating: 5

The principal, staff and students of the Evesham Methodist School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are extremely grateful to Hands Across the Sea for their generous contribution to our school’s library.

The brightly coloured painted room was just a beautiful room until the books arrived. Now we have a library stocked with a wide variety of interesting, informative and attractive reading materials that has heighten the student’s interest in reading. It is a joy to see boys who previously showed little interest in reading engrossed in the books.

The teaching learning experience has been enhanced by the provision of the Teachers Resource Guide and the staff greatly appreciates the opportunity to interact with and use these materials in their lessons.

Because of Hands Across the Sea all students passing through our school are now afforded a library experience that enhances their reading and by extension their lives.

Thanks to Hands Across the Sea and sponsors for making our dream of a school library a reality.

Client Served

Rating: 5

St. Patrick’s Anglican School, Grenada
Literacy skills are of paramount importance for life long success both academically and otherwise. “Hands across the Sea” through their support of donating books for our school’s makeshift library has had a positive impact on the literacy acquisition of our students. Students’ motivation and interest in reading has been elevated throughout the school. “There has been a significant intensification of our students’ interest and participation in reading activities. Our records have shown a phenomenal increase in the number of books borrowed and read by our students. The partnership provided by “Hands across the Sea” has brought fruition in improving Literacy skills and by extension delivering a better quality of education to our students. We look forward to continue this vital partnership and extend heartfelt gratitude for the support given by providing books for our library.

Wilma Alexander (Ms.)
Principal

Client Served

Rating: 5

The desire to set up a library for use by the students of the Mt. Moritz Anglican School in Grenada proved very challenging in the beginning. This challenge did not come about out of lack of the main ingredient that is ‘books for lending’, thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of our friends from Hands Across the Sea, but rather, out of the need to find adequate and suitable space/ room for such project.

Initially, the space identified for set up of the library was used as a storeroom for the school. This room was dark, unpainted, untiled, unlighted with no windows or shelves. Following a visit by Tom and a local links representative, it was decided that we will have to make it work as there were no alternative in the immediate future.

Voluntary efforts by a Contractor in the area who serves as maintenance handyman to the school, saw the clearing, cleaning, smoothing of the walls and painting of the said room within one day. However, the issue of lighting and air remained a concerned, since metaphorically, books likes and needs air and light to breathe.

Although, the identified room was being worked on, the Principal was still not happy with the chosen room and continued to weigh and measure alternative space within the school until the visit by local Links officers Mrs. Gloria Bonaparte and Mrs. Bernadette John.
Alas! Following careful observation and much discussions, it was agreed that the library can be housed jointly with the School’s Staffroom and or IT room.

Hence the grand Library launch and opening was held on 26th March, 2019.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ST. ANDREW’S METHODIST SCHOOL, Grenada
A visit from the Directors of Hands Across the Sea was like a bright ray in a storm. Receiving the notice that we’ll be getting books from Hands Across the Sea was a very pleasing occurrence when we were trying to put things in place for the students of our school. When the books came it was like being a child at Christmas receiving gifts from a loved one. Seeing the looks on the faces of the teachers and students when they started using the books was priceless.

Getting assistance from Mrs. Britton, then Mrs. John and Mrs. Bonaparte came just in time for a Grade 2 intervention program we were undergoing at the school, where having a proper functioning library was crucial. As a result teachers and students of grade 2 were able to visit this library of amazing books and other resources to motivate students to read more. Students started coming in large groups without their teacher, during their lunch break to read at the library. Not only were the grade 2 students coming, but much interest was shown from grade 1 students and grade 5 as well. Many grade 5 students started burrowing the books to go home as well. We are greatly looking forward to expanding the operations of the library very soon. We are very thankful of Hands Across the Sea and its Donors for your kindness and generosity.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our Library at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Morne Jaloux, Grenada has now taken on a new look, a brighter atmosphere and an enticing set of books so generously donated by Hands-Across-The-Sea. From the time our children saw those new books, it was like Christmas for them! Indeed, they have become more motivated to read and to use the Library more often. In a sense, this has opened them to what we have written on the entrance to our Library: ‘…Sir Readalot’s Castle, …the Kingdom of BOOKS!’

