Tag Archives: Hands Across the Sea

New Winthorpes Wins

New Winthorpes Primary School has just won the 2013/2014 HANDS LITERACY AWARD FOR THE ISLAND OF ANTIGUA, the annual award from Hands Across the Sea which recognizes and rewards schools for excellence in the advancement of child literacy.
From a Hands communique:
“We chose New Winthorpes because the school’s Principal and staff are so passionate about literacy that they created a vibrant school library in the only space available, a tiny space few would even consider: a 20-foot by 6-foot storeroom.
“The school’s pump room, in fact.
“The effect of this small-but-powerful, fully-stocked borrowing library (over the past two years Hands has sent the school 650 great new books) has been dramatic. Children are excited about books, reading, and discovering and developing the many skills (comprehension, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving) that come with literacy.”You can read the big story about the Little School That Could, including photos of the small-space, big-impact library, at: http://www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsLiteracyAward2013-2014.htm#antigua

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WHO WON IN 2013?

THE WADADLI PEN CHALLENGE 2013 FINALISTS ARE…

ANTIGUA GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL
ASHA GRAHAM
AVECIA JAMES
CHAMMAIAH AMBROSE
DARYL GEORGE
DENNIKA BASCOM
GARVIN JEFFREY BENJAMIN
JAMIKA NEDD
JAMILA H. K. SALANKEY
MICHAELA HARRIS
ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY
VEGA ARMSTRONG
ZURI HOLDER

*see all shortlisted writers here.

*re prize split – please note that each shortlisted writer receives a Certificate of Achievement as well as discount cards from the Best of Books; and the overall winner’s name has been emblazoned alongside the name of past winners onto the Challenge plaque – sponsored by the Best of Books.

 

SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST SUBMISSIONS

Primary School – St. John’s Catholic Primary – US$500 worth of books sponsored by Hands Across the Sea

Secondary School – Antigua Girls High School – US$500 worth of books sponsored by Hands Across the Seatop

ASHA GRAHAM

Author of Revelations Tonight and Remembrance
Overall Winner (Revelations Tonight), Winner in the 13 to 17 age category (Revelations Tonight) and Third placed in the 13 to 17 age category (Remembrance)

Total prizes:

Cash

$500 sponsored by Conrad Luke of R. K. Luke and Sons and the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Committee

Literary Opportunities

Sponsored spot – Just Write writers retreat courtesy Brenda Lee Browne

Books

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Oh Gad coverOh Gad! by Joanne C. Hillhouse

LiTTscapes: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Kris Rampersad

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and other gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Send out you handSend out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

The Caribbean Writer Volume 26 & the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books – women’s edition contributed by Joanne C. Hillhouse

Huracan by Diana McCaulay

Island Princess in Brooklyn by Diane Browne

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell

And more

Original one of a kind journal created by Jane Seagull

Pen sponsored by Pam Arthurton of Carib World Travel and the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival

Two tickets on board Barbuda Express

Gift bag from Raw Island Products

Gift courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse  top

DARYL GEORGE

Author of Ceramic Blues and Julie Drops
Second placed Overall (Ceramic Blues), Winner (Ceramic Blues) and Second Placed (Julie Drops) in the 18 to 35 age category

Total prizes:

Cash

$200 (patron prefers to remain anonymous)

Literary Opportunities

Sponsored spot – Just Write writers retreat courtesy Brenda Lee Browne

Books

Unburnable by Marie Elena JohnunburnableHIRESresized

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Dog-Heart by Diana McCaulay

Althea Prince’s In the Black: New African Canadian Literature (contributed by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

Send out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

Tides that Bind and the Road to Wadi Halfa by Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

Sweet Lady by Elaine Spires

Book gift courtesy Silver Lining supermarket

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And more

2 tickets on board Barbuda Express

Lunch for two at Keyonna Beach

Lunch for two – Bayhouse Restaurant @ Tradewinds Hotel

Gifts courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse  top

ZURI HOLDER

Author of The Big Event
Third placed overall and first placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total prizes:

Books

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And more

$200 Gift certificate – Stephen B. Shoul

2 tickets on board Barbuda Express

Gift courtesy Joanne C. Hillhouse top

JAMILA H. K. SALANKEY

Author of Her Blackest Sin
Third placed in the 18 to 35 age category

Total prizes:

Books

Send out you Hand by Dorbrene O’Marde

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing

Tides that Bind and the Road to Wadi Halfa by Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis

