May 15, 2019 -- "The rejuvenation of the library and the dedication to advancing child literacy at Cayon Primary School is inspiring," says Harriet Linskey, Co-Founder of Hands Across the Sea. "We are proud to announce that the winner of the 2018-2019 Hands Literacy Award for St. Kitts and Nevis, which comes with a prize of USD $1,000 in new books of the school's choice, is Cayon Primary School." Hands Across the Sea reports that the school's children, teachers, and Principal are super-excited about reading and their new library.
Hands Across the Sea sent the school 536 new amazing books in the 2015-2016 Hands Wish Lists shipment, and followed that up with 386 books in the 2016-2017 shipment. "No number of books can make a difference if the passion and commitment of the school staff is lacking," noted Tom Linskey, Co-Founder of Hands, "To rejuvenate their library, the new Principal, Angela Matthew, with her Librarian, Karida Morrishaw, the Library Team (four teachers), the Student Librarian team, and Heidi Fagerberg, the Hands Literacy Link for St. Kitts and Nevis, have put in a lot of work to make the Cayon Primary School library a success."
Hands Across the Sea is dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Eastern Caribbean children on the islands of Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. Since founding the organization in 2007, Hands Across the Sea has shipped over 464,000 new amazing books to the region through its Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program. The CLASS program, in concert with each school's Hands Wish Lists (school principals, teachers, and students tell Hands which books they need), works in three ways: 1. Send Great New Books; 2. Create Lending Libraries (usually a school library); and 3. Foster Sustainability of the library through support at the school, the local community, and the hands-on efforts of on-island Hands Literacy Links.
On St. Kitts and Nevis, since 2010 Hands Across the Sea has assisted 43 school libraries and reading programs with 54,630 new amazing books, reaching 13,200 children. Hands Across the Sea partners with the Christophe Harbour Foundation, Charitable Foundation Nevis, Scotiabank Community Program, and private donors and family foundations in the U.S. and the Caribbean, while working closely with the Ministry of Education.
ABOUT THE HANDS LITERACY AWARD
Literacy opens the door to a better life. That's why Hands Across the Sea celebrates Eastern Caribbean schools, libraries, reading programs, and after-school youth centers that are leading the way in advancing child literacy. Our annual Hands Literacy Award rewards these top performers with Caribbean-wide recognition and USD $1,000 in brand new books and literacy assistance materials. We believe in supporting their progress in the years ahead, and we believe in encouraging more schools and community groups to follow their lead. We choose Hands Literacy Award winners on the basis of creation and sustainability of a vibrant borrowing library; a passionate commitment to literacy by staff; ownership of the library by young people (such as student librarians); literacy-focused programs such as remedial reading programs, book clubs, and poetry and writing groups; library infrastructure and book-lending improvements; strong and sustained involvement in child literacy and in the library by community members.
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