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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 through transformative school and community library programs.

Results: As of the 2020 school year, Hands has reached over 140,000 children on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines with over half-a-million new books, mentorship programs and literacy initiatives. Hands has helped create or rejuvenate over 873 school and 50 community libraries and is focused on long-term sustainability of libraries and instilling a love of reading in children’s and families’ lives.

Target demographics: children read

Direct beneficiaries per year: 45,000+ students at 800+ schools

Geographic areas served: Eastern Caribbean

Programs: Hands Across the Sea's Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) Program and Preschool Program put children's literacy front and center. Our literacy experts work directly with students, educators, and school administrators to deliver literacy initiatives and reading programs that are changing the lives of thousands of children each year. Because of Hands Across the Sea's commitment, over 167,000 children have grown up with access to new, culturally appropriate, relevant books. Local Program Officers are from the communities where they are working - not only are they trusted experts in the community, but they understand how to mobilize and connect services that meet people where they are and make transformation happen.

Community Stories

310 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Irishtown Primary School on St. Kitts is a great little school situated in a tough neighborhood. The children struggle against great odds and challenges. As a Peace Corps Volunteer serving at this school for the last two years, it has been most gratifying to see how well the students have accepted the improved library, thanks in large measure to Hands Across the Sea and my local Rotary Club in Salisbury, Maryland. The Irishtown kids' innate desire to learn shines through with the appropriate and excellent selection of books Hands Across the Sea sent to us. Any donation to this organization is well invested in improving the literacy of Caribbean children. Thanks for your support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea is an invaluable resource to librairies across the Caribbean. They are dedicated and hard working, making sure the supplies that are needed are received. They go out of their way to analyze the situation and make sure that the subsequent effort is made. I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in a secondary school in St. Vincent. Earlier this year we receieved 16 boxes of books and art supplies which have completely transformed our library and art program. The students are gobbling up the new books and art classes are now in session thanks to the new art supplies.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you would like to provide some type of positive support in the Caribbean, I cannot think of a single organization better equipped to do so than Hands Across the Sea. They epitomize service with a smile, and their efficiency and passion in providing relevant books to a vociferous young readership looking for a story that will make their imagination run rampant, is truly commendable. I expect that this organization will only grow in the years to come, and it is needed as the lack of reading material can hold even the most detailed of projects back.
Please help this organization out!
~St. Lucia Peace Corps Volunteer