Although we do not have a Librarian as yet, we do have ten student Librarians, who have now adopted the Library as their own personal baby. They enthusiastically defend the Library ‘territory’ as they fearlessly remind students it is a sacred reading space. In one case, they even ‘arrested’ a group of three students who were really speaking too loudly and refused to co-operate with the Library rules. They transported the students to my office, well-guarded on either side by the student librarians, where they read out the charges against them and the student librarians would not move until the case was adequately dealt with. Their faithfulness to their charge as student librarians, is very admirable. They have been giving very good suggestions and ideas as to how we can continue to develop and improve the Library, as they suggested having the rules written in large, bold letters in prominent areas on the walls of the Library, as a reminder to the students. They also said the children enjoy the chapter books very much, so we should get a lot more of them. What a joy to hear!

One student Librarian in particular, Tiffani, has become the unofficial leader of the group of Librarians, as she oversees their performance and calls them to order when they forget to do their duty or slip up. In one case, she brought a situation to me for verification, as she said:
“Sister, each of these two children already have a book out which they borrowed and have not returned as yet. They came today to borrow another one and I told them ‘no’, they cannot borrow a whole set of books, they have to return the last one before the can borrow another! Then they said they would report me! I told them they have to respect the Library rules!”
On afternoons, these student Librarians come to check that the books are in order at the end of the day, and they also turn off the lights and the air condition unit, and lock up before leaving for home. They are to be admired for their performance and dedication, in the absence of a Librarian.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic School

Being able to read is one of life greatest treasure and accomplishment. As an institution we have realised the importance of reading and more so providing students with the avenues they need to harness their literacy skills. For a long time our school struggled to get our library up and running. However, with the thoughtful and generous assistance of our friends of Hands Across the Sea, this dream is finally realised. Today our institution can boast of its lovely library that is so able to provide books that are interesting, culturally relevant and age appropriate for our over two hundred students. For this, we are extremely grateful and we can assure you that your labour of love won’t go in vain. We have put measures in place to ensure the longevity of the library and its contents. We look forward to the continued support and once again we say a hearty thank you for your generosity

Cecilia St. Louis-Donald (BEd.)

Client Served

Rating: 4

Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic School, Grenada.
Being able to read is one of life greatest treasure and accomplishment.
As an institution we have realised the importance of reading and more so providing students with the avenues they need to harness their literacy skills. For a long time our school struggled to get our library up and running. However, with the thoughtful and generous assistance of our friends of Hands Across the Sea, this dream is finally realised.
Today our institution can boast of its lovely library that is able to provide books that are interesting, culturally relevant and age appropriate for our over two hundred students. For this, we are extremely grateful and we can assure you that your labour of love won’t go in vain. We have put measures in place to ensure the longevity of the library and its contents. We look forward to the continued support and once again we say a hearty thank you for your generosity

Client Served

Rating: 5

We at the Colonarie primary School are forever grateful to Hands Across the Sea for their generous donation of books of varying levels. our children have a problem with reading so after receiving the books, our goal was to have all our children developing a love for reading. so to obtain our goal, we have implemented two major strategies. A borrowing system for children from kindergarten to Grade 6, the teachers take on the role of librarians and children, with the help of their parents and guardians read their books and present an oral or written report. This is going well because all teachers are on board and also many parents. The second strategy is where every teacher is required to do a language Arts lesson in the literacy room using the materials provided from Hands Across the Sea. The Kindergarten do not miss this session and the majority of teachers are doing well, however, there is a need for more in dept planning for this session. For the new school year, the teachers will utilize the Teachers Resource Guide to plan effectively. Hands Across the sea we say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! and wish you success in all your en-devours.

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Principal , staff and students of Grenada Christian Academy are eternally grateful to Hands Across the Sea for their contribution towards improving Literacy at the school . The contribution of books for our library provided the students with the opportunity to be expose to literature they may not necessarily encounter in their community .
The donation of the Remedial Reading Kit was such an extra blessing . The search for appropriate reading materials was over . It was no longer practicing reading skills with "baby books " , but enjoying stories they can connect with . The discussion became lively and students now are more eager to read . It is not just a great experience for the students but also for me as a teacher . I learn from my kids too as they share on the various topics . The story " Hip-Hop" was one such case and it broaden my understanding of a different kind of music from my students point of view . The materials in the kit provide a wonderful way of making reading interesting , interactive and fun . Having the Remedial Reading Kit has truly enhanced the teaching / learning process . Thank you once again Hands Across the Sea and we look forward to our continued partnership . Keep up the "GREAT" work .

