PRESS RELEASE – Nearly 3400 children across the Eastern Caribbean have benefited from thousands of books and many hours of manpower donated by Scotiabank and its staff during the first of a three-year partnership with Hands Across the Sea.
The partnership was created in July 2013 when Scotiabank’s global philanthropic program Bright Future gave a three year, USD $45,000 grant to the U.S-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) to support children’s literacy and educational development.
Scotiabank’s grant helped purchase more than 2100 books which were delivered to nine schools and one NGO in Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Library cataloguing supplies, shelving and flooring were also donated to help set up or improve libraries at the selected schools.
The beneficiary schools were Mary E. Pigott Primary School (Antigua), Goodwill Secondary School, Tete Morne Primary School and the Feed My Sheep NGO (Dominica), Bonair Government School (Grenada), Sandy Point Primary School (St. Kitts), Gingerland Secondary School (Nevis), Micoud Secondary School (St. Lucia), Fancy Government School and Sandy Bay Primary School (St. Vincent and the Grenadines).
In St. Kitts and Nevis, Scotiabankers went a step further as volunteer teams from the Bank rolled up their sleeves and painted the libraries at the Gingerland Secondary School in Nevis and the Sandy Point Primary in St. Kitts.
Hands Across the Sea sources new, age-appropriate books for the children at heavily discounted costs from top educational publishers including Scholastic, Dorling-Kindersley, and Macmillan Caribbean.
The NGO also provides a library manual and teachers potential library staff about library management.
Scotiabank Senior Marketing Manager for Caribbean East, Lisa Cole stated that the bank is delighted to see how well the first year of the partnership with Hands Across the Sea has gone.
“We look forward to more remarkable work by the organization, the country managers of Scotiabank, the Scotiabank Bright Future Champions and Scotiabank staff members in their respective countries.”
Cofounder and Executive Director of Hands Across the Sea, Harriet Linskey thanked the Bank for helping in their efforts to spread literacy and foster a “reading culture”, particularly in underserved communities.
“School libraries have… an essential role to play not only in terms of supporting literacy and educational development, but also in the creation of a reading culture, where books become a source of excitement, enjoyment, and empowerment.
Scotiabank and Hands Across the Sea’s efforts to create, sustain and encourage school libraries fits well within the positive educational changes already taking place.”