Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc

Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc.
Information Sheet

Date of Inception: June 1996
Contact: Paula Shaw-Founder/Chairperson
Address: 3565 Bivona Street
Suite 13J
Bronx, New York, 10475
Tel: (718) 379-4232
Fax: (718) 405-1170
E-mail: [email protected]
Tax Status Non-Profit Organization

…first of its kind in Jamaica-A district library for residents…
-Mandeville Weekly, December 19, 1996


To provide children in rural Jamaica with knowledge through books and cutting edge computer technology. To give them a window of opportunity to life beyond their limited boundaries and give them desire and hope to strive for excellence.


Paula Shaw created the Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc to help fund the Allen-Shaw Reading Room (Libraries). The Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms were created in honor of her grandmothers Anita Allen-Soares and Doris Shaw. The Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc. is non-profit organization that has been providing educational materials to children in Jamaica, West Indies since 1996. Our aim is to set up libraries in Jamaica’s rural areas so that our children will have a window of opportunity to life beyond their limited boundaries and give them the desire and hope to strive for excellence. Many of our children in Jamaica’s rural districts are unable to attend school for various reasons, primarily because of the parent’s inability to afford school fees. In the deep rural areas certain facilities and privileges are lacking. Children have to travel many miles to access vital information. The Foundation was established to provide several basic community services such as libraries (Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms), scholarship programs, summer school/camps and literacy classes within these areas. These programs are offered specifically through the Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms with funding from the Foundation.


The Foundations’ objective is to set up several Reading Rooms throughout the remote areas of Jamaica. Each Reading Rooms will be equip with:

  • the cutting edge in computer technology
  • visual equipment (TV/VCR, Slide Projectors)
  • audio/recognition center (i.e. phonics, alphabets)
  • an array of books from reference to fiction


Through our dedicated efforts, we have built a library in the South Manchester area of Jamaica. In our efforts to bring a ray of hope and lift the aspirations of the children of the Allen-Shaw Reading Room community we provide:

  • Books, computers and audio visual equipment
  • Scholarship Program
  • covers yearly school fees and other expenses of students based on economics and merit
  • Mentor Program
  • individuals traveling to Jamaica on vacation volunteer their time to conduct 1-2
    day workshops on educational and community related issues
  • Community Based Programs
  • literacy programs – remedial classes to students and reading classes for adults
  • summer school/camps-service to over 100 children each summer provides remedial tutoring, literacy classes, health and social education, and instructional day trips
  • Allen-Shaw Foundation Mixed Multitude Award – presented to individuals from the community who adopt orphan children and oversee their educational development
  • Allen-Shaw Foundation Community Service Award-presented to individuals from the community who provides selfless services in their districts/community

The first Allen-Shaw Reading Room, located in Resource District of South Manchester, was toted as a “trail blazing” idea by Jamaica’s largest Newspaper, The Jamaica Gleaner, and as a “first of its kind project” by another local paper. The educational investment that the Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc. was making to the children of Jamaica was heralded amidst much fanfare by the national television station, “JBC”. The birth of a rural library, through the pregnancy and the labor pains, was well worth our efforts. The reward was seeing children in awe of a room filled with books and watching their fears turn to fascination when the computer started to talk. The doors of literacy are being opened and I would like to keep this going with your help.

Library Locations:

Resource District, Manchester (Main Library-First level of building completed Summer 2002-second level June 2003)

Sav-La-Mar SDA High School, Westmoreland

Past Contributors/Supporters

(Financial, Books, computers, library supplies, Shipping))

At start-up we made significant progress towards our goals through the monetary contributions from organizations such as Colgate-Palmolive Company & Heidtke Foundation, Teachers College Columbia University, JAMPACT, Inc. Books, computers, library supplies and shipping services from:

  • Golden Book Source
  • Review & Herald Publishing Company
  • Pacific Press Publishing
  • Highsmith Corporation
  • Gaylord Brothers
  • Lillian Vernon Corporation
  • Air Jamaica

It is our desire to continue this momentum with your help.

I am soliciting your assistance in helping to expand the educational opportunities for Jamaica’s rural children. Whether it’s your time, your information, your donations of books or financial support, you will enhance our educational objectives of setting up libraries in under-served areas so a book can become a reality instead of an idea. The Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms in these communities provide the necessary learning tools and access to books to enhance and uplift the educational process. It is a splendid investment in the future of the children and their communities. The Foundation depends entirely on the support of individuals, corporations and others who believe in helping communities around the world.

The Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc., is a fully qualified corporation under Code Section 501(c) (3).

Allow me to thank you in advance for your interest and support of the Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms in Jamaica.

Paula Shaw

Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc.

2000 Report to Contributors
“The older women are starting to read now. They have more time for themselves between 10 Am to 2 PM because the children are in school. They come to the library and take about six books at a time” Clementina Shaw, Managing Director, Allen-Shaw Reading Room, Resource District Library , Jamaica, West Indies

I remember blurting out an answer to the interviewer from the television program “A Ray of Hope” in Jamaica on December 26, 1996 when she asked me “What do you hope to accomplish in five years with your project?” “A building”, was my bold and positive answer. Wanting to kick myself afterwards, I wondered if I was suffering from some heat related ailment. How in the world was I going to get a building for my library?

