Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Gustafer Yellowgold @ the Iron Horse in Noho

WIN A FAMILY PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
Gustafer Yellowgold
Sunday Matinee Concert for Families
At the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance for two families to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA. on Sunday, March 14th at 2pm. Deadline to enter to win is 03/10/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD

Since his creation in 2005, Gustafer Yellowgold has become an international phenomenon, acclaimed by the New York Times, which said, “The show is a cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss.” Entertainment Weekly praised“… The most infectious original songs. It’s like tapping into some pleasure center in the brain- both adult and kid…absurdly appealing. Grade: A.” New York Magazine named Morgan Taylor “Best Kids’ Performer” in its 2008 Best of New York Awards.

Gustafer Yellowgold concerts are a unique blend of live music and moving image. The minimally animated illustrations are accompanied by illustrator/songwriter Morgan Taylor’s catchy and original story-songs for a truly different multimedia experience that is entrancing children, teens and adults alike.

Check out Gustafer Punches Cheese in Florence to read our review and see video footage from Gustafer Yellowgold’s 2007 performance in Florence, MA .  Earlier in 2007, Gustafer Yellowgold had their premiere performance here in the valley at Flywheel.  Read our post Hilltown Families Meet Gustafer Yellowgold from their performance in Easthampton, MA.

ABOUT THE NO NAP HAPPY HOUR CONCERT SERIES

The No Nap Happy Hour concert series will feature the kinds of bands that seem to have taken their cue from They Might Be Giants in believing that kids’ music doesn’t have to condescend or, well, suck. The Iron Horse is teaming up with WRSI radio program for kids, Spare The Rock, Spoil The Child, to present a monthly Sunday afternoon concert for kids at the Iron Horse.  This Sunday matinee concert series for kids continues at the Iron Horse on Sunday, April 11th at 2PM with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Check back for more ticket giveaways to the great family concert series.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of  tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 03/10/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets for the No Nap Happy Hour concert series are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Featival in Shelburne Falls

Piti Theatre Company Presents…
SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival

New Englanders know that March and April is the time of year when the sap starts to flow in our maple trees and people from around the region travel to our area to enjoy their favorite syrup at their favorite sugar house. On Saturday, March 13th, 2010, they can also savor the sweetness of art with the premiere year of SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at one of the Pioneer Valley’s great performance spaces – Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA.

Afternoon programming for families starts at 1 pm with a rehearsal for ages 7 -10 who want to perform with Piti Theatre onstage at 2 pm in their acclaimed story of the Deerfield River “Salmon Falls.” After the show, Piti Theatre will offer theatre workshops for ages 4 – 7 and 8 – 12.

For more about SYRUP: One Sweet Arts Festival visit www.ptco.org/syrup.

It’s Maple Syrup Time!

March is Maple Syrup Time in Western MA

Sugaring at South Face Farm in Ashfield, MA.

Massachusetts’s maple forests have endured the winter months and are ready to produce sweet and flavorful maple syrup.  Maple events, sugarhouse visits and farm fresh maple delights from restaurants, markets, bed and breakfasts and local farms, offer great seasonal outings for families all over Western Mass.“Sugarmakers around Massachusetts are looking forward to the season. We’re all proud to be continuing a craft that has been part of Massachusetts for hundreds of years. We encourage people to visit their local sugarhouses to see how it’s done and taste the best maple syrup made,” said hilltown resident Winton Pitcoff, Coordinator at the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.

Maple syrup lovers should visit www.massvacation.com and www.massmaple.org for a sugarhouse directory, map of sugarhouse locations, recipes, nutrition information and much more to plan and explore your culinary maple syrup experience.

 

 

Sugar Shacks in Western MA:

Gould’s Maple Sugarhouse (Shelburne, MA)
Six generations of producing pure maple syrup.  Opens for breakfast on March 1st. (413) 625-6170 www.goulds-sugarhouse.com

High Hopes Farm Sugar House (South Worthington, MA)
High Hopes Farm taps as many as 4,000 trees with more than 20 miles of sap lines strung from tree to tree, bringing the sweet sap by gravity to the sugar house. Purchase maple products and dine in the maple inspired restaurant. Rustic dining Sugar House Buffet offered February thru mid April from 7am-2pm.  (413) 238-5919 www.highhopesmaple.com

Hanging Mountain Farms (Westhampton, MA)
You will find us making our pure maple syrup, in one of the oldest sugar houses in the Pioneer Valley. You will be able to enjoy a tour and see how this sweet product is made. During the month of March, which is our busiest sugaring season, our cafe transforms itself into your neighborhood sugarhouse restaurant. (413) 527-3210
www.hangingmountainfarms.com

North Hadley Sugar Shack at Boisvert Farm (Hadley, MA)
Located in Massachusetts’ scenic, historic Pioneer Valley, the North Hadley Sugar Shack allows visitors to purchase maple sugar products, dine at it’s famous pancake breakfast and participate in sugaring tours. Open February 17th thru April 18th,  Wed-Sun from 7am-3pm. (413) 585-8820www.northhadleysugarshack.com

Pomeroy Sugar House (Westfield, MA)
Guests can enjoy breakfast, smell the sweet aroma of maple, have an opportunity to speak with the proprietor about the syrup making process, and see the cows and calves of the working dairy farm. With the recent addition of the Pomeroy Bed and Breakfast, visitors can stay at the Inn, tour the dairy farm, and enjoy a delicious breakfast while learning the process for making Maple Syrup.  Open for breakfast on Fri-Sun, 7:30am-1pm from February 12th thru April 11th.  (413) 568-3484 www.pomeroysugarhouse.com

South Face Farm (Ashfield, MA)
This farmland has been producing maple syrup for over 150 years. The present sugarhouse, built in 1952, and offers visitors to dine at the sugarhouse restaurant serving homemade pancakes, waffles, corn fritters and many other special maple goodies. Try a stack of French Toast made with fresh homemade bread, topped with just-made maple syrup. (413) 628-3268  www.southfacefarm.com

Ioka Valley Farm Sugar House (Hancock, MA)
Watch the fascinating process of turning Fresh Maple Sap into Pure Maple Syrup! Come, talk to a real sugar maker. Ask your maple questions during the maple sugaring season. Ioka Valley Farm has more than 4000 taps and two modern boilers housed in the sugar house, built especially for production of the sweet treat.  Sugar House Breakfast served mid-Feb thru early April with sugar house tours on the weekends. (413) 738-5915  www.iokavalleyfarm.com

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 02/27/10-03/05/10

Follow Hilltown Families on

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Suggest an Event

Snowshoe Trails in Western Mass. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

  • Thursday & Friday in Ashfield at Elmer’s: (Thurs.) Chicken enchiladas or cheese enchiladas, both with refried beans and rice; (Fri.) Seafood Pasta with shrimp, mussels, scallops, calamari, Haddock in a tomato Basil Sauce over Linguini, or Pasta Primavera. 396 Main Street. Take out or FREE DELIVERY! 628-4003
  • Saturday in Cummington at Remington Lodge: Polska Kielbasa with fresh bread & homemade butter, mixed green salad with Cathy’s secret dressing, potato and cheese pierogies, Holiday Brook Farm kielbasa with homemade whole-grain mustard and fresh sauerkraut, and chocolate babka for dessert. 21 West Main Street. Dinner served from 6 to 8pm by advance reservation only. Please call 413-634-5493. BYOB

FEATURED EVENT

FAMILY CONTRA DANCE WITH WILD ASPARAGUS: On Sunday, February 28th, from 2:30-5:30pm, bring the family to the Guiding Star Grange (401 Chapman Street) in Greenfield, home to some of the best contra musicians in the country, for contras, squares & singing! Are you wondering what Contra dancing is? Contra dancing is New England Folk Dancing with lines and reels, and a caller of course! Fiddles, guitars, keyboards, base, bombarde and singing. What’s a bombarde? You’ll have to come and find out. – A family dance is a great way for people of all ages and abilities to learn. $8 adults, $6 students & seniors, $4 kids, under 5 free All proceeds benefit the Greenfield Center School. For more information please call the Center School at 773-1700.