And More

Gift certificate for Latte, Capuccino or Coffee – Heavenly Java 2 Go.top

MICHAELA HARRIS

Author of Secret of de Mango Tree
Second placed in the 13 to 17 age category

Total prizes:

Books

Island Princess in Brooklyn by Diane Browne

Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses by Floree WilliamsFloree Williams bookcover

So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End: An Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing by Althea Prince

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

And More

$50 book gift certificate – Cushion Club top

VEGA ARMSTRONG

Author of Hide and Seek
Second placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total Prizes:

Books

Caribbean Adventure Series – three pack by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books top

CHAMMAIAH AMBROSE

Author of How Tigers Got Stripes
Third placed in the 12 and younger age category

Total prizes:

Books

The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other stories by Barbara Arrindell

Caribbean Adventure Series – three pack by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books top

DENNIKA BASCOM

Winner in the junior section of 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Seascapes by Carol Mitchell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gift courtesy Jane Seagull

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

 

AVECIA JAMES

Second placed in the junior section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

 

JAMIKA NEDD

Third placed in the junior section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gifts courtesy Art at the Ridge top

GARVIN JEFFREY BENJAMIN

MissWinner in the young adult section of the 2013 Wadadli Pen Art Challenge

Total Prizes:

Gifts courtesy the Best of Books

Gift courtesy Art at the Ridge

Cash gift courtesy Koren Norton and anonymous donor

That he may have the opportunity to collaborate with writer Barbara Arrindell on her next children’s picture book is something we can all look forward to top

Special thanks as well to all the 2013 partners: Barbara Arrindell and the Best of Books, Floree Williams, Devra Thomas, Linisa George, and Brenda Lee Browne. Thanks as well to our media partners who help get the word out, especially Antigua Nice and 365 Antigua who for several years and ongoing have hosted pages for Wadadli Pen on their very busy hubs.

joanne26I am Joanne C. Hillhouse. I am first and foremost a writer (author of The Boy from Willlow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad! and contributor to other anthologies and journals) who could’ve benefited from this kind of encouragement back in the day. That’s why I do this. Congratulations to all the winners, and remember this is not just a contest; this is our attempt to nurture and showcase Antiguan and Barbudan literary talent. We’ve taken the time over the years to provide feedback to the winning writers, conduct writing workshops including online workshops right here on this site, visit schools, and other activities (such as this site) designed to help young writers hone their skills. As we showcase your best efforts here on https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com we encourage you to keep writing and to remain open to the opportunities to become a better writer.

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Who’s Hands?

Hands Across the Sea is the husband and wife team of Tom and Harriet, a Boston couple spreading literacy one book at a time. They’ve recently pledged to support Wadadli Pen 2013. And that’s not all they’ve been doing in Antigua and Barbuda, and the eastern Caribbean, as you’ll see below:

HandsLogo7x3inch

Media release

 

December 13, 2013

 

$1,000 Literacy Award for Villa Primary School

Children love their exciting new borrowing library

Students at Villa Primary School have shown how keen they are to improve their literacy skills and better their education by winning the 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award for Antigua.

The children and school staff have enthusiastically embraced Hands Across the Sea’s CLASS (Caribbean Literacy and School Support) programme which has donated 1,300 new books over the past two years to their library. The 2012/2013 Hands Literacy Award (www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsLiteracyAward.htm) comes with an additional U.S. $1,000 in new books or other literacy assistance.

VillaPrimarySchool

Hands Across the Sea’s Co-founder and Executive Director Harriet Linskey said, “There is no doubt that improved literacy skills open the door to a better life, and the students and staff at Villa Primary have certainly embraced our programme with enthusiasm. The school now has a vibrant borrowing library and a passionate commitment to literacy.”

Back in December of 2010 when U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Ina Howe decided to create a borrowing library at Villa Primary, the school had been without a functioning library for 15 years. Howe, along with former school principals Mrs. King and Mrs. James, began raising money for books and getting teachers, parents, local businesses, and craftsmen involved in the project. Along the way, Villa staff members Mrs. Leah Robinson (Deputy Principal), Mrs. Barbara Christopher (Reading Teacher), and Ms. Delina Graham (Grade K Teacher) were instrumental in bringing the library to life. Villa Primary School’s library was officially opened in November of 2011. One year later, the library’s success has been measured not only by its bright, welcoming appearance and organized bookshelves and reading tables, but by the high number of books read or taken home every week by Villa’s 295 students.

