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

Friday, March 20, 2020

Teachers making phone calls from their homes were able to connect with more than 4,000 families on Thursday -- the first stage of a campaign to institute formal "interim learning opportunities" for our stuck-at-home students. The district  also is busy distributing free 'grab and go' meals and if you scroll down you'll  meet one of the workers happily involved in that task. All that and more and click here if you want to subscribe to this newsletter.
The Latest
Although there have been no reported confirmed cases in Manchester, drive-thru testing moves into its third day today at Manchester Memorial Hospital (a note from a physician is required to be tested) so brace yourselves.

  • As numbers across the state are steadily increasing, local ramifications include more state-mandated business closures, notably salons, barbershops and such.
  • Officials also remain concerned about pockets of people continuing to disregard suggested social-distancing guidelines.
  • The town has an excellent Coronavirus page on its website with vast resources and links including information in Spanish.
School Stuff
Each day this week, MHS junior Aislinn Gara Grady has written about her thoughts on the shutdown and today you can get a parent's perspective as we asked for her mom's thoughts.  Click here to read what they've written.
ALSO: Teachers will continue making calls home today so, be aware, they might appear as coming from a "blocked" or "unknown" number. Here's more on that.
Trisha, a fourth-grader at Waddell, wrote a short story called 'Lucas the Loyal Dog' and it's the latest entry in our contest, which is open to students of all grade levels, district staff and even community members. The details are here.

Above are Buckley kindergartener Aidan (left) and MMA fifth-grader Hannah. At left are Verplanck twins Kody and Kaylie.
We have more pics in an album on the district Facebook page.
Teachers will continue calling families today and in the meantime there's lots of resources online and few are listed below: 
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 tons 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.
Come And Get It!
Free food is available at various sites around town.

The kids need to know they won't be let down, says Yvonne Martinez, who's the latest addition to our gallery.
Read about Yvonne, shown here handing out grab-and-go meals at Bennet yesterday, on either Facebook or Instagram.
STUDENT MEALS: Free ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast (8-10 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) is available to students Monday through Friday at Bennet Academy, Manchester Middle Academy (the former Robertson School building), Waddell Elementary School and now Squire Village.  Details are here.
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. 
SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.

Helping Hands

MAAC is serving between 120-130 meals per day so donations are always welcome. This photo was taken yesterday outside the building at 466 Main St. and if you, too, would like to help, call 860-647-8003.
This And That
  • Senior, adult & family services social workers are available to speak with any resident who feels anxious, lonely or isolated, especially during this difficult time. That info and more is in Manchester Matters.
  • As noted above, the town's pandemic information page has a lot of information -- from CDC resources & information to resources for business to town press releases.
  • 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.
  • About 2700 blood drives have been cancelled nationally of late so there's a huge need. Appointments are available for drives in Manchester on April 2 and 16 at North United Methodist Church and at Manchester Memorial Hospital on May 1 but there are others in neighboring towns sooner.
"Testing ... Check ... Check ..."
Thursday was the second day of  COVID-19 testing at Manchester Memorial Hospital and please know that a note from a physician is required to be tested. This story in the JI has more.
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell and Paul Ofria of the school district's communications office based on contributions from people and institutions throughout town. Jim, the district's communications director, can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published weekly since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019,