Client Served

Rating: 5

We, from the St. Clair Dacon Secondary School, are deeply touched and grateful for the contributions received from the Hands Across the Seas organization throughout the years. Our library has seen significant improvement in the collection of reading material available to all our students and teachers but the impact of the organizations generosity on our remedial students throughout the years has truly been incomparable and invaluable. Their kind donations have motivated our students and facilitated their learning throughout the years. Because of their contributions, more students have become members of our library and many have become better readers.
Their latest donation of the Remedial Reading Toolkit has sparked much interests among these students as they interact with the manipulatives which make up the kit. During the lunch break, students would excitedly rush to the Literacy Room to compete with each other as they launch into the Bingo games. These games do not only create excitement but also improvement in students' ability to spell words correctly was noted.
The toolkit material also provided ideas and guidance for teachers in planning their lessons. Apart from these resources, the organization's generosity in organizing workshops for teachers facilitated by professionals in the field of literacy allowed teachers to benefit from expert advice and the practical interventions illustrated by these facilitators. Teachers who attended such workshops always left enthused and motivated to apply strategies that can be effectively employed in their classrooms and other skills they would have acquired.
There is no doubt that this organization has to date made the greatest impact on our school. We will always be grateful for its contributions and look forward for more support especially in the area of literacy and numeracy. God bless Hands Across the Seas, a lifeline indeed!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre, Ciceron , Castries in Saint Lucia , Principal, teachers' students' and their parents' are one big family. The Principal, staff and all students' know our theme song 'Welcome to the Family'. i therefore considered Hands across the Seas and all the partners/sponsors to be part of our Family.
I am so grateful to see the excitement and joy this organisation has made to our School. We now have realized our dream of having our School Library, which is named after the Cynthia Weekes who was our first principal.

The students' love the colours and the variety of books that they can read and enjoy. A teacher loved the fact that key words in the Geronmino Stilton book series highlight in key words in colour and these words are repeated throughout the book.
I personally like the diversity of the range of books that have been donated. This was really important for our School as we serve students who are hearing impaired and to have books that satisfy their needs is really rewarding.

I say once again, thank you to Hand Acroos the Seas, donors, sponsors and partners for making the Library at Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre a reality.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are indeed grateful for the books and materials Hands Across the Sea has sent to Golden Grove Primary School in Antigua. We pray and hope that you continue to extend this great charity of yours to us. You can be assured that our children and teachers will utilize any books and resources you send, as previously done in the past. The supervision of these books and resources given is coordinated through the Remedial Reading Program.

Your books and resources have assisted us greatly. Our school receives a very limited amount of books from the government, which may be due to the fact that we do not have a physical building for a library. The books we receive from you are kept in our reading room. Then these books are sent to the various class rooms for our students to take home, specifically our kindergarten to grade 2 students. Our student librarians, from the reading room monitor and assist with this process. The grades 3 to 6 classes have shelves and boxes in their classes; so some books are sent to these classes. Here, class librarians in each class monitor and lend books to their fellow students.

Additionally, our books from you play a critical role in the delivery of our remedial reading program. At these classes, it is compulsory that our remedial students take home books at the end of their instructional sessions. This aspect has greatly enhanced our remedial program. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We look forward to your assistance in future endeavors.

Stacy Davis
Remedial Reading Teacher

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Greetings to all,
The Staff and students of the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School in St. Lucia extend sincere gratitude to Hands Across the Sea for the contribution to our school's library. We are indeed pleased with the variety of books which we received. The various reference texts are used by staff members to enhance teaching. They were pleased to have some of these texts at their disposal. Additionally, the students look forward to reading the range of fiction novels which were received. Your contribution made it possible to establish a school library and for this we are extremely grateful. THANK YOU!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dieppe Bay Primary School
St Kitts

