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Published weekly since August 2017 and now daily during the Coronavirus school shutdown

Friday, March 27, 2020

Today is (a lowercase) mothers' day as we share insights from two moms -- Michele Gara (whose 16-year-old daughter Aislinn has been chronicling the crisis each day with a POV essay) and Maura Alarcon (who has three boys including a fourth-grader at Bowers). Makes you wonder: Will school still be out when the actual Mother's Day gets here on May 10? If so, we'll still be publishing our special editions and you can click here to subscribe.
The Latest
Things are so brutal in New York City that many people are bailing out and heading to Connecticut, so Gov. Ned Lamont wants our state to get federal aid befitting a major disaster area.

  • As of last night -- more than 21 deaths and 1,000 confirmed cases statewide and almost 150,000 unemployment claims.
  • The state is now prohibiting social/recreational gatherings of more than five people.
  • Plastic bags are temporarily OK again at stores.
There's lots more in this Executive Order from the governor.
  • MACC is getting a flurry of requests from distressed residents and is seeking monetary donation. Read more here.
  • Our school system soft-launched its distance learning initiative yesterday and we have lots on that below.
  • The town added this to its website:
Free workout and yoga videos, virtual tours of national parks, tips on dealing with stress.You'll find all that and more on a new page on the town website.
There's lots more on the town's webpage dedicated to Coronavirus including information in Spanish and even more info in yesterday's Manchester Matters.
Humans Of Manchester
The world is on edge and Bronson, Myles and Landon have been keeping her busy but Maura Alarcon says it's important "to remember to have fun and embrace these times as much as we can as a family."
The  'Humans' gallery can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
So writes Michele Gara, the mother of MHS junior Aislinn Gara Grady. Both have essays exploring the way life has changed as the state and country brace for more trauma from the Coronavirus. Click here to read their works.
Seth DeValve
Signs With Panthers

Dang! We wanted him to join Tampa Bay. An MHS grad from 2011, this is his third NFL team after Cleveland and Jacksonville.
Here's news of his signing and -- for fun -- a short video shot in 2016 when Seth made a hug-filled return visit to Illing after being drafted by the NFL.
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage but monthly free-read limits -- although the Courant has removed the paywall from its main daily Coronavirus story. You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch
School Stuff
We've posted dozens of photos of students working from home on the district Facebook page. Have something to share? Email
UPDATE: As he's done every afternoon this week, Superintendent Matt Geary sent out an email to the MPS community with updates. Here are some highlights:
  • Chromebooks will be distributed at Illing from 9 a.m.-1 p.m for any family with a child in grade PK-2 (whether or not you indicated you needed one during your recent phone call with your child’s teacher or grades 3-8 (if you couldn't make it Tuesday or Wednesday)
  • Special education teachers, social workers and such will be reaching out next Tuesday/Wednesday to parents/guardians of students who receive programming to discuss plans for support. 
To see the full letter click here for English and here for Spanish.
The theme is 'Unexpected' so it should come as no surprise that we've changed the duration of the contest. You can now enter through April 24, but why wait? For details just click here.
eREADING ACCOUNTS : There are special accounts for students in the district, pre-K to grade 12. Click here to see the links.
HIGH SCHOOL: The MHS website has lots of resources and learning opportunities and there's even more on the MHS Media Center page.
  • Manchester Public Library's database page includes a link to hoopla (download books and more for free), Pronunciator (learn another language) and more.
  • Audible is offering free books on tape in multiple languages for kids up through age 18. No subscription or login is necessary.
  • The Junior Library Guild also has lots of free online resources.
Drive Up/Pick Up Meals For Students
Starting today, meals will be accessed by curbside pickup. People should remain in their cars and school staff will be by to ask how many meals you need. 
Free ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast (8-10 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) are available Monday through Friday at these locations.  
  • Bennet Academy
  • Manchester Middle Academy (the former Robertson School building)
  • Waddell Elementary School
  • Squire Village .
  • For more info:  Details are here.
  • Friday's lunch: Mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, broccoli, fruit, milk    
  • MACC CHARITIES: The Community Kitchen (466 Main Street) is giving out bagged lunches (1 bag per person) from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. No one will be allowed in the dining room to eat. Details here.
  • SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.
  • SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH:  Food Pantry is open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon; it's in the parking lot behind the church on North Street.
Maggie McFly's Making A Difference

An estimated 600 free "Essential Kit" food bags were given out at Maggie McFly's (thanks to laid off employees) yesterday before supplies ran out.
Words From The Wise

"The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation."

-- Bertrand Russell
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office and he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019, Want to subscribe? Just click here.