29 Community Highlights: Water Mills to Bike Maintenance. Knitting to Folktales.

Discover local birds on a free guided bird walk with Forbes Library in Northampton on Sunday morning, May 11. The walk will take you through the Smith College campus and up to Paradise Pond in search of birds. This walk is great for beginner birders who want to learn more about bird identification, bird calls, and what some good birding spots in the area are.

Water Mills to Bike Maintenance. Knitting to Folktales. Mother’s Day to Community Service…These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: May 15 is Third Thursday in Turners Falls! This month’s theme is “The Nature of Things,” and the evening includes tons of events relating to the river, including workshops, science demonstrations, wildlife exhibitions, performances, installations, and more. There is something for all ages at this fun event, which highlights some of the awesome things Turners Falls has to offer.


Geology/Natural HistoryLocal HistoryMother’s DayCommunity ServiceMusic StudiesDance & PerformanceAnimal & Nature StudiesSkill Share/BikesLiteracyFiber Arts/Knitting


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 10th-16th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families continually excites and amazes me with all of the listings of events happening in or around the hilltowns. It has opened up my hilltown world in many ways. I wish that all new mothers were given the web address or Facebook page during prenatal visits to the doctor. So many mothers feel isolated and alone until their child enters school. I think that your eNewsletter would help remedy that problem!” – Debbie Carnes (Worthington, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

May 11-26

Joyful learning starts with Oak Meadow! Save from Mother’s Day to Memorial Day. Enjoy 15% off Oak Meadow’s engaging, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off enrollment in their fully accredited distance learning school. Oak Meadow helps you set a natural rhythm of learning for your family through their creative and challenging curriculum. Their compassionate, child-centered approach encourages critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities, interdisciplinary projects, and thoughtful reading and writing practice. This May treat Mom to great savings, and treat the family to a great home learning experience! Offer runs from May 11 through May 26.

May 15

Cooley Dickinson/Massachusetts General Hospital Lecture Series. Concussions in Sports: Help for Parents. As media attention on concussions in sports rises, parents are in need of common sense, research- supported information. This presentation is designed to help parents understand what they need to know about concussions and how to best support and protect their child athletes as they participate in sports. Speakers include, Richard Ginsburg, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Jonathan Schwab, MD, Pediatrician, Northampton, Family Practice. Thursday, May 15th 6-7pm at the Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell St., Hadley, MA. Registration is required, www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or by calling 888-554-4234.

May 18

Abundance Farm Work Party and Celebration! Abundance Farm is an emerging Food Justice Farm and Outdoor Classroom on 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. This partnership between Congregation B’nai Israel, Northampton Survival Center and Lander-Grinspoon Academy will support local food security and serve as a unique, learning environment. Help launch the Farm on Sunday, May 18th. From 10-12 volunteers will create garden beds and plant an orchard. Delicious lunch for volunteers from 12-1. Celebrate from 1-3 with live music and activities for all ages including sports, cob oven baking, seed bomb workshop and bike blending! Come dressed to work and bring tools if you have them. For more info info@abundancefarm.org or visit www.abundancefarm.org.

May 22

Amherst Montessori School is holding a Toddler Open House on May 22, 3:30-5:30 PM. Meet the Toddler faculty and learn about their Montessori programs for children ages 12 months – 3 years. Enrolling now for the 2014-2015 year in full-and part-time programs. Inquire about their Spanish-English bilingual classroom, La Casita! Join them in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 10th-16th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

28 Community Highlights: Renaissance to Whistling. May Day to Pride Parade.

12th Annual Community Renaissance Festival this Sunday, May 4th, at UMass in Amherst, MA.

Renaissance to Whistling. May Day to Pride Parade. Police Dog to Reading with Dogs… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Have you ever wondered what life was like during the Renaissance? You can discover activities, trades, and foods of the Renaissance at the 12th Annual Community Renaissance Festival, held by the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies on Sunday, May 4 in Amherst. All ages can learn about and celebrate this important cultural movement through theater performances, board games, weaving demonstrations, blacksmithing, leatherworking, dancing, live music, and more. The Renaissance Festival is a free interactive and engaging opportunity to get kids interested in European history and making connections between the Renaissance and many of the cultural movements that have occurred since then.


