Manchester Proud – a citizen’s coalition committed to uniting Manchester behind an aspirational vision for our City’s schools – launched a month-long canvassing effort on Saturday, September 15 by knocking on over 500 doors and talking with over 150 Manchester residents. Volunteers went out to talk with residents about the city, the schools, and peoples’ visions for what they hope Manchester’s schools will become in the future. This type of personal engagement is at the core of Manchester Proud’s efforts to bring the community together to create a strategic plan for the school district that is truly by and for the people of Manchester.

“We had two goals with this canvass,” said Barry Brensinger, of Lavallee Brensinger Architects and Manchester Proud’s coordinator. “We wanted to hear from the community their thoughts for the next district strategic plan, but even more importantly, we wanted to bring people together to talk and work on the issue that affects us all – our schools; and in both respects the day exceeded expectations.”

City Year co-sponsored Saturday’s canvass. City Year corps members, working alongside students, educators, and other members of the Manchester community:

  • Knocked on over 500 doors;

  • Held over 150 conversations about Manchester’s schools; and,

  • Distributed over 350 flyers telling residents how to fill out Manchester Proud’s community survey and other ways to become more involved in efforts to transform learning in the city.

“We were particularly pleased by how engaged residents were with our canvassers–we were hoping to have a 20% conversation rate for the number of doors we visited and we ended up over 30%,” noted Brensinger. “People are clearly excited by the idea of a community-driven movement focused on our schools and we saw tremendous buy-in on the importance of valuing all perspectives and going door-to-door to talk with residents in a truly inclusive fashion.”

Manchester Proud will hold additional canvassing days in September and October and invites and welcomes members of the community to join. To see the schedule and sign up to canvass, go to or check out Manchester Proud on Facebook. Manchester Proud also invites nonprofits, businesses, places of worship, and other Manchester organizations to co-sponsor a canvass – to find out more email