New Hampshire Humanities adult literacy program Connections brings the best of children’s and young adult literature and New Hampshire Humanities-trained discussion facilitators to more than 500 adult learners each year. Quality books and stimulating discussions promote English language skills, cultivate conversations about ideas, reinforce family literacy, support a culture of reading, and encourage civic engagement. Connections works in partnership with adult basic education and ESOL classes, refugee resettlement organizations, services for adults with developmental disabilities and state and county prisons. Participants are both native speakers and new Americans.
Connections participants keep the books they read; incarcerated parents send them home to their children along with a recording of their personal reading. Each four-week series is organized around a theme such as “Planting the Earth,” “Home in New England,” “Picturing America’s Stories,” “Journeys,” “Give Me Liberty,” “A Day’s Work,” and new for 2015, “A Sense of Place.” In addition to book discussions, Connections offers an annual celebration of family literacy including poetry readings, folktale festivals and author talks from luminaries such as Lois Lowry in 2014, and Tomie dePaola in 2015.