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In the Field

New Hampshire Humanities Council receives two grants to support Connections

February 21, 2013 | By Federal/State Partnership Staff

Lincoln Financial Foundation and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have both awarded grants to the New Hampshire Humanities Council for its Connections adult literacy program. The grants reflect Lincoln Financial Foundation and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's focus on economic and workforce development and their belief that literacy is essential to gainful employment for adult native English speakers who are learning to read and for immigrants who are learning English as a new language through the Connections program.

Lincoln Financial Foundation has support the Connections program for the past five years. "The Humanities Council is deeply grateful for the on-going support of Lincoln Financial Foundation," said Deborah Watrous, New Hampshire Humanities Council Executive Director. "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."

Connections is a book discussion program offered in partnership with adult basic education and ESOL classes, the prisons, and refugee resettlement organizations. Participants are both native speakers and new Americans. The program uses the best of children's literature and NHHC-trained facilitators to promote English-language skills, promote a culture of reading, nuture conversation in which readers contribute their own ideas and stories, and reinforce family literacy. Participants keep copies of their books to read again and share with their families.