Generous grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation will support NH Humanities Connections Adult Literacy program

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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.

The grant reflects Lincoln Financial Foundation’s commitment to economic and workforce development and their belief that literacy is essential to gainful employment. Connections links adult students to the world through literature and other print media,  stimulates thinking and discussion, builds confidence, supports whole family learning, and helps create a foundation for economic opportunity.

“Literacy is the cornerstone of employability,” said Byron Champlin, Concord program officer for Lincoln Financial Foundation, which is now in its ninth year of investing in the Connections program. “The Connections program provides long-time residents, as well as new arrivals to New Hampshire, with the reading skills they need to live greater lives within the community.”

“New Hampshire Humanities is deeply grateful for the ongoing support of Lincoln Financial Foundation,” said Deborah Watrous, executive director of New Hampshire Humanities. “Connections succeeds because it increases reading and comprehension ability, encourages critical thinking, strengthens conversation and interview skills, provides opportunity for leadership development and builds confidence necessary to succeed in the workplace. Statistics show that an American with low literacy skills is almost certain to have parents who also did not read or write with fluency. This means that adult literacy programs are doubly effective – reaching all new readers within a household.”

“The program is magnificent,” wrote a student from a recent Connections program at Concord’s Second Start. “People from all levels come together and talk. Some people can’t read… I couldn’t read more than “Dick and Jane” and now I can read anything.”

Watrous added, “Lincoln Financial Foundation’s support has been critical to the success and growth of the program. They have and will continue to change many lives for the better with their support for New Hampshire Humanities Connections.” 

For more information about Connections and other New Hampshire Humanities programs, please visit


Photo: Participants in a recent Manchester Connections adult literacy group celebrate with their teacher/facilitator, Maria Cristina Rojas.