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Hands Across The Sea played a central roll in the development of our school library. I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Eastern Caribbean on the small islands of St. Vincent and the Grendaines. I work at a small primary school in the rural part of St. Vincent that is largely under developed. In order to promote literacy I reaced out to Hands Across The Sea for assistance in sourcing new books for the children at the school. The response of children to the new books has been incredibly positive. Everyday I find students in the library reading a book quietly by themselves. A sight that was almost non existent before the arrival of new books. Hands Across The Sea has also assisted with art materials which has a allowed children to express themselves creatively. The school and myself are so very thankful for the help that was given by Hands Across The Sea. Thank you so much.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Hands Across the Sea has upheld the standards of providing great quality books for students in the Caribbean to increase literacy rates. Thanks to this dedicated organization, the secondary school at which I currently serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer now has a semi-functional library. As soon as the books arrived from Hands Across the Sea, a noticeable difference in the students’ attitudes toward reading and learning has been demonstrated. Students were curious and eager to help set up the library and start borrowing books. Before I was introduced to Hands Across the Sea, I was unsure where to begin to obtain new and relevant books to establish a library as the school I was attached (as this was one of the projects outlined for me by the principal). When I arrived at the school there were no books and no library. Without the assistance from Hands Across the Sea, students at this rural secondary school would continue to lack access to books, as they are very expensive. Now, the students can borrow over 500 new books that interest them. The work that Harriet and T.L. do is invaluable to increasing literacy rates, improving educational opportunities but also in building students’ overall character.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Newtown Primary School in Dominica was the first school Hands Across the Sea adopted in Dominica. This non profit organization was like a beacon of light to the staff and students at the school. The founders of this organisation donated thousands of fiction and non fiction books to the school. Libraries that contributed to a conducive learning environment were built in all classrooms. Teaching materials for all subjects across the curriculum including French were given. Imagine the delight of the students when they received sporting supplies and gears from Hands Across the Sea. The kindness of Harriet and Tom did not end there. These people took personal interest in students and staff members alike. They built the libraries from materials they purchased for each classroom themselves, they help teacher trainees, they taught the students especially those with remedial needs. They took classrooms at the school on days when teachers were absent. They furnished a French room and provided materials to help furnish a numeracy resource center at the school. The kindness shown by the co founders of Hands Across the Sea is indescribable. In my 18 years at the Newtown Primary School I have never seen such generosity. Their contribution has helped the students and staff of the Newtown Primary School tremendously in a variety of ways. Presently, Hands Across the Sea is co- sponsoring the National Primary Schools French Festival carded for June 14th 2012. Hands Across the Sea is a 5 Star organization and I'm giving it to them 'hands down'. Continue doing the life changing work that you are doing Hands Across the Sea. Thanks to you we will have a more educated future generation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a fresh volunteer in my island of service when I found out about Hands Across the Sea from the other volunteers. I didn't think I would need their assistance until the school I worked at asked if I knew anyone that could help donate a few books. I told my school that I had heard of some great people. Our request was submitted late to Hands Across the Sea, but that did not stop them from going above and beyond what we had asked for. In no time at all I was contacted by the organization and they informed me that they could send me 8 boxes of books! On top of that, they provided the school and I with advice on developing our library and reading program. Hands Across the Sea was with us the entire way. Even after the books had arrived the organization was interested in how we were doing. Why? Because Hands Across the Sea truly cares about the youth of this generation and ensuring that they are provided with the materials and atmosphere they need to develop as prominent individuals. Hands Across the Sea provides an amazing service for the schools in the Caribbean, they do all the work and the students see all the benefits. Thanks again, Hands!

Ina H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thanks to Hands Across the Sea Villa Primary School got hundreds of really great books. I am have worked with them throughout the past year while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Antigua and Barbuda. Hands helped us get books that were in great condition and provided access to books at a reduced cost and helped us make sure we got a really . wonderful variety. I appreciated how easy it was to make contact with them and sort out any questions or concerns I had. Additionally, they have gone beyond helping my school get books to assisting in bringing a some professional training to the teachers so that they can better utilize the resources in the library, which in the long run helps the library be sustainable. Hands Across the Sea has shown themselves to be very committed to the schools they are providing books to and they are helping to ensure a successful library for the children and teachers at Villa Primary.

Julie54

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HATS offered amazing support during my Peace Corps service. They were so willing to help and donate that a small school in the countryside of Dominica was able to get a new library! HATS provided the school with hundreds of books the children were so thankful for! The communication between the organization and myself was fantastic and I felt they truly cared about this individual school, among all the rest that they provide for. Thank you HATS for your dedication to so many people in need!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to Hands Across the Sea, my rural secondary school in the poorest parish of Grenada received enough high-interest, brand-new books to start a new lending library! Books are very expensive and rare in this country, which proved to be a huge barrier in improving literacy rates among teens. They were super professional, timely, and supportive. A wonderful organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Peace Corps Volunteer on the island of St. Lucia I was assigned to work with a primary school in the heart of the city center, one of the town's oldest schools with very limited resources. Hands Across the Sea provided nine boxes full of age-appropriate books in great condition that became Anglican Primary School's first library. The children are so very excited about the books and often read them in small groups, engaging in heated discussions over topics such as "which reptile is most powerful" and the like. They now have the chance to be engaged and stimulated by books, and it's great to see. Overall, it was a very positive experience working with HATC. They were reliable, communicated clearly what they expected and needed from my role, and even followed up later to ensure the books were being utilized and the school had the necessary resources (bookshelves.)

