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Why Reading Matters

Derek is a student at Laborie Boy’s School located in a small fishing village off the coast of St. Lucia. While the community is known for its rich heritage, pristine beaches, and beautiful reefs, it does not receive the economic benefits of the region’s tourism. Many children are growing up without access to vital educational resources.

Throughout the Caribbean, gender disparity in education remains a priority—especially for males who are twice as likely as their female counterparts to be affected by potential exclusion from the education system. Children who are not reading by the end of grade three are four times as likely not to graduate from high school. Literacy Links and teachers are hard at work ensuring Derek and his peers are set on a winning trajectory for life.

Hands Across The Sea partners with the teachers at Laborie to make sure they have books that appeal to the young boys. One of the favorites is the Captain Underpants series! Books like this open the boys up to literacy, which helps them to explore new topics while they open their minds to a whole world of possibilities.

Because of you, Derek has a passion for reading. He checks out new books from the library every week, and his fervor for reading has blossomed into a dream to become a pilot. (He especially enjoys reading books about planes and aviation!)

Since 2007 Hands Across the Sea has been focused on championing literacy

In the Eastern Caribbean, the enthusiasm for reading in the region is very high, but the budget for literacy-building resources is very low. Many children are growing up without access to new, relevant books or lending libraries.

Our work is driven by the knowledge that literacy has the power to transform lives, and children have the basic right to read. Working directly with the communities and people we serve—and in close partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Organi­zation of Eastern Caribbean States—we are committed to ensuring children in the Eastern Caribbean have access to libraries and literacy resources.

Your Gifts go Directly to the Cause

Hands Across the Sea continues to be recognized for its accountability and fiscal responsibility. We hold a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar, the leading nonprofit watchdog group, and have been awarded a Top-Rated Seal from Great Nonprofits year and again. Because our nonprofit organization has low-overhead more of your donation goes directly to bringing literacy to Eastern Caribbean children. It costs only $30 to provide one child with a year of literacy intervention. 


We need YOU

We need your support to provide funding for these important programs and resources. We are committed to partnering with people in the communities we serve so THEY can make a difference within the places they live and work. None of this would be possible without your generous support. In the last 14 years, we have been able to reach over 140,000 children. However, thousands of children remain without vital educational resources. Another generation of island children is at risk of lifelong disadvantages if they don’t learn to read by age six. Hands Across the Sea is in a race against time and resources to help address this need.


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