We are writing to share our multi-year experiences with Hands Across the Sea. We became aware of Hands Across the Sea and their involvement with books for the children of the Caribbean over 10 years ago when we took charter sailboat vacations in St. Vincent and the Caribbean. We wanted to contribute something back to the islands and contributing to Hands Across the Sea seemed like a nice way to do it. While we contributed financially, we really did not have a good understanding on their overall operation and involvement throughout the Caribbean Island chain. In 2018, we sold everything in the States and moved aboard our sailboat “Kindred Spirit” and set a course for the Caribbean where our plans were to liveaboard and cruise for at least 10 years. We began our journey in Rhode Island where we were fortunate enough to catch up in person with Harriet and Tom Linskey, the founders of Hands Across the Sea. Over dinner we learned so much more about Hands Across the Sea and the overall scope of their work. We were highly impressed. Not only was Hands Across the Sea providing new age-appropriate books with topics of interest to the children of the Caribbean, but they were also establishing reading libraries within schools on the islands which are supported by local Literacy Links, who are retired educators, to provide guidance for the running of the libraries, in addition to providing ideas to the local teachers on how to get the children engaged with reading. Our primary base in the Caribbean is St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we have been fortunate to see first hand the operation of Hands Across the Sea and also the positive affect it has on the children and teaching staff at the local schools. Over time we have also become friends with the educators and principals in the local schools and the appreciation they have to Hands Across the Sea in support of their students. We have also witnessed the excitement when the children open the book shipment they just received and also the dedication the Literacy Links have to this organization and the children. A highlight for us was our day spent with Enna Bullock and Yvette Pompey as we visited 7 schools on the island of Bequia as they reviewed the libraries and provided ideas and insight to the local educators in addition to watching them lead a reading session for the children.We are pleased to support such an organization with our monetary contribution and also our time to promote and support their efforts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and also the Caribbean in general. The contributions are well spent in support of their dedication and efforts.
The Early Childhood sector of St. Vincent and the Grenadines expresses our heartfelt thanks to "Hands Across the Sea" for the donation of a wide variety of books to our sector. This donation comprised of books from different genres. They are educationally, appropriate and they meet the needs of children.
We appreciate this gesture very much as the children are showing great interest in books. Their vocabulary and comprehension skills are enhancing and they are showing love for reading. The teachers are also expressing that the repetition of words in these books are helping to increase the children's confidence and they are also using connection between ideas to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning learning. Thank you "Hands across the sea."
The principal and staff of the Park View Pre School in Grenada express our heartfelt thank you to Hands Across the Sea for their generous support and donations of books to our school. Hands Across the Sea in collaboration with literacy Links allowed us to help develop our children’s love for books and reading through their initiative.
The staff worked together and supported each other well throughout the pilot program, and this helped build teamwork among us. It allowed us to see our potential as we came up with innovative ideas for the children that were specific to each book.
The books were that we received were age-appropriate and they kept the children interested, thus aiding in their literacy and communication development. The stories boosted their conversation level as they became more alert and were able to relate to pictures from the stories and connected it to their daily lives.
Overall, we intend to continue using the books to increase the development of our children in different areas of the curriculum as we were able to get lessons and activities from; mathematics, Language and Literacy, Science, and Social Studies. Thank you once again for your investment into the minds of the future!
I want my hat back by Jon Klassen was just one of the many books which made a lasting impact on the lives of the students at La Borie Pre Primary School. The books received from Hands Across the Sea was immediately used to establish a library. The library created excitement among the students as they were allowed to choose their favourite books to carry home. This opened an avenue for the parents and children to have increased bonding time while reading. The parents were often heard encouraging their children to borrow books to read at home which support early literacy among our pre schoolers.
The teachers used the books to teach key context, build vocabulary, literacy and comprehension just to mention a few. The teachers used a wide variety of genre to meet each child at their developmental level this supported best practices. The books allowed the students to travel the world without leaving Grenada which resulted in expanded knowledge.
A result of the students interacting with the books we have noticed a burning desire to picture read, early readers, increase in confidence, vocabulary, improved attention, better concentration, imagination and creativity among our boys and girls.
In an era like ours were early literacy is of utmost importance, we say thank you and look forward to the continued support and collaboration from Hand Across the Sea in supporting literacy.
Hands Across the sea and the Mustique Charatable Trust has transformed the library experience of the staff and students of the Calder Government School. What a transformation!
Our library is now very colourful and child friendly. Students look forward to spending time reading books in the library or borrowing books to read at home.
Reading seems to be very contagious these days. Teachers have also been enjoying the captivating stories found in these books.
There are books for every one!!
Thank you for empowering our students with these wonderful books. May you continue the great work.