Greeting to all. On behalf of the principal, staff, and students of the Dieppe Bay Primary School in St Kitts, I would like to express our appreciation by saying thanks to Hands Across the Sea for their generosity.
The books have been very helpful and resourceful. I have used the book entitled, The Right Shoes for Me!,for Kindergarten children. It is a tie, buckle and zip shoe book. It has a shoelace in it that I ask the children to practice tying. This eventually would help them to tie their own shoelaces.
I use the Holiday Activity Book for grade five and six which they also find interesting. The Educational DVD,'Brain Quest' is an activity which the children look forward to. This activity challenges their mind while having fun. I put in the DVD and give them the remote so they can click on it themselves. This they cannot seem to get enough of. It is a DVD for grade one to three but I use it for four and five also.
I also would like to thank you for Reading Mat. That is a blessing from above. I had a rug in the library that I had thrown out for it was very dusty and unhealthy for the children. Now the children look forward to sitting on the mat every time they visit the library.
I also attended the TRG workshop over summer 2018, organised by Heidi Fagerberg. Some of the sessions were facilitated by Jennifer Thrift of South Carolina. The workshop was very informative and educational. At the workshop, I obtained a lot of ideas to get children reading books. Some of these are book dating, book sale, readathon. I also learned a lot about
the different types of books available. Thanks to Hands across the Sea again for making it possible. Thanks to the donors. "Be not weary in well doing for in due season you shall reap if you faint not. Galatians 6:9.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is with sincerest appreciation that the Principal, Staff and students of the Questelles Government School express gratitude to Hands Across the Sea for your generous donation of books to our school library.

Your donation has brought about a renewed interest in reading as our library has become a "Lending Library'. The selection of books caters for the diverse reading abilities and as a result, no child is deprived of reading material. The exuberance displayed by our students when it is library time is a sight to behold. The Series books are on the students' "Top-notch" list.

The material allocated as teaching resources are contributing to the enhancement of Literacy instruction. We are delighted to be a beneficiary of this wonderful organization.
Thank you, Hands Across the Sea! Long live your organization! We look forward to your continued support.

Mauricia M

1 Mrs. Pringle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi everyone my name is Mrs. Shawndreka Pringle. On behalf of the principal, staff and students at the Dr. William CONNOR PRIMARY SCHOOL here in st kitts would like to say thank you thank you thank you.
I cannot say enough great and valuable things about Hands Across the Sea, you guys have been so instrumental in maintaining an excellent library that our students love so much. With the amazing new books that have been provided by Hands Across the Sea the children have found new love for the library. Books such as
Magic tree house
Diary of a wimpy kid
Fast track (play books)
Junie B Jones
Dr. Seuss' books
Maurice's Valises and
Ellie Ultra are just a few of what they cannot seem to get enough of. The books are so enjoying and encouraging sometimes the children ask to borrow 2 and 3 books at the same time. These books are just what the children need. The children have become so eager to read I now do student of the month and assistant of the month. I would like to say a big fat thank you to Hands Across the Sea, their staff and all the donors, we are so please and appreciative of our library, we just love it.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

While vacationing in St. Lucia with my family in 2016, we explored all areas of the island and witnessed first hand the poverty that lies beyond the North near Cap Point. Upon return to the States we sought ways to give back to the children of St. Lucia while providing an educational lesson in philanthropy to our then, 5 year old son. I was introduced to Hands Across the Sea via a Trip Advisor Blog and realized this wonderful non-profit is based within 20 minutes of my home. The organizations mission paired well with my own, as I am a strong advocate of early childhood literacy. Through Hands, we adopted Des Barras, Primary School in St. Lucia to fund the rejuvenation of the library and add almost 500 new, age appropriate educational books. We also engaged in packaging the books in the warehouse for shipment. The Principal and students personally sent letters/cards and pictures to show their gratitude. What an incredible experience for my family.
Harriet and T.L. along with the Hands Team are truly changing the lives of the children in the Eastern Caribbean while providing opportunities for success far beyond their academic lives. I am honored to have recently joined the Hands Board and look forward to supporting its mission and continued success.

2 Unique Codrington C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The donation from Hands Across the Sea to the Literacy Centre at my school was greatly appreciated and a valuable addition to our efforts in supporting literacy development amongst our high school students. The Decode books were high interest and low readability which captured the students' attention. The students were able to make connections to the text that they were reading, and develop their comprehension and spelling skills. Further, the additional materials donated allowed the students to be engaged in different activities that made reading fun for struggling learners in the classroom. The teachers' guide provided support activities to further enhance student learning. Hands Across the Sea has been a blessing to developing literacy in my school. Thanks a million!

M. Chatham

2 C.Henry

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family was able to visit four primary schools of varying sizes in St Vincent and the Grenadines that have been greatly helped by Hands Across the Sea. We really enjoyed meeting the principals, librarians, and most of all, the students. It was really good for us to get a sense of the work that Hands Across the Sea has done, and we were impressed by what we saw. The school libraries were well stocked, organized and utilized by all of the students. We can’t say enough about the differences Hands Across the Sea has made for these schools and students. It is very impressive and inspiring! Our family looks forward to helping Hands Across the Sea with other schools in the Eastern Caribbean.