Manchester, Connecticut

Grants and Collaborative Programming

"Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved". - Mattie Stepanek.

We are able to provide a range of services to Manchester youth and their families by working closely with a variety of town departments, community and state agencies, and other organizations, which includes the programs and grants that are listed below.
Manchester School Readiness Council. The Council was established in 1997 in response to a statewide initiative that increased the number of preschool and child care spaces available to Connecticut residents. The primary goal of the Council is to support the positive development, education, and well-being of young children -- ensuring that every child in Manchester starts school "ready to learn."  Their mission is to advocate for the advancement of young children’s learning by promoting policies, programs, and partnerships among Manchester families, schools and the community.

Preschool Development Grant (PDG). This 4-year grant is coordinated through the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.  The Preschool Development Grant supports states to build or enhance a preschool program infrastructure that would enable the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children, and expand high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities that would serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low and moderate-income families. This grant lay the groundwork to ensure that more states are ready to participate in the Preschool for All formula grant initiative proposed by the Administration.

School Readiness Grant - The School Readiness Program was established in 1997 under P.A. 97-259, An Act Concerning School Readiness and Child Day Care and codified in the CT General Statutes (CGS) 10-16p–10-16u. This legislation established a state grant program to provide spaces for eligible children in priority school districts and competitive grant municipalities in high-quality programs either accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), or Head Start approved.  School Readiness is a state funded grant through the Office of Early Childhood, and Manchester is a priority school district.
Equity Learning Grant is provided through the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, and is used to provide workshops and learning opportunities surrounding race, equity, and class.

For more information with regard to the above grants, or the Manchester School Readiness Council, please email Donna Farr at, or call (860) 647-5269.
Local Interagency Service Team (LIST) - The purpose of the Connecticut LIST is to raise community awareness about the needs of children and youth who are involved in the Juvenile Justice System, or who are at risk of involvement in the Juvenile Justice System.  The Rockville LIST is funded by a grant from the CT Department of Children and Families and Court Support Services Division of the CT Judicial Branch.  Manchester is one of several local communities served by LIST.  The goals of LIST are to:

  • Support families and community members with resources regarding juvenile justice
  • Create partnerships between youth, families, local organizations and state agencies
  • Increase access to services for youth and families
  • Increase the sharing of information and knowledge among youth, families, community members, local organizations and state agencies

If you have questions about LIST, or are interested in attending meetings or becoming a member, please contact Terri Olson, LIST Coordinator at  Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Manchester Vernon Prevention Partnership (MVPP) is a partnership between The Change Collaborative of Manchester and the Vernon ROCKS Coalition, through a five-year federally funded grant from the Substance and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). MVPP was created to reduce underage drinking and increase prevention program work in the towns of Vernon and Manchester.

This expansion will help bring Vernon ROCKS and the Change Collaborative's prevention efforts into schools, where MVPP will implement a life-skills curriculum for middle and high schoolers (Botvin Lifeskills Training), to combat social and underage drinking issues that can occur during adolescence. MVPP will also create media campaigns targeting teens and parents to help educate them about underage drinking.

An MVPP Advisory Board was formed to focus on increasing program capacity and substance abuse prevention efforts, which will expand to include new member sectors that tackle housing, employment and financial stability. A Youth Advisory Board will also be developed and modeled after the Vernon ROCKS Real Talk youth initiative and the Change Coalition's FACTS group to engage local youth leaders.

The Partnerships for Success (PFS) 2015 Grant allows Connecticut to fund successful community-based strategies that prevent underage drinking, prescription drug use and abuse, as well as other substances identified by communities, by implementing the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) in medium and large sized urban communities. Manchester is one of 8 communities selected for the SPF through a competitive procurement process in the summer of 2016, which is a data-driven, public health approach that focuses on the reduction of disparities in substance use risk and consequences in communities that are faced with high challenges in terms of resources, infrastructure, population, diversity and severity of substance use related problems.  Connecticut’s PFS 2015’s goals are to:

  • Reduce alcohol use rates for 12-20 year olds, prescription drug and illicit opioid misuse and abuse in 12-25 year olds, and other substance abuse prevention priorities chosen by high need communities  
  • Prevent the onset and reduce the progression of childhood/underage drinking
  • Strengthen capacity and infrastructure at the State and community level to implement data-driven, evidenced-based policies, practices and programs
  • Collaboratively align state and community strategies, redirect existing services and leverage resources to sustain efforts.
As a community, Manchester’s role is to:
  • Use a public health approach to decrease alcohol consumption for 12-20 year olds, and/or prescription drug and illicit opioid misuse and abuse in 12 to 25 year olds, as well as address other community identified substance abuse priorities
  • Build on existing resources to implement environmental strategies known to be effective in reducing youth alcohol and prescription drug use rates, such as curtailing retail and social access, policy change, enforcement, media advocacy, and parental and merchant education
  • Measure and demonstrate quantifiable changes in use rates utilizing student survey and social indicator data
Please direct questions with regard to our Partnership for Success Grant to Sheridan Douglass, Program Project Coordinator, Deeidra Willingham, Youth Peer Advocate, or call (860) 647-5216. 
More information about Partnership For Success can be found by clicking on the link below:
Partnership for Success