Humanities-Based Literacy Programs


Exploring Ideas through Books

WelfareBrat3Connections is a humanities-based reading and discussion program for adult Vermonters whose reading skills are developing. Connections has made a difference to these Vermonters for nearly thirty years.

Connections serves adult education and literacy students, men and women in Vermont’s correctional facilities, teen parents, English Language Learners, and other special audiences. VHC provides the discussion leader as well as sets of books for participants.

The goal of Connections programs is that of all humanities programs: to open minds, to excite thought, to spark a desire to learn more. The core of the program is reading and responding to literature through conversation, and sometimes through writing. Connections programs help develop the skills and motivation to read and to enjoy reading, as well as the confidence to talk about books and ideas.

The program can deepen participants’ engagement with the material, encourage thinking and reflection, and strengthen their ability to express themselves thoughtfully and meaningfully — to have a voice. Connections helps those who may believe that “books have nothing to do with me” to feel a connection to literature as well as to other people, their community, and their world.

Connections Themes

  • Dreams of America: Immigration and the Refugee Experience
  • Fear, Courage, and Survival
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Poetry
  • Reading Between the Lines: Graphic Novels
  • Storytelling
  • Vermont Reads: March Book One
Photo by Emily Nelson, Burlington Free Press