STEMLocal HistoryScienceRenaissancePhotographyAnimal StudiesCommunity ServiceDiversity/LGBTMilitary HistoryOrnithologyMay DayPlant Studies/WildflowersLiteracyArts & CraftsParent Workshop


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 3rd-9th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I especially love the summer camp information all in one place! It’s good to know about parent/child craft classes too… Thanks for all you do!” – Martha L. (Sunderland, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

May 3

Come to Local ARTery: Demonstration Day May 3rd, 2014, from 10 to 5 at the Healthworks Building next to Yankee Candle Village, 25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield. This event will feature over 30 local artisans who will be demonstrating the techniques and skills of creating of handmade art and craft. Exciting demonstrations include loom weaving, pottery, shoemaking, woodworking, landscape quilting, metal clay jewelry, watercolor technique, and glasswork. Get up close and personal with artisans to see how different types of art and craft are produced. The artisans will also be offering finished work for sale. Also, join one of the many available “make and take” stations throughout the event and create your own project! The day promises to be a creatively fun, hands-on, and educational experience for all ages. For a list of participating artisans visit: www.localartery.com.

May 15

Cooley Dickinson/Massachusetts General Hospital Lecture Series. Concussions in Sports: Help for Parents. As media attention on concussions in sports rises, parents are in need of common sense, research- supported information. This presentation is designed to help parents understand what they need to know about concussions and how to best support and protect their child athletes as they participate in sports. Speakers include, Richard Ginsburg, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Jonathan Schwab, MD, Pediatrician, Northampton, Family Practice. Thursday, May 15th 6-7pm at the Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell St., Hadley, MA. Registration is required, www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or by calling 888-554-4234.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include Chinese, cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 23 to August 15. Visit their website or email summer@bement.org for more information!

Early education & child care openings for children 15 months to 5 years. Apply now at www.nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org. Nonotuck Community School curriculum is play-based & inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence & resilience, and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development. In addition to large, sunny, well-appointed classrooms, and indoor & outdoor play spaces, children have access to an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening, music, and more. They are a licensed parent co-op; family involvement is at the heart of their school community. Open 7:30-5:30 with 3-5 day schedules year-round. Florence, MA

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 3rd-9th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: The Cure For All Things Pavement

The Cure for All Things Pavement

Make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you! Tuning into this “wheel of time” is one way that we leave our pavement-based perception of place. If you are lucky, you’ll get to see mergansers, a sort of river loon, as they hunt for the same trout that are hunting the invertebrates.

Before there were roads, there were trails and before there were trails, there were rivers. The Nile and the Mississippi—can you see Cleopatra and Huck & Jim making their ways on these liquid highways? Have you heard the tale (more or less true) of how Native Americans followed the paths of deer that traveled up and down food-rich riparian corridors; and that Routes 5 & 7 were laid over such paths?

Once upon a time, people knew their places from the perspective of the river; and what is so wonderful is that this perspective is still available to those who pine for a way of seeing, and being, that is not pavement-based. This summer, you could float down the Deerfield or Connecticut Rivers—and you ought to!—but floating down means that you’ve already driven up it. Nothing wrong with that; in fact it can’t be avoided given our moment in time; but the proper way to get the feeling and the vision of being placed in a biome is to head upstream, like the Atlantic Shad are doing right now. (Reminder: the operators of the Holyoke and Turner’s Falls dams open their anadromous fish viewing stations around Mother’s Day, and—despite the fact that both dams are causing extinctions—they are worth visiting.)

If you want to change the way you and your family view your “place” by leaving the pavement and making your way up a river valley, you are lucky! Read the rest of this entry »

26 Community Highlights: Park Clean-Ups to Hawley Bog. Sheep Shearing to Beekeeping.

Families can experience life in an 18th Century encampment on Saturday, April 26 at the Historic Deerfield’s Revolutionary Muster and Parade.

Park Clean-Ups to Hawley Bog. Yo-Yos to Polka. Sheep Shearing to Beekeeping…. These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  The Amherst Farmers’ Market and Amherst Sustainability Festival takes place this Saturday, April 26, on the Town Common. Pick up your starter plants and locally grown foods from the Market, and then head to the Common for a fabulous family-friendly festival featuring all things sustainable… including Hilltown Families! Stop by our tent where kids can plant seeds to take home with them while parents can learn about the mission of Hilltown Families.