Client Served

Rating: 5

The books that the village that I live and work in recieced from Hands Across the Sea are not only allowing avid readers to continue in reading additional books, but also encourage struggling readers to do so! Children that I had not seen in the library before, are now coming in to check out books. The grade 6 has noticed reading comprehension increasing, which would not have been possible without the books from this incredible organization. Thank you Hands Across the Sea, for all the work that you've done in St. Lucia as well as the rest of the Caribbean!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization! The books they provide to children across the Caribbean are top-notch and school children all over the region are thrilled to read new, interesting books. Their collaboration with shipping companies and local organizations to clear donations through customs makes donations to Hands by far the most cost-effective, useful way of supporting schools in the Caribbean!

Steven14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea is a wonderful organization that provides much needed books to the Caribbean. As a current Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in St. Lucia, I have partnered with Hands Across the Sea to provide books for my school attachment. When I first started working on the school’s library, I was disheartened by the dearth of appropriate reading materials. Many of the books in the library were either outdated textbooks, books on United States Politics, or other books geared for adults. Of the few age appropriate books the library did have, many had been damaged by life in the tropics. Termites had at one point in time infested the library, damaging and destroying books in their wake; many had to be thrown away. When I contacted Hands Across the Sea, they helped me to raise funds, and by the end of the year, they shipped thirteen boxes full of fun, colorful, books to my school. When the children saw all the new books, every one of the students talked about the books that they wanted to read first. It was an absolutely great thing to see. Reading fluency in St. Lucia is an area where students consistently underperform becoming a source of great frustration for the students, so to see students get excited about reading, truly warmed my heart. Unquestionably, Hands Across the Sea does their part to alleviate illiteracy and foster a love of reading in the Caribbean. I hope to partner again with Hands Across the Sea, because they do their very best to provide quality books to children in the Caribbean.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful organization. As a Peace Corps Volunteer on the island nation of Dominica, Hands gave me valuable encouragement and insight on building a library for my rural community's primary school. Communication with Hands is smooth and easy and Harriet and T.L. are extremely dedicated and a joy to work with. Get in touch with Hands to help improve literacy in the Caribbean!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea has been dedicated to enhancing my school’s library from the very beginning. The library at my school needed a facelift and new, excellent children’s books but I had no idea where to start. Touring libraries of other volunteers across St. Vincent led me to Hands Across the Sea. The organisation immediately got on board and provided my school with hundreds of culturally appropriate children’s books for our library. The books are from the best authors and they give my children the chance to grow their imagination through reading. The books donated have helped build my school’s confidence in the project and I can see a new level of enthusiasm and commitment to our library.

Harriet and Tom have always had a positive and supportive attitude. They help to motivate me and have provided direction when we have difficulty fundraising our renovation. After emailing them stumped and in need of a new lead, they responded instantly offering support and funding for new paint.

My story is not unlike other volunteers on St. Vincent who have worked with their schools to transform children’s reading experience. The projects have outlived the volunteers and helped to address the lack of appropriate, children’s books in public schools.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea has been a total pleasure to work with. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I first heard of their organization from the favorable, word-of-mouth reputation they have developed from working with other volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean region. Harriet and Tom provide an exceptional service to us PC volunteers and it is more comprehensive than just the delivering of books. At first they shared with me a neat method for managing my library and provided me with a small grant to purchase the resources to kick start it without even me asking first. Then of course came the fundraising which proceeded terrifically. We were able to raise the funds to purchase approximately 800 new and gently used books for our school library. Needless to say, this created boundless excitement among the students and staff. Throughout the process Harriet and Tom were at the tip of my fingers, so to speak, because if I ever needed to send them an email or make a phone call, they typically respond immediately. I've always felt that they've had my back as a PCV. Harriet and Tom are hard working, innovative, and exceptionally personable. You don't find too many people in the world who are easier to work with than the folks at Hands Across the Sea. We've also managed to meet in person on multiple occasions; they are very generous with their time. In the end, Hands Across the Sea provides a service with dedication and originality that fits oh so well with our roles as Peace Corps volunteers. I am very grateful to have been able to work with Hands Across the Sea.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, I am Norma-Jean Arey, a Peace Corps volunteer on the Caribbean Island of Antigua. I am developing a literacy/library for St. Mary's Secondary and New Winthorpes Primary.

