Hilltown Families Voted “Best Blog” by the Valley Advocate’s 2014 Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll!

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog for the 4th Year in a Row!

Best Of 2014

Hilltown Families placed 1st for the fourth year in a row as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! ♥ Thank you to our readers, sponsors and writers who sustain Hilltown Families with their ongoing support!

GOOD STUFF!

Hilltown Families believes in creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community based education and engagement. We work to accomplish this by highlighting the embedded learning that is found everywhere in our communities, making the information accessible to families, and giving parents/educators access to opportunities that supports their children’s interests and education while encouraging community engagement. We do this by connecting, collaborating, and creating community building events, community based educational opportunities, and community service leaning experiences.

Founded in 2005 by Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families is incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts, serving thousands of families living throughout western Massachusetts. Through an online grassroots communication network, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of western Massachusetts by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education and increase participation in community life.

This past Fall, Hilltown Families Founder and Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, was invited to present a TEDx Talk that shared her vision and mission behind Hilltown Families.  In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Sienna shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.

JOIN US

If you’re interested in getting involved with Hilltown Families as either a contributing writer, sponsor, bulletin board manager, volunteer, fundraiser, committee member or intern, we’d love to hear from you. Email us with your interests at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Reaching over 1.3 million visitors to date, our blog continues to grow and expand! There are several ♥ amazing folks behind the scenes at Hilltown Families, along with an equally amazing team of ♥ contributing writers who believe in and support our mission!  Our current team of writers include: Read the rest of this entry »

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: BEST BLOG
Vote for Us by Feb. 12th!

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014!

Best Blog is listed under the
Information Age” category.

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

Hilltown Families believes in creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community based education and engagement.  We work to accomplish this by highlighting the embedded learning that is found everywhere in our communities, making the information accessible to families, and giving parents/educators access to opportunities that supports their children’s interests and education while encouraging community engagement.

Founded in late 2005 by long time activist, artist and mother, Sienna Wildfield, the Hiltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA, and is incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts last year, currently awaiting the approval of 501(c)3 status. Serving thousands of families living throughout the region, Hilltown Families connects, collaborates, and creates community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences.

See this TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement, where Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares the story behind the vision and mission of Hilltown Families:

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser of Northampton, MA writes: “Sienna has an idea that community can be found through community events—to learn, to play and to serve. She’s worked hard to form meaningful partnerships to support all these areas. From citizenry in field science to winter wear swaps to Valentine card making to festivals for the springtime, there’s a place that’s not a place but is rooted in our community. It’s Hilltown Families. I am grateful to be part of this family, and this place.”

Kara Kitchen of Plainfield, MA, writes:“ “Hilltown Families keeps us connected with all the amazing educational and cultural activities and resources that abound here in W. Mass and curates them in a way to let us know just what’s out there for the many varied interests of our young families and communities, while creating networks of support and growth.”

Seth Isman, Economic Developer, Hilltown CDC writes: “Hilltown Families is a model resource for the community. When we want to know what’s happening in the hilltowns, we turn to Hilltown Families first.”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

What we’ve been chatting about…

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog & Best Website!

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog & Best Website!

♥ Thank you for your votes!!!

Hilltown Families placed 1st for the third year in a row as Best Blog in the Advocate Best of The Valley Readers’ Poll 2013!

And, new this year, Hilltown Families placed 3rd as Best Website, behind MassLive.com and WWLP-22News… not bad company to keep!

♥ Thank you to everyone who supported us with their votes in the annual Valley Advocate Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013!

GOOD STUFF!

This has been an amazing year with a lot of growth and exciting changes & additions.  We’re looking forward to sharing this excitement as we move ahead as a newly formed non-profit organization, and continue our mission to connect, collaborate, and create community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences throughout the four counties of Western MA.