DendrologyBiologyNew England HistoryBike TourIndustry & Transportation HistoryHabitatCommunity ServiceSustainabilityPhysicsAnimal Studies ♦ Culture/Dance ♦  Artisanal TradeMusic StudiesEntomologyWomen & Media StudiesMay Day


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Suggested Events for April 26th-May 2nd, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is a resource that really helped us transition from feeling new and unsettled after we first moved to the Valley to feeling like we are a part of many great communities. We appreciate the breadth and depth of your calendar of events, and find that we can identify activities each weekend that suit our young kids.” – Jen R. (Hadley, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 26

Middle School Fair. Meet representatives from six independent middle schools: Academy Hill School, The Center School, Four Winds School, The Hartsbrook School, North Star: Self-Directed Learning, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. Saturday, April 26, 2:00-4:00, at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA. More information at www.fourwindsschool.info or call 413-863-8055.

Apr 27

The celebrated Alonzo King LINES Ballet comes to the UMass Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 27th to enrapture audiences with works of luminous beauty. Described by The New Yorker as “hyper kinetic” and “exceptional,” the Lines Ballet performs exhilarating works that meld classical Western ballet with a diverse set of cultural traditions. The dancers’ flawless technique, mixed with King’s expressive choreography, creates a performance that is like no other. “Gripping, urgently beautiful choreography” hails the San Francisco Chronicle. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

May 3

Come to Local ARTery: Demonstration Day May 3rd, 2014, from 10 to 5 at the Healthworks Building next to Yankee Candle Village, 25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield. This event will feature over 30 local artisans who will be demonstrating the techniques and skills of creating of handmade art and craft. Exciting demonstrations include loom weaving, pottery, shoemaking, woodworking, landscape quilting, metal clay jewelry, watercolor technique, and glasswork. Get up close and personal with artisans to see how different types of art and craft are produced. The artisans will also be offering finished work for sale. Also, join one of the many available “make and take” stations throughout the event and create your own project! The day promises to be a creatively fun, hands-on, and educational experience for all ages. For a list of participating artisans visit: www.localartery.com.

Open House: Jun 14

Worthington Swim Club. Enjoy family fun this summer at an outdoor pool in Worthington. The W S C is located at 35 Huntington Road (Rte 112) in a sunny, tree-screened setting. Membership is open to everyone and includes: Certified Lifeguard on duty Monday – Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Children over age 10 can swim without their parent during lifeguard hours, 24-hour key access for adult members (and children with an adult family member), a 25-yard-long pool w/ a low diving board, swimming lessons available. Swim free at open house, June 14th, noon-3 p.m. 2014 membership is: Family Plan $365, Individual Plan $160. Payment schedules available. Call Lynn at 238-8038 or Alain at 238-5954 or visit us on FB www.facebook.com/worthington.swimclub

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include Chinese, cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 23 to August 15. Visit their website or email summer@bement.org for more information!

Early education & child care openings for children 15 months to 5 years. Apply now at www.nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org. Nonotuck Community School curriculum is play-based & inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence & resilience, and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development. In addition to large, sunny, well-appointed classrooms, and indoor & outdoor play spaces, children have access to an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening, music, and more. They are a licensed parent co-op; family involvement is at the heart of their school community. Open 7:30-5:30 with 3-5 day schedules year-round. Florence, MA

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 16th-May 1st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

30 Community Highlights: Straw Rockets to Shakespeare. Easter to Earth Day.

Easter is Sunday and there are many Easter activities happening this weekend throughout the region. Dying eggs and Easter candy are perfect opportunities for incorporating a little science into your family traditions. Check out these featured Spring & Easter Science pins over on Pinterest and put a little STEA(rt)M into your celebration!

Straw Rockets to Bug Collages. Arctic Tern to American Alligator. Shakespeare to Aldo Leopold… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Did you know that dinosaurs lived right here in the Pioneer Valley millions of years ago? They are an important piece of the natural history of this area, and more can be learned about them and where they lived at the Dinosaur Footprints in Holyoke (Route 5). On Saturday morning April 19, The Trustees of Reservations are holding a free event for families that gives visitors a chance to “Walk Where Dinosaurs Roamed” and learn about their history in the area, what species might have lived here, how their footprints have been preserved over time, and what the local habitat was like.