BULLETIN BOARD

SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

COMMUNITY MEETING: On Saturday, February 27th at 10am, parents of R.H Conwell Students are invited to learn more about an option to start a Community Education Center in the town of Worthington, MA this fall.  A group of parents and town members will be hosting a meeting to discuss their goal to provide a local, community directed educational experience for Worthington area elementary students (preschool-6th) at the town hall. Worthington, MA.  More info here.

ECO-THINKING: Training for Transition, a 2-day course happens this weekend at the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA.  More info here.

JELLY!: Have you guys heard about Jelly?  Jelly is a casual event where independents & creatives come together to co-work, offering a space with a table, some chairs, and WiFi/ethernet access.  You bring your coffee, your laptop (or whatever you need to work) and a friendly disposition. Together, get work done, bounce ideas off each other and have interesting conversations.  Like an office, without the politics.  Beginning Monday, March 1st from 1-5pm, Jelly comes to Northampton at the C3 space in Thornes Market.  To register email: mistinguettes@gmail.com. Find out about Jelly at www.workatjelly.com.

GARDENING: The West County Resilience Conversation presents Grow More and Mow Less: A Free Mini Gardening Workshop at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center on March 2nd from 7-9pm. Emma Stamas will lead a discussion designed to help you expand your garden, share seeds, plants, and ideas, and enable you to save money and energy by growing more and mowing less this year.  Emma has been growing garden vegetables for 50 years and would love to share your ideas and questions and discuss the many ways we can lengthen the garden season, cut down on work, increase productivity, and enjoy gardening more.  Bring your questions and ideas and extra seeds to this mini workshop about vegetable gardening.  For more information call Emma at: (413) 624-3240

YOUTH CONFERENCE: On March 5th from 8am-2pm, the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT) will host the 19th annual CCT Youth Conference at Pioneer Valley Regional Schoo in Northfield, MA. Twelve different morning and afternoon workshops for youth and adult participants. This year’s theme, “Your Future, Your Choice,” has inspired workshops based on self improvement, healthy choices, and community growth. Workshop themes include healthy eating, tips for job seekers, GLBTQ education and support.      Youth Programs participants are leading the “Get a Job, Keep a Job”, “GLBTQ – What the Community Faces”, and “Get off the Dollar Menu” workshops This event is sponsored by CCT and is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

MUSIC DEMO: The Northampton Community Music Center would like to invite you to a free demonstration workshop for children ages 7-12 years old on Wednesday, March 10th, at 4:30pm. (cancelled) The workshop will be held at the music center and will last about an hour. The workshop will be presented by Ricardo Frota. Frota, a native to Brazil, is a musician, music educator, violinist, percussionist, performer, improviser, and a graduate from the New England Conservatory. He has performed throughout Europe, the US, and the South Americas, and is now joining us here at NCMC to demonstrate the use of traditional and invented rhythm instruments by using recycled and naturally found materials to create new dimensions of sound making. For more info call 585-0001

TEACHING KIDS ABOUT THE CENSUS: The Census bureau has developed an instructional web site about the 2010 Census for schools, families and children. These materials are designed to sharpen kids skills in critical thinking, reading comprehension, history, math, geography, and data and map analysis. As the 2010 Census questionnaire arrives at YOUR home, discuss the importance of completing and returning this document. It is important to your school district and its member towns that all families complete and return their questionnaire, as funding for towns and schools relies on some of this data.


WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 02/27

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

9:30am – BIRTHING: Childbirth Refresher class for your second (or 3rd, 4th) time around will be at Cooley Dickenson.  Call Maria for more info: 582-2736 Northampton, MA ($$)

10am – PARENTING: Newborn Behavior: Understanding Your Baby will be held at Cooley Dickenson.  Breastfeeding & baby care. Call Maria for more info: 582-2736 Northampton, MA ($)

10am-12Noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Mountain Meadow Trek with the Trustees of Reservation. 298-3239 x3003. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

10:30am - FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Tom Knight and Puppets. Come join the Jones Library with Tom in doing the “Library Boogie”! Tom and his friends perform original songs and skits which have parts for the audience – including hand motions, singing along, or doing simple dance steps. www.joneslibrary.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Primate Fiasco will be performing a benefit concert for Nonotuck Community School at The First Churches. Northampton, MA ($, FUNDRAISER)

10:30am-12Noon - ART WORKSHOP: Collage Using Natural Materials for young people ages 7-13 at the Northampton Center for the Arts. www.nohoarts.org 584-7327 Northampton, MA ($)

11am – MOVIE: So You Want to be President? will be showing at the Eric Carle Museum as part of their Black History Month Film Series. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE W/ADMISSION)

1-3pm – OPEN HOUSE: At Sheep Hill with special family-oriented activities both inside and out. www.wrlf.org 458-2494 Williamstown, MA (FREE)

1pm – MOVIE: Picture Writer will be showing at the Eric Carle Museum as part of their Black History Month Film Series. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE W/ADMISSION)

1-3pm – AUDITIONS: The Pittsfield Youth Commission will be hosting our 2nd Annual City Wide Youth Talent Show Auditions at the Lichtenstien Center for the Arts for grades 7-12. 499-9348 Pittsfield, MA

3pm – MOVIE: Ella Fitzgerald will be showing at the Eric Carle Museum as part of their Black History Month Film Series. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE W/ADMISSION)

3pm – THEATER: Corbian The Dinosaur: A Glow in the Dark Adventure, at the Colonial Theatre. Truly unique and visually dazzling, Corbian is an innovative theatrical experience that sparks imagination and inspires creativity. Audiences will be awed as electroluminescent crayon-like creatures and characters light up the stage in this heart-rending tale of a dinosaur that discovers the true meaning of love. Recommended for ages 7 and up.  www.thecolonialtheatre.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

3pm & 7pm - ICE PERFORMANCE: Disney On Ice presents Finding Nemo at the MassMutual Center. www.massmutualcenter.com Springfield, MA ($$)

4:30-6pm, 6-8pm - TEEN NIGHT: The Meekins Library will transform into Hogwarts Academy for a Harry Potter Costume Party for kids 11yo+. Party and games until 6pm.  Movie (Half Blood Prince) at 6pm. 268-7472 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

7pm – IRISH MUSIC & DANCE: Traditional Irish music and step dancers will be performing at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. www.mahaiwe.org 528-0100 Great Barrington, MA ($$)

7pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: “Snow Moon” hike. Come hike, roast marshmallows and enjoy a camp fire. 268-3372 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

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“Bless Your Heart” Rates at The Inn at Norton Hill

Notes from Nan: The Weather
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

I was just writing to my friends in New Orleans, telling them that day before yesterday it was 40 degrees and we were all dancing around, happy that spring was evident in the air.  What a difference 1500 miles, makes, huh?  They’re all complaining today that it’s in the 40s and so cold.  They say they’re tired of it being cold.  Bless their hearts.

By the way, I realize that if you don’t have internet you can’t see this, but if anyone without power decides they can’t take it anymore, we have special “bless your heart” rates for people who would like to stay at the inn while they wait for power.  We actually go down in price in emergencies instead of going up.  Call us at 628-4003 if you know someone who might need to get out.  This rate does not apply to any cold people in New Orleans.

If they want to stay home but would like a shower, those are free at the inn.  Call us for that, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Community Education Center Forming in Worthington

RH Conwell Community Education Center
A Homeschooling Co-Op in Worthington

Parents of R.H Conwell Students are invited to learn more about an option to start a Community Education Center in the town of Worthington, MA this fall.  A group of parents and town members will be hosting a meeting to discuss their goal to provide a local, community directed educational experience for Worthington area elementary students (preschool-6th).

  • The meeting will be at the Worthington Town Hall on Saturday, February 27th at 10am.

RH Conwell Community Education Center

Philosophy
Our goal is to provide a local, community directed educational experience for Worthington area elementary students. We will focus on elementary education in the tradition of the school that just closed. To make next year feel as comfortable to parents and students as they feel this year is a primary goal. Community members and parents will be directly involved in the educational process. This could be a transition program to a new public school or a program we wish to continue for the foreseeable future.

