Manchester Proud: Championing Student Success, with your help

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What is Manchester Proud? Manchester Proud is a community-based movement, led by the people of Manchester. They started as an ad hoc gathering of local business and education leaders wanting to understand Manchester public schools and how they might partner to make improvements. They are bringing families, students, educators, and community members together to help shape a collaborative, strategic planning process for the district. Their goal is to bring a new strategic plan to the school district that is created by and for the people of Manchester. They want to bring the people of the city together in order to help collaborate a new plan for the students of Manchester.

Last week, I had both Barry Brensinger and Liz Canada from Manchester Proud on my radio show to talk about what Manchester Proud is and what they have accomplished  so far. Liz talked about the stages of gathering information for the organization and what they have been doing to get everyone’s input. One of the most effective ways they have been able to gather information is through canvassing the neighborhoods of Manchester. They have been able to get many people to volunteer to go door-to-door all around Manchester and talk to the people who are affected by the city schools. One thing that most people do not understand is that everyone is affected by the school system, regardless if you have children or not. Manchester Proud wants to talk to all community members because this new strategic plan will affect them in some way.

Another way Manchester Proud is getting out to interact with the people of Manchester is through Town Hall-style forums and listening sessions. These sessions are being held all around the city and are open to every community member. Listening sessions are also being held in each of the Manchester schools as well. Students and teachers are able to have an open forum to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the schools and how they can be improved. They provide an open and welcoming place for people to voice their suggestions and comments about the current state of the Manchester schools. Manchester Proud is trying to get every community member’s voice heard so that they can thoroughly and properly draw up a plan to move Manchester schools forward into the future.

Throughout my conversation with Barry and Liz, I could see that Manchester Proud is really looking to help the schools move forward and improve overall. They kept mentioning how important input and suggestions from all community members is and that they want to show the people of Manchester that they are listening. Transparency is very important to Manchester Proud and they want to make sure that everyone is informed on the process and updated on where in the process they are.

Overall, Manchester Proud wants to make Manchester schools the highlight of our city and they need our help. They want to collaborate with all community members and make sure that everyone’s voice is being heard. They are also looking for anyone who would like to volunteer to help out in any way.

Please go visit their website,, for more information and to stay updated on their progress. You can also fill out their Community Survey and make sure that your voice is heard!

Watch the Facebook Live replay of last week’s Weekly Dion Show below:

Or you can listen to my radio show from last week featuring Manchester Proud!

Thanks for reading and until next time, live and be happy!

Ben Dion/The Weekly Dion

Ben Dion hosts The Weekly Dion live Thursdays at 6 p.m. on 95.3 FM WMNH, Manchester’s only downtown radio station. Follow him on Twitter @BenDionNH and @TheWeeklyDion. Contact Ben at


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