JOIN US

If you’re interested in getting involved with Hilltown Families as either a contributing writer, sponsor, bulletin board manager, volunteer, fundraiser, committee member or intern, we’d love to hear from you. Email us with your interests at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Reaching over 1 million visitors this past March, our blog continues to grow and expand! There are several ♥ amazing folks behind the scenes at Hilltown Families, along with an equally amazing team of ♥ contributing writers who believe in and support our mission!  Our current team of writers include:

ONGOING COLUMNS

In addition to our monthly and bi-monthly Contributing Writers columns, you can find:

Vote for Hilltown Families by 12noon this Wednesday, Feb 13th!

Hilltown Families: Best Blog
Vote for Us by 12noon this Wednesday, Feb. 13th!

As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013!

Best Blog is listed under theInformation Age” category.

And you only have ONE DAY LEFT! Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 13th, by 12noon.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? 

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

The Hiltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA.  Serving thousands of families living throughout the region, Hilltown Families’ mission is to connect, collaborate, and create community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences.

Through a dynamic blog, social networking, listserv, podcast, online bulletin boards, and collaborations with civic and nonprofit groups, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of Western MA by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education and increase participation in community life.

Founded in late 2005 by long time activist, artist and mother, Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts last year, currently awaiting the approval of 501(c)3 status.

Dean J. Fusto, Head of Upper School and Assistant Head of The Bement School, Deerfield writes:“Sienna is an extraordinarily talented individual. The genesis of the Hilltown Families concept and website grew directly out of her vision. She has overseen its evolution from its modest infancy to a web presence of major scope. Hilltown Families is an internet destination for so many families living in the Pioneer Valley region and beyond. In addition, vis-a-vis RSS feeds, a Facebook presence, and so many other features … it is by far one of my top destinations to visit as a parent and aficionado of Hilltown culture and life.”

Hilltown Families aim is to reflect the positive work and educational efforts individuals, families, teachers, artists, activist and civic leaders work towards and accomplish in our region, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families/community.  Voices of parent’s surviving the struggles and challenges of parenthood and explorations of the region are shared too, along with photography of life and landscapes in Western MA.

Seth Isman, Economic Developer, Hilltown CDC writes: “Hilltown Families is a model resource for the community. When we want to know what’s happening in the hilltowns, we turn to Hilltown Families first.”

Hilltown Families is dedicated to connecting, collaborating and creating community based educational opportunities for children and families in the Western MA.  Our list of Weekly Suggested Events in one of the anchor posts of Hilltown Families blog, along with our weekly post, Learn Local. Play Local. These weekly posts help to build and strengthen our local community by sharing family-friendly events and educational opportunities throughout region.  And our bi-monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun give highlights happening every two weeks in the far west region of Western MA, Berkshire County.

Jenn Therrien  of Westhampton, MA writes: “Hilltown Families supports all of us in whatever our needs are. From informative resources to community activities, Hilltown Families gives us the knowledge! Knowledge is truly power! Hilltown Families is the epicenter of knowledge. With all the information out there, I can always count on Hilltown’s to be accurate, environmentally aware and the articles have our best interests at heart. As Hilltown Familes grows, quality is never compromised! Refreshing at a time when everyone is cutting corners to save money. We don’t need to worry about that here! Hilltown Families also helps us to connect with local businesses that fit our needs and this helps us have a greater sense of community responsibility. Thank you Hilltown Families!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

WHAT WE’VE BEEN CHATTING ABOUT

We had several new Contributing Writers join our fabulous team this past year!  Check out this amazing group of writers who lend their voices every month to the Hilltown Families blog:

We had a great series this past year title Seasons at Our Table where Western MA readers shared how local food brings them together as a family and out into their community.  Their recipes, stories, and recommendations were shared in this three part series that corresponded with the seasons, including: Maple Sugar, Farmers’ Markets and Harvest Season.

On Sundays we often feature community feedback we received from our readers on different topics of interest.  Popular topics this past year included Recommendations for Western MA PediatriciansGetting the Family to Enjoy One Meal Together,  What Do You Love About Western MA Libraries?Community Recommended Documentaries for ParentsShould GMO Food Be Labeled?, Talking to Kids About Sex, Teen Dating, Camping with Kids, Children’s Books on Food Security/Scarcity, Recommended Activities Grandparents Can Do With Their Grandkids in Western MA, and many other subjects.