Well, if you listen closely amidst the bustle of America, you might just hear the cling of a hammer hitting a nail, or even the sloshing sound of water pouring on cement. The residents of Resource District, South Manchester have begun the work of building the Allen-Shaw Foundation Library. This was inevitable because the current space in the local church was bursting at the seams. Also we have a high turnover rate with our librarians, and that is a good thing! They are usually young adults from the community and when they leave, they do so with new computer training provided by the Foundation. With this new motivation they are able to find jobs elsewhere. The library is never left without a librarian because members of the community fill the gap by volunteering their time.

News from 2000

Allen-Shaw Reading Rooms

South Manchester, Resource District

  • The most interested readers and the most frequent occupants of the library are the one to six year olds. Not to say that the other age groups are not reading. They are, but the Foundation is very interested in making an impact from an early age
  • The women/mothers are reading more and we are very excited about this precedent being set for the future of the children.
  • The Educational Field trip sponsored by the Foundation and the local youth club, was a great success. The children were introduced to the indigenous plants, animals and other wildlife of the island. Fascination still abounds with their viewing of animals and floras they never knew existed.
  • The Summer School enrollment was 165, up from 110 in 1999. Keep in mind that the summer school is run by the Foundation and the local youth club. The government does not sponsor it.
  • The Reading Program

An ambitious reading program was started in September 2000 to maintain the reading practices of the children while they were attending school. Students from Primary to the High School level were enrolled. We held an awards ceremony for the participants in the Three to Twelve age group in December. There were forty-two participants in this group, and the results were amazing. The prizes were given out for the amount of books read by each individual.

1st prize – 126 2nd prize – 77 3rd prize – 70 4th prize – 66

The Allen-Shaw Foundation Scholarship/Awards

Three scholarships were given out in 2000: for specialized computer courses, for High School, and for the Omar Bryon Davis Education Fund. The fund is for students in Old Harbour Bay from the “captured land” area- (shacks build on government land by people who are homeless).

Libraries update

Due to the Foundations’ plans to build a library in Resource District, South Manchester, it has become necessary to phase out the other libraries that are still in operation; However:

Old Harbour Bay

We will continue the Omar Bryon Davis Educational Fund in this area.

Savanna-la-mar SDA High School, Westmoreland

The Savanna-la-mar library is an independent entity. The Principal of the school manages it and they contact the foundation on an “as needed” basis.

Projection 2002

We are hoping to have a building by summer 2002 (see attached pictures)

We are planning to work with the Jamaican Peace Corp. Organization and Northern Caribbean University to possibly enhance the literacy programs of Allen-Shaw Reading Room in Resource District, South Manchester.

My Thanks

Your donation of educational materials and financial contributions allowed the Foundation to have an exceptional year. We were able to meet our funding needs for all the programs and I am hoping for your continued support this year as we build the library. With your help, the library building program along with our other educational initiatives, will be a success! Thank you! Without your support the Allen-Shaw Foundation would not be able to meet our objective of building a future for children in rural Jamaica. Paula Shaw, Founder

Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc.
2001 Report to Contributors

“What do you hope to accomplish in five years with your project?” “A building”!

Paula Shaw-JBC Television Program “A Ray of Hope”-December 1996

Pictured here is the first level of the Allen-Shaw Foundation Library building project. Phase 2 will be the top level slated to begin March 2003 which used will be used for commuicay literacy classes and other educational programs

I am pretty sure that the nails cried out with sweet hosannas each time they were hammered into the structure of the new Allen Shaw Reading Room!

I am filled with excitement about the progress of this project in a small farming community in the south of Jamaica.

Closeted on a tiny plot of land, sandwiched between the homes of the two women who influenced the naming of the foundation, the structure continues to grow in a predestined way. So metaphorically speaking, the nails are indeed crying aloud in its honor!

Respect of the past will abound as the completed Reading Room will face the old outdoor kitchen of one grandmother (who knew the power of words but could not decipher them), and the rich bauxite clay and stones that will line the building’s floor comes from the childhood home of the other. When completed, the Allen Shaw Reading Room, nestled between the homes of these two women, will merge the learn and the unlearned and offer a solution to the latter. The building is scheduled to be completed and dedicated in August 2002.

None of this could have occurred without your kindness and financial commitment to this foundation. As I intimated, we are almost there. The finish line is in sight and we are steadfastly working towards it



  • (Videos Available)-Articles attached
  • Air Jamaica Skywriting, October 1999
  • Article: “Don’t Throw Those Books Out
  • Southern Heart Beat, August 1999
  • Article: Opening the Way to Literacy
  • Southern Heart Beat, July 1999
  • Article: Honouring the Future, Respecting The Past
  • Mandeville Weekly, April 15, 1999
  • Article Senior Citizens Treated By The Allen-Shaw Foundation/Marcus Garvey Youth Club
  • Mandeville Weekly, February 1999
  • Article “Marcus Garvey Club and Allen-Shaw Reading Room Honor Golden Age”
  • The Jamaican Observer, October 31, 1998
  • Article: Savanna-la-Mar High making strides
  • The Gleaner, January 16, 1997 (Editorial Comments)
  • JBC Television (Video Tape Available)
  • Programs: Morning Time-December 23, 1996
  • A Ray Of Hope-December 26, 1996
  • Mandeville Weekly, December 19, 1996
  • Article: “New Innovative Library in South Manchester”

The Allen Shaw Readings Rooms need your Financial Support. Great things are happening for our children in Jamaica. Help us keep the momentum going!!!!


Allen-Shaw Reading Room
Resource District, Jamaica, West Indies
Building Project for Second Level to begin early 2003


For more information call:

The Allen-Shaw Foundation, Inc. at (718) 379-4232 or E-mail: [email protected]