Regulations
We will follow the education laws of Massachusetts by organizing as a homeschooling cooperative. This means that before the school year starts, each parent and child meets with Conwell’s education specialist and develops an education plan. The plan can be a standard grade level plan or individualized for each student. Families send the plans to the child’s local school district which will then certify the child as a homeschooler. School districts can ask for more information, but have very little right to deny the homeschooling plans.

Organization
Depending on the number of families involved, there will be at least two paid staff members; one coordinator and one educational specialist who will have a teaching degree. We envision serving children from kindergarten to sixth grade. Volunteers will work under the direction of the educational specialist to allow for small groups and individual attention. We are assuming that the center would be open during the traditional school day. Based on families needs, children could attend part time or full time.

Daily Structure
Mornings will be spent on subjects such as math and language arts, either individually or in small groups. Afternoons will be spent applying skills to in depth projects or field trips. We plan to collaborate with local organizations and individuals to offer a variety of courses. Meals could provide an opportunity to apply math skills to planning and preparation.

Finances
This program will have costs that are not yet known. There will be expenses for the use of the school, material costs, salaries, insurance etc. We are planning to raise funds and apply for grants to lower costs. We also will be working with the Lewis’s It Takes a Community Foundation. Volunteer services could be traded for some expenses.

Other Programs
We are hoping to use the school as a hub for other community activities such as before and after school childcare and preschool. This would also allow local children who attend other schools to remain connected with the community. We envision the school as a place where intergenerational groups could collaborate.

Advisors

  • Leona Arthen – Worthington library director
  • Debbie Carnes – longtime school aide and volunteer, certified guidance councilor
  • Valerie Casterline- lifelong Worthington resident, professional working parent
  • Vanessa Lewis – school volunteer and fundraising coordinator
  • Kathy MacLean- retired fourth grade teacher at RH Conwell
  • Richard Mansfield –former school board member
  • Michele Sawyer- parent and school volunteer
  • Susan Warner- child care provider
  • Judith Williams- retired fourth grade teacher and principle at RH Conwell

Help Bring Broadband to Western Mass!

The Hilltown Community Development Corporation writes:

As you well know, many areas in western Massachusetts are unserved by basic broadband services. In 2008, the state legislature and Governor Patrick established the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) to help bring broadband access to all unserved citizens, starting in Western Mass. The MBI is now applying for federal infrastructure funding to build an advanced fiber-optic network in the region. This “middle mile” network will be open to all service providers who want to provide broadband services to unserved citizens. To be successful, the MBI needs your assistance!

A major element required of all applicants is to demonstrate strong demand for broadband service. MBI needs letters describing the impact the lack of broadband has on your business and your life, and how improved broadband connectivity will benefit you personally.

Read the rest of this entry »

Special Places in Western Massachusetts Have a Chance to Shine

1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts
Nominate Your Favorite Western Mass Place

Chapel Falls in Ashfield, MA

Share your families favorite Western Massachusetts destination!  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invites all MA residents to nominate their favorite place. The nominations will be considered for a final list of 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts to be announced in May. With all of the wonderful public reservations, community cultural events and museums to nominate, this is our chance to let Western Mass shine!

Community Day at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, MA.

The Great Places initiative celebrates what is unique about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its communities, and its people. It also aims to stimulate the economy by boosting visitation to the state’s wide range of exceptional historic sites, cultural venues, and natural landscapes.

“We all have a special place that we cherish,” says Eric Turkington of Falmouth, a former state representative who chairs the Great Places in Massachusetts Commission. “This is our chance to share our passion for Massachusetts places with our fellow residents, tourists, and international visitors.”

Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has established a website to accept nominations from the public: www.massvacation.com/1000/index.php

Notchview in Windsor, MA.

All Great Places that are nominated must be open and available to the public. Only one nomination per person will be accepted. The nomination period will close April 1, 2010. The Commission will meet later that month to draw up a final list of 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts, which will be announced in May.

Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA.

The 1,000 Great Places Commission was created by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2009. Its mission is to identify and recognize the 1000 most truly special places in the Commonwealth, in order to celebrate pride in our history and culture, increase knowledge of our natural surroundings, and encourage regional and international tourism.


Photo credits: Sienna Wildfield

Suggested Events 02/20/10-02/26/10

Follow Hilltown Families on

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Maple syrup buckets stacked and waiting for sugar season at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending

BULLETIN BOARD

SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

HERB CLASS IN HILLTOWNS: Hand-Crafted Herbalism at Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA. This is THE course in do-it-yourself herbalism. Class runs for four Sundays (March 14, March 28, April 11, April 25) from 1-5pm.  Topics includes: Kitchen Medicine; The Fine Art of Tea Making; Natural Ways to Clean Your Home; Creating Your Own Body Care Products; Lost Art of Topical Applications; Herbal Garden Planning; Herbal Entertainment; Nourishing Recipes; and more! For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at (413) 625-6875, tlemos@noho.com.

Marie Westburg of Williamsburg, MA writes: Calling all residents of Williamsburg: Come to a meeting about Time Banking in Williamsburg on Sunday, February 21st at the Williamsburg Grange. A speaker from the Commonwealth Center for Change will come talk to us about The Valley TIme Trade and how we can become part of their program in burgy. Please come from 4-5pm. Doors open 3:45pm. Donations of $1 to pay for rental fee for the space are gladly accepted. For more info.about this event contact Marie Westburg at amwestburg@verizon.net. Not a resident of Williamsburg? To arrange a meeting for your community contact Jenn Ladd at www.commonwealthcenter.org, www.valleytimetrade.org.

CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE: Looking for help with selecting the right Child Care in Hampshire & Franklin Co? Community Action can help.  More info here.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Children’s Used Clothing Swap/Sale to Benefit Forbes Library on March 27th. Volunteers needed.  More info here.

ENERGY DAY AT WESTERN MA SCHOOL: In November, Williamstown Elementary School learned about ways that they can make a difference by saving energy in their school and at home. The day was kicked off with inspirational words about how students use energy and why saving energy is important. Students spent the remainder of the morning attending hands-on workshops focusing on energy efficiency, heat transfer and solar energy. In the afternoon they toured the school to learn about energy use and then met in their classrooms to brainstorm actions to save energy and resources. At the end of the day, students convened in the auditorium to share their ideas and recommendations. For more information about energy education in your school, contact Cynthia Grippaldi at Center for Ecological Technology: (413) 445-4556 x25.

PIE CONTEST: Judges needed for Apple Pie Contest fundraiser in the hilltowns. Come to the Chesterfield Church on 02/21 @ 1:30 to taste & vote your fav.

Concert: 02/27.  Deadline to win: 02/24WINNING FAMILIES: Congratulations to Gus Perkins of Chesterfield, MA and Amanda Verlander of Greenfield, MA! Both of these families have won a family 4-pack of tickets to see AudraRox at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA this coming Sunday at 2pm. Thank you to everyone for participating in our giveaway. – Tickets are still available to see AurdraRox at the Northampton Box office, online at http://www.IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686. – If you did not win or have a chance to enter, no worries … there are always opportunities to win tickets, music and more on Hilltown Families. Recently we have partnered with Nonotuck Community School to offer one lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Primate Fiasco as they continue with the schools Winter Family Concert Series in Northampton, MA on Saturday, February 27th at 10:30am, at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) in The Sanctuary. Deadline to enter to win is 02/24/10.

CAR SEATS: Wondering if your child still needs a car seat? Check out our Car Seat Safety Links for guidelines, video and more here.

HILLTOWN BIRD CLUB: Western Mass Bird Club Forming in the Hilltowns.  More info here.

AFTERSCHOOL & HOMESCHOOL CLASSES: Are you looking for an afterschool or homeschool class for your kids?  Have a class you would like to recommend to our community of families?  There is a bulletin board on Hilltown Families that has been created to both post and seek these classes:  Suggest an Afterschool or Homeschool Class.  Check out all of the great recommendations recently shared, and post one of your own.