Kyra Anderson of Northampton, MA writes: “I check the site every week for family events, concerts, festivals, and classes! I have found out about countless things I would never have known about (I just don’t read the paper). Thanks so much for all that you do to connect us to community!!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BUT WE’RE NOT ALL TALK!

In 2012 there were several events Hilltown Families organized, including a series of Community Conversation on the topics of Creative Free Play in a Commercialized World, Safe and Healthy Food Choices, and Talking to Your Kids About Sex.  There was also a Saturday Morning Music Party Series put together in collaboration with Spare the Rock and Flywheel to bring families out during the colder months. In the summer we collaborated with the Food Bank of Western MA by putting together a series of information and resources, concluding with a Food Bank of Western MA Field Trip. In the fall we collaborated with Biocitizen for the fourth year in a row offering families a chance to work as Citizen Scientists for the Westfield River, then we closed out the year with a Family Community Service Night, a service-based learning event for families, and a Youth Photography Exhibit to encourage community based education in area youth.

There were also several swaps, including Handmade Valentine’s, Winter Wear, Halloween Costumes and a Board Game Swap.  Hilltown Families was also a proud sponsor of several community building events, the Hilltown Spring Festival, Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair, Mister G Halloween Fiesta, and the Franklin Land Trust Fall Festival.

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

SUPPORT HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPONSORS

To take part in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013, you must vote in 10 or more categories.  Over the years Hilltown Families has had many wonderful sponsors proudly displayed in the left-hand column.  Consider voting for one of these local businesses, showing your appreciated of their support of Hilltown Families!

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: Best Blog
Vote for Us by Feb. 13th!

As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013!

Best Blog is listed under theInformation Age” category.

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 13th.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

The Hiltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA.  Serving thousands of families living throughout the region, Hilltown Families’ mission is to connect, collaborate, and create community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences.

Through a dynamic blog, social networking, listserv, podcast, online bulletin boards, and collaborations with civic and nonprofit groups, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of Western MA by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education and increase participation in community life.

Founded in late 2005 by long time activist, artist and mother, Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts last year, currently awaiting the approval of 501(c)3 status.

Dean J. Fusto, Head of Upper School and Assistant Head of The Bement School, Deerfield writes:“Sienna is an extraordinarily talented individual. The genesis of the Hilltown Families concept and website grew directly out of her vision. She has overseen its evolution from its modest infancy to a web presence of major scope. Hilltown Families is an internet destination for so many families living in the Pioneer Valley region and beyond. In addition, vis-a-vis RSS feeds, a Facebook presence, and so many other features … it is by far one of my top destinations to visit as a parent and aficionado of Hilltown culture and life.”

Hilltown Families aim is to reflect the positive work and educational efforts individuals, families, teachers, artists, activist and civic leaders work towards and accomplish in our region, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families/community.  Voices of parent’s surviving the struggles and challenges of parenthood and explorations of the region are shared too, along with photography of life and landscapes in Western MA.

Seth Isman, Economic Developer, Hilltown CDC writes: “Hilltown Families is a model resource for the community. When we want to know what’s happening in the hilltowns, we turn to Hilltown Families first.”

Hilltown Families is dedicated to connecting, collaborating and creating community based educational opportunities for children and families in the Western MA.  Our list of Weekly Suggested Events in one of the anchor posts of Hilltown Families blog, along with our weekly post, Learn Local. Play Local. These weekly posts help to build and strengthen our local community by sharing family-friendly events and educational opportunities throughout region.  And our bi-monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun give highlights happening every two weeks in the far west region of Western MA, Berkshire County.