Citizen ScientistPaleontologyCollaborative ConsumptionCultural StudiesFilm StudiesSTEMMuseum AdventuresHistoryCommunity ServiceAnimal StudiesLiterary AdventuresHikingEntomologyMusic StudiesPastry ArtsEnvironmentalism


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 19th-25th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families lets me connect to great events that are slightly out of the way, but worth the drive! For example, I recently found out about several Earth Day events that are fun for my whole family!” – Sarah Kowalski (Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 17-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 18, 21-25

During April vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, 2014. Classic fairy tales like Robin Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and Jack and the Beanstalk will be presented by renowned puppet ensembles including the National Marionette Theater and Crabgrass Puppets (shown here). There’s also live animal demonstrations, hands-on science and art activities, and roving puppetry by Caravan Puppets. The fun gets off to an early start with a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets on Friday April 18 at 1pm, along with appearances by the Easter Bunny and more. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

Apr 21-27

Enjoy April vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Create paper sculptures in the Art Studio with guest artist Susan Schwake, go on an underwater storytime adventure with author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, and see the classic tale The Bremen Town Musicians come to life on stage! Cap off this fun-filled week of activities, storytimes, films, and special guests with our Family Poetry Jam on Sunday, April 27! The Museum is open Monday, April 21 for Patriots’ Day. For event details and performance tickets, visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

Apr 26

Middle School Fair. Meet representatives from six independent middle schools: Academy Hill School, The Center School, Four Winds School, The Hartsbrook School, North Star: Self-Directed Learning, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. Saturday, April 26, 2:00-4:00, at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA. More information at www.fourwindsschool.info or call 413-863-8055.

Apr 27

The celebrated Alonzo King LINES Ballet comes to the UMass Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 27th to enrapture audiences with works of luminous beauty. Described by The New Yorker as “hyper kinetic” and “exceptional,” the Lines Ballet performs exhilarating works that meld classical Western ballet with a diverse set of cultural traditions. The dancers’ flawless technique, mixed with King’s expressive choreography, creates a performance that is like no other. “Gripping, urgently beautiful choreography” hails the San Francisco Chronicle. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Open House: Jun 14

Worthington Swim Club. Enjoy family fun this summer at an outdoor pool in Worthington. The W S C is located at 35 Huntington Road (Rte 112) in a sunny, tree-screened setting. Membership is open to everyone and includes: Certified Lifeguard on duty Monday – Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Children over age 10 can swim without their parent during lifeguard hours, 24-hour key access for adult members (and children with an adult family member), a 25-yard-long pool w/ a low diving board, swimming lessons available. Swim free at open house, June 14th, noon-3 p.m. 2014 membership is: Family Plan $365, Individual Plan $160. Payment schedules available. Call Lynn at 238-8038 or Alain at 238-5954 or visit us on FB www.facebook.com/worthington.swimclub

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Happy Easter: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA, your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 19th-25th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry.

Several vernal pool events happening this weekend throughout the region!

Pollinators to Polliwogs. Seed Bombs to Black-Out Poetry. Rockets to Knitting… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Celebrate Spring and all things green at Easthampton’s Waste Not Want Not Art Walk on Saturday evening, April 12th. Explore Easthampton’s art scene and do free activities, like make seed bombs with Easthampton Community Garden at Nash Gallery, learn how to build raised beds at Old Town Hall, make your own notecards and envelopes at Knack, and more! This is a fun evening out that lets you experience some of the great art- and environment-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer!


Vernal PoolsEarth DayActivismCommunity ServiceFiber ArtsSTEMCultural StudiesPoetryNature StudiesOrnithologyArtHistoryEntomologyInternet SafetyParent Workshop


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Suggested Events for April 12th-18th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my go-to place to look for upcoming family activities in my community (and the surrounding communities). I truly appreciate this site and all of the work that’s put into it!” – Renee Hill (Easthampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 13, 18, 21-25

Spring into spring at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 13 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. There’s more fun on Friday April 18, with appearances by the Easter Bunny and a performance of Spring into Easter by The Wayne Martin’s Puppets at 1pm. Then enjoy a week of hands-on activities and shows by the region’s finest puppet ensembles during their amazing Puppet Festival, April 21-25, featuring tales like Robin Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Beauty and the Beast. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

Apr 14-18; 21-25

For some educational, interactive family fun, bring your kids to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, a ninety minute drive from Boston and only twenty minutes from Hartford. Mon., Apr. 14th- Aero Modeling Workshop; Tues., Apr. 15th- Glider Engineering Design Challenge; Wed., Apr. 16th- Parachute Drop; Thurs., Apr. 17th- Open Cockpit; Fri., Apr. 18th- LEGO Contest & Easter Bunny Visit; Mon., Apr. 21st-Wed., Apr. 23rd- Open Cockpit & Museum Tours; Thurs., Apr. 24th- Zip Line Challenge; Fri., Apr. 25th- Blimp Maze. Also enjoy over 80 aircraft on display, interactive exhibits, guided tours and not to be missed-our newest exhibit “Flight Sim Spot” open daily.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

Apr 19

Skip down to the Odyssey Bookshop for a morning of fun with author, Paul Reynolds! Paul and his brother Peter have teamed up to bring us a fantastic new picture book. Going Places is about working together and letting your imagination soar. In celebration of this new book Odyssey is hosting the author and inviting you to use your imagination to make a creation of your own for a storytime and crafting fun on Saturday, April 19th at 11am. This event if free but RSVP encouraged at www.odysseybks.com. Great for ages 3 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 college street, South Hadley, MA, 01075.

