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Review for Hands Across the Sea, Inc., Boston, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Role:  Client Served