Welcome

Who are we and who do we want to be?
This is the fundamental question that underpins literacy. Everything we do in the Eastern Caribbean – from book donations to reading festivals – supports a belief in the power of stories to pose answers to these essential truths. And offer ideas that can make a real difference. If young minds can practice asking What if ?” then change in this region of the developing world becomes possible. Without literacy, the cycle of poverty will undoubtedly continue. 

Good With Words
We’re engaging young Canadians who want to make a commitment to social responsibility. For recipient schools, book drives dramatically increase the inventory of literacy resources. For donor schools, the experience promotes pro-social values like compassion, empathy, generosity.

Our goal is to transform lives – locally and globally
The remarkable story of literacy renewal is told in the film below. You’ll meet 7,000 young Caribbean readers, their teachers and the Ontario student volunteers and Canadian storytellers who came to meet them. Let us know what you think.

Books can take you places you’ve never been. But you have to have books. 
We operate in four small nations: St. Lucia, Grenada, Montserrat and Nevis. Here, natural disasters and a persistent recession have eliminated most school libraries. In Canada, there is an abundance of reading materials at home and school. Ontario libraries alone – and there are over 1,000 of them – receive 72 million in-person visits each year. Libraries circulate 131 million items. It’s this culture of reading that encourages us to connect kids from two distant worlds.

What we’re doing
Through our province-wide school book drive program, OWSH is engaging Ontario students who are taking action and improving literacy resources for their fellow students. To annual festivals in the Eastern Caribbean, authors and illustrators from Canada are bringing stories to life. Adult volunteers and their families are packing books in our Bolton Ontario warehouse while others eagerly assist at festivals in St. Lucia – at their own expense.

Why we’re doing it
What children’s stories do with immediate and considerable effect is engage the imagination. In a world that is constantly challenging and sometimes defeating, imagining what is possible may be the one essential tool for children in the developing world. Our indispensable supporters are helping the foundation to build a sustainable effort so students in the Caribbean will be ready for their future.

You or your school can create change. Imagine that!
As our Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston has said: Let’s…demonstrate to the world what a smart and caring nation can look like in the 21st century.”

We invite you to join OneWorld Schoolhouse!

It is by acts and not ideals that people live.

ANATOLE FRANCE
Author (1844-1924)
It's a long story
Books packed by kids in Ontario for their peers in the Caribbean travel 1,800 kilometres by road then another 5,275 kilometres by container ship.

Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

KOFI ANNAN
Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

All I know is what I have words for.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

If you get the right [words] in the right order, you might nudge the world a little.

Sir Tom Stoppard
Playwright

If you believe what you read...you can, quite literally, believe anything.

NORTHROP FRYE
Professor, Philosopher (1912-1991)

Start some kind words on its travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Humanitarian, Medical Missionary (1865-1940)
Find 52: The Road to Reading in Grenada
In February 2015, Richard ran right around Grenada, a distance of 52 miles. 52 "Mile Captains" raised $40,000.

If we want to make this world a better place, then we have to become better ourselves. There is no easy route.

DALAI LAMA

A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.

MARTIN TUPPER
Author (1810-1889)
Challenging literacy development
Although English is the official language of St. Lucia, Krewyol is spoken as much or more outside the classroom.

I read. I travel. I become.

DEREK WALCOTT
St. Lucian author & 1992 Nobel Laureate

Reading brings us unknown friends.

HONORÉ DE BALZAC
Novelist (1799-1850)

Life is too deep for words so don't try to describe it, just live it.

C. S. Lewis
Author, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The future is always beginning now. Each moment is a place you've never been.

MARK STRAND
Poet (1934-2014)

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

WILLIAM JAMES
Philosopher, Psychologist (1842-1910)
And the Winner in Montserrat is....
Marlaina White (Left) announces the Second Annual Rainforest of Reading Award to Illustrator Jan Dolby (Middle) and Author Joyce Grant for "Gabby."

At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross...that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever.

BARACK OBAMA
Out of this world
After reading "Postcards from Outer Space' a student in Montserrat is inspired to be the next Chris Hadfield.

Too many people grow up. That's the trouble with the world.

WALT DISNEY
(1901-1966)