What makes a good story? “It’s when I become you,” an ESOL student once said in his class. Much of Beth Olshansky’s workshop for teachers, “Creating Identity Texts in the Multilingual Classroom,” offers a process - beginning with art - to create stories that help readers enter a story so deeply they become the child they are reading about.
Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera had just arrived at the Adult Learning Center in Nashua, his second day with New Hampshire Humanities' Connections program. "For me," a student tells him, "the Learning Center is my second house."
Readers in a Connections group can be graduate students learning English as a third or fourth language, or incarcerated fathers using literature to connect with their kids, or first generation new Americans who've come as refugees.
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.
Taintor Child, artist, and program director of MindsEye Designs in Dover, received a grant from New Hampshire Humanities to bring a Connections program to the artists she mentors. MindsEye Designs is a vocational program in the creative arts at Community Partners serving adults with disabilities. Taintor had taught a class in a small space at their Crosby St. office. But now MindsEye has a storefront gallery and a shop on Dover's Central Avenue.
New Hampshire Humanities extends its gratitude to Lincoln Financial Foundation for a $20,000 grant to support its Connections adult literacy program, marking the tenth year of support from Lincoln Financial Foundation.
…we had a soiree, us Connections facilitators, and we remembered. In Villingen in the Black Forest I celebrated Christmas with my British boyfriend eating greasy goose we stewed on our hot plate, followed by sweet Badenwurtember wine, far too many glasses, clinking cheer.
In 2010, Laurie Lalish of Lutheran Social Services, now Ascentria, conducted a visual arts project with her ESL class in Laconia who created imagery of their homeland. They continued drawing images of home when Jo Radner and I were invited by Laurie to work with her class to do a folktale project.
A high point of 2017 was an invitation to New Hampshire Humanities Connections staff to do a presentation with the extraordianry Jessie "little doe" Baird who has worked to reclaim the Wampanoag language on Cape Cod.