Sangha Farm in Ashfield, MASPONSOR: Warm welcome to our newest sponsor, Sangha Farm in Ashfield.  Please visit all of our sponsors and thank them for their support of Hilltown Families. Sponsorship inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

We’ve uploaded a New Music Podcast that will air this Saturday from 9-10am. Click here to see our playlist, video and podcast. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • HFVS Podcast: Listen to our most recent episodes anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!
  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio from 9-10am.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA from 9-10am.

  • WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Rain or Shine? | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes
    Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 02/20

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-11pm – OLYMPICS – The Beacon Cinema is showing the 2010 Winter Olympics in high definition every night through Feb. 28.  Watch your favorite skiers, skaters, and bobsledders on the Beacon’s 40 foot screen. www.thebeaconcinema.com 358-4780 Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-12Noon – FARM ADVENTURES: Shearing Day at Little Brook Farm. www.littlebrookfarm.com RSVP 665-3802 Sunderland, MA (FREE)

    9am-4:30pm – NATURE ADVENTURES: Winter Waterfowl Theme at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Hiking, tracking, snowshoeing, and discovery of local waterfowl. www.ttor.org 229-8600 Sheffield, MA (>$)

    10am-12Noon – PARENTING SOCIAL: “Color Play,” a program for families parenting children of color, will take place at the Forbes Library Community Room. Color Play is a monthly social and craft for families raising children of color (all ages). Transracial adoptees and LGBTQ families are strongly encouraged to join. Come celebrate Black History month and make an African shield! 658-5096 mocai.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: Dennis Caraher and Friends will be performing a family concert at the Jones Library. www.joneslibrary.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    11am – MOVIE: So You Want to be President? will be showing at the Eric Carle Museum as part of their Black History Month Film Series. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE W/ADMISSION)

    11am-3pm - WINTER CARNIVAL: Winter Carnival’s Family Day at the Controy Pavilion at Burbank Park.  Many activities for the whole family. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

    12Noon – YOUTHFILM: The Northampton Arts Council is excited to present YouthFilm, the fourth annual showcase of cinematic talent from local children and teenagers. Films directed, crafted, written and starring local children and teens. Doors open at 12PM, films run “festival style” all afternoon at the Academy of Music Theatre. Films early in the day are most appropriate for a younger audience. 587-1269 www.northamptonartscouncil.org Northampton, MA (FREE for 18yo & under, >$)

    1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Battle-Ready! Discovery Program at the Berkshire Museum. Every Saturday the Museum rolls out the Battle Ready! cart for an interactive demonstration of replica weaponry from the common sling to the deadly crossbow. In Battle Ready! children can be transformed into Roman legionnaires or medieval knights while learning about the development of weapons and armor over time. www.berkshiremuseum.org 443-7171 Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton Theatre will persent, Anne of Green Gables, at the Williston Theatre. Call to RSVP. www.williston.com 529-3434 Easthampton, MA ($)

    5-8pm – FARM ADVENTURES: Fire & Ice at Red Gate Farm. Super special night at the farm. Warm yourself by the bonfire after sledding down the hill under the lights. There will be winter games and fun contests for children. They will also have a grill and food for dinner, so bring your appetite. Cocoa and s’mores for dessert! You can bring your own sled or borrow one of theirs!  www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Children’s Used Clothing Swap/Sale to Benefit Forbes Library

    Karen Hidalgo of Northampton, MA is organizing a children’s used clothing swap/sale to benefit the Forbes Library on March 27th. Here’s more info she would like to share:

    It is called a swap because hopefully a lot of the same people will donate clothes and accept clothes but please feel free to do just one or the other, or both.

    Donating Clothes
    Collecting donated clothes March 1st to March 25th in the Children’s Department at the Forbes Library, sizes newborn to 6X and maternity. Clothes should be free of stains and tears.

    Clothing Swap/Sale
    Saturday March 27th 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Forbes Library Community Room. Suggested Donation to Forbes Library Children’s Section: $5-$15 for a bag of clothes

    Volunteers Wanted
    Setting up 11:30 to 1:00 on March 27th. Checking in patrons in half hour or hour shifts, 1:00 to 4:00 March 27th.
    Clean up 4:00 to 5:00 on March 27th. Dropping off clothes to the Survival Center and/or Goodwill in Northampton at your convenience

    If you have questions or would like to help please contact Karen Hidalgo at 413-341-3764 or email kethornburg@yahoo.com.

    New Music on the Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

    LISTEN TO PODCAST

    New Tunes Episode

    Saturday from 9-10am
    February 13th, 2010 (encore 02/20/10)
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    listen NOW | listen on WXOJ | archived podcasts request a song
    subscribe to free podcast | archived shows | contests | myspace | facebook | twitter

    PLAYLIST

    Western Mass Bird Club Forming in the Hilltowns

    Owl recently spotted in Greenfield, MA. (Photo credit: Tony(a) Lemos)

    Jamie Bishop of Plainfield, MA writes:

    My son and I are Hoffmann Bird Club members, but we have also joined Allen Bird Club and Hampshire Bird Club. Because we live in Plainfield, we are twenty-five miles from all three clubs.

    We want to provide area young people who are birders, or are interested in birds, a place to connect and communicate. We chose Facebook because I’ve been told (by my 20 year old) that everyone under the age of 21 is into social networking and has a Facebook page. So we’ve started a Facebook group called Western Massachusetts Young Birders. We have said that our target audience is young birders 18 and under who live in Western MA, and any adult birders who are interested in mentoring, supporting, and encouraging them. There is a lot of interest and support from the three major bird clubs in the area as well as a naturalist who works for the Audubon Society.

    So… if you and your kids do use Facebook, or want to check out the group site, the address is:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=338860028031#!/group.php?gid=338860028031&ref=mf

    Overheard Conversations in Ashfield

    Notes from Nan: Happy Mardi Gras!
    BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

    My Favorite Overheard Conversations of the Past Week:

    The first, on the Dangers of Winning the Superbowl and Having Mardi Gras all in the same two weeks:

    Last week I was part of a conference call that was taking place in New Orleans. I was calling in on speaker phone and six or seven New Orleanians were all together. While we were waiting for the last person to show up for the meeting, I heard one person say, “I cannot WAIT for Lent!” “I know!” exclaimed another, “Ash Wednesday can’t get here early enough for me! I’m worn out with all this partying!”

    The Second: on One Thing Women are Good For:

    Two guys were talking to each other, unaware that I was in the vicinity. I heard one say, “He told me what he was doing and I was like, “Dude! You need a woman in your life! No woman would listen to that kind of plan and let you even attempt that! It’s a stupid idea!”

    My new favorite name:

    The vice-president and acting president of Nigeria is named Goodluck Jonathan. That’s his real name, Jonathan being his last name. It makes me re-think my plan not to have children. The naming possibilities are endless!

    My favorite thing to do today:

    Stream www.WWOZ.org on the computer. It’s the local, community-supported radio station in New Orleans and they’re playing Mardi Gras music all day long today. It makes you happy!


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

    Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Menu’s are posted with her column. nanparati@aol.com

    Naming of the Lambs & Kids: Hilltown Farm Hosts Naming Contest

    Pick Your Favorite Posies &
    Help Sangha Farm in Ashfield Name Their Baby Goats & Sheep

    Help name the babies! Forward your favorite flower name to Sangha Farm in Ashfield, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Sangha Farm has nine pregnant goats and five pregnant sheep, which means at least 20 babies are on their way — and they really could use some help with naming all their babies!

    They have decided on a flower theme this year.  Send them your favorite flower and if they choose it as one of their babies names, they’ll email you a picture of the lamb or kid along with a coupon for a free goat cheese truffle (locally made on their farm and are delicious!), redeemable at the Ashfield or Florence Farmers’ Markets beginning in May.

    Babies will be born beginning the first week of March through June. Their ewe Cassie will be the first one to have babies the beginning of March. Being a Finn Sheep she’s probably going to have 4-5 babies, maybe even 6! Births will be announced through Hilltown Families (below in the comment box) and the Sangha Farm’s facebook page.