The staff and students of the Kingstown Government School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are very grateful to have received books from Hands Across the Sea. This donation comprised of resource books as well as a variety of books from different genres which are of interest to our girls as well as our boys. We have seen more students reading as there are books at different grade levels to allow students to feel comfortable reading and achieving success. The books also provide a wide choice for students to complete their book reports for CPEA and assist us in achieving our goal of having students read at or above their grade level. Some parents have expressed their delight in seeing their child who was struggling achieve some measure of success in reading. Our school was a shelter following the eruption of La Soufriere volcano and we were able to loan books to some of the children to pass their time meaningfully as well as to help them psycho-socially. Thank you Hands Across the Sea! May God continue to bless you so you can be a blessing to others.
We at the Tete Morne Primary School are indeed grateful to Hands Across the Sea for their contribution of books to our school. Their donations have served us in many positive ways. We are able to set up class libraries where students have books at their disposal. Reading books will help build students' vocabulary; develop Comprehension skills; enhance imagination ; improve writing skills; expand knowledge and understanding of the outside world. Thanks to Hands Across the Sea and and their donors.
For many years ,we have been receiving books from Hands Across the Sea.We know for a fact that Hands Across the Sea is passionate about children and their literacy skills.
At the Campbell Primary School in the Commonwealth of Dominica has been a beneficiary of story and also Resource Books.
Our library is stock with different genre of books for the boys and girls. It also gives the students the opportunity to read books that interest them.
Teachers and students are excited about the library and the activities we have implemented.
We say, thank you, Hands Across the Sea.
The Dublanc Primary School in Diminica has been a recipient of story books from Hands Across the Sea.
These books were culture and age appropriate, adequate, and quite fun.
We have a school library and every class is also equipped with a reading corner. These books serve an apt purpose and align with our vision of creating a reading nation.
The staff and students are grateful for these timely and well thought of gestures from this organization.
Thanks to Hands Across the Sea, our library at Bense Primary School in the Commonwealth of Dominica is well furnished with a wide variety of books from different genres. The library is currently a place where our students, teachers and community members can research, and enjoy a good book. May Hands Across the Sea continue to be blessed .
My experience with Hands Across the Sea has been exceptional. My husband and I are sailors. I was able to connect with Harriet Linskey and Amanda Sherlip before we made the long trip to the Caribbean. They were organized and efficient, sharing important information that I would need to make the most of my time with Hands Across the Sea. I was able to meet and work with the experienced staff in Antigua, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Furthermore, I was able to observe firsthand the interactive environment that Hands Across the Sea provides in schools. Libraries were clean, vibrant, and full of books. Children and teachers alike were enthusiastic about participating in all aspects of the program. Sadly, we visited during the COVID pandemic, but this did not stop Hands Across the Sea from staying involved and continuing to reach out to children in safe ways. Mobile libraries were put in place, as well as outdoor reading spaces. Hands Across the Sea remained diligent and motivated through it all and I was so happy to be a part of it!
It was an overwhelming experience for the staff and students of the Leeward District SDA Primary School. It had been a dream of all and we looked forward with great anticipation. This dream became a reality, thanks to the dedication and commitment of Hands Across the Sea and Mustique Charitable Trust. The reopening of the school’s library was welcomed with joy and excitement highlighting our theme "Reading- the Gateway to Success".
It gave students the opportunity to open the gateway that leads to their success. This gateway will take them on lifelong journeys that will stretch their imaginations, open their eyes and take them to places they never thought of.
Since the reopening of the library, both students and teachers have been using every opportunity to utilize the books and materials. Each class was given a scheduled library time where the teacher takes the students to read or to do a lesson. This too is enjoyed by the students.
It is with grateful hearts that we say a special thank you and show great appreciation to Hands Across the Sea and Mustique Charitable Trust. May God continue to bless you as you spread love and joy to the hearts of many.
My name is Vernella Henderson Dumas and I am a teacher at the Christian Union Primary School and I must say, Hands Across The Sea has been nothing short of a blessing for our institution. Being a private school, we are often overlooked by the higher ups in relation to our school needs. After losing our library during Hurricane Maria, we were beginning to accept that we would never be able to supply this need for our students. Hands across the sea came in like angels and provided us with a plethora of reading material! We, as staff, enjoyed sitting together to stamp and tag the books in great expectancy of the students excitement. Giselle, their representative, was kind, helpful and pleasant and even guided us through the process of book prep and how to run our library with student librarians successfully. Such dedication. We have trained our student librarians who run the day to day activities in the library. The students are beyond overjoyed and can't get enough of the books! To add icing to this wonderful cake, we were fortunate to receive the Hands Across the Sea School Library Award for being the best student run library on our Island, Dominica! Thank you Hands Across The Sea! We are thankful for all you do for us and look forward to continuing this wonderful relationship onwards!
The staff and students of The Ciceron R. C. Combined School started a journey in September, 2019, to get the library off the ground. We were finally able to open the doors of our child-friendly library in March, 2020. Thanks to our generous donor, Hands Across the Sea, we were able to fill our bookshelves with an array of amazing books. This non-profit organization allowed us to have books of many genres which suited students with various reading abilities.
