Welcome from the Director of NH Literacy Institutes

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This is the 43rd year of the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes, and we are excited to new new friends and educators to this year’s offerings, as well as our lifelong friends, who have found a few weeks of summer in Durham to do wonders for their teaching, their spirits, and their sense of possibilities for the classroom and beyond.  These are challenging times for teachers, and we continue to a place where teachers find meaning in their work and re-engage with their teaching craft – whatever stage they are at in their careers.  For those teachers who started teaching during the COVID years, we’d like to welcome you to these programs.  They are a place where you can find support and gain your footing as the teaching field can throw much at us during any given school year.  For my part, I took part in the NH Literacy Institutes as a first-year teacher, and the wonderful support of the community and its instructors helped me to find what I needed to feel inspired and confident in the ways I taught my students. We hope old friends and new will join us this summer!

Our Summer 2024 courses and workshop are offered through the UNH English Department, the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes, and the College of Liberal Arts.  As in the past, we staff our summer institutes with instructors who know what public K-12 school teaching is like. They know the joys, the challenges, and the possibilities. They’ve been there and can offer credible, practical advice.  Our classes are small, so that participants receive individual attention, and are run in a workshop or seminar format.  

We are excited to be joined by Ryan Bani Tahmaseb, author of The 21st Century School Library. Ryan is teaching a wonderful course focused on teaching writing that is perfect for a range of teachers hoping to help students make greater strides with their writing.  Dr. Laura Smith from UNH is teaching a great course on teaching YA literature at the secondary levels.  Laura’s course will be a great exploration space for considering a range of YA lit and thinking about ways to pair and integrate these works into your classroom. Ashley Healey, Isabelle O’Kane, and Whitney Forbes whose led fantastic presentations at NCTE and NHCTE this past year,  will take teachers into deeper consideration of literacy with their reading through inquiry course.  If you are working with a range of readers in your classroom, this is the course for you! 

In addition to our graduate credit courses, we will also be offering a five-day workshop with author/teacher Chris Hall. Chris, author of The Writer’s Mindset, will join us for a workshop on writing and revision. Over the past twenty years, Chris has taught in urban, suburban, public, independent, and international schools, where he has helped young writers find authentic purpose, build community, and discover the power of their own words.  Chris’ workshop may also be taken for graduate credits, if needed. 

We will also have keynote sessions this summer from our founder, Tom Newkirk, and Tomasen Carey, our field director for Learning Through Teaching.   Please browse through our website to see all the offerings, instructor biographies, and times.  If you have questions, please reach out to us at nhliteracy.institute@unh.edu or call 603-862-1168.

All of our courses and workshops are open to educators – at all levels. New teachers, or teachers returning to classrooms, are particularly welcome.  If you are in need of housing, please reach out. We have housing available on campus. In addition, our program is also open to those who would like to work toward a Master of Science for Teachers (M.S.T) degree in the Department of English.  

In addition to these programs for teachers and literacy leaders, we will also be offering our Writers Academy for students in middle and high school. 

We are looking forward to an engaging, knowledge-building, and fun summer with all of you!  Come join us! 



Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
Director, The NH Literacy Institutes at UNH