    Keep in mind that they can come up with names like Rose, Petunia and Violet themselves. What they’re looking for are names of lesser known flowers.  So get creative and share your favorite exotic flower or rare New England species. Email your flower name to the Ritchie Family at SanghaFarm@yahoo.com.


    BABY UPDATES

    We’ll share photos and names here as they arrive: Read the rest of this entry »

    Children Celebrate Local Farm Heroes Through Song

    Local Farm Heroes Public Concert
    at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center

    Franklin County farmers will be interviewed in a vacation music project led by local songwriter, Sarah Pirtle (pictured above). Children ages 5 to 9 will meet and learn from the farmers and write a song about each of them. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Farmers from four different generations and four different types of farms will be honored by song in concert on Thursday, February 18th at 2pm at the Senior Center in Shelburne Falls, MA.

    Franklin County farmers will be interviewed in a vacation music project led by local songwriter, Sarah Pirtle. Children ages 5 to 9 will meet and learn from the farmers and write a song about each of them.

    • Herb Purington of Wilson Hill Farm in Colrain is a seventh generation dairy farmer. The children will also hear haiku poetry about farm life by his daughter, poet Carol Purington.
    • Daniel Bodkin of Laughing Dog Farm in Gill will do a permaculture seed propagation demonstration.
    • Bethany Wiles will represent Hagers Brothers Farm in Colrain and their farm market in Shelburne.
    • Five year-old Leora Fisher from the CSA Natural Roots in Conway will be both a songwriter and describe her experiences as a farmer.

    “I want children to meet farmers of many generations and feel the vitality and importance of small farming,” said Sarah Pirtle who wrote grants to do the project in support of local farms after releasing her ninth CD recording, Pocketful of Wonder, celebrating farming. The concert will include songs written by the children, songs of hers like “A Seed Knows What to Do,” and folk songs about farms including “Down on the Farm,” by Molly Scott.

    This program is held at Arms Library in Shelburne Falls and is supported in part by a grant from the Shelburne Cultural Council and the Buckland Culture Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

    It Takes A Village: A New Initiative for Families in the Hilltowns with Newborns

    It Takes A Village Hosts an Open House
    February 28th, 2010 in Cummington, MA

    It Takes a Village‘ is a free-of-charge, community service that supports families for the first three months after a baby is born. A family is matched with a volunteer who visits the family home on a weekly basis, providing support with anything from meal preparation and dishwashing, to companionship and playing with older children.

    The Village is modeled after Many Mothers in Santa Fe, NM. We are based in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, and dedicate our service to the memory of Heather Egan, who gave her own life bringing a new one into the world.

    ‘It Takes a Village’ was initiated by Maureen Shea after her son was born last autumn. The first six weeks were the most trying time Maureen had ever experienced and she spoke with her midwives, Tanya Rapinchuk and Lucinda McGovern about the extra support needed for families with newborns.

    “There was one particular afternoon when my good friend Samantha came over for a couple of hours and in that time she folded laundry, helped me make dinner, made space for me to express my woes and was a generally glowing support”, Maureen shared, “and that visit was a turning point for me in my healing after the birth”.

    Lucinda sent a copy of the Many Mothers manual to Maureen and along with Heather Cupo, Davio Danielson, Bi-sek Hsiao, Jaylin Stahl and Anna Toth, ‘It Takes a Village’ was born.

    OPEN HOUSE – 02/28/2010 from 2-4pm

    At the OPEN HOUSE on February 28th, 2010 in Cummington from 2-4pm, the founders will introduce ‘It Takes a Village‘ to the community at the Cummington Community House at 33 Main Street in Cummington, MA. Expectant families, families with newborns and interested volunteers are warmly welcome. All those who already work with families post-partum are invited to join us and to add their contact information to our list of resources.

    The OPEN HOUSE is a family-friendly event! There will be an appearance of the Green Tara puppet from Moejo puppets as well as an excerpt from Maureen’s latest performance piece, Tremble.

    Ticket Giveaway: The Primate Fiasco Family Concert in Noho

    Win a Family 4-pack of Free Tickets!
    The Primate Fiasco Family Concert
    Saturday, February 27th @ 10:30am
    at The First Churches of Northampton

    Photo Credit: Derek Goodwin

    Hilltown Families and Nonotuck Community School have partnered up to offer one lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of  free tickets to see The Primate Fiasco as they continue with the schools Winter Family Concert Series in Northampton, MA on Saturday, February 27th at 10:30am, at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) in The Sanctuary. The proceeds from the performance go to benefit this local non-profit preschool!  Deadline to enter to win is 02/24/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

    ABOUT THE PRIMATE FIASCO

    Psychedelic Dixieland Music With The Primate Fiasco! – A grassroots band that got its start on the streets of Northampton, The Primate Fiasco is comprised of five musicians — Dave DelloRusso (banjo/vocals), Nick Borges (trumpet/vocals), Steve Yarbro (sax/clarinet), Chris Trevethan (drums), and J. Witbeck (tuba/bass) — whose combined instrumentation is characteristic of a New Orleans sidewalk band and authentic “traditional jazz” but with modern influences, combining funk, reggae, bluegrass, hip hop, rock, latin, trance, and the occasional Serbian gypsy jam.

    During this family friendly concert, The Primate Fiasco will play some of the classic anthems of childhood, as well as other tunes from their first studio produced album Geek Dreams, plus a whole lot more. The band’s signature sidewalk circus-like atmosphere may enter the building too — with face painters, clowns, random jugglers, yo-yo masters, and hula hoopers possibly making an appearance. The Primate Fiasco intends to record this Nonotuck benefit concert for their upcoming children’s cd.

    Debuting at this show will be the very first Primate Fiasco coloring book:“14 pages of illustrated fiasco,” drawn by the banjo player himself, and on sale near the coloring table!

    ABOUT THE NCS WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

    Click here to see the poster

    This musical performance is the second of a three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The final concert in the series will feature The Nields on Saturday, April 3 @ 10:30 am. All three concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) in The Sanctuary. Tickets will be sold only on the day of the shows (doors open 30 minutes before each concert): adults $8, children $6, and one and under, free.

    Proceeds from this concert (and the other two in the series) will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 5865996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

    HOW TO WIN

    Your chance to win a family 4-pack of  tickets to see The Primate Fiasco at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at 10:30a.m. is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

    1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
    2. FULL NAME and where you
    3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible.
    4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
    5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/24/10 @ 7pm (EST).

    If you don’t win and still really want to go, tickets will be sold at the door the day of the show.  See above for details.

    Volunteer Opportunity: Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Pittsfield

    Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Pittsfield: The Business of Volunteerism

    ­

    Swimming at the Boys' and Girls' Club in Pittsfield, MA

    When February vacation arrives, school hallways fall silent. It’s a time to rest and regroup for students and teachers alike, but at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club , it marks one of the busiest times of the year.

    This year, Berkshire County students will enjoy February vacation from the 15th to 19th, and because of the annual rise in attendance at the club during school vacation weeks, the Boys and Girls Club relies on the talents of both club staff and volunteers, who include adults, teenagers, and younger children performing a variety of tasks, from the mundane to the extraordinary.

    Tina Wixom, director of guidance and education at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, said the role of volunteers has become an intrinsic aspect of its overall operation, especially during busy times when more hands are needed to ensure that programs and events run smoothly.

    “The club relies on and functions very much because of the volunteer effort, but volunteers are not necessarily adults ­ many are young people who are providing a huge service to the club,” she said. “During February vacation, the events at the club are constant. There are soccer shoot-outs, foul-shot contests, and tugs-of-war going on in the gym during the day and organized swim meets, hockey games, and basketball games in the evening. We need about 75 volunteers just to get through each night.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Cool Zoo Web Site

    Amy Najimy of Western Mass writes:

    The kids and I found this cool website from the San Diego Zoo. They have webcams and several informative and interesting videos to watch about the various animals. We watched several videos as our science for today!

