Manchester, CT – a town with both urban and rural influences

In 2020, READy for the Grade Manchester replaced in-person instruction and events with literacy kits, which they distributed weekly for 7 weeks to 17 families. Unfortunately, restrictions forced Manchester to suspend participation in READy for the Grade in 2021. They resumed partial operations in 2022 by distributing literacy kits that included books, family games, and literacy activities focusing on sight words. Via family check-in surveys, parents reported the kits kept their children engaged and were helpful in maintaining their interest in reading. Plans are underway to resume in-person programming in 2023.

2019 was Manchester’s fourth year as a READy for the Grade site. The Mary Cheney Public Library served as lead partner. Collaborators included Squire Village Apartments Resource Coordinator, Lutz Children’s Museum, Youth Services and Adult Ed, and Verplanck School.

Manchester held 2.5 hours of programming per day, 4 days per week, for 5 weeks in 2019, for a total of 50 hours.

Manchester surpassed other sites in the number of hours offered in 2019, even though they held fewer hours of programming in 2019 than in 2018.

On average, each student attended 31 hours of programming in Manchester.

They did not offer family events.

Although the library was the lead partner, activities occurred at Squire Village, an apartment complex.

By providing bus services, Manchester enabled children to participate in field trips to the Lutz Children’s Museum. 

A window into READy for the Grade 2019

• Manchester •

The children assemble in the Squire Village Community Room while they await the bus for their field trip to the Lutz Children’s Museum. During the initial activities each child is engaged with a teacher either singly or in a small group, playing reading-focused educational games.

Once the children reach the museum, the Museum Educator teaches them about Pop Art. After reading James Warhola’s book Uncle Andy, she engages the children in a lively discussion about Andy Warhol and his work.

The museum educator asks each child to identify their name and age. Since the youngest person is 6, the educator provides the children with 6 fun facts about Andy Warhol. They discuss Warhol’s artistic style and strategies. She explains that the term Pop Art means popular art and asks the kids to share what the word popular means to them. She tells them that Warhol pulled inspiration from billboards and newspapers and shows them pictures of some of his most famous images. She points out that Warhol painted the same images repeatedly, in different colors, and teaches the children about the differences between warm and cool colors.

After the presentation, the children move to a table where they make their own art using multiple images of animals. The art-making activity reinforces the main topics of the lesson.

For details, download the independent evaluation of READy for the Grade.

All Kids Need to Read

READy for the Grade serves a diverse population, with programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities. The challenges of living and learning with low income vary by setting. Click the site name for details.



New Haven





Location: 195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Telephone: (203) 859.6600

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