School leaders celebrate community school grant

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Jenn Gillis on April 15, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Monday, representatives from the Manchester School District gathered in the SNHU Millyard with Manchester Proud and other local leaders to celebrate a $2.5 million grant for community schools.

Based on preliminary efforts at Beech Street and Gossler Park Elementary Schools, community schools are public schools that provide not just education but access to services and support that meet the needs of students and families such as medical care, leadership training and after-school activities.

Manchester received the only community school grant in New Hampshire, with $74 million awarded across 30 states by the U.S. Department of Education.

Manchester Mayor Jay Ruais said that the awarding of the grant was a symbol of the boundless future of Manchester’s school district and a testament to the tireless work of its administrators and educators.

“One recognizes that a child’s success is not solely determined within the confines of the classroom, but it’s deeply impacted by the external forces that we can help address inside this purpose. That’s what this is about,” he said. “Fostering partnerships, breaking down barriers and providing every child with the support and resources they need to thrive academically, socially and emotionally through this initiative, we will see the creation of vibrant hubs of learning and support within our neighborhoods.”

Manchester School District Superintendent Dr. Jenn Gillis had similar sentiments.

“We have come together to champion our schools and create opportunities for our students to thrive,” she said. “This achievement is not just a milestone, it’s a testament to the dedication and passion of everyone involved. Our students are the heart of this endavor and their future will be shaped by the partnership that is cultivated directly aligned with our strategic plan.”

Manchester School District worked with Manchester Proud in developing the grant application. The District will work with a number of existing community partners on this project, including: Manchester Proud, Amoskeag Health, Granite YMCA, Manchester Health Department, SEE Science Center, University of New Hampshire Extension, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, DEKA, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester Community College, International Institute of New England, Elliot Health System, Granite United Way, Partners for Rural Impact and Southern New Hampshire University.

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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.