This new library has curbed many issues that students and teachers battled at the school. Students who once were struggling readers are now able to find books which they can read comfortably while increasing their reading abilities. The school’s population on a whole has demonstrated an increased interest and passion for reading. What is most noticeable is the excitement of the students of the special education program. As the Special Education teacher of Ciceron R. C. Combined School, I am pleased to report that this new set of books from Hands Across the Sea will continue to aid teachers in the teaching and learning process.
On behalf of the principal and staff of the Ciceron R. C. Combined School, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to Hands Across the Sea for this amazing donation. We would also like to thank an exceptional soul; Mrs. Clara Paul, who saw us through this journey. These resourceful books have not only made reading fun, but have made teaching interactive as well as efficient. We are grateful for your donation and look forward to your continued support.
Mrs. Francisca Harry-Jules
Special Educational Needs Teacher
Ciceron R. C. Combined School
We would like to thank Hands Across the Sea for their unwavering support of our remedial and special needs programs at our school; Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School. The provision of the remedial kits inclusive of the Decode and Develop readings books and the other resources such as the word tiles , bingo games and banana grams have been very beneficial to our remedial and special needs students thus far. After assessing our students and grouping them according to remedial and special needs, our teachers try to design lessons that address their challenges; this of course includes developing resources that can aid in the delivery of the lesson and or the understanding of language concepts. The resources donated by Hands Across the Sea make our jobs so much easier since we can just select one of the resources that apply to our lesson and at the same time give our students the opportunity to engage in hands on manipulatives that appeal to their interest and attention span.
The Decode and Develop books are used to teach every part of speech in the English language, comprehension strategies, vocabulary development, sentence structure and punctuation. The books are even used to develop thinking and writing skills as students can be allowed to continue the stories within their own context. The topics explored in the books attract teenagers attention and appeal to their interest. The Bingo games are a favorite. Apart from teaching vocabulary and consolidating sight words, it allows students the opportunity to collaborate and communicate with their peers depending of course on how dynamic the teacher becomes with his/her activities. The banana grams and word tiles are becoming very popular among student activities, as we have recently been using them more often to develop our students writing skills specifically spelling and sentence structure.
The provisions made by Hands Across the Sea are invaluable to our students literacy development a.nd we anticipate the further progress of our remedial students in oral, reading and writing development We hope that our relationship with this non profit organization continues to grow in the hope of curbing the poor literacy skills of our secondary school students.
Janin John - Gaillard
Literacy Specialist (SISSS)
On December 2018, a range of remedial resources was made available by the Hands Across the Sea non-profit organization to the Ciceron Secondary School for our use. We have been utilizing the resources for lessons at the Form One and Two Level. It was determined that these resources would be better suited for use during Language and Communication classes and within the Special Education Classes because of
a) The small size of those classes
b) the nature of the resources and the areas which they targeted
This meant that each student in the class would have access to the materials and teachers would be able to provide targeted individual assistance to each student. The materials were well received by teachers and students alike. Among their favourites were the Bananagrams, Bingo Games, Sentence Building Tiles and the Decode Readers.
One of the major issues plaguing our schools is that of poor literacy. With the remedial resources at our disposal, teaching various concepts became easier. Gradually students developed a greater competency in reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. The Decode Reader Set in particular, provided teachers with an opportunity at identifying students who required early remediation. Most importantly there was an increased potential for a boost in instruction strategies as teachers were able to help students accurately read basic words. Mini spelling assessments usually followed upon completion of a book as well as the exercises in the teacher manual.
The Sentence Building Tiles have been extremely valuable in helping students write better sentences. The Sentence-Building Tiles Set includes magnetic foam, color-coded word tiles plus sixteen punctuation tiles that can be combined to build thousands of meaningful sentences. Children develop reading fluency, understanding of word relationships, parts of speech, and beginning writing skills as they build simple sentences and practice reading them. This resource targets skills in the areas of fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and writing.
Considering the success of the previous package, we were quite elated when we received another package on January 2020. The books are students friendly, age and culturally appropriate. They touched on such a wide variety of topics that students found it easy to find one which suited their interests. Since our goal is to encourage reading, in the hopes of improving literacy among other essential skills, the books were a refreshing addition to our resources.
On behalf of the Ciceron Secondary School, I would like to express gratitude to Hands Across the Sea for undertaking this initiative in St Lucia. Your resources have made teaching and learning fun, interactive and efficient. We look forward to your continued support.
Ms. Melika Jules
Special Educational Needs Teacher
Ciceron Secondary School
The staff and students of the St. Aloysius R.C Boys' Primary school in St. Lucia are very grateful for the books donated by hands across the sea. The students have become even more interested in reading due to the wide variety of books that have been made available to them. As the school's librarian, I have seen great improvements in their reading levels ever since our library opened with the assistance of this organization. From my interactions with their representatives, I can honestly say that this is an organizational that is truly dedicated to increasing the literacy levels of children and we look forward to a continued partnership with them to ensure that our students read more and remain interested in reading.