Apr 21

The Academy of Music Theatre presents National Marionette Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast on Monday, April 21st at 10am. The classic story of a prince who is changed into a hideous beast by an evil enchantment that can only be broken by true love. When Beauty looks beyond the Beast’s external appearance, she learns to love him for who he truly is on the inside. Using meticulously crafted marionettes and beautifully painted scenery, National Marionette Theatre’s production is classical marionette theater at its finest. Appropriate for family audiences aged 4+. Tickets $7, plus box office fees. For more information and tickets, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com or call the Box Office at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 Tuesdays-Fridays 3-6pm. Northampton, MA.

Apr 21, 23 & 25

April 21, 23 and 25 from 9am to 11am spring-inspired art projects help kids enliven their creativity at Spring Break Art Detox at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Discover how exhibiting artists preserve, re-purpose, and recycle materials. On Monday, preserve natural materials in resin; On Wednesday, re-purpose objects into a mobile planter; On Friday, recycle found items into sculpture. Parents can drop off their kids or join in the action. Pre-registration is recommended. Reservations are $7 per day for members and $10 for not-yet members, and can be made at the MASS MoCA box office. Sign up for one, two, or all three days. Registration is also open for summer art camps. Find out more online at kidspace.massmoca.org/art-camps.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 40 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 12th-18th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science.

World music is a powerful pathway towards discovery of other cultures and music instruments. Families can learn about two instruments used in North Indian music – the sitar and the tabla – at the Amherst Jones Library‘s “Introduction to North Indian Classical Musicfree events this month!

Draft Horses to Merino Sheep. Food Chemistry to Period Restaurants. Edible Books to Oddball Science. Folk Dancing to Classical Indian Music… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Did you know that if a domestic sheep weren’t shorn, their wool would grow and grow and grow? Come learn about shearing and the wool harvest at Winterberry Farm at their new farm in Colrain on Saturday, April 5th during  Shearing Day! There will be music, food, demonstrations, and a chance to see 30 sheep get sheared. A great chance for families to learn about this traditional process and for kids to know where their woollies come from. Free.


Animal ScienceFood StudiesAstronomyCultural StudiesLiteracySTEMMuseum AdventuresDance StudiesNature ScienceOrnithologyParent Workshops


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Suggested Events for April 5th-11th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I SO appreciate being able to go through your eNewsletter each Thursday evening to find the kinds of events & activities that appeal to me & my family! The format allows me to first scan the outdoor, educational and/or service opportunities, and then fine-tooth search through the day-by-day ‘suggested events.’ I usually check out at least a post or two as well – and I often email a link to the eNewsletter to a friend whom I think will be interested. I rely on Hilltown Families more & more as my son gets older – especially since we started home-schooling. Thanks very much for your excellent work, folks!” Susan M. (Amherst, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

Open House: Apr 5

Visit the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN), 51 Bates Street, for an open house on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:30am to 12noon! Parents of students from ages 2 through 12 interested in September 2014 admission are invited to tour the school, participate in an art project and music circle, and meet staff. MSN offers a Little Children’s House program for toddlers from age 2, a Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten) program for ages 2 years 9 months through 6, and an Elementary program for ages 6 through 12. MSN is accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). For information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

On Friday, April 11th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Pre-registration is kindly requested. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 30 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

21 Community Highlights: Magic Flute to Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope

The Magic Flute to The Sound of Music. Electricity to Telescope. Garlic Mustard to Bat Houses.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Transport children into an enchanted world that blends myth, fairytale, and the archetypes of good vs. evil this Sunday afternoon, March 30th while exposing them to the wonderful world of opera! Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls presents a free screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute. Mozart’s famous fairytale opera features magic bells, dancing animals, dragons, a hero and heroine, and much more. This production was directed by Julie Taymor in 2004 and is adapted for children.. This production is ideal for introducing children to opera – it is funny and engaging, yet it also teaches important lessons about patience and distinguishing right from wrong.