    Link: www.sandiegozoo.org/videos/index.html

    Suggested Events 02/13/10-02/19/10

    Follow Hilltown Families on

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Plenty of Valentine activities happening this weekend for families, including opportunities to learn about the history of Valentine's. See your list of Weekly Suggested Events below. - Click on the image above to learn about the history of Valentine's over at History.com. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending

    FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Nan Parati writes: Local Food Potluck at the Congregational Church in Ashfield this Friday, February 12th @ 6:00pm. Will and I finally attended a Winter Farmer’s Market in Greenfield last Saturday and were delighted! The High School was teaming with customers eager to buy local products from the 30 farms that were selling their carrots, potatoes, apples, greens, meats, jams, juices, pickles, yogurt, and more! We heard a rumor that the next Winter Farmer’s Market will be in Turners Falls, so keep on the lookout for the time and place. This Friday night there is another opportunity to be involved in a locavore activity. The Ashfield Congregational Church is hosting a Local Food Potluck, February 12th at 6:00 pm. The idea is to gather together with other people to share food that was grown locally. So use as many local ingredients as possible in your potluck dish and come and enjoy to flavors of Ashfield!

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    FAMILY CONTRA DANCE WITH WILD ASPARAGUS: On Sunday, February 28th, from 2:30-5:30pm, bring the family to the Guiding Star Grange (401 Chapman Street) in Greenfield, home to some of the best contra musicians in the country, for contras, squares & singing! Are you wondering what Contra dancing is? Contra dancing is New England Folk Dancing with lines and reels, and a caller of course! Fiddles, guitars, keyboards, base, bombarde and singing. What’s a bombarde? You’ll have to come and find out. – A family dance is a great way for people of all ages and abilities to learn. $8 adults, $6 students & seniors, $4 kids, under 5 free All proceeds benefit the Greenfield Center School. For more information please call the Center School at 773-1700.

    FEATURED CAMP

    Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MAFEBRUARY FARM CAMP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Winter is always a special time at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. Whether exploring animal tracks in the snow, feeding hay to hungry sheep or warming up inside in a cozy circle to listen to a story after lunch, there is always lots of fun! The farm offers two programs this coming week: Sprouts Vacation Days for kids 4-6yo, and Winter Farm Fun for kids 7-10yo.  Both will be held 02/16-02/18 from 9am-3pm.  Help them care for the animals, go snowshoeing, sledding learn fire building and play great games. Each day will be unique, so come for one day, or all three. Cost is $55 per day or $140 for all three. Discount for members. Deadline to register is Friday, 02/15. Call to reg. 625-9503. www.redgatefarm.org

    • Check out other camps happening in the area on the Hilltown Families Suggest a Camp Bulletin Board.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

    Concert: 02/21.  Deadline to win: 02/17HERBAL APPRENTICESHIP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA is now taking applicants for their Tuesday Apprenticeship for Beginner and Intermediate Students. This innovative program based on becoming a community herbalist by weaving experiential learning about healing herbs with seasonal rhythms and timeless elements of traditional healing. Program begins 04/20/10 from 10am-4pm and ends 02/11. Total Tuition is $1750. Options for a payment plan are available. For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at (413) 625-6875, tlemos@noho.com. – Blazing Star Herbal School is located in the heart of Western Mass and is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of nature.

    CELEBRATING LOCAL FARM HEROES THROUGH MUSIC AND SONGWRITING: Three days of music fun, free for children during the February school break. At the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls from 10am-3pm, Mon (2/15), Wed (2/17) & Thurs (2/18).  Children ages 7 to 13 who like singing are welcomed. There will be games, lots of laughter, and we will meet local farmers and write songs about them. Led by Sarah Pirtle, who has directed the Discovery Center for Peace Education since 1992.  To sign up contact Sarah at 625-2355 or email pirtle22@hotmail.com, or sign up at Arms Library at 625-0306. The children will write songs about them to be presented at the public concert on Thurs at 2pm.

    VALENTINE BAKE SALE - The Hilltown Birdbrains 4-H Club will be setting up a Valentine Bake Sale on Saturday, February 13th from 10am-2pm in front of the Tractor Supply (2 College Highway) in Southampton, MA.  Drop by and support the kids of 4-H with a purchase of a sweet for your sweetie.  They will also have handmade Valentine Cards available to go with your sweets.

    Concert: 02/27.  Deadline to win: 02/24Jim Lobley of Ashfield, MA writes: The Ashfield Community Theater is holding open auditions for this season’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, a wicked, dark Irish comedy set in 1934 on a remote isle off Ireland’s west coast.  Auditions will be held: 02/21 from 1-4 & 02/23 from 6-9 at the Belding Memorial Library. Performances will be in Ashfield Town Hall on May 28 & 29, and June 4 & 5. All are wheelchair accessible. – There are roles for 4 woman and 5 men, ages 15-80. Previous acting experience is not necessary. The auditions will involve reading scenes from the play in an Irish dialect; dialect coaching will be part of the rehearsal process. We’re also looking for sound crew, a stage manager, etc. For more info email info@acth.org, or call 628.4574 or 628.0084.

    SUPPORT THE WORTHINGTON LIBRARY: Friends of the Worthington Library book sale happens at the town hall from 10-2pm. Donations are welcomed at the town hall leading up to the sale.  Profits support the library.

    MEDIA LITERACY FOR PARENTS AND KIDS: If you watched last weekend’s Superbowl with your kids, you saw a lot of beer commercials. For parents who are trying to delay the age at which their child starts drinking, take a look at the SAMHSA Website on Media Literacy. Parents are children’s most effective teachers on drugs, alcohol and other high-risk behaviors. Doing the 5 simple media literacy steps with your child can help you challenge some of the messages you DON’T want children to take in just yet.

    SUMMER VACATION AT FARM CAMPS:  With the annual February school vacation just days away, many parents are starting to plan summer activities for their children. Several of our local farms are putting together summer day camp opportunities for kids young and old. The CISA has put together a listing on their web site and will update the information throughout the spring as we learn about different options.

    KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY IN THE HILLTOWNS: Ashfield Rod &  Gun Club’s annual children’s ice fishing derby.  This year’s annual children’s ice fishing derby will be held on Saturday, February 13th on Ashfield Lake, from 8am to 12Noon.  All school age children are invited to attend and take part in this fun event.  Prizes will be awarded. After the fishing derby there will be a spaghetti dinner held at Sanderson Academy ($5 for adults).  Following the dinner a presentation will be given by Native American Chief Leroy Truehart at the School cafeteria.  for more info call Joe Miraglia at 828-4400 or Ken Magdycz at 634-5585.


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Rain or Shine? | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 02/13

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:15am-4pm – NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is hosting this year’s NGWS Day. athletics.mcla.edu North Adams, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-4:30pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Bring th efamily to the Historic Deerfield Museum annual American Heritage Chocolate Celebration.  www.historic-deerfield.org -775-7214 South Deerfield, MA ($)

    10am – OUTDOOR ACTIVITY: Winter Nature Walk at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Explore the world of mammal tracks and ways to recognize trees and shrubs in winter. Bring binoculars and dress to be outdoors in the cold. Pre-registration is required. www.hitchcockcenter.org  256-6006 Amherst, MA ($)

    10:30am – KIDS CONCERT: The Nields will be performing at the Jones Library. www.joneslibrary.org 259-3090 Amherst, MA (FREE)

    11am – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine’s Day Story and Craft Hour with children’s author, Corinne Demas at the Odyssey Bookshop. www.odysseybks.com 534-7307 South Hadley, MA (FREE)

    11am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free family day at MASS MoCA.  Hip Hop dance demos, screening of The Way Things Go, photo booth, creative projects for kids, ice cream & cake, and more. www.massmoca.org 662-2111 North Adams, MA (FREE)

    11:30am-3pm – NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY: Presented by Williams College Athletics for girl 6-13yo. Learn from coaches and players in several sport clinics. 597-2366 Williamstown, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine Crafts at the Wistariahurst Museum. This fun and creative program is appropriate for all ages, inspiring the artist in everyone with hands-on projects from collage to paper-cutting and original crafting of valentines.Learn about the history of Victorian valentines too.  Reservations are suggested. www.wistariahurst.org 322-5660 Holyoke, MA (>$)

    5pm – VALENTINE EVENT: Fancy chocolate Valentine dinner at Elmer’s.  RSVP www.elmersstore.com 628-4003 Ashfield, MA ($)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    6-8pm – MUSIC: Bread Euphoria will be holding a Bread & Acoustic Jam with local musicians. Come jam, or just come and listen. www.breadeuphoria.org Haydenville, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Fantastic Math Resource in the NYTimes

    Joy Lamberton of Boston, MA writes:

    My husband is a PhD candidate @Harvard SEAS and he sent this to me after years of joking that as the kids started to learn math he would teach me as well, starting over with basic arithmetic. This NYTimes contributor beat him to the punch. He is two blog entries in to teaching math. The exercises and resources mentioned would be invaluable to homeschoolers, I think!