The principal and staff of Soufriere Special Education & Rehabilitation Centre (S.S.E.RC.) in St.Lucia is truly grateful to have encountered this great foundation. Hands across the sea's donation of books with the aid of Mrs Clara Paul, Literacy Link Hands Across the Sea St. Lucia is truly a gift to us.These child friendly books and charts helped to create for us a beauty library. We are ecstatic about our new literary space at S.S.E.R.C. which has lighten up the atmosphere here at our school. We got books that are not only educational but are also captivating and suitable for the levels of our differently able students. As the literacy coordinator i believe that this is of greater value than many may realize. This new space is sure to be a blessing to our teachers and students and for this we the students and staff of S.S.E.R.C. will be eternally grateful to hands across the sea for this donation.
Sherry-Ann Wintz : Literacy coordinator S.S.E.R.C.
Irishtown Primary School We have been so happy with the donation from Hands Across the Sea. The children came and put together the floor mat that was sent. It was like putting a large puzzle together and they really enjoyed it. It has been a great addition for children to be able to sit on the mat during library time. The Fly Guy has been such a hit. The children love the characters and are asking for more from that series. It is so wonderful to see them get excited about reading. They are loving Diary of a Wimpy Kid as well. It has been wonderful for me to use guided reading books in the boxes with our grade five and six students. The topics in the books are relevant and I can do group reading with them and they can interact and answer questions. More guided reading sets for all grade levels would be extremely helpful for our students, myself and the teachers. Hands Across the Sea has delivered books that the children are interested in and it is making the students want to read more. We are so very happy to see these outcomes. On behalf of the Irishtown Primary School, we would like to say that Hands Across the Sea delivers and supports us.
St. Paul’s primary school. It was one exciting moment for both teachers and students, especially the students when we received the shipment of books from your organization in September. The books were a reflection of the wish list we provided and have now helped me to put another wish list together from interacting with the students. The students love the books so much that they have now put together a target as to who can read most of them by a certain time during this school term. Many of the books sent are relevant to the students and what they are learning. Some of the books also have recipes that the students want to try and make at home. The books are student-friendly and eye-catching so much so that the entire school has now engaged in the borrowing of books and some great reviews are given upon return. I also want to extend a great thank you for the reading floor mat. It is of great help as the children find it more comfortable now to sit/ lay and read. On behalf of myself the librarian, the principal, and the staff of the ST PAULS PRIMARY SCHOOL, I would like to thank you once again for your donation and your thoughtfulness in choosing the books sent. We really do appreciate your kindness.
Mt. Rose SDA Primary School
For a number of years, the Mt. Rose S.D.A Primary school did not have a functioning library. We had a room designated for the library but we had no books and there was much refurbishing to bring the room to a certain standard. Despite this challenge, we still established class libraries because we were aware of the importance of daily reading. Things were going well but there was not enough books and space to make the activities more interesting. In light of this, we approached an organization who donates Libraries to schools. A team came to look at our space but we did not meet the required standard for their donation so we had to seek alternatives.
We persevered and approached Hands Across the Sea with our need. They came and looked at our space and agreed to donate all the books. With such positive light, we decided to refurbish the space for ourselves. We got assistance from community and church members and was able to complete the work in a short space of time.
In October 2018, we had a grand opening of the library. A training session was held for the librarian and a schedule was given for every grade. The students were very excited to use the facility. Students started borrowing books on a daily basis. They were highly motivated to read because there was a wide variety of books to choose from based on reading levels and abilities. Students were always eager when it was their time to go to the library.
As a school, we monitor the activities in the library and we concluded that more students are reading at school, they are checking out books and reading levels are improving. We place a lot of emphasis on reading in our school because we believe that every child must leave our institution reading at a satisfactory level. We have been experiencing great success in reading since the renovation of our library and the donation of books by hands across the sea. Our students continue to compete in language competitions and gain victories.
Presently, the Courts OECS Reading Champion is our very own, Melody Garret. This student makes good use of her free time through reading. She reads a number of books weekly and is a frequent library user. She is also assigned as a student Librarian. We believe that we will continue to experience success in reading as we have more books at the school and a Library where students can be engaged in independent reading as well as group activities.
We are very grateful to “Hands Across the Sea” for their generous donation.
I was fortunate enough to find Hands Across the Sea via an article in the Searchlight online paper. Upon contact through the Hands website, I was connected with Mrs. Hanna Knecht, who in turn connected me with Mrs. Yevette Pompey and Mrs. Enna Bullock in St. Vincent. We met at the public library and they graciously invited me and my son to help deliver books to several of the local school libraries. This was such a great way to learn about the country and local communities. Of course, the kids were very excited to get new reading materials.
I was also able to help setup and attend a Teacher Resource Guide Workshop. It was encouraging to see many of the teachers get excited about new ways to involve the kids with reading.
One other way that I have been able to help is with small physical repairs in the school libraries, things like shelves and chairs. This has been very fun and I typically get to have some of the kids involved. They are very curious about the tools, where I am from, and whether I read. Of course I love to read and I encourage them to check out books to take home and read.