Community ServiceGeologySpace/AstronomyEnvironmental ScienceAnimal StudiesSTEMHistoryOutdoor AdventuresFashion StudiesTheaterParent WorkshopMusic Studies


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Suggested Events for March 29th-April 4th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is an amazing resource. It is my go-to for discovering kid-friendly events each week. This website makes it really easy to find out what’s happening in and around the Valley, as well as provides great information about local resources and ideas of things to do with my child. Thank you!” – Jaime C. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Helping a Parent-Helps a Child. Prevent child abuse and neglect. Caring, flexible, good listeners are needed to do weekly home visits to Hampshire County parents living in stressful situations. With three to five hours per week, you can make a difference to a family in need of extra support. Training and regular supervision are provided. The Spring Training Group for the Parent Aide Volunteer Program is forming now. Commitment to volunteering isn’t required until after the training. Having a car is required. For more information call Lydia at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at 413-584-5690 Ext. 144 or email lvernon-jones@bcfcma.org

Mar 29

Valley Vegfest, Saturday, March 29, 10-4, at J.F.K. Middle School in Northampton. The first–ever Western Mass vegetarian festival featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include author and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Brown, along with Neil Hornish, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, MD, and Hannah Kaminsky. Have your questions answered during Q&A discussion sessions on a variety of topics, such as raising vegan children. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Details at www.valleyveg.org

Mar 29 & 30

Tiny Owls, Captivating Ravens, an Enchanted Castle, Magical Roses, a Jealous Suitor, and a Lonely Beast. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Pioneer Valley Ballet’s original ballet features all new choreography and a colorful cast of characters dancing to the music of Antonin Dvorak. A thrilling and opulent performance for all ages, March 29 & 30 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and information: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Mar 30

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, a live family concert on Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 PM at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. An award-winning singer, songwriter and performer, Mama Doni and guitar virtuoso Eric Lindberg fuse together traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary bluegrass sounds. They rock the stage with a live performance guaranteed to get every member of the family dancing. Perfect for toddlers to grandparents! $7.50 adults, $5 children (under 2 free), capped at $20/family. Advance tickets at Lander-Grinspoon Academy or Springfield Jewish Community Center. Tickets also available at the door. Call 413.584.6822 or visit PVJFF.org. Co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Apr 7-Jun 16

StoryCatchers: Writing to Discover is offering an afterschool writing workshop for girls in 5th and 6th grade. Held on Monday afternoons (3:30-5:30) in a peaceful Florence yoga studio, girls will explore, invent, and imagine the stories they have to tell. Writers will gather, have a snack and be offered a prompt — a found object, a quote, an image, a piece of music – before settling down to write. We will reconvene to listen to one another’s words, discovering our answers to Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Meets Mondays between April 7-June 16 (except April 21 and May 26). $180 for 9 weeks. Learn more at www.storycatchersworkshops.com or email info@storycatchersworkshops.com.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

Jun 25-Jul 25

Share a local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain. Since 2008, Home Stays USA has arranged home stays for Spanish students. They look for host families with children of the same gender and close in age and interests to create a strong, intercultural relationship. Hosts invited on two-day group trip to New York City. Local organizers Joe Bock and Paula Garcia, from both Spain and America, are always close-by and in touch to ensure a successful stay. If attending a camp, organizers arrange camp paperwork for student if necessary. Airport transportation provided. Many references available upon request. June 25-July 25. $700 stipend provided. A great way to make a friend in Spain, have fun and represent the great Hilltown area.

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 29th-April 4th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Celebrate the Shortnose Sturgeon!

Our Friend, the Shortnose Sturgeon

Short-nosed sturgeon

Since the Atlantic Salmon was declared extinct in the Connecticut River two years ago, I have wandered the river banks with students, wondering what a healthy living river is like. That the Shortnose has survived under such duress, with such poor assistance provided by humans, made us love it—because it expresses the brisk vitality that remains in that 400 mile waterbody. The Shortnose does not give up, and neither should we. Before we lose this last clan entirely, let us try to assist it, and raise the Shortnose’s image and story to the forefront of our biocultural awareness. Let this environmental-adapter epitomize us and our still beautiful Nonotuck biome, at this moment of epochal transition.


Spring equinox has passed and the great thaw is underway, turning greys into green and silence to chansons. Have you enjoyed the cold (as much as the otters, who fished the icy pools)? The ice it brought let us walk rivers and tributaries as if they were sidewalks, and grand boulevards. What a wonderful feeling!

The perspective gained by walking above the river was as rare as the record-breaking weather that enabled it. Seeing the way trees lower, extend and up-curl their limbs over the water, to catch the sun on each yearning pinkytip; and noticing deep punctures of buck hoof puzzled over by bobcat pads as wide, soft and light as hamburger buns—such perceptions awaken dormant parts of human being, sparking awareness of how lucky we are when we find time to unplug. Despite the best attempts of technologists to rewire us, we’re wild; and, when we step into places without signs or brands or passwords, a brisk vivacity and slight confusion welcomes us, and matches our character, as Shakespeare made plain in this description of some dukes chillin’ in the forest of Arden: Read the rest of this entry »

24 Community Highlights: Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms.

Sugar season is an integrated part of New England culture. Whether you’re visiting or have lived here all your life, get out into your community during the first harvest of the year and enjoy the many cultural opportunities that celebrate maple syrup! This week we are featuring Maple Day at Hager’s Farm Market in Shelburne. On Saturday, March 22nd, there will be demonstrations, an old fashioned sap boiling, maple cream and maple candy making, as well as tons of maple-y treats (tons!). Enjoy this delicious springtime New England treat and learn about its history and how it’s processed.

Middle Eastern Textiles to Victorian Clothing. Big Band Music to Holograms. Mud Season to Maple Syrup

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Performance artist Kandie Carle will be at the Storrs Library to perform her free one-woman show, “Victorian Lady,” on Monday evening, March 24th. Carle will use authentic Victorian and Edwardian clothing to interact with the audience and to take them on a journey into the past through fashion. She will discuss the history and significance of each item of clothing in order to give audience members an idea of what fashion, etiquette, and lifestyles were like during the Victorian and Edwardian era, including interesting anecdotes and ‘myth busting’.


STEMFashion StudiesEnvironmental ScienceCulinary ArtsLocal HistoryMaple SeasonAnimal StudiesGovernmentArtDance StudiesParent WorkshopsMusic StudiesWritingFilm/Video


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 22nd-28th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many, and learned about so many others… This is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities. Thank you!” Toni H. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  MassachusettsOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 22

SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival featuring Avner the Eccentric, Saturday, March 22, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls. Piti Theatre Co. presents its’ 5th annual delicious potpourri of theatre, music, clowning, syrup tasting, mural-making and . . . free pickles. This year’s headliner is Avner the Eccentric, a master of physical comedy and member of the International Clown Hall of Fame who will also offer a workshop on 3/23 for ages 15+. “Here is what Avner the Eccentric does best: he reduces his audience to laughter and giggles and applause.”- New York Times. Also featuring Piti’s “Elmer and the Elder Tree” and storyteller-musician John Porcino. Schedule and tix: www.ptco.org/syrup; info@ptco.org

Mar 29

Valley Vegfest, Saturday, March 29, 10-4, at J.F.K. Middle School in Northampton. The first–ever Western Mass vegetarian festival featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include author and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Brown, along with Neil Hornish, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, MD, and Hannah Kaminsky. Have your questions answered during Q&A discussion sessions on a variety of topics, such as raising vegan children. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Details at www.valleyveg.org

Mar 29 & 30

Tiny Owls, Captivating Ravens, an Enchanted Castle, Magical Roses, a Jealous Suitor, and a Lonely Beast. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Pioneer Valley Ballet’s original ballet features all new choreography and a colorful cast of characters dancing to the music of Antonin Dvorak. A thrilling and opulent performance for all ages, March 29 & 30 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and information: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Mar 30

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, a live family concert on Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 PM at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. An award-winning singer, songwriter and performer, Mama Doni and guitar virtuoso Eric Lindberg fuse together traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary bluegrass sounds. They rock the stage with a live performance guaranteed to get every member of the family dancing. Perfect for toddlers to grandparents! $7.50 adults, $5 children (under 2 free), capped at $20/family. Advance tickets at Lander-Grinspoon Academy or Springfield Jewish Community Center. Tickets also available at the door. Call 413.584.6822 or visit PVJFF.org. Co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Mar 30; Apr 3-May 29

Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering an Adult Beginner Wheel Throwing class: 8 classes on Thurs. from 9-11am, Apr 3-May 29 (skipping Apr 24), w/open studio time on Sat. 2-4pm. Drop the kids off at school and enjoy some quiet, creative time for yourself making pottery! Interested in a Tues. class, same time? Contact Kathryn. Cost: $260. Includes 25 lb bag of clay, tools, glazes, firings & studio time. Also Parent/Child Workshops: Limited openings on Sun., 30, 2-3:30pm. $25/pair for lesson + $10 for Kathryn to trim, glaze & fire work. See www.cyclepottery.com for more info, call 413-219-9594 or email kathryn@cyclepottery.com. 4 students max/class, allows for individualized attention!