Jenn Therrien  of Westhampton, MA writes: “Hilltown Families supports all of us in whatever our needs are. From informative resources to community activities, Hilltown Families gives us the knowledge! Knowledge is truly power! Hilltown Families is the epicenter of knowledge. With all the information out there, I can always count on Hilltown’s to be accurate, environmentally aware and the articles have our best interests at heart. As Hilltown Familes grows, quality is never compromised! Refreshing at a time when everyone is cutting corners to save money. We don’t need to worry about that here! Hilltown Families also helps us to connect with local businesses that fit our needs and this helps us have a greater sense of community responsibility. Thank you Hilltown Families!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

WHAT WE’VE BEEN CHATTING ABOUT

We had several new Contributing Writers join our fabulous team this past year!  Check out this amazing group of writers who lend their voices every month to the Hilltown Families blog:

We had a great series this past year title Seasons at Our Table where Western MA readers shared how local food brings them together as a family and out into their community.  Their recipes, stories, and recommendations were shared in this three part series that corresponded with the seasons, including: Maple Sugar, Farmers’ Markets and Harvest Season.

On Sundays we often feature community feedback we received from our readers on different topics of interest.  Popular topics this past year included Recommendations for Western MA PediatriciansGetting the Family to Enjoy One Meal Together,  What Do You Love About Western MA Libraries?Community Recommended Documentaries for ParentsShould GMO Food Be Labeled?, Talking to Kids About Sex, Teen Dating, Camping with Kids, Children’s Books on Food Security/Scarcity, Recommended Activities Grandparents Can Do With Their Grandkids in Western MA, and many other subjects.

Kyra Anderson of Northampton, MA writes: “I check the site every week for family events, concerts, festivals, and classes! I have found out about countless things I would never have known about (I just don’t read the paper). Thanks so much for all that you do to connect us to community!!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BUT WE’RE NOT ALL TALK!

In 2012 there were several events Hilltown Families organized, including a series of Community Conversation on the topics of Creative Free Play in a Commercialized World, Safe and Healthy Food Choices, and Talking to Your Kids About Sex.  There was also a Saturday Morning Music Party Series put together in collaboration with Spare the Rock and Flywheel to bring families out during the colder months. In the summer we collaborated with the Food Bank of Western MA by putting together a series of information and resources, concluding with a Food Bank of Western MA Field Trip. In the fall we collaborated with Biocitizen for the fourth year in a row offering families a chance to work as Citizen Scientists for the Westfield River, then we closed out the year with a Family Community Service Night, a service-based learning event for families, and a Youth Photography Exhibit to encourage community based education in area youth.

There were also several swaps, including Handmade Valentine’s, Winter Wear, Halloween Costumes and a Board Game Swap.  Hilltown Families was also a proud sponsor of several community building events, the Hilltown Spring Festival, Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair, Mister G Halloween Fiesta, and the Franklin Land Trust Fall Festival.

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

SUPPORT HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPONSORS

To take part in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013, you must vote in 10 or more categories.  Over the years Hilltown Families has had many wonderful sponsors proudly displayed in the left-hand column.  Consider voting for one of these local businesses, showing your appreciated of their support of Hilltown Families!

Holiday Farmers’ Markets in the Berkshires

Holiday Farmers’ Markets in the Berkshires

Berkshire Grown will host its popular Holiday Farmers’ Markets in Great Barrington and Williamstown on November 17 -18 and December 15 -16. The markets feature locally grown and produced food during months when farmers’ markets are not open in the region and extend the opportunity for community members to purchase directly from area food producers and farmers. (Photo credit: Peter Cherneff)

Local food isn’t only available during the growing season!  A bounty of locally grown and produced foods are available year-round in Western MA, and Berkshire Grown is making these products even easier to purchase by hosting two annual pre-holiday farmers’ markets!

“We’re thrilled to host our 4th annual farmers’ markets,” says Barbara Zheutlin, Executive Director of Berkshire Grown. “We’re extending the season for our local farmers, and offering the community an opportunity to support our local farmers and food producers. The success of these markets depends on everyone participating – we count on the community to celebrate our local food and farmers.”

