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Grants to encourage reading at prisons in N.H., Vt.

State prisons in New Hampshire and Vermont are each getting $15,000 in grants from the Children’s Literacy Foundation to help inmates and their families through reading.

The state prison for men in Concord and the Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland, Vt., are each getting a yearlong sponsorship in literacy programs and new children’s books.

Both prisons will receive books for the prison family visiting room. On days like Father’s Day, presenters will tell stories to inmates and their families. Children can select new books.

Literacy seminars are designed to encourage inmates to share books and stories with their children. Inmates also will be able to record themselves reading books aloud and send them home.

The sponsorships help inmates be a part of their children’s lives and teach them how important it is to read to their children, said John Cassarino, Marble Valley Correctional Facility volunteer coordinator.

“Children can also hear their father’s voice and read along with the recordings. It’s a win-win situation,” he said.

Inmate seminars are scheduled for tomorrow in Rutland and Nov. 13 in Concord.

The nonprofit organization was founded in 1998. Over the past 15 years, it has supported more than 140,000 low-income, at-risk and rural young readers and writers across New Hampshire and Vermont through literacy programs and donated more than $2.5 million in new books.

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