Opening Books,
Opening Minds, Opening Doors

We are the Children’s Literacy Foundation

CLiF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

What We Do

What We Do

CLiF arranges for more than 65 professional authors, illustrators, poets, graphic novelists, and storytellers to give inspiring presentations for children. These memorable events help kids get excited about books, stories, reading, and writing. CLiF holds nearly 1,000 events each year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our storytelling events have been outdoor, socially distant, or virtual.

At almost every CLiF event children can select new, high-quality books of their choice from hundreds of titles. In some CLiF programs, children can pick at least ten new books of their choice over one year. CLiF also donates significant collections of new, high-quality children’s books to school libraries, public libraries, classrooms, shelters, affordable housing developments, and other locations where children and families may be found. Many programs have been sending home books with meals or other learning materials, or offering safe, curb-side book pick-up.

CLiF provides a wide variety of literacy resources, and support to parents, caregivers, and staff members at organizations that serve our target audience. CLiF also hosts periodic conferences for educators and librarians (virtual in 2021).

Learn More & Apply

Why We Do It

Why We Do It

Why We Do It

Early literacy skills are one of the strongest indicators of a child’s future success. Yet, more than two-thirds of low-income fourth graders in New Hampshire and Vermont do not read proficiently. Many have limited access to inspiring literacy programming and high-quality new books. CLiF’s programs aim to increase enjoyment of reading and writing for low-income, at-risk, and rural kids in the Twin States, provide access to high-quality reading materials that meet children’s interests, and give families, schools, libraries, and programs the tools they need to encourage literacy skills.

Our Impact

What’s New

Catch up with our latest featured posts from our blog

Year of the Book / General

Support Writing Workshops this Giving Tuesday

Writing is an essential skill for children’s success in school and beyond. It helps kids express themselves and process their emotions, develop necessary communication and comprehension skills, and use their imaginations. It can also be a great way to tell family stories and connect to others in their communities. CLiF’s $25,000 Year of the Book … Continued

Writing

The Importance of Adults in Young People’s Lives

Of course, peer-to-peer relationships are important to a child’s social-emotional learning and development, but so, too, are relationships with adults. Multigenerational relationships can be fulfilling for everyone involved and it’s essential for kids to have positive, supportive adults in their lives to make them feel safe, loved, and seen. Adults have knowledge and experiences to … Continued

Education

The Importance of Teachers

From first through third grade, I was in a multi-age class taught by Mrs. A. I loved Mrs. A. She read to us every day and encouraged my passion for making up stories. She was the first teacher to tell me I was a talented writer and could be a real author in the future. … Continued

Literacy Activities

Literacy Activities to Try with Your Students

Sorry, educators, but summer’s winding down, in-services are starting up, and it’s time to think about the school year ahead (hopefully, a little more “normal” than last year?). We know you’re looking for fun and engaging ways to help your students improve their skills and knowledge base while keeping their attention after a tough two … Continued

General

How Reading with My Mom Saved My Life

Eighth grade was not a good year for me. Along with the usual teenage angst and social awkwardness, I was deeply depressed and anorexic. I spent a week at the Teenage Psychiatric Ward at the Keene State Hospital two-and-a-half hours from home. This was a harrowing experience and deterred me from seeking mental health care … Continued

Writing / General

How to Help with Rough Drafts

The process of writing begins before you actually put pen to paper (or words on a screen). Many people find “pre-writing” helpful, notes or an outline to help guide their writing. Some prefer to just jump in and start writing and see what happens. There’s no “right” way to go about writing. Some kids are … Continued

General

CLiF’s Virtual Storytelling Series

CLiF staff and presenters are saddened that COVID-19 means we can not visit schools, libraries, and out-of-school-time programs to complete our exciting grants. Instead, we offer your students the chance to interact live with our presenters from home. For five weeks starting May 5, each Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. EST, we will have an opportunity … Continued

Writing / General

3 Tips to Teach Kids to Learn Writing in a Fun Way

When you want your child to learn something new, the most important thing is to show him that the learning process will be interesting and engaging. Forcing your child to write and driving him into a rigid framework can result in a lack of interest/engagement in writing. For a preschool child, these are all abstractions … Continued

Writing / General

In Praise of Failure

As a writer, I fail. A lot. Since January, I’ve submitted 116 times and gotten 69 rejections. But I’ve also gotten five acceptances, including winning Noir Nation’s Golden Fedora fiction prize, told extremely personal and difficult stories in HuffPost and OC87 Recovery Diaries, and got an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train. In short, I’m doing … Continued

General

How Simple Exercises Can Help Kids With Their Studies

According to studies, children who work out are more likely to do well in their studies. Read on to learn how exercise can benefit your child, both physically and mentally, and how you can encourage your child to exercise. Boost Your Child’s Concentration with Exercise  At school, every day, kids are dealing with a number … Continued

Reflections on a Summer at CLiF

General

Reflections on a Summer at CLiF

Front Porch Forum doesn’t just help you find your lost dog or that bunk bed you desperately need for your kids. In my case, it found me a summer internship.

Impacts

CLiF has provided free and inspiring literacy programs and brand-new books to low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 in almost 85% of the communities in New Hampshire and Vermont.

350,000 Children Served
420+ Towns in VT + NH
$9 Million in New Books Donated
23+ Years

Upcoming Events

Please contact us if you’re interested in attending an event. Details may be subject to change.

Storykeepers: Manchester, NH

November 30, 2021 9:00-2:00 Manchester, NH

Gossler Park third graders will participate in 6 days of Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's Storykeepers program. October 28, Nov. 3, 4, 9, 16, 30.

CLiF Rural Library Conference - Session 1

November 30, 2021 8:30-10:00

Tuesday, November 30, 8:30-10am

Diversity to Inclusion – Kymberlee Powe (she/her) Childrens and YA Consultant for Connecticut State Library

Join Kymberlee Powe as she dives into the makeup of the publishing industry. You will learn how to identify the difference between a diverse collection and an inclusive one, and walk through the logistics of performing a diversity audit of your collection. The examples and resources provided in this session will focus on youth collections; however, the methodology of performing a diversity audit, and the reasons to do so, are universal to all collections.

REGISTER HERE

CLiF Rural Library Conference - Session 2

December 1, 2021 8:30-10:00

Wednesday, December 1, 8:30-10am

Singing a Story, Telling a Song: Tips for Creating Language-Rich Storytimes with Jenifer Straus, storybetold.com

Join Storytelling, Speaker and Narrative Coach, Jen Strauss for a workshop filled with ideas for adding story, song, puppets, props, and movement to your storytimes for young patrons and their families. Jen will review early childhood brain science and emphasize the ALA Every Child Ready to Read Five Practices as a guide for what every storytime needs. This interactive workshop will include demonstrations on storytelling, singing, prop and puppet-making, and methods for adding writing and pre-writing activities to theme-based storytimes. Jen will also offer extension ideas and ways to use picture books for programming with older children.

REGISTER HERE

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