CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA (February 20, 2019) –The Sandals Foundation is the major supporter of Hands Across the Sea’s Remedial Reading Toolkit program for high school students in the Eastern Caribbean. For the 2018-2019 school year, the Sandals Foundation has funded 12 Hands Across the Sea Remedial Reading Toolkits for three secondary schools in Saint Lucia (Anse Ger Secondary, Sir Ira Simmons Secondary, Stanley Jon Odlum Secondary), five secondary schools on Antigua and four secondary schools on Grenada.
The centerpiece of the Remedial Reading Toolkit is the innovative 24-book, three-level Decode series, a phonics system designed for teenagers that features dynamic full-colour photos and engaging content such as action/adventure, sports, music, and teen issues. The Decode system builds teen reading skills in phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. In addition, to 86 literacy-building books, the Remedial Reading Toolkit includes a variety of hands-on tools for students and teachers, including three levels of sight-word Bingo, word and sentence-building pocket charts, the Bananagrams word tile game, and phonics and word-family packets.
“We are very proud to have established such a long and successful partnership to be able to support students through this highly effective medium. This step towards literacy development in High School students is critical to their overall educational advancement” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation.
Remedial reading teachers report that students who are struggling with reading have responded positively to the Decode system and the Remedial Reading Toolkit manipulatives (http://www.handsacrossthesea.net/RemedialReading.htm). The stigma of using teen-centric materials rather than “baby books” means that struggling readers can make faster progress in building their reading and related literacy skills. “A high number of students are entering high school with low reading levels, and the Remedial Reading Toolkit gives teachers a variety of tools. The tremendous support of the Sandals Foundation has allowed Hands to serve a large number of schools across the region,” said Harriet Linskey, Co-Founder of Hands Across the Sea.
The Sandals Foundation also funded new amazing reading books for Clare Hall Secondary School in Antigua and St. George’s SDA Primary School in Grenada. The combined value for the 2,500 books is USD $15,577.