Community Literacy Center

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The University of New Hampshire's Community Literacy Center (CLC) is a resource for preK-12 learners, families, and educators that supports the literacy learning of area children through collaboration with schools, families, and community organizations.

Literacy Specialist Forum


National Day of Writing


Write Free Program




Access the Community Literacy Center calendar of events


CLC logo with words Tinder and Flint

Tinder and Flint, the Community Literacy Center blog, shares ideas about ways to incorporate literacy research in your classroom or home.

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Contact Information

Bethany Silva
Research Assistant Professor of Education
Community Literacy Center Director
Phone: (603) 862-3733
University of New Hampshire
Morrill Hall
62 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Ruth Wharton-McDonald
Associate Professor of Education
Phone: (603) 862-2380
University of New Hampshire
202A Morrill Hall
62 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

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The idea for a Community Literacy Center housed in the Department of Education evolved from the relationship between partner schools and the UNH Education Department. A long-time dream of Ruth Wharton-McDonald, the Community Literacy Center connects practicing teachers, pre-service teachers, youth, families and Education Department faculty around the common goal of excellent literacy learning throughout the state of New Hampshire.

Through teacher networks, individual tutoring, group literacy activities, research, and more, the Community Literacy Center offers a student-centered, balanced approach to literacy grounded in research-based instruction. 

Join us as we create a Community Literacy Center that is a vibrant alliance of educators and learners working together toward the goal of improved literacy.

Programs for Adults

Literacy Specialists Forum

A place to share ideas, collaborate, and support each other's literacy work.

Who: reading specialists, literacy coaches, literacy specialists and other school literacy leaders.

Time: 4:30-6:00PM

Monthly Registration page
Dates:  January 21st: Community Literacy Center (UNH)
              March 31st: Book and Bar (Portsmouth)
              May 19th: Community Literacy Center (UNH)
Cost: Free Flyer

Become a part of a community of literacy educators seeking to share challenges, highlight successes, and connect across districts. 

The Literacy Specialists Forum (LSF) is a professional group for school literacy leaders like reading specialists, reading coaches, and literacy coaches. LSF meetings are self-governed with the leadership team selecting a topic from a list generated by the members. At meetings, LSF members discuss literacy research, problems of practice, and useful resources. 

We’ll bring the snacks. You bring your ideas, questions, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration. Meeting take place in an informal, self-steering format where participants take the lead on topics, ideas, and actions. Members may join at any time and attend as many or as few meetings as fit their schedules.

Online Small-Group Reading and Writing

All ages

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: 9:15-9:45am or 2:45-3:15pm
Week1: October 13, 14, 15
Week 2: October 20, 21, 22
Week 3: October 27, 28, 29
Week 4: November 3, 4, 5
Week 5: November 10, 11, 12 (no tutoring November 11th)
Week 6: November 17, 18, 19
No meetings November 24, 25, 26
Week 7: December 1, 2, 3

Online, via Zoom. Link sent to participants upon registration. Cost: $200

Spend 7 weeks reading, writing, and making friends!

Designed to complement the work your child does in school, Small-Group Reading and Writing is an opportunity to complete that independent reading homework (or have fun with books just because!) while connecting with others. 3-4 participants, grouped with others of similar age and skill, meet with a UNH student 3 times a week for 30-minutes. Participants will be able to navigate all work independently (with a parent nearby, of course).

Each meeting, students take part in research-based, developmentally appropriate practices to support the literacy learning that they’re doing in school. The emphasis of this program is on reading connected text fluently through activities like reader’s theater, riddles, jokes, and assisted reading. Other activities might include: word ladders, phonics activities, sight word activities, and writing activities.

1:1 Literacy Support

Grades: K-12

Dear Families,

In light of current health guidelines, the University has decided to largely cancel its on-campus youth programs for 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you or your family. We are working with UNH Youth Programs to explore remote options for reading and writing support that follow university guidelines. We will update this page when we have more details.

1:1 Literacy Support is based on student-developed goals for reading and writing.