As I have traveled through the island of St. Vincent, I always ask the kids I meet if they use the library in their school. Almost without exception, they excitedly tell me yes. Most of them can even name either Mrs. Pompey or Mrs. Bullock by name.
This is a great program that I hope to continue assisting.
Hands Across the Sea has given birth to a new idea of setting up a library and resource area at Windsor Forest Pre-school in Grenada. A lot of work was done to enhance the learning environment at our school. Despite of our effort there was still a space in the setting that was underutilized. Thanks to our friends from Hands Across the Sea who acted as the midwife through their kind and generous donation of books and resource materials in bringing that idea to birth.
While awaiting the delivery, all hands came on board to do whatever was necessary in preparing for our gift. Preparation included painting of the floor, constructing and painting of the bookshelf.
The books were received. The library and resource area were set up. One can only imagine what a joy it was to see how happy the children were when they were introduced to the area. Every day after lunch they look forward to going into the area to read their favorite books. Sometimes they choose books and ask their teacher to read to them. They are able to associate and make connection from books to their favorite You Tube videos like Pepper Pig, Dr. Seuss and much more. Teachers also used the books and resource materials to aid in the teaching of the curriculum during small group, large group and plan-Do-Review time.
Parents were also impressed with what they saw. This was the exact words of a parent, “no wonder why Jaydon wants to make me crazy to read to him, so nice.”
It was indeed a kind gesture by our partners at Hands Across the Sea. We will be forever be grateful.
Thank you so much.
As a Language Teacher at the Grenada Seventh Day Adventist Comprehensive School (Grenada), I always believe that reading is the passport to one’s future success in life. Having the ability to read is one of the greatest gift anyone can give to him/herself. This is why our school is extremely happy that our dream of improving the school’s literacy levels has come to a fruition due to the timely contribution from Hands Across the Sea (referred to as HANDS in future references). We are deeply grateful to HANDS for their generous donation of books and other educational resources, including their immeasurable support from the Local Links Officers, Mrs. Gloria Bonaparte and Mrs. Bernadette John. I appreciate greatly their investment in my students’ education.
At our school, literacy is a challenge faced by several of our students; and it was extremely difficult to find interesting, educational, informative resources to help my students become independent readers. In this post-modern era where everything is online or technology-based, it is also very frustrating to motivate students to read books. In addition, due to low socio-economic backgrounds, my students do not have much reading material and learning resources at home. However, thanks to HANDS, this challenge is drastically minimized since the Remedial Reading Kit (RRK) and learning resources motivate my students to read and keep them actively engaged. The contributions from HANDS were truly a blessing.
Not only do I use the RRK books, the library books and the activities and games to teach reading, but also to teach various concepts and skills, such as comprehension, writing, listening and public speaking skills. Phonics, spelling and vocabulary are also taught using the RRK material and library resources. I conduct whole classes, small group sessions and individual pull-out sessions. The topics covered in the RRK books cover a wide expanse of information, which connects to my students and helps them to broaden their knowledge. These books are relevant, interactive and creative, and keep the students’ interest, while making the teaching – learning process fun. In addition, the activities provide scaffolding, which assists all students, especially the very frustrated readers. The lesson plans provided in the Teacher’s Guide makes planning easier as there are step-by-step guidelines for teaching the language skills a student will need.
As a result, my students have become more enthused to learn and read books. They enjoy their classes and are now eager to participate in class discussions and activities. They love manipulating with the games and other material. Some of their favourite books include ‘Hip Hop’, ‘Tats’, ‘The Mix’, 'Blue Sea', ‘Drones’ and ‘Snakes’. They all love playing the Bingo games and using the ‘Banagrams’, the ‘Letter Tiles’, ‘Photo Tiles’ and ‘Flashcards’. As a teacher, I also enjoy using the resources to teach, and I have fun with my students.
Furthermore, I am the coordinator of the Student Librarian Programme and help the librarians to manage the library in our school. Our library space is small, and our school has been lacking adequate and updated reading material for a long while until HANDS decided to take us under its wing. With regards to our spacing, our school is soon to be renovated, and provisions have been made for a bigger and more efficient space for our library. However, in the meantime, we have renovated and rejuvenated our present library, and we now have a proper functioning library that our students visit regularly. Students also have started borrowing books to take home to read. The Student Librarians have also been a great help in assisting the librarians and encouraging other students to read the books.
Moreover, I have organised various weekly, monthly and quarterly library activities and events to encourage more students to visit the library and read books and to increase the general literacy levels across the school. Some of these activities are “Reader of the Month Contest, Story-time, Read-Along, Share the Read, Drop Everything and Read, Book Character Day, Book Swap, Buddy Readers, Be a Good Sport and Read, Poetry Slam, Book and Song Contest and Language Game On”. We are also in the process of organizing a Book Club and a Local Authors Programme for our students.
