“Our elders will read this story and remember their young lives and imagine returning to their homes. Our young people will ask many questions about how life used to be in Bhutan when parents and grandparents told folk stories to the children. The Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire was pleased to advise New Hampshire Humanities in the creation of this bilingual tale. We hope it enriches and supports the lives of ethnic Nepali Bhutanese people in our new home.”

At the NH Correctional Facility for Women in Goffstown, a small group of women in red t-shirts and sweatshirts in a gray room with a gray floor were writing the U.S. Constitution by hand. Linda Graham, facilitator in the New Hampshire Humanities Connections adult literacy program, had given everyone a copy from PrintableConstitution.com.

Laurie Lalish with three of her Bhutanese students in Laconia, 2010

By Terry Farish, Connections Adult Literacy Coordinator

By Terry Farish, Connections Adult Literacy Coordinator

“Hand copying a document can produce an intimate connection to the text and its meaning. The handwriter may discover things about this document that they never knew, a passage that challenges or moves them. They may even leave with a deeper connection to the founders and the country, or even a sense of encouragement.” Morgan O’Hara

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a $12,500 grant to New Hampshire Humanities to support their Connections adult literacy program.

My name is Terry Farish and I recently returned to the Connections desk at New Hampshire Humanities after my friend and colleague Susan Bartlett moved forward from this position. I was formerly the Connections Coordinator and in the four years since I left, New Hampshire Humanities has taken on a new look and name, and it’s a pleasure to see programs pictured gorgeously on the website.

New Hampshire Humanities presents the 2017 Connections Family Literacy Festival, “Our Stories; Our Community,” a celebration of food, songs, dancing, and stories.

“Isn’t this supposed to be a tragedy?” begins Stacie,* a mother participating in a Connections book discussion at Goffstown State Prison for Women. “Sometimes I think Shakespeare is making fun of Romeo and Juliet.”

“In a tragedy, things usually end badly for the main characters, but there can still be humor. With the way the story plays out, do you think Romeo and Juliet were just victims or could they have also been heroes,” asks discussion facilitator, Courtney Marshall.

"Our Stories; Our Community" is the theme of this year's Family Literacy Festival on Saturday, May 6, 2 - 5 pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. Students enrolled in the New Hampshire Humanities Connections book discussion groups through our participating adult literacy partners are invited to attend along with their family members.

New Hampshire Humanities has received a $20,000 grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation to support its Connections adult literacy program. New Hampshire Humanities Connections is a book discussion program offered statewide in partnership with adult basic education and ESOL classes, the prisons, and refugee resettlement organizations to promote English language skills, nurture a culture of reading, and support family literacy.

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