Before starting, students establish a literacy goal with the support of CLC staff. Students then meet individually with a tutor 2x per week for 45 minute sessions. During each session, participants work on activities focused on achieving that goal.

This program is available to students from Kindergarten - Grade 12.


1:1 Literacy Support is based on student-developed goals for reading and writing. 

Before starting, students establish a literacy goal with the support of CLC staff. Students then meet individually with a tutor 2x per week for 45 minute sessions. During each session, participants play games and work on activities focused on achieving that goal.


PreK-Grade 1 
Grades 1-4

Feb. 11, 18, March 3, 10, April 7, 14, 21


Site: 109 Suite, Morrill Hall Cost: $60 Registration
Join the Community Literacy Center for six weeks of reading, writing, and making art!

Developing a love for literature is an important part of becoming a lifelong reader. This club seeks to help develp that love for literature by linking fun activities with fun books.

Write Free

Grades: 5-12 Wednesdays: Sept. 16, 23, 30; Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28;
Nov. 4, 11, 18; Dec. 2, 9


Online via ZOOM. Participants will be emailed a link upon registration. Suggested participation fee of $7/session Registration

Join the Community Literacy Center (CLC) on Wednesday evenings for online Write Free! Have a paper that you’re writing for school? Some poetry that you’d like someone to read? CLC staff will be available to help you work on the projects of your choice. Come for as many or as few sessions as fit your schedule!


Access the CLC Handbook

Write Free FAQ

Have an essay that you’re writing for school? Some poetry that you’d like someone to read? A novel in the works? Join the CLC for Write Free! We’ll have UNH volunteers available as writing coaches to work on the projects of your choice. Don’t know what you want to write? Come on in and we’ll help you generate ideas to get that writing going.

Write Free is open to youth in grades 5-8. Attend as many or as few sessions as fit your schedule.

Although Write Free is free, please consider paying the optional $7 participation fee per session to help defray costs.


Who are the writing coaches?
The writing coaches are UNH undergrad and graduate students.

Why do you call them "writing coaches" instead of "tutors"?
Although the writing coaches can help you work to improve your writing, their goal isn't instruction or assessment, like a tutor's often is. The writing coaches are there to help you work on the writing that's important to you.  

Why do I need to sign up in advance?
Our writing coaches are volunteers, and knowing who will be at Write Free helps us make sure our writing coach numbers and our participant numbers are pretty close to equal. It also lets us know who to contact in case there's bad weather and we have to cancel a writing session. 

Do I have to go to every session?
We'd love to see you every week, but we understand that people get busy! Sign up for as many or as few weeks as you want. We do request, though, that you only sign up for weeks when you know you can attend. Spots are limited, and if you sign up and then don't show up, that means someone else will miss out. 

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
The CLC isn't able to provide transportation to or from the event. There are three parking spaces outside of Morrill Hall. There is a larger visitors' parking lot a short walk across Main Street, in front of the Hamel Rec Center. Both of those lots cost $1.50 for one hour of parking. You can find more information about parking at UNH here.

What should I bring to Write Free?
Bring your preferred mode of writing, be it a notebook, computer, tablet, phone, or parchment. Bring your creativity, and bring some ideas of writing you'd like to work on. 

What if I don't know what I want to write?
We'll have ideas to help spark your writing.

I save most of my writing in the cloud. Will I have access to wifi?

Interested in volunteering for the Community Literacy Center? We’re excited to have you on board!

Access our volunteer application here

Volunteer Handbook

To volunteer, please complete and submit a volunteer application to Morrill Hall Room 109. All volunteers take part in an interview and a training specific to their program prior to beginning volunteering.

Questions? Call 862-3733 or email



Online Resources

  • The Community Literacy Center BlogThe CLC blog provides short articles about reading and writing research and ways that research can be used by families and educators.
  • TwitterFacebookFollow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook where we share resources and engage in conversations about literacy.
  • Online Newsletter
    Our bi-weekly online newsletter shares information about upcoming programming through the center, connections, and opportunities.

Resources for Youth

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Professional Networks