In order to facilitate the teaching and learning of phonological awareness, spellings, oral reading, listening and speaking skills and some of our library events, I have already begun making plans to incorporate technology in our library such as obtaining an IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System, an Electric Motorized Projector Screen, Headsets and a Surround Sound Speaker System. I believe that this technology, together with the contributions from HANDS, will greatly enhance all aspects of literacy throughout our school and improve the quality of education provided to our students.
We look forward to continued support from Hands Across the Sea; and on the behalf of my school, I once again express my deepest gratitude for their exceptional contributions.
Nicole Romain-Saiyed (Mrs.)
Language Teacher & Library Coordinator
I had the privilege of visiting schools in Nevis with Heidi from Hands Across the Sea. I was so impressed with how she dealt with each and every school and principal, knowing how to meet their needs and manage the unique personalities of each principal and educator with whom she supported. They were all very happy to see her and glad for her books and support. She provided professional learning materials with the books and also asked very targeted questions to make sure that the organization was meeting the students needs. I look forward to spending another afternoon with Heidi the next time she visits.
Hands Across Sea is our major donor of books for our library, at the St.George's S.D.A. Primary School, in Grenada. The library is fully functional and the students are enjoying the books. The books are used by the teachers to teach various concepts and skills in all subject areas. Students wear I Love Reading badges which indicates to others that they are independent readers. The books are used in innovative ways to reinforce lessons taught or to teach a new lesson. For example, struggling readers tell parts of a story from pictures only while independent readers read and find the parts of a story.
I will post some photos/videos next time. One of our upcoming activity is, the students who are now on a second library card will be presented with certificates.
I am a Peace Corps Volunteer working to improve literacy at a primary school in the island of Grenada. The school’s library was set up by Hands Across the Sea, and the resources provided have been key to the success of my work. I work with small groups of students from various grades who need additional help in reading and writing. During our small group sessions, we practice alphabet knowledge and phonics, utilizing letter flashcards and letter tiles for games and activities. We also engage in guided reading, in which we use the sets of small books to read together as a group. The sets of books provide information such as the main phonics used in the book, the high-frequency words, and suggestions for vocabulary words. The books also provide comprehension questions and activities at the end, appropriate to the reading level. Further, there are a wide variety of genres provided, from fiction and nonfiction, to plays and folk tales. Overall, these resources make planning lessons much easier, as well as help make lessons interesting, engaging, and hands-on for the students. This would not be possible without the generous donations of Hands Across the Sea to our school library.
I also help to run the Student Librarian Program at my school, which has been consistently supported by Hands Across the Sea, both in terms of the resources available in the library and one-on-one personal support. On a regular basis, a representative from Hands Across the Sea visits and checks in on the running of the library. During these visits, she always makes sure to inquire about the student librarians, and helps brainstorm ways to improve the program and continuously promote the involvement of students in the library. Without this interpersonal support, the student librarian program wouldn’t be what it is today, with around 45 students participating in the program in the past year, providing essential services that keep the library running smoothly. Because of the successful Student Librarian Program and the work and support of Hands Across the Sea, 768 books were checked out from our school library last term, and 313 books have been checked out from the library so far this term! Hands Across the Sea has been indispensable in helping promote literacy at our school!
*These views are my own and do not reflect those of the Peace Corps or U.S. government.
This was a monumental year for Hands Across the Sea! Our 2019 Programs Statistics tell the story:
2019 Literacy Link Totals
• 11 total Literacy Links
• 411 total schools (total no. of schools in 2019 LATs)
• 7,528 total hours
• 1,453 total school visits
2019 TEACHER WORKSHOP INFO
• 481 total educators reached
• 19 total teacher workshops
2019 STUDENT LIBRARIAN TRAINING
• 544 student librarians trained
• 40 student librarian trainings
2019 RECIPIENTS RECEIVED BOOKS/EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
• 121 schools/projects directly helped this year
Hands Across the Sea is having a powerful impact on the children in the Caribbean in giving them opportunity through literacy! This year, Hands Across the Sea has developed Teacher Training workshops and a 180-page publication called the Teachers Resource Guide to the Library to equip and support K-3 educators in utilizing the resources we have sent over the years. Hands Across the Sea has Remedial Reading Toolkits to more than 60 secondary schools and has developed teacher training workshops to support educators in utilizing its tools with their teen struggling readers.
Hands Across the Sea continues to send thousands of new, vibrant, and enriching picture books and chapter books that children can connect with to school libraries. In addition, Hands trains students to be librarians and guardians of the libraries through our Student Librarian training program. Hands Across the Sea has one to two program officers in each country called Literacy Links, and they monitor the schools on an ongoing basis and provide support to educators to make sure the libraries remain relevant and sustainable. Literacy Links also document the borrowing records during a school visit to track how much each library is being utilized. Hands Across the Sea also tracks the growth of school libraries with a student to book ratio. Hands Across the Sea has quality controls in place to monitor the progress of each school by reviewing Library Monitoring Forms and working with principals and school staff through our Literacy Links to develop action plans for the areas that are in need of growth. This is huge, because not only does Hands establish new libraries--Hands sustains them for generations and generations of students to come!
