Boaters for Books (Bringing the Joy of Reading to the Children of the Caribbean)

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Boaters for Books, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Punta Gorda, Florida. The organization ships cartons packed with hundreds of reading and library books to schools in Carriacou, Dominica, Grenada, Nevis, and Union Island. Boaters for Books’ efforts are supported by Tropical Shipping, which ships the books from Florida free of charge, and Ann Street Mini Storage, which provides space to receive, sort and pack the books prior to shipping.

The project began in 2000 with a shipment of primary school materials to Grenada and has expanded ever since, with annual or bi-annual shipments to a growing number of English-speaking eastern Caribbean countries. Islands have included Anguilla, Bequia, Montserrat, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago. To date, over 150,000 books have been distributed.

Donors in the United States come from all walks of life and all professions, but all strongly believe in encouraging children to read. While the main focus has always been primary schools, in recent years, several secondary schools, public libraries, and a community college have received volumes to add to their collections.

Boater for Books welcomes all donations. Instructions on where to send books, as well as the types of books needed, can be found on the organization’s website, www.boatersforbooks.org. Those in the United States who would like to become personally involved in collecting and/or packing books can contact Kathy Oberle, Director, at Kathy1@boatersforbooks.org. People interested in helping to identify schools and their library needs can reach Melodye Pompa at boatmillie@aol.com.

For full description by Melodye Pompa, see http://www.allatsea.net/article/May_2009/Boaters_for_Books_Helps_Island_Children

Also see information (and photo) on the non-profit organization Boaters for Books at http://www.boatersforbooks.org/Bindex.html

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