I found out about Hands Across the Sea from another volunteer on another island. Two other volunteers and I contacted Harriet and TL and their response was immediate. They met with the three of us and not only gave us the information on how they could be of service to us, they were enthusiastic and encouraging about what we were doing. They were and still are great cheerleaders!

In the short time of eight months Hands Across the Sea has provided funds for painting. They have aleady provided books and shipped them through a partnership with Mill Reef Club here on the island.

The excitement and interest by the students and teachers in the literacy/library has increased tremendously due to new paint and new books. The students took a great interest in helping with the painting. They were not coereced - they volunteered. It was a wonderful fun two days. We only had two whole gallons of paint (oil based and acrylic) knocked over! This is quite remarkable considering how many students came to help.Since then students casually drop by during breaks and lunch and peruse the books or sit and chat.

Another fantastic quality of Harriet and TL is that they are so accessible. Whenever I have called with a question or a need they get back to me very quickly. Even better - they are (in good old southern terms) just right good folks.

This job would have been very daunting and almost impossible if it had not been for the help and support of Hands Across the Sea.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is the donations of books and materials from Hands across the Seas that empowered the Stephanie Browne Primary School on Union Island, The Grenadines, St.Vincent; to improve its level of reading skills among our students. It also helped to improve The Schools Reading Programme and aloow students to borrow books every week. Thanks and the staff and students are proud of your efforts in donating to our future generation.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea is a dedicated organization to helping children in the Caribbean increase their reading interest and ability. They were wonderful in gathering books for our secondary school where many of the students are behind in literacy. We are working on a school library and they have supplied us with so many great books for the students. Thank you for all the hard work to all the staff and especially Harriet and Tom!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The level of personal dedication and passion demonstrated by Harriet and TL was truly inspiring. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Dominica from 2009-2011. I heard about Hands Across the Sea from fellow Volunteers who had tremendously positive experiences with them. They personally visited all the schools the worked with. I was very excited when I learned they were going to be visiting the primary school in the village of Penville, where I worked. They spoke at length with the principal of the school, displaying a level of diligence and attentiveness to the specific needs and circumstances of the school, visited the different classrooms, spoke with teachers and students, and did everything one could do to get a solid picture of how they could assist Penville Primary. Kitchen supplies such as bowls and forks were purchased immediately. The level of accountability that Hands Across the Sea brings to their work is uncanny and rare in the development world. You want to help kids read in the Caribbean? Hands is the way to go.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We at the Trafalgar Primary School in the Commonwealth of Dominica are very grateful for Harriet and Hands Across the Sea. We designed and organized a Reading Room at the school in 2010, to improve the literacy levels among our students. It took quite a lot of fund-raising activities to organize this Reading Room. At the end we had very few books which we sought from some donors.
However, while our staff was at a workshop on 17th February 2010, with teachers from neighboring schools creating some Literacy Learning Centers, I met with Harriet Linskey and heard more about Hands Across the Sea. I knew a little about the organization from a news report, on our local radio station. I then invited her to our school to see what could be done for us regarding our project. She came in with her husband Tom on 21st April 2010 and saw the Reading Room with the few books which we had and decided to assist us. She worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer who assisted at the school and asked us for a wish-list. We did send this wish list and much to our surprise we received more than we expected. On 22nd November 2010 we received eight boxes of supplies including 566 books and other school supplies. There was a box of books for boys which is is very useful, since many boys are underachieving. Now our Reading Room is well stocked with books and staff and students alike make good use of them. Some books have also been placed in the School Library, Class libraries and some are used as resource materials for the teachers.
The other school resources are quite useful to us, since we are a small, rural, multigrade school. We also received a printer which came in at an opportune time, because we had no operational printer at the school. This printer came with a number of ink cartridges, so we do not have to buy in the near future. Now the staff prints class activities, assessments, homework, letters and other school documents. Students are eager to come in the room to read presently.
We thank God for the resources which we received from Hands Across the Sea. Without this organization it would have been very difficult for us to stock the Reading Room and we would not have been able to obtain what we have now.
I rate Hands Across the Sea as an outstanding nonprofit organization, which should continue its great work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

