Hands’ Early Pages Programme Launches for Students in the Eastern Caribbean
We are excited to officially announce the Hands Across the Sea Early Pages Programme. After 3 years of piloting in Grenada and a soft-launch in Nevis, we are proud to share with our global community of friends, partners, educators, families, and supporters the first Universal Emergent Literacy program designed with and for students in the Eastern Caribbean.
For 2 focused years, Hands Across the Sea worked in 9 schools in Grenada. The program kicked off with strategy and planning meetings between the outgoing Early Childhood Director Mrs. Susan Parke, the incoming director Dr. Charmaine Christopher, Hands Director Amanda Sherlip, and Hands Grenada Literacy Links Mrs. Bernadette John and Mrs. Gloria Bonaparte. The idea was simple: To reach the youngest learners through research-based literacy materials so they could have a solid foundation for educational and life success. This goal is achieved through 3 intentional actions:
Integrating literacy as an explicit aspect of the preschool environment
Increasing parental engagement
Building awareness and community participation in early childhood literacy
Setting a foundation for life-long learning
Why is preschool literacy so vital? Early literacy sets the foundation for a child’s lifelong learning and academic success by assisting with:
- Brain Development: Early literacy activities such as reading, singing, and talking to young children can stimulate brain development and help build neural pathways that support cognitive development.
- Language Development: Exposure to books and other literacy materials can help children develop their language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.
- Academic Success: Children who start school with strong early literacy skills are more likely to succeed academically and continue to have positive attitudes toward learning.
- Social Skills: Early literacy activities can also help children develop important social skills, such as listening, following directions, and taking turns.
- Emotional Development: Reading and other literacy activities can help children understand their emotions and develop empathy for others.
Established through the generosity of Sandals Foundation
A resource for early childhood leaders
What makes this program unique
Resources that engage teachers and students
What teachers say about new libraries available through Hands
Teachers have been pleased with the results of this programme so far and the books and materials we can provide. Recently, Hands Across the Sea helped set up a library at Windsor Forest Preschool in Grenada. Staff at the school worked together to prepare for the books to come, including painting the floor, doing construction, and painting the bookshelf. Here’s what Galine Andrews, one of the preschool teachers, had to say about the new library: