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Last Friday of the Month? Spruce Street the Place To Be!

Irrepressible. Insuppressible. Ubiquitous. Rhapsodical.

Those of the kinds of powerful, evocative, multi-syllabic words that Ryan Parker and Justis Lopez love.

They are also, fittingly, words that describe two teachers who are being called “dynamic partners-in-positivity.”

Parker (who teaches at Illing) and Lopez (an MHS teacher) are ambitious, community-minded advocates who are the pilots of an increasing popular “open mic” series based at the EastSide Neighborhood Resource Center.

Events are held the last Friday of every month -- which means that the former firehouse opposite Nathan Hale School will be electric again this Friday night (April 29). There’s a poetry/dance workshop from 5-6:30 then performances from 6:30-8 p.m.

“This is exciting stuff and an important part of our work to strengthen relationships,” said Scott Ratchford, director of the district’s Community and Family Partnership office -- which helps sponsor the open mic series. “We are always looking for ways to support positive, healthy, creative events and activities for the youth of Manchester, and this is yet another example of the strength that is possible when the community we call home works together.”

The open mic series has actually piggy-backed onto an ongoing Family Fun Night series that also runs the last Friday of each month, with activities at Nathan Hale School, where from 6-7:30 p.m. there will be refreshments, craft tables, a moon bounce and lots more.

“This is not limited to families that live in the Spruce Street area,” said Rosaleen Torrey, who is interim director of the town’s Office of Neighborhoods and Families. “Everyone is welcome and there is something fun here for everyone who attends.”

The theme for this Friday’s events is “Mother’s Day.”  As part of the performance program in the Resource Center, winners of a “Mother’s Day” writing contest will be recognized for their odes to motherhood through poetry, song, story and more.

“Yes, Mother’s Day is still more than a week away,” said Ratchford. ‘But moms deserve an extended celebration, don’t they?”

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