Manos Felices! – Happy Hands

Manos-Backpacks - Hancock
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This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

After School Program

The program, which began in 1993, offers an after school program for elementary aged children who are residents of Hancock Courts and Stadium Courts which are state-funded family developments in Lawrence, MA.

During the school year, the program emphasizes homework completion and a daily period of independent reading, as required by the Lawrence Public School System.

In addition to the bi-lingual employees, children often receive individual attention from Merrimack College students, local high school students and other volunteers.

Summer Enrichment Program

The summer experience is a vital component of the continuing emphasis on educational achievement.

Partnerships with literacy based non-profits such as Andover Breadloaf, Aaron’s Presents, Lawrence Arts House, Elevated Thought, Addison Art Gallery, YDO, YWCA and the Lawrence Boating Program support our mission of providing enriching activities for the children.

From swim lessons to art lessons, the children enjoy a variety of experiences.

The children participate in activities and field trips that they would not normally enjoy.


Broadly, the program seeks to lessen the effects of poverty on the young children.

Our objective is to create a culturally-relevant and education-centered program with emphasis on homework and independent reading.

This emphasis helps plant the children on a path toward academic achievement. STEM projects, crafts and team building exercises are offered following the homework completion.

The greater benefit to the children, their families and the Lawrence community is that Manos Felices! equips children to become contributors to a brighter future for all Lawrence residents.

With homework and reading assistance, the children establish a solid foundation for continued learning.

The interaction with volunteer high school and college students inspires them to look toward higher learning as an option.

Their success in school will translate into success as adults.

Their access to diverse experiences broaden their horizons and their understanding of a culture outside their own.


Manos Felices! receives support from grant makers, organizations, churches and individuals.

The Nutrition Department of the Lawrence Public School System provides snacks daily and lunches during the summer months.

Churches and other organizations provide monthly birthday parties, holiday celebrations and gifts, back-to-school backpacks with school supplies, winter coats, hats and mittens.