There will be markets in both Great Barrington and Williamstown, taking place just before Thanksgiving and just before Christmas.  Families can stock up on local foods for their holiday meals, as well as to store for use throughout the winter…how delicious does a locavore’s Thanksgiving dinner featuring locally-grown pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, roasted Turkey, sautéed greens, apple cobbler and cider sound?!  And wouldn’t friends be excited to receive applesauce made from local apples or locally fermented pickles as a holiday gift?

Shop the array of locally grown produce and animal products, baked goods, preserves, handcrafted gift items and holiday decorations offered by local farmers and vendors at the Holiday Farmer’s Markets, and center your family’s holiday celebrations around your community! Plus have a fun time with activities for the kids at the Williamstown markets, including crafts, face painting and a scavenger hunt.

Markets will take place at Muddy Brook Elementary School in Great Barrington on Saturday, November 17th and Saturday, December 15th, and at the Williams College Field House on Sunday, November 18th and Sunday, December 16th.  All markets take place from 10am-2pm, and are sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Williams College.  For more information visit www.berkshiregrown.org or call 413-528-0041.

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog by the Valley Advocate’s 2012 Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll!

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog
2nd Year in a Row!

Thank you to all of our readers for voting Hilltown Families as the Best Blog for the 2nd year in a row!

We can’t thank our readers enough for voting Hilltown Families as the Best Blog for the 2nd year in a row in the Valley Advocate Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2012!

Interviewing Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield, Maureen Turner of the Valley Advocate writes:

When Sienna Wildfield takes her nine-year-old daughter to the Ashfield farmers’ market, she doesn’t worry about keeping track of her every single second. “Half the people there know her,” Wildfield says. “Everyone has an eye on her. It’s a safer community for her to be growing up in.”

That feeling of connection to a community is a big part of what drives Wildfield’s “Hilltown Families,” winner, for the second year, of the award for Best Local Blog. The site, which Wildfield calls an “online grassroots communication network,” has events calendars, essays and art by contributors, podcasts and other goodies, and, its name notwithstanding, covers the four western counties.

Readers can easily discern the ethos behind Wildfield’s work, with its focus on the local and sustainable, non-commercial and often non-mainstream… But there’s something a little less obvious that drives her, too: a desire to help families make real, multi-generational connections to their communities, the way her own child has.

Hilltown Families focuses a lot on what Wildfield calls “place-based, community-learning opportunities”… kinds of opportunities can supplement, in really enriching ways, kids’ school studies, Wildfield says. But they also help create and reinforce families’ connections to the place where they live—something she hopes kids will carry with them as they get older. “If their foundation of what they’re learning is coming from where they live, they grow up and become more invested in their community,” she says. “They want to protect their environment, they want to keep things local, they want to support their local economy, they are more civic minded.” And whether those kids stay in the Valley when they grow up or move elsewhere, Wildfield hopes they’ll carry that belief in the importance of community with them. “This isn’t a short-term thing,” she says. “It’s a real investment.”

HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

There are several ♥ amazing folks behind the scenes at Hilltown Families, along with an excellent team of ♥ contributing writers & community correspondents!  Our current team of writers include:

JOIN US!

Interested in joining our team of writers, community correspondents, volunteers, fundraisers, sponsors, advertisers and street team? We have many opportunities and welcome your involvement to continue the mission of Hilltown Families!  Send an email with your interests: hillltownfamilies@gmail.com.

GET PLUGGED IN:

Follow Me on DeliciousFollow Hilltown Families on Pinterest Subscribe to the Hilltown Family Variety Show Podcast

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: Best Local Blog
Vote for Us by Feb. 8th!

Advocate for Hilltown Families! Invite your family, friends and neighbors to Vote for Us: Best Local Blog (under the "Media Mavens" category)! - Deadline: Feb. 8th by 12Noon.

As Hilltown Families enters its seventh year, celebrate the past 6 with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Local Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2012! Best Local Blog is listed under the “Media Mavens” category.

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 8th.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Spread the word & share the love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

The Hiltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA.  Founded in late 2005 by long time activist, artist and mother, Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families serves thousands of families in Western Massachusetts, including the Hilltowns, Pioneer Valley and parts of the Berkshires.

