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The Compass

Celebrate with Purpose

Written by Barry Brensinger

By: Barry Brensinger, Manchester Proud Coordinator

CelebratED 2022 is now only days away!   We are looking forward to seeing you in Veteran’s Park on September 17th for a day-long festival to celebrate our public schools and community.  If you enjoy great food, live entertainment, swelling pride, and the glowing faces of happy kids, you don’t want to miss it!

During a recent Champion’s Council meeting, it was noted that between our School-Community Partnerships, The Compass, communications initiatives, and CelebratED, Manchester Proud has so much good work underway that it’s hard to keep up.  Many organizations would consider any one of these efforts to be a worthwhile annual agenda.  We are indeed busy, but always remain mission focused: Engaging and uniting our community in the making of exceptional public schools.

Everything we do is purposeful and our work continues to be shaped by lessons learned every day.  CelebratED, for example, is not just a day of fun in the park. Here are some insights into how it profoundly advances our work:

Team Building

The CelebratED Planning Team is a remarkable assembly of 30 smart, caring, and hard-working representatives, including Board of School Committee, school leaders and teachers, city departments, local businesses and non-profits, and parents.  Producing CelebratED to the high standards set by the Team has taken nine months and countless hours of work. Along the way we have established invaluable relationships and friendships.  The mutual trust earned between Manchester Proud and the leaders of our schools and community is among our greatest assets and will lead to ever more productive partnerships in the months and years ahead.


We need ALL of our citizens to be “Manchester Proud”! Toward that end, the CelebratED Team has taken great strides toward making the festival welcoming and accessible to everyone. Our event notices have been shared in multiple languages spoken in the District.  The event is free to all, including food, entertainment, books, Fisher Cats tickets, and dozens of planned activities with give-aways for our students.  All on-stage activities will include an interpreter with American Sign Language.  Free bus transportation has been arranged, as well as additional handicapped parking on Central Street.  And a Sensory Tent will be available on-site, for those who need some quiet time.  CelebratED continues to help us better understand how to bring us ALL together as a community.


CelebratED is serious business.  As a corollary to the old adage “You are what you eat”, communities become what they value – what they “celebrate”.   Celebration of our students and schools promotes awareness and understanding of the countless success stories being lived in the Manchester School District every day. By accentuating the positive, we inspire ever greater pride and progress.  Our ultimate success will be realized when the making and maintaining of great public schools and commitment to the success of ALL of our students are part of our collective civic conscience – When we and the world know Manchester to be a great place to learn and live.

Don’t miss CelebratED 2022.  Certainly, it will brighten your day!   Perhaps even more importantly, you will be further supporting the growing movement that is Manchester Proud – Citizens engaged and united in the making of exceptional public schools for ALL of Manchester.

See you in the park!

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The power of building and tending to community partnerships is a multiplier, expanding our collective knowledge, expertise, experience, capacity, resources, opportunity, and commitment to our common goal of excellence and equity for all learners. The old saying that, “Two heads are better than one”, certainly applies to our work, and we are so very fortunate to have many, many heads contributing to the success of our District.