Educators Trained in Using Library Books To Bring Classroom Lessons To Life 

PR- Grenadian educators are now better able to strategically use library books and resources into their lessons to support the development of their students’ reading and literacy skills.

Recently a cross section of educators successfully completed the Teachers’ Resource Guide Workshop hosted by the non-profit organization Hands Across the Sea in collaboration with the Early Learners Program. The programme was executed with support from the Sandals Foundation along with the Ministry of Education. 

Participants included special education teachers, school literacy co-ordinators, district literacy support coaches, school librarians, early learners programme coordinators and an adaptive Life skills teacher.

Attendees explored the Teachers Resource Guide (TRG) to the Library, which shares strategies to motivate students to read at school and at home. The publication was developed by education professionals throughout the Eastern Caribbean, and is affiliated to Hands Across the Sea, as well as other international stakeholders.  

Hannah Knecht, Program Director at Hands Across the Sea and workshop facilitator says “the teaching tactics are aimed at building within students, a lifelong interest in reading.” 

Further, “the workshop highlighted to teachers, how to integrate books into their lesson plans across the curriculum by sharing practical activities with books from their libraries that they can use with their students in hands-on, engaging, and meaningful ways.”

Teachers, Knecht noted, “were also provided with evidence to show the direct correlation between pleasure reading habits and increased student achievement.” 

Sandals Foundation has supported the Hands Across the Sea project since 2013. In that time, over US$90,000 has been invested to fund upgrades and purchase new age appropriate books for 28 libraries in the eastern Caribbean.  

Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation says for the 2018/2019 academic year, the Foundation, “joined Hands through their literacy link to purchase 12 Remedial Reading Tool kits which target students in high school who are reading below their grade level.”  

The Sandals Foundation, Clarke says, “Is committed to continue working alongside Hands Across the Sea to improve literacy levels for students of all ages as we believe that reading is the foundation for success in all other areas of students’ academic life setting them on the path for prosperous futures.”

At the end of 2019 Hands Across  has reached over the half a million mark; so far sending 505,822 new amazing books to Caribbean schools and given over 125,000 children access to great books and a lending library in their school.