    I am already learning a lot. For the first time odd number addition equaling perfect squares makes sense!
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/steven-strogatz/

    Join the Great Backyard Bird Count During February Break

    Join the Great Backyard Bird Count
    February 12-15, 2010

    Heading south for some sand and surf during the February school break? Bring along a tally sheet and count the sea gulls, sand pipers and pelicans at a nearby beach or wildlife refuge. Click on the image above for a printable tally sheet. Use your postal code, town or name of National Park to generate a custom tally sheet. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2010.  Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers counting birds in their own backyards, local parks or wildlife refuges.

    Each checklist submitted by these “citizen scientists” helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,the National Audubon Society , and Bird Studies Canada learn more about how the birds are doing—and how to protect them. Last year, participants turned in more than 93,600 checklists online, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.

    Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org. One 2009 participant said, “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in citizen science. I have had my eyes opened to a whole new interest and I love it!”

    On the www.birdcount.org website, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds and special materials for educators. Participants may also enter the GBBC photo contest by uploading images taken during the count. Many images will be featured in the GBBC website’s photo gallery. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.

    Participants submit thousands of digital images for the GBBC photo contest each year. Participants are also invited to upload their bird videos to YouTube tagged “GBBC.” – Businesses, schools, nature clubs, Scout troops, and other community organizations interested in the GBBC can contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at (800) 843-2473 (outside the U.S., call (607) 254-2473), or Audubon at citizenscience@audubon.org or (215) 355-9588, Ext 16.

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    Northern Harmony performance TONIGHT to benefit the West Cummington Congregational Church

    Carleen Madigan and Cathy Stillerman of Cummington, MA:

    Tonight, you’ll have the rare opportunity to hear Northern Harmony perform at the Remington Lodge in West Cummington, MA, in a very special benefit concert for the West Cummington Congregational Church. Because of the weather down south, their East Coast tour has been interrupted, and they’ve offered to come sing for us before they continue on to Europe for a two-month tour.

    • The concert will begin at 7:30pm, here at the Lodge (21 West Main Street, West Cummington; 634-5493)
    • Tea and coffee will be provided.
    • Donations for the church will be gratefully accepted.

    Here’s a bit about the group:

    Northern Harmony is the select ensemble of Village Harmony alumni and veterans, led by Patty Cuyler and Larry Gordon. They stretch the normal boundaries of choral music with their command of varied world ethnic singing styles: sacred and secular harmonies from Corsica and Georgia; village music from the Balkans; South African folk and church songs and dances; American shape-note singing and a cappella gospel; and contemporary compositions.

    See you tonight at the Lodge! And many thanks to Northern Harmony for their generosity!

    Thursday Night Talent Series in the Hilltowns Looking for Talent!

    Music & Performance Night is Back!
    At the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA

    If you are a musician, poet, juggler, tightrope walker, dancer, magician, teller to tall tales or similarly inclined individual interested in being a part of the Old Creamery’s Thursday night performance series during Feburary, March and April, please contact Sean Kimball – (413) 684-1939 ecstaticdin@verison.net.

    Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with AudraRox @ the Iron Horse in Noho

    WIN A FAMILY PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
    AudraRox
    Sun. Matinee Concert for Families
    At the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA

    Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance for two families to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see kids rock star AudraRox at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA. on Sunday, February 21st at 2pm. Deadline to enter to win is 02/17/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

    ABOUT AUDRA ROX

    Based out of Brooklyn, NY, kids rock star Audra Rox has been making music and teaching music classes to children for the last 10 years.  She’s appeared on Nickelodeon’s Noggin’s Jacks Big Music Show and Sesame Street, and recently came out with a new album, You’re a Rock Star Too, produced by Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants with Grammy award winning sound engineer Pat Dillet.

    Find out more about AudraRox and to see more videos, go to www.audrarox.com.

    HOW TO WIN

    Your chance to win a family 4-pack of  tickets to see AudraRox at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

    1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
    2. FULL NAME and where you
    3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town to be eligible.
    4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
    5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/17/10 @ 7pm (EST).

    If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets for the No Nap Happy Hour concert series are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

    Suggested Events 02/06/10-02/12/10

    Follow Hilltown Families on

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Ice hockey tournament on Ashfield Lake

    Ice hockey tournament on Ashfield Lake in Ashfield, MA.

    Suggest an Event

    If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    • Saturday in Ashfield at Elmer’s: Jim’s good old BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Mac and Cheese. 396 Main Street 628-4003
    • Saturday in Cummington at Remington Lodge: Pan-Asian Celebration with sesame pickled vegetables, fresh spring rolls with plum dipping sauce, coconut-lime soup with jasmine rice and pan-fried tofu, shrimp pad Thai with fresh bean sprouts and cilantro and lime meringue tartlets. 21 West Main Street. Dinner served from 6 to 8pm by advance reservation only. Please call 413-634-5493. BYOB

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Amy & Alice of the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA writes: Dear Friends & Neighbors – Warm thanks to those of you who were able to attend the community wide co-op meeting on Sunday. Your enthusiastic participation has given us a glowing green light to take the step of forming a steering committee to move forward in our co-op explorations. Our consultants were in awe. They said, “Do you know what an amazing community you have here?” We said, “We do know!” We’re excited and energized from the meeting. We’ll have an update message to you soon.

    HERBAL APPRENTICESHIP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA is now taking applicants for their Tuesday Apprenticeship for Beginner and Intermediate Students. This innovative program based on becoming a community herbalist by weaving experiential learning about healing herbs with seasonal rhythms and timeless elements of traditional healing. Program begins 04/20/10 from 10am-4pm and ends 02/11. Total Tuition is $1750. Options for a payment plan are available. For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at (413) 625-6875, tlemos@noho.com. – Blazing Star Herbal School is located in the heart of Western Mass and is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of nature.

    HILLTOWN JR OLYMPICS: The 31st annual Hilltown Junior Olympics happens in Sept in Goshen and Chesterfield is in need of a representative from the town.  If anyone is interested in volunteering or learning more, email Janet at jalaroche@verizon.net, or give her a call at 296-4714.

    CYBERBULLYING: Click HERE to download a parent handout on cyberbullying.

    GIRLS & MATH: The Los Angeles Times reports: Female teachers may pass on math anxiety to girls, study finds – Girls have long embraced the stereotype that they’re not supposed to be good at math. It seems they may be getting the idea from a surprising source — their female elementary school teachers. Read more HERE. – Here’s a good article on how to help grow our daughters math confidence at www. daughters.com.

    TWEETS THIS WEEK

    • Is the Media Raising Your Kids? Landmark Kaiser Family Foundation Study Details Media Saturation http://ow.ly/111iq
    • Transition Towns Movement: Training for Transition on Feb. 27-28 at Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA http://ow.ly/13KV5
    • Hardy Girls Healthy Women Protest American Apparel’s Best Bottom Contest http://ow.ly/13KLZ
    • Crazy Talk! – “Kids’ lingerie” line features photos of young girls on a stripper pole??!! http://ow.ly/13MqJ
    • Hilltown Artist & Artisans Wanted http://ow.ly/13KKm
    • Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Launches Matching Grant Program http://ow.ly/13KJ8
    • Talking to kids about fear of natural disaster http://bit.ly/6DsKfJ
    • Lilly Library in Florence is looking for teens to join their Teen Advisory Board. For more information call Kim at 587-1500.
    • Greenfield Center School will host family fun Open House & Birds of Prey presentation on Sun 02/07 http://ow.ly/10BTq
    • Custom Made Gluten-Free Cakes in Florence, MA at Cup & Top Cafe! http://ow.ly/12Urz
    • Brown Bag supplies a free monthly bag of groceries for seniors 55 & older in Western MA. 247-9738.
    • New web site launched for the Old Creamery Co-op http://ow.ly/12moD
    • Web Recommendation: TEACHER LINGO – A place for teachers to hang out and “lingo.” http://ow.ly/10YOy
    • Check out the list of films showing as part of the Eric Carle Museum Black History Month film Series http://ow.ly/13T8i
    • Follow us on

    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 02/06/10

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7:30am - NATURE PROGRAM: Breakfast and Winter Birds.  Meet at Ozzie’s Restaurant for breakfast and then join others in roadside birding. 655-0112 Hinsdale, MA (FREE)

    9:30-11am – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine-Making Party at the Eric Carle Museum. Pre-reg 658-1155 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    10-12Noon - NATURE PROGRAM: Bird banding demo at Berkshire Sanctuaries.  637-0320 Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – NATURE PROGRAM: Eagles at the Quabbin with Mass Audubon.  Meet at the Quabbin Reservior to look and learn about eagles and other wildlife. 584-3009 Quabbin Reservior

    10am-2pm – VALENTINE: Valentine’s Day Card Making and Box at Michaels. www.michaels.com Hadley, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – LOCAL FOOD: Greenfield 3rd Annual Winter Farmers’ Market at the Greenfield High School. www.winterfare.org Greenfield, MA

    10am-3pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Celebrate the Chinese New Year with events and book fair sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School at Barnes & Noble. nolarae2@gmail.com Hadley, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-6pm – WINTER ADVENTURES: Indoor and outdoor winter activities for children, families and adults at Winterfest 2010 www.winterfestamherst.com Amherst, MA (>$)

    12Noon-8pm - GRAND OPENING: The hilltown’s very own Bread Euphoria will be hosting thier official grand opening at the new cafe space.  Bring the family and come enjoy free cake and music. www.breadeuphoria.org Haydenville, MA (FREE)

    1pm – MUSIC:  Elizabeth Mitchell & Family will perform at the Eric Carle Museum. www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    2-4pm – WINTER ADVENTURES: Post-Ground Hog Day Celebration: Children’s Winter Adventure at Miller’s Forest Tract. Ages 6-11 532-1631 Monson, MA (Free, Donation)

    2-4pm – VALENTINE: Valentine cookie demonstration Michaels.  Learn how to decorate sweet treats for V Day! www.michaels.com Hadley, MA (>$)

    2:30pm – YOGA: Free children’s yoga class at Prakasa Yoga Studio’s Open House Party. 268-7151 www.prakasayoga.com Goshen, MA (FREE)

    6:30pm – MUSIC: The Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (STEP) invites you to the first-ever STEP benefit concert, “Music of the Heart,” at Faith United Church. 734-4458 Springfield, MA ($)

    6:30-10pm – FAMILY DANCE: Sweetheart Family Polka Night with Legendary Polka Band The Eddie Forman Orchestra.  Free babysitting. 665-1151 www.cafesun.org Sunderland, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Hardy Girls Healthy Women Protest American Apparel’s Best Bottom Contest

    Megan Williams, Executive Director of Hardy Girls Healthy Women writes:

    Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) is leading a campaign to get California-based clothing company American Apparel to pull their highly offensive and dangerous “Best Bottom Contest” ad campaign. American Apparel is looking for the best bottom in the world to be the “face” of their new ad campaign. They’re inviting girls (18yo & older) to upload pictures of their butts to the website wearing American Apparel underwear or body suits. Visitors to the site then have the option to judge the submissions with a score of 1-5 and add comments about the submissions.

    Hardy Girls’ Executive Director Megan Williams notes “This campaign is not just offensive, but it’s dangerous. The objectification of girls’ and women’s bodies is a real concern in a country where 1 in 4 women is a victim of violence, and sexual harassment is rampant. This ad campaign invites girls to self-objectify, encouraging them to post pictures of just one body part and inviting others to comment and rate them. It’s unreal that American Apparel would launch this campaign on the heels of ‘sexting’ scandals where girls are being prosecuted for sending sexually explicit images of themselves via text and other forms of digital media.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Clothing Repair Clinic in the Hilltowns. Reduce your clothing miles!

    Clothing Repair Clinic in Cummington
    Sunday, February 7th from 1-6pm

    Repairing our clothing is a big part of reducing fabric waste!

    According to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year, representing about 4% of the municipal solid waste – and this figure is rapidly growing!

    The Bagshare Project is hosting their very first Clothing Repair Clinic to help offset this percentage of waste, and help local families reclaim and revitalize their wardrobe.

    On Sunday, February 7th from 1-6pm, join others and bring yours or your kids pants that need hemming or patching, clothes missing buttons, complex repairs you could use some help with – and mend and socialize! Held at the Village Congregational Church on Main St. in Cummington, MA, this will be the first of a 3 month series of clothing repair clinics in the heart of the hilltowns! (The Old Creamery Chocolate tasting starts at 6:30pm so you can do a dual event!)

    Bring your sewing machine if you have one and any items specific to your repair. Otherwise, fabric, thread, sewing machines and supplies will be provided. If your plan is to replace a zipper please email Barbara first.  To RSVP, call Leni at 634-5591 or send her an email. Call or email either one of these ladies, especially if you can help in a teaching capacity.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    100 Links (December 2009 / January 2010)

    100 Links (December 2009/January 2010)

    Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  But if you visit the blog on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend,” with a list of our most recent recommended links.  If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page).

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our List of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll up or down.

  • RECALL: Children’s necklace recalled due to high levels of cadmium
  • Homeschool Groups and Resources in Massachusetts
  • Cyberbullying Tips
  • Examples of Social Studies Flowchart Notes
  • Grey Matters: Explore the Mind
  • Connecticut Science Center (Downtown Hartford, CT)
  • Virtual Field Trip: Pistachio Grove
  • Learn with Math Games
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Cool Cosmos
  • Thinking of getting a tutor? Ten questions you must ask
  • Homeschool Curriculum and Info
  • The Lego Dilemma: Do Lego’s instructions hamper kids’ creative play? (article)
  • MLK Birth Home Virtual Tour
  • 50 winter adventures in MA under $50 for a family of four
  • Eight Going on Eighteen: Our Daughter and Early Puberty (article)
  • Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act of 2009
  • Descriptive Writing and the 100th Day of School
  • 100 Ways to Represent the Number 100 (Mathwire.com)
  • Celebrate the 100th Day of School! (Scholastic)
  • Celebrate the 100th Day In 100 Ways (Lesson Plan)
  • Teaching The Hudson Valley
  • Virtual Tours of Historic Cities
  • ClarKids (Clark Art Museum Page for Kids)
  • 100th Day of School Activities
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Lesson Plans
  • How Cheering Your Kids On Helps Them Stay Healthy (article)
  • UVA Virtual Lab (science)
  • Free tutoring under the No Child Left Behind Law (article)
  • Lee Youth Associatio (Lee, MA)
  • Interactive Educational Gaming Resources
  • What Kids Can Do: Focus on Smart Eating
  • Developing Science Vocabulary
  • The War on Kids (documentary film)
  • The Sociology of Breastfeeding (podcast)
  • US Geography: AwesomeAmerica.com
  • Pioneer Valley Red Cross
  • Hampshire County Cares
  • The Best Places Online To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa
  • History of New Year’s Eve (video)
  • Educational Games and Activities for Kids (all ages)
  • World Geography Games
  • Liberty’s Kids (U.S. History, Videos)
  • Scoutsongs.com Virtual Songbook
  • LD OnLine
  • Earthquakes for Kids
  • The Massachusetts Public Flu Clinic Finder
  • 5 Money Saving Tips for the Holidays
  • Calendars Through The Ages
  • Maple-Syrup-and- Snow Candy
  • Read the rest of this entry »

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