Over my years working with schools in the Eastern Caribbean region, I have been amazed to see the work Hands Across the Sea has done. To watch school libraries blossom and transform from barely used spaces to flourishing centers for reading is absolutely remarkable. Peace Corps Volunteers have enjoyed having the opportunity to engage students in reading the books and fostering a genuine love for reading and respect for libraries. Hands Across the Sea has given Eastern Caribbean schools an extraordinary gift that will keep giving for many years to come.
*Please note that the views I have expressed here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Governments of any country in the Eastern Caribbean.
WoodfordHill Primary School
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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 .
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!!
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.
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.
Remedial Reading Teacher
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!
Dieppe Bay Primary School
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Good day all just wanted to give a big thank you to Hands Across the Sea for the great workshop which Mrs.Hannah Knecht conducted in Antigua in March of this year. Hannah introduced the Teachers Resource Guide which has a plethora of great ideas for teaches to utilize. The TRG workshop was very informative and the teachers were very excited about the wealth if information they received. Personally the workshop gave me added encouragement to go to my school and use the TRG to enhance my everyday instruction.
once again thank you for your continued support to our school and our Twin Island State.
Liberta Primary School
Hands across the Sea has been instrumental in the development of the our School's Library at the Liberta Primary school in Antigua and Barbuda.As the teacher librarian I am proud and grateful for the partnership with hands and the support that our library has been given.Special thank you to the Mr and Mrs.Linski for their care and continued support.To Mrs.Tomlison thank you for always being just a phone call away with support and encouragement.To all the donors thank you for opening up your hearts in assisting our Island to improve the literacy levels of our children.
Liberta Primary School
On behalf of Kids Unlimited School in Antigua, I cannot say enough wonderful things about Hands Across the Sea. They have been instrumental in us creating and maintaining an excellent library that our students love. My heart broke one day when I noticed a student smelling a book to decide if she wanted to check it out. With the amazing new books provided by Hands Across the Sea, we were able to get rid of the old, outdated, musty books. Now our library is stocked with current, interesting and relevant books that the students love.
As a librarian, I love to sit back and listen to the students' conversations during library time. They discuss the latest Geronimo Stilton book they read and the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid book they want to read. They look through the beautiful picture books and exclaim "look how cool this is!" to their peers. Others sit and read quietly, lost in the world of a book.
This organization doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk - the on-island, hands-on support is outstanding. On behalf of the students, principal, staff and myself (as volunteer librarian), I'd like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the staff and donors of Hands Across the Sea. With your support and generosity we now have a "cool" library that the students are proud of!
I discovered this worthy cause on Twitter. I was so surprised to see a charity focused on the Caribbean islands, especially Dominica where my husband and his family were born! From helping the teachers with Literacy Lynx, to delivering thousands of books a year, Hands Across the Sea, Inc. helps kids learn to read, and become life-long readers.
The Stephanie Browne Primary School Clifton, Union Island has been receiving support with books and school supplies from the Hands Across The Seas since 2011 and has been, every year since.
It was indeed a well needed supplement for the School Library. It helps to make the children have fun reading a variety of books and open up their minds to being inquisitive about things happening in the world.
Thank You Very much Hands Across the Seas.
Hands across the seas in collaboration with The Early Learners Program (ELP) are geared towards curbing the literacy deficiency within our schools. Hands across the seas is at present creating libraries within all the primary schools on the island. Not only are they creating the libraries but are providing books that will aid teachers and students in the teaching and learning process.
This didactic approach is to ensure that all school children gain the opportunity to become literate. The books are carefully selected to aid in the development of literacy skills such as comprehension, fluency, decoding, making predictions and inferring.
Our library officially opened in January of this year, with the aid of Mrs. Clara Paul, Hands across the seas coordinator. We at the Odsan Combined School are indeed grateful for this facility, as it plays an integral part in our instructions. We look forward to the continued support from Hands Across the Seas and will work diligently to help in increasing the literacy skills of our students.
We the principal, staff and students of the Grenada Christian Academy school take this opportunity to extend thanks and appreciation to Hands Across The Sea for the generous donation over the years.
With the wide variety of books received we are able to have a reading competition evert term and it has helped to raise the literacy level at the school. We are looking forward to including the community members and parents to be part of the library for the new school year.
We would forever be grateful for these donations.
Delinjah Rennie. Grenada Christian Academy. Librarian
we the principal ,staff and student of the St.Dominic's R.C school extend sincere thanks and appreciation for the donation of books and educational supplies to our students . the books are colourful, quite suitable to our level and child friendly. our students and teachers are excited and are looking forward to using these resources. we are forever grateful that you have shown interest in our students becoming better researches and fluent readers . you made us very happy. thank you. Latoya Christopher St.Dominic's R.c School Librarian
The Charlewsorth T Samuel Primary School in Antigua has benefitted from the donation of books from Hands Across the Sea. Our students have a renewed interest in Reading. We were able to set up individual classroom libraries and reading corners. The students look forward to relaxing in the reading corners with a book during our Drop Everything And Read sessions. We will be doing our best to get a school library established in the upcoming school year. Thanks, Hands Across the Sea.
