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Bill Badgley's students studying English at the Dover Adult Learning Center are immigrants who have university degrees. Their fields of study include architecture, software develoment, communications, business, journalism, environmental science, and engineering. They gathered to increase their English language skills in a New Hampshire Humanities Connections book discussion. Many students responded to a book of interconnected stories, SEEDFOLKS, about the creation of an urban community garden out of a vacant, abandoned lot.
“The book made me realize that I can’t be a part of a community until I contribute something,” said one participant. “It is everybody’s responsibility to come forward to form a community where anybody can reach out to anybody in the neighborhood in a time of crisis.”
Another remarked, “I love this book. It makes very clear our humanity, what we all need. It teaches us how we can learn, change, adapt, and open a place in our empty, vacant lot somewhere in our hearts.”
By Terry Farish, Connections Adult Literacy Coordinator
New Hampshire Humanities’ Connections adult literacy program brings children’s, young adult, and adult literature and NHH-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 is funded by Lincoln Financial Foundation; Bank of America; The Couch Family Foundation; Merrimack Country Savings Bank Foundation; Getz Charitable Trust; Citizens Bank, N.A. Trustee; Ann deNicola Trust; and Citizens Bank, N.A. Trustee.
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.