While serving as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Dominica in 2010, I met Harriet and TL at my village primary school. They were professional and compassionate. They took the time to sit down with the teachers and me to help us identify needs and explained the process clearly. While the donations were being gathered back in the U.S., they kept in frequent contact and when the supplies arrived on island it was beyond what we could've imagined in both quality and quantity. The process went so smoothly and important books and school supplies got into the hands of those who need them most. Hands Across the Sea cares deeply about the students and teachers it serves in the Caribbean as well as its contributors and actively shows donors where their money or in-kind support goes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Grenada from 2009-2011. During my service I heard about Hands Across the Sea and the amazing work they were doing by providing books and materials to students in the Eastern Caribbean so I decided to contact them. Since my first enquiry, Harriet and T.L. had been so welcoming and attentive to the needs of the school I was working with. The Hands Across the Sea team did a tremendous job finding and supplying my school with over 800 books and 3 boxes of office supplies! With those books, we were able to create a 'first-ever' library at my school!

Shannon L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in St Vincent and the Grenadines from 2008-2010, and I heard about Hands Across the Sea from our Country Director in the Eastern Caribbean. I got in contact with the organization to see if they could help me with some grant writing and also to build a better collection of books at the secondary school where I worked. I can not say enough good things about Hands Across the Sea, and its cofounder, Harriet. She was so helpful and took so much interest in the work I was doing at my school. From the beginning, she seemed genuinely concerned not only with sending supplies but making local contacts and figuring out exactly what each school in St Vincent really needed. So many nonprofits that work in other countries have the best of intentions, but don't succeed because they never make a real connection with the people they are serving. This organization is different -- with a focus on supporting schools in the Caribbean in a sustainable way. Additionally, the books that we received were amazing -- box after box packed with current, popular young adult fiction, in great condition. Previous to receiving books from Hands, I also received books from two other nonprofits. The books that were donated to my school by Hands were by far the best quality. I really was so pleased with my experience working with Hands Across the Sea and I know that they will do great work in the Caribbean for years to come.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Isaiah Thomas Secondary school is one of the secondary schools on the island of Dominica that has benefited tremendously from the outstretched Hands Across The Sea. We have seen the construction and refurbishment of A literacy centre which brought about a revived interest in reading among the students. the construction of shelves helped increase storage space in the library and literacy centre. The Lindskeys have been so generous and gracious that they have been welcomed at the school as family members. They are very warm and hard working individuals who have given their time, money and expertise in enhancing and advancing our educational goals. we appreciate and welcome their efforts and willingness to help us purchase some of the furniture and equipments needed to run a successful literacy programme. Considering the limited resources at the school I can safely say that without the contributions form "Hands Across the Sea" we would not have made the strides that we boast of today. so as the Principal of the school I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the organization for their intervention in our school life. Thank you 'Hands Across the Sea".

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhance literacy in the Caribbean. Due to the economic situation, many of our primary schools lack the necessary resources needed for children to succeed. Hands Across saw the need and decided to be proactive. They have provided lots of reading material and school resources to a number of primary and secondary schools in Dominica. They have also assisted in repairing libraries, building bookcases and furniture for secondary, primary and pre-schools. Some of the things I love most about this organization are 1. They visit the schools regularly and actually do the building, repairing and monitoring of material given to schools, to ensure they are put to good use. 2. They recruit other volunteers from the USA who are visiting the island to come in to give assistance. 3. The founders are very humble and passionate about what they do. They have sacrificed their time and talents to help.

I have worked personally with the donors and also received educational material from them which I have used with teachers during workshops. I have learnt a lot from the sacrifices made by them. I have also had first hand experiences of the high quality of work they do voluntarily. This is the best NGO I have personally come across.
Thank you Hands Across the Sea. I pray that many persons will see the great work you are doing and support you. Our children need you. Thank you and God bless you Tom and Harriet and all those who will continue to give to your organization. I pray that you will see the fruits of your labor.

