The Hancock Courts Housing Project in Lawrence is home to nearly 1,000 residents who occupy 190 family units, many of which are low income, single parent homes. The Manos Felices or "Happy Hands" program is an after-school and summer program that serves the children of this housing project. It is run out of one of the project's residential units and is named for the colorful hand-prints on the entrance door.
Manos Felices serves 35 to 40 children in preschool to fifth grade during the school year, with attendance increasing in the summer. The program has evolved to include one hour of homework help, snacks, story time, art, crafts, and the occasional field trip. Emphasis is on homework, academics, and a period of independent reading. The reading requirement continues through the summer school vacation period. Project Bread and the Lawrence School Meals Program provide nutritious snacks.
We welcome volunteers at our Manos Felices program and rely on their generous donations of time to keep the program healthy and robust. If you are interested in reading to the children, assisting with academics, hosting "Birthday in a Box" or have any other ideas that may involve your church or youth group, please see the "get involved" section of this site.
The Manos Felices Program is generously supported by grants from a number of foundations, for which we are extremely grateful, in addition to our member churches.