In September 2021, Manchester Proud and the Manchester School District partnered to champion the first ever, city-wide, festival of our public schools: CelebratED MHT! Everyone in Veteran’s Park that day wore a big smile! Bright sunshine, toe-tapping music, good food, and crowds of happy students, all free – the smiles just beamed out naturally. CelebratED 2021 brought us all together for a day of celebration, acknowledging the accomplishments of our students, educators, school staff and the organizations and businesses that support them. This inaugural festival, which will now become an annual tradition, offered a glimpse into Manchester’s future – a city where everyone shares in the pride and joy of exceptional public schools.

Manchester Proud’s CelebratED Work Group is already making plans for 2022 – mark your calendars for Saturday, September 17th!

Here are some of the takeaways that compel us to build upon this year’s success:

Cause for Celebration There is so much happening in the Manchester School District that is worthy of celebration. The festival could have gone on for days! Recognizing our student artists, scholars, athletes, musicians, technicians, and those who educate and support them strengthens our bonds to our schools, city, and each other.

Pent Up Demand: Our community is bursting with enthusiasm for supporting our kids and schools. Without exception the District and City Department employees, businesses, nonprofit organizations, parents, students, and volunteers asked to join-in the event eagerly stepped-up to help. They shared our belief that now is the time to give our students and schools a boost and they jumped at the chance to channel their energies into a productive cause.

Celebration of a Cause: Undoubtedly, the festival was fun for all! However, it was much more – it was fun with a purpose. CelebratED brought us together to experience the goodness that is our kids and schools, while imagining the potential greatness ahead for the Manchester School District. Having fun together, as a community, can take us beyond the enjoyment of the moment and lead us to aspire to ever greater causes for celebration.

Manchester Proud’s mission remains clear and compelling. All that we do is centered on engaging our entire community in the making of exceptional public schools – the source of our best possible future.  The thousands who participated in CelebratEd came away with greater appreciation of our schools, greater understanding that will inspire them to deepen their involvement and support. Our goal is to have everyone in Manchester join us in the Park as a declaration of our shared commitment to “Excellence and Equity” in the education of every Manchester student.

In December, Manchester Proud’s Council will meet to reflect on our work to-date and plan our initiatives for the years ahead. We will do so with confidence and momentum – and immense gratitude to our many volunteers and donors. You have all enabled the remarkable progress being made by our partnership with the Manchester School District.