Apr 7-Jun 16

StoryCatchers: Writing to Discover is offering an afterschool writing workshop for girls in 5th and 6th grade. Held on Monday afternoons (3:30-5:30) in a peaceful Florence yoga studio, girls will explore, invent, and imagine the stories they have to tell. Writers will gather, have a snack and be offered a prompt — a found object, a quote, an image, a piece of music – before settling down to write. We will reconvene to listen to one another’s words, discovering our answers to Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Meets Mondays between April 7-June 16 (except April 21 and May 26). $180 for 9 weeks. Learn more at www.storycatchersworkshops.com or email info@storycatchersworkshops.com.

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

Jun 25-Jul 25

Share a local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain. Since 2008, Home Stays USA has arranged home stays for Spanish students. They look for host families with children of the same gender and close in age and interests to create a strong, intercultural relationship. Hosts invited on two-day group trip to New York City. Local organizers Joe Bock and Paula Garcia, from both Spain and America, are always close-by and in touch to ensure a successful stay. If attending a camp, organizers arrange camp paperwork for student if necessary. Airport transportation provided. Many references available upon request. June 25-July 25. $700 stipend provided. A great way to make a friend in Spain, have fun and represent the great Hilltown area.

One’s never too old, and rarely too young to study violin! Vicki Citron, experienced teacher of over 30 years, offers Suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 and up. Learn violin the way we learn language – through listening, imitation, and practice. Vicki understands different learning styles, has a passion for music and a love of children. She creates a positive environment where play and discipline are equally valued. Watch your child’s confidence and mastery grow through carefully prepared steps which guarantee success. Weekly private lessons and group classes in Shelburne. For more information: citronmusic.com, 413-625-6269 or citronmusic@gmail.com.

Helping a Parent-Helps a Child. Prevent child abuse and neglect. Caring, flexible, good listeners are needed to do weekly home visits to Hampshire County parents living in stressful situations. With three to five hours per week, you can make a difference to a family in need of extra support. Training and regular supervision are provided. The Spring Training Group for the Parent Aide Volunteer Program is forming now. Commitment to volunteering isn’t required until after the training. Having a car is required. For more information call Lydia at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at 413-584-5690 Ext. 144 or email lvernon-jones@bcfcma.org

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 22nd-28th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Legacy of Music, People and Place: Holyoke 1800 – 1950

Wistariahurst Museum is launching a new historical and cultural project entitled, Legacy of Music, People and Place: Holyoke 1800 – 1950. With funding support from the Holyoke Cultural Council and the Country Dance and Song Society, Jacqueline Cooper is collaborating with the museum as the Project Director and is working to develop sketches of Holyoke’s past to form a collective of local music culture from 1800-1950.

Cooper and Wistariahurst are seeking to include community members of Holyoke and nearby towns to participate by sharing personal music-related memories. They are looking for community members, elders, descendants of earlier settlers, immigrants, and travelers who can share stories or family anecdotes related to particular songs that were listened to, played, sung, danced to and enjoyed in households, factories, at gatherings, or in clubs, churches, community centers, etc. They are looking for stories that not only represent local culture, but also reflect what working people at the heart of the community thrived on.

Do you, your parents, your grandparents, have a memory to share? Being interviewed for this project is an inspiring opportunity to have a music-related memory as part of Holyoke’s cultural heritage collection.  The research is the foundation for Legacy of Music, People and Place: Holyoke 1800 – 1950, a live music and storytelling production to be performed at Wistariahurst in July of 2014.
Click here to find out how to participate…

27 Community Highlights: Accordion Books to Togas. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup.

Happy Spring!

Accordion Books to Togas. Purim to St. Patrick’s Day. Vernal Equinox to Maple Syrup

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Saturday, March 15, is Family Fun Day at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum! The theme for this free event is “Portraits and Costume,” and there will be drop-in craft activities, a gallery talk that includes a picture book related to the museum’s collection, and much more. Not only will the educational potential of the museum be unlocked by museum guides and interpreters, but children will be able to learn in a collaborative, multi-age environment where they share their thoughts and observations with others and gain insight from information shared by other visitors.


Maple SyrupSTEMImmigrