In the heart of the Eastern Caribbean, an inspiring transformation is taking place within our schools, and it’s not just about boosting book knowledge. The Student Librarian program is empowering young students, fostering responsibility, leadership, and valuable life skills. This educational initiative is about much more than just library management; it’s about shaping young leaders and nurturing their love for learning.
In our partnerships with schools in Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada we’ve witnessed a remarkable transformation taking place within our students. It’s a transformation that goes far beyond the simple acquisition of book knowledge. We’re talking about the Student Librarian program, an initiative that empowers young students, fosters responsibility, leadership, and valuable life skills, and nurtures their love for learning.
"Through books, you can learn to respect others and be polite."
Jaylan Louisy, Grade 6, Vieux Primary School, Saint Lucia
The Student Librarian program is more than just an after-school activity or a casual volunteer opportunity; it’s an opportunity for students to take charge and take ownership of their school library. Beyond building a love for books, this program is turning students into leaders who inspire their peers.
Sheila Serville, a Literacy Link in Saint Lucia, beautifully encapsulates the profound impact of the Student Librarian program:
“By joining the student librarian program, they become little student principals of the school. The program supports … in developing leadership skills and encouraging other children to come into the library, put books in their proper place, and the [students] develop a preference for spending their lunchtime in the library rather than stirring up mischief.”
This program has addressed unique challenges within the student body. It empowers young boys who are at risk of delinquency and offers them responsibilities that transform them into student leaders. Moreover, it provides an ideal platform for students to experience their first leadership position. They become the little principals of their schools, inspiring their fellow students to spend their lunch hours in the library, ensuring books are organized, and fostering a preference for the library’s welcoming embrace over other activities.
“Reading educates me about the world and [the Student Library program] teaches me life skills,such as how to solve problems. Reading makes me happy.”
Jervanie Mondesir Grade 3, Vieux Primary School, Saint Lucia
In our ongoing efforts to support literacy and education, the Student Librarian program has become a testament to the dedication of the schools themselves with more than 1,200 students completing librarian training. While Hands Across the Sea designed the program and continues to offer support, many schools have transitioned to self-sustaining programs, recognizing the immense value of this initiative. They understand that the Student Librarian program isn’t just about organizing the library; it’s about fostering leadership, engaging students, and building a culture centered around reading and learning.