Two schools on the island have been awarded the 2012/2013 Hands Across the Sea Literacy Awards for Dominica.
The Isaiah Thomas Secondary School (ITSS) and Penville Primary School will receive US$1,000 in new books and other literacy assistance as a result of the award.
“There is no doubt that improved literacy skills open the door to a better life, and both ITSS and Penville have vibrant borrowing libraries and a passionate commitment to literacy,” Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hands Across the Sea, Harriet Linskey said.
Both schools embraced Hands Across the Sea’s CLASS (Caribbean Literacy and School Support) programme, which has donated 3,600 books to Isaiah Thomas Secondary and 1,000 books to Penville Primary over the past three years, the organization said in a release.
Principal of the ITSS, Jerome Bardouille, pointed to the importance of literacy in a child’s future as a reason for joining the program with the US-based charity. “Reading and writing are so important to a child’s future, that is why we have joined with Hands Across the Sea to give our students access to top-quality books and literacy resources,” he said.
The organization created a Literacy Center and refurbished a reference library at the school as part of its program there.
Meanwhile at the Penville Primary School a library was revitalized with the assistance of Hands Across the Sea. “Interest in reading improved greatly at our school when the new books arrived,” said Mrs. Mary Robinson, the Grade 3 teacher in charge of the library. “The boys are reading a lot more now, because the new books are exciting and have caught their attention.”
The North East Comprehensive School has also received assistance from Hands Across the Sea in collaboration with the Beverly Foundation and the US Embassy in Barbados.
Hands Across the Sea was started in 2007 by Harriet and Tom Linskey and has been dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Eastern Caribbean children, from pre-school to high school, through their Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program.
The organization has shipped over 28,300 new and near-new books and 80 boxes of teaching resources to 51 schools, community libraries, and reading programs in Dominica, reaching over 10,700 children.