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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. I’m lucky to be back now and work as the interim Connections Coordinator.
In the past few years I’ve been a facilitator for Connections. In that role I’ve shared literature with teachers and adult students in Salem, Dover, Manchester, Concord, and Exeter. A high point was facilitating in Christine Powers’ ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) class. The class met in a school in Salem, one in which the children of Chris’s students – all moms – attended. We experienced a dramatic understanding of a time in U.S. history also in a school setting when we read a biography of Ruby Bridges. The words took the mothers from India, Pakistan, and Lebanon among other countries, along with Chris and me, into the isolation of six-year old Ruby as well as her teacher who was ostracized by other teachers for her willingness to teach Ruby. I leaned a lot from master teacher Chris Powers who is also the statewide Department of Education mentor of teachers of ESOL. Chris wove the language and the meaning of our books into the curriculum throughout the semester. Her students build a reflective community around the powerful, beautifully-illustrated Connections books. I am so happy to continue this work.
– Terry Farish
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.