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 increasing 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!

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

MARK STRAND
Poet (1934-2014)