Teachers and administration at three Grenada schools are today very hopeful that they will see improved literacy among their students after The Sandals Foundation, through US – based charity organization, Hands across the Sea upgraded the schools’ libraries and donated almost 4000 new books to the schools.
St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, St. Martin de Porres RC Primary School and Constantine Methodist Primary School each received books as well as a new library system to ensure the sustainability of the programme. The books, ranging from reading books for reluctant readers to teen and young adult series, were all sponsored through the Sandals Foundation as part of Hands Across the Sea’s Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) programme.
Since 2007, Hands Across the Sea have sent over 247,000 brand new, asked-for books from the world’s best publishers to the Eastern Caribbean with a mission of transforming the literacy landscape of the countries.
Sandals Foundation Executive Director, Heidi Clarke said the continued partnership with Hands across the Sea to provide reading materials to children in the Caribbean is in line with the Foundation’s mission to see improved literacy levels across the region.
“We want to someday have a 100% literacy rate among our children across the Caribbean and the only way to ensure that is to provide them with the tools needed to build their literacy skills from a very early stage. Our partnership with Hands across the Sea is evidence of our continued commitment to education in the region and we hope that the books delivered to these schools will help to encourage children to read more,” Clarke said.
Hands Across the Sea was founded by Harriet and Tom Linskey who have made it their mission to raise literacy levels in Eastern Caribbean children. With the support of governments, the OECS, the US Peace Corps, corporate and private donors, Hands has been able to raise funds to either create libraries from scratch or to strengthen already existing libraries.
Hands Across the Sea Literacy Link for Grenada Olivia Phillip said the organization is proud to continue this tremendous partnership with Sandals Foundation to improve literacy throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
“We are especially proud, that through this partnership we are now able to offer Remedial Reading Kits, equipped with cards, info- graphics, puzzles and all the materials teachers will need to assist children who need that extra push to read and write at their grade level,” Phillip said.
She added that the organization aims to distribute Remedial Reading Kits to all Secondary Schools on the island. “With the help of Sandals Foundation we know we can meet this dire need of our teenagers who are silently struggling with reading and comprehension.”
Principal of the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, Diane Abel Jeffrey, in expressing gratitude to the donors, said “A book is magic in your hands. The doors and windows of opportunity open to those who read. Thank you Sandals Foundation and Hand Across the Sea for adding this magic, these friends, these informed sources, these adventures and inspirations to the children of SASS and many others in Grenada.”