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International Conference Is Saturday At MHS

A melting pot is defined as a place where different types of people live together and gradually create one community.

A place like Manchester.

About 6,000 students attend public schools in town, and they come from dozens of different countries – too many to count. However one measure of the diversity is found in our English Language Learner program, as students in those classes speak 37 different languages, from Akan to Arabic, Vietnamese to Visayan.

“The diversity in our community is truly a point of pride and a sign of strength,” said Dr. Scott Ratchford, who will deliver the keynote speech at an International Conference being held at Manchester High School on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Ratchford is director of the school district’s Office of Family and Community Partnerships, which is helping sponsor the conference.

Other sponsors are the Association of Puerto Rican and Latino from Manchester and the district’s ESL/bilingual program.

The International Conference is a “bigger and better” version of an event held last October that was called a Latino Family Conference.

“We’ve expanded it,” said Memo Alejandro, who serves as co-president (with wife Amy) of APLUM. “We have so many people of other nationalities in Manchester and want everyone to feel welcome and invited.”

The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be workshops, exhibits and – of course – music and food from all around the world.

There also will be door prizes, activities designed for children in grades 3-8, flu shots, even child care.

“We want people to feel welcome at the conference, just as we want them to feel welcome every day in our schools, and in our community in general,” Ratchford said. “We are partners and all have the same goal – giving the children of Manchester the best possible education.”

Superintendent Matt Geary said that all families throughout the district are invited to the conference  – not just families from countries outside of the united States.

“We are all part of a global society,” Geary said. “Manchester really is a melting pot, and it is one of the many things that makes this such a tremendous community.”
Manchester Public Schools 45 North School St, Manchester, CT 06042

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