Through a dynamic web site/blog, social networking, listserv, podcast, online bulletin boards, and collaborations with civic and nonprofit groups, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of Western MA by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education and increase participation in community life.

Dean J. Fusto, Head of Upper School and Assistant Head of The Bement School, Deerfield writes:“Sienna is an extraordinarily talented individual. The genesis of the Hilltown Families concept and website grew directly out of her vision. She has overseen its evolution from its modest infancy to a web presence of major scope. Hilltown Families is an internet destination for so many families living in the Pioneer Valley region and beyond. In addition, vis-a-vis RSS feeds, a Facebook presence, and so many other features … it is by far one of my top destinations to visit as a parent and aficionado of Hilltown culture and life.”

Become a Contributing Writer

Take a look at all the fabulous writers who contribute to the Hilltown Families blog!

Hilltown Families aim is to reflect the positive work and educational efforts activists, families, teachers, artists and civic leaders work towards and accomplish in our region, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families/community.  Voices of parent’s surviving the struggles and challenges of parenthood and explorations of the region are shared too, along with photography of life and landscapes in western Massachusetts.

Seth Isman, Economic Developer, Hilltown CDC writes: “Hilltown Families is a model resource for the community. When we want to know what’s happening in the hilltowns, we turn to Hilltown Families first.”

Hilltown Families is dedicated to identifying and creating community based educational opportunities for children and families in the Western MA.  Our list of Weekly Suggested Events in one of the of the blogs anchor posts.  This weekly list helps to build and strengthen our local community by sharing family-friendly events and educational opportunities throughout region.

Jenn Therrien  of Westhampton, MA writes: “Hilltown Families supports all of us in whatever our needs are. From informative resources to community activities, Hilltown Families gives us the knowledge! Knowledge is truly power! Hilltown Families is the epicenter of knowledge. With all the information out there, I can always count on Hilltown’s to be accurate, environmentally aware and the articles have our best interests at heart. As Hilltown Familes grow, quality is never compromised! Refreshing at a time when everyone is cutting corners to save money. We don’t need to worry about that here! Hilltown Families also helps us to connect with local businesses that fit our needs and this helps us have a greater sense of community responsibility. Thank you Hilltown Families!”

In 2011 there were several events Hilltown Families presented, including The Importance of Creative Play in a Commercialized World, I Am Not a Billboard! Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families, and Citizen Scientist Volunteer Event on the Westfield River.  There were also several swaps, including Handmade Valentine’s, Winter Wear and a Board Game Swap, and several family concerts, including performances by Mister G, The Deedle Deedle Dees, The Expandable Brass Band and Grammy Award winning storyteller, Bill Harley.

Kyra Anderson of Northampton, MA writes: “I check the site every week for family events, concerts, festivals, and classes! I have found out about countless things I would never have known about (I just don’t read the paper). Thanks so much for all that you do to connect us to community!!”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

SUPPORT HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPONSORS

To take part in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2012, you must vote in 10 or more categories.  Over the years Hilltown Families has had many wonderful sponsors proudly displayed in the left-hand colum.  Consider voting for one of these local businesses, showing your appreciated of their support of Hilltown Families!

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Blog by the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll!

Hilltown Families Voted as Best Local Blog!

Wow! Thank you to everyone who voted for Hilltown Families in the Valley Advocate Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2011!

Maureen Turner of the Valley Advocate writes: “What began as a listserv six years ago has expanded with advances in technology; now visitors to the handsomely designed site will find podcasts of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, which plays eclectic family-friendly music; expansive lists of weekly events for families; and art and columns by contributors on topics that will appeal to folks raising kids or just interested in participating in their local communities.”

What a great way to celebrate the past five years!

Get Involved & Support Hilltown Families!

Hilltown Families Blog is part of an online grassroots communication network for families living throughout Western MA. There are many ways families and the community can both support and get involved with Hilltown Families.  Here are a few ways:

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