The Hands Across The Sea (HATS) literacy organisation, through the Ministry of Education, has donated a consignment of books to students from different primary schools and community libraries in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The organisation functions throughout the Eastern Caribbean, advocates for reading advancement, and each year donates to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of its Caribbean Literacy and School Support Programme.
Yvette Pompey, local representative for the HATS, said the challenges in teaching children to read is seen daily and the organisation is aware that access to library books and a child friendly space are extremely important for children to develop a love for reading.
“For the past 14 years, it has been consistently placing brand new, exciting, action-packed books and other resources into the hands of our students,” Pompey said.
She said HATS appreciates the partnership that has been created with the Ministry of Education over the years, and is humbled to work with the ministry as they implement new programmes and initiatives to improve the literacy standards of the children SVG.
Funding for the donation was provided by the Mustique Charitable Foundation.
Natalia Gill, project director for the foundation, said HATS will distribute over 4,000 books to mainly schools located in areas affected by the 2021 explosive eruptions of La Soufriere volcano.
Additionally, the National Public Library also received 500 books to be used as part of their literacy and lending programmes.
Gill said the Mustique Charitable Foundation was happy to partner with HATS to introduce and enhance the need for literacy at all levels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
HATS is a non-governmental literacy organisation and is recognised as a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Education Group and a development partnership to the OECS Education Management Unit. These partnerships give HATS a voice in advocating for reading advancement and supports the implementation of grassroots initiatives in schools.