Shermine Bardouille
Ministry of Education
Dominica

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Harriet and T.L. when they visited St. Vincent in February 2011 during their tour of the Eastern Caribbean for their non-profit Hands Across the Sea. They are both incredibly passionate about the work they are doing, and the way they have managed to marry their love for sailing and community outreach is one uniquely inspiring story! Harriet and T.L. work with local partners in communities throughout the Eastern Caribbean region to deliver high-quality books to school library projects. In a region where illiteracy rates are a predominant social issue, the resources they are able to provide, and the partnerships they are creating with schools, principals, community leaders, government officials, and Peace Corps Volunteers are proving to make a significant impact in the lives of the children in these countries. Hands Across the Sea donated 15 boxes of books and school supplies to Chateaubelair Methodist School in St. Vincent, as well as assisted in the shipment of over 40 boxes of books collected by a previous volunteer. Harriet has also been instrumental in facilitating promising connections with various contacts to help further my personal projects with Peace Corps focused on promoting literacy. Hands Across the Sea is an amazing organization and I look forward to following the good work they continue to do!

Peter

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea ("Hands") delivers tremendous value for children and overall literacy needs in the Caribbean. My family volunteered recently in Dominica for several days and was able to experience first-hand the difference that a caring & focused organization can make. The founders and principals of Hand, Harriet & TL, work tirelessly across a wide range of activities. They do everything from raising $ to buy books & supplies, to delivering the goods (books, school supplies, etc.) to local schools & libraries, to painting classrooms & building bookshelves. Our children, ages 9 & 11, found their experience with Hands to be a true highlight, and they left Dominica with a much greater appreciation of how their efforts can truly make a difference in children & families lives.

Katherine B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Lucia. Hands Across the Sea was fundamental in the completion of my main project. I helped develop two Primary School libraries. I created a catalog system, organized everything, and started a checkout routine with the students. My libraries had very few child friendly books and those they had were in poor condition. Hands was able to get us 8 boxes of child friendly, relevant, great quality books per school. They were easy to communicate with and both of my schools were overwhelmed with the extent of our new book collections. Hands was able to navigate around the shipping and customs very smoothly. They run a wonderful, NEEDED, program. Books are hard to come by in the Caribbean and children often do not grow up with the pleasure of reading in their lives. Now the children in the two schools I worked with are literally racing to the library to get their next book.

Alyssa G.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Harriet Linskey called me at my school in St. David, Grenada just eight months into my 2-year Peace Corps service. I was at a school with no special ed. teacher and I was busy conducting remedial literacy pull-outs for half of the week with the slower students. I had no curriculum and no beginner-level books. I told Harriet in our conversation that we needed leveled, Basal readers for my students in addition to some bright, new titles to share with the teachers. Hurricane Ivan came through in 2004 and destroyed whatever library was in existence before and 6 years later, there had been no attempt to make it new again. Most of the students would have read through their teacher's limited, classroom libraries and most of the titles had faded and were really worn or outdated.

In response to our request, Harriet, T.L., and the Hands team set us up on their website and shipped us 6-7 boxes of books of those titles I had requested, including some beautiful, donated books from partnering organizations and BRAND NEW books. Students flooded my room every day at recess wanting to get their paws on the illustrated titles, having never seen such pretty pictures!

Due to the large amount we received, I took it upon myself to begin establishing the new library, from scratch. When Harriet and T.L. visited Grenada early in the year, our school had only managed to get a hold of some donated wood for shelving but we were still lacking funds to finish the empty room and make it library-worthy. They saw our plight and Hands donated enough money to paint the floor and walls, catalog each book and assign a hand-made envelope and card to each, laminate wall decor, and stain our shelves. It was incredible how much more inviting the room looked after we were finished. Hands even lent us rollers, tarps and trays so we could get the job done.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, partnering with Hands Across the Sea has been both a privilege and a joy. They really helped get things going, especially after community resources had already been donated and funds were stretched thin. Their purpose is really worth while, as most schools similar to those in Grenada and across the Caribbean, have students learning to read from a chalk board and not from a story book. Reading out loud is rarely practiced and children are not exposed to a world of literature from an early age.

Aria G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands Across the Sea made it possible for over 250 students are a primary school in a rural agricultural community to receive close to 3,000 books at no cost to the school. It was amazing how easy it was for use in country, just a little bit of coordination and the books were here.