We're celebrating the Year of New Voices with the publication of "Tell Me More: Encouraging and Developing the Voices of English Learners."

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 “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, Tomie dePaola in 2015, and Juan Felipe Herrera in 2018.

  

"Connections is an example of New Hampshire Humanities
identifying a real need, rallying partners around it,
and coming up with a real solution."

Ken Sheldon, Bank of America

For Teachers and Program Coordinators


 

Here is a list of resources you'll need when planning and conducting your Connections series.

Apply for a book discussion series

How to apply: Adult literacy program coordinators or teachers can apply for one series per class per year. Participants read up to four books over four weeks. Book discussions can be held over four consecutive weeks, every other week, or once per month. Programs meet during regular class times. Connections provides books, matches a New Hampshire Humanities trained book discussion facilitator with the program and coordinates dates for the program. The host provides the classroom, audio-visual equipment, paper and writing implements, and prepares the students for the upcoming program. Many teachers like to provide refreshments during the discussions to create a festive atmosphere. The teacher and facilitator can select themes and books together and coordinate preparatory materials such as vocabulary lists. The teacher also submits an evaluation at the conclusion of the program. To apply, download the checklist, application and accompanying forms, complete the application and send it as an attachment to Terry Farish, Connections Coordinator.

APPLICATION:  Fillable PDF  OR  Word document 

Our discussion facilitators

What facilitators do

Connections book discussion facilitators are writers, professors, artists, teachers, librarians, scholars and others who are passionate about sharing literature and discussing ideas with adult learners. Facilitators coordinate class preparation with the teacher, research authors and historical contexts of the books, prepare materials and activities for book discussions and lead discussions and activities. Many facilitators bring what they love to Connections: writing and drama exercises, cooking, art, artifacts, music and more. Connections discussions are lively and fun!

Forms

Books for Your Connections Series

Here are some suggested titles and themes you may want to consider for your series:
     Connections Themes: Some ideas for your series
     YA Novels for Adult ESOL Students
     Wordless Picture Books

The Connections book database enables teachers and facilitators to search for classic books. You can search by author, title, reading level, theme, and genre. For instance, if you click on themes, you can scroll to find one that is interesting to you. When you click on a theme, you'll see a list of books that are available.

     Book database

 

 

 

Connections Blog

Includes articles, essays, stories, book reviews, poetry, recipes and reflections from Connections programs. For submission guidelines, please contact Connections Program Coordinator Terry Farish at 603-224-4071 or at tfarish@nhhumanities.org. Read the Connections Blog HERE.

For Students

 


Welcome to Connections!

If you liked what you read in class, you can find more here. Please check out our Connections blog, book list, and links to other resouces for adult learners.

 

21st U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera worked with Connections students from Dover, NH.  

Connections Blog

Includes articles, essays, stories, book reviews, poetry, recipes and reflections from Connections programs. For submission guidelines, please contact Connections Program Coordinator Terry Farish. Read the Connections Blog HERE.

Books for Your Connections Series

Here are some suggested titles and themes you may want to consider for your series:
     Connections Themes: Some ideas for your series
     YA Novels for Adult ESOL Students
     Wordless Picture Books

The Connections book database enables teachers and facilitators to search for classic books. You can search by author, title, reading level, theme, and genre. For instance, if you click on themes, you can scroll to find one that is interesting to you. When you click on a theme, you'll see a list of books that are available.

     Book database

 

 

 

Resources

The International Children’s Library (ICDL) Free online books for families. Bilingual storybooks in English and other languages. http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

Dave’s ESL Café is a place where students and teachers can find help for learning and teaching English. http://www.eslcafe.com/students/

Many Things ESL Games and Activities: www.manythings.org/e/easy.html

For Facilitators

Connections book discussion facilitators are writers, professors, artists, teachers, librarians, scholars and others who are passionate about sharing literature and discussing ideas with adult learners. Facilitators lead up to four discussion series and participate in one or two New Hampshire Humanities sponsored trainings per year. Many facilitators bring what they love to Connections: writing and drama exercises, cooking, art, artifacts, music and more. Connections discussions are lively and fun!

 

 

 

Connections is made possible in part by generous support from:

               

Merrimack Country Savings Bank Foundation
Getz Charitable Trust, Citizens Bank, N.A., Trustee
Ann deNicola Trust, Citizens Bank, N.A., Trustee
Ella F. Anderson Trust, BNY Mellon, N.A., Trustee