Lauders Primary School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has benefited tremendously from donations from Hands Across the Sea. In the Fall of 2017, we received a windfall of wonderful leveled readers, including the King Series with small tubs to keep them neatly shelved. These we have used daily with students to motivate them and improve their reading. It was especially helpful to be given multiple copies of books for small group teaching and guided reading practice. In addition, Hands Across the Sea provided materials to process the books. The administrators of the Hands Across the Sea program personally visited our school to see how we were doing with the new materials and to get feedback about the program. It is a blessing to have their help and it has indeed positively impacted our reading program and student success. I like the practice Hands Across the Sea uses of asking schools for a wish list and striving to meet the request with suitable books.
Lauders Primary School
The staff and students of the St. John's Christian Secondary School are extremely grateful for the generous donation of books received from Hands Across the Sea, Inc over the years.
The books that we have received are very relevant and the content is aligned to the interest of the students. This non profit organisation has brought smiles to the faces of the students of this institution. There are many students who have a passion for reading however due to financial constraints their family members may not be able to purchase additional reading materials for them.
This non profit organisation is outstanding in the service it provides as it relates to the sourcing and delivery of books in very good condition. Additionally Thom and Harriet Limsky have demonstrated great love for the students. The organisation has granted our students the opportunity to dream and strive for future success.
Our prayer as a learning institution is that this organisation will continue to receive support so that they will be able to touch many more your lives.
The Principal, staff and students of the Clare Hall Secondary School are extremely grateful for the generosity of the team at Hands Across the Sea. Your contribution of books has served to reignite a passion for reading among our very diverse student population, and has also made our after school "book club" a major hit.
It is also important to point out that in addition to the age appropriate titles, we have also been the beneficiary of additional resources which have significantly aided in literacy development among our struggling students.
We look forward to continued good relations with Hands Across the Sea, and wish you every success in your future ventures.
Hands Across the Sea has certainly made our wishes come true and we will be forever appreciative of this meaningful and timely contribution. The Principal, Staff and Students of the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School (Grenada) wish to extend profound gratitude to Hands Across the Sea for the generous donation of learning resources. This gift came at a time when we were campaigning for more books for our library to add quantity, quality, variety and depth to the reading materials we provide for our students. We feel very fortunate to be the recipients of all the books on our wish list, educational games, charts and teaching aids which adorn our library walls and are used by our teachers in the classroom and also resources to support our literacy programme. Our staff and students have been making optimal use of these resources and we have seen heightened interest in reading. Our students are spending more time in the library and are enthusiastically exploring a variety of reading materials. Our library has been enhanced and the benefits are already visible in the reading, writing and general expression of our students. We look forward to continued support from Hands Across The Sea and pray every blessing on this wonderful non- profit organization. Our School, our library is a better place because of your help. Thanks for investing in the lives of our students and shaping their futures.
St. Andrew's Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) Family
The Questelles Government School is extremely grateful for the donation of literacy resources from Hands Across the Sea. This timely intervention has resulted in renewed interest in reading among our student population, and teachers have been offered additional options for literacy instruction. I must point out that all of the resources are brand new, and not only are the titles exciting, but they cater for students' diverse needs and interests. The additional technical support that we have received cements the fact that the organization is committed to its mission. Thank you, Hands Across the Sea! We look forward to your continued support.
The Principal, Staff and Students of the Cedar Grove Primary School in Antigua convey profound gratitude and appreciation, to the Hands Across the Sea Organization, and representative, Mrs. Lisa Tomlinson, for the generous contribution of books to the school over the years. We can assure you that your timely donation has serve to enhance our Literacy Programme whereby a large range of books are made available to students from Kindergarten through Grade 6. Not only the quantity but the quality of books is quite impressive. The Library is now a place frequented by students throughout the day. This renewed interest in the Library is largely due to the many action-packed books which you provided that the children find enthralling. We are also able to complement this fun reading with a scheduled Library Period for each class. We are now seeing a definite improvement in the reading of our students and must again say ‘Thanks a Million’ to Hands Across the Sea and Partners for this priceless gesture. We look forward to your continued support as we endeavour to enhance the literacy environment for our students even further.
The Staff and students of the George Stephens Senior Secondary School joined hands with Hands Across the years many years ago and the support we have received from this non-profit organisation far exceeded our expectations.This year alone we received phonic packets, differentiated word sorts word and sentence building charts, high interest low level (hi-low) reading books among other things. It is for this reason that we express our sincerest gratitude.
These donations go a along way to augment our existing reading remediation programme and our school library. The books and other materials generate and sustain interest in reading in the most critical students in reading.
We do anticipate a continued relationship with Hands Across the Seas now and in the future.