All "Hands" on deck--Rotary joins effort for better Caribbean schools

Posted on: Sunday, 19 September 2021

What do you get when a USA-based non-profit combines with Rotary International (and other organizations like the Peace Corps) to improve education?

The result: better classrooms for students on six islands in the Eastern Caribbean. On Sept. 14, Pearl Rotarians heard about "Hands Across The Sea: Cultivating Childhood Literacy in Developing Nations" from its director, Amanda Sherlip .

Over 100,000 students (in pre-school also) have been reached in the 14-year-old program in countries like Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia. Speaking during literacy month on the Rotary calendar, Amanda said Hands' success has been dependent on forging partnerships, involving families and assuring community engagement. "All children have a basic right to read," Amanda, speaking virtually, assessed.

Hands has placed over a half-million books in classrooms and libraries. Often Rotarians "help beautify a space" where learning can flourish. (She shared an image of such an improved setting for students.) Partners beyond Rotary International and the U.S Peace Corps include the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID and the World Bank.

"I love Rotary," Amanda closed. "Relationships are present, consistent and growing." She urged Pearl RC to consider expanding its international reach through support for Hands.

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