Since starting the organization in 2007, Hands Across the Sea’s co-founders, Harriet and Tom Linskey, have been dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Eastern Caribbean children, from pre-school to high school, through their Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program. The CLASS program, in concert with each school year’s Hands Wish Lists (school principals, teachers, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers tell Hands which books they need), works  in three ways: 1. Send Great New Books; 2. Create Borrowing Libraries (usually a school library); and 3. Foster Sustainability of the library through support at the school and from the local community. Hands Across the Sea has shipped over 141,000 new and near-new books and 220 boxes of teaching resources to 291 schools, community libraries, reading programs, and youth centers, reaching over 55,000 children. Hands Across the Sea works on the islands of Anguilla, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

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…toward Wadadli Pen 2013

I posted this on my facebook earlier today…and now I’m posting it here:

Just got off the phone with Conrad Luke and feeling extremely blessed as he, with no pleading whatsoever from me, pledged a second straight year of patronage to Wadadli Pen and for a few more years as well…all this while I’ve been too busy and bummed with real life to even begin thinking about soliciting or really putting things in place for the 2013 programme. We need all the help we can get  (as stated in this pledge request) so so thankful for those who’ve pledged their support already for 2013 such as Hands Across the Sea, Jamaican writer Diana McCaulay, the Best of Books and now Lukie. Sweet! I might have danced around the living room and sang a little Tammi Faye Baker (“we’re blessed, we’re blessed, we’re blessed..”) after getting off the phone, but there’s no video footage to prove it 🙂

 

 

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Read Aloud

Here’s an article I wrote after running into Kara Stevens, who was on island to conduct a read aloud activity at Villa Primary. I’d known Kara remotely from this year’s Wadadli Pen but this in person meeting quickly had us both batting around ideas as she shared the details and impact of the programme she was on island to implement with the backing of . I’m happy we met, and I say kudos to Kara and the students and teachers at Villa for this inspired programme.

By Joanne C. Hillhouse

Kara Stevens’ Antiguan roots made this country a logical choice when she was fishing around for something to reinvigorate her spirit and calm her frustrations. No, we’re not talking a vacation in paradise. We’re talking instead bringing her skills to a community that could benefit from her skills.

Stevens, a former teacher, works in education administration in New York and admits being frustrated at the lack of progress. Hitting upon an idea and aware of U.S. based Hands Across the Seas’ efforts to provide books to schools in several eastern Caribbean countries, she’d soon submitted a proposal re coming to Antigua, and Hands beneficiary Villa School in particular, to implement a read aloud programme. The crux of her proposal was to assist teachers in “using the books in a meaningful way”. She felt that having the books was not enough, something she’s all too aware of working in NYC where the resources may be greater but too many students still can’t read up to the standard, which she said drove home to her that “how teachers, parents, and students use the materials is the missing part of this educational crisis.”

As regulars will already know, Villa has been very proactive of late in its efforts to get the children reading; from a school library to the Future for a Child book donation programme which gifts the children copies of beloved children’s books. The success of these efforts are due as much to the attitude and efforts of the teaching staff and the school’s leadership, and Peace Corps volunteer Ina Howe.

Stevens made contact, reaching out to Howe and principal, Mrs. Jarvis. “I proposed that I would do an instructional residency,” she said. “I would demonstrate a read aloud strategy and talk about activities that could go with them.”

First she demonstrated, then she and the staff got together to evaluate and plan, and then they implemented: an approach she described as “I do, we do, you do.” She reports a positive response to the experiment. “They really liked it,” she said, the ‘they’ in question being both the teachers and the students.

The read aloud activities got the children thinking, talking about, and reacting to the material while building everything from their listening skills to their vocabulary, potentially leading to an improvement in what experts call “language expression”. One of the books shared was Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale, a story which opened the door for discussion of broader social issues. “We talked a lot about cause and effect and personal responsibility,” Stevens said.

She emphasized that reading is far more than a frivolous diversion. “When you read, you read to make personal connections; you read to enhance your life,” Stevens said. “When you read to be literate in terms of being critically thoughtful, you have to have interaction with the text; (let it) marinate.”

The idea was to inspire young people, to get them talking, and to set in motion their ability to reason. The follow through on this week long training exercise now rests with the teachers; “it’s really up to them,” she said, “to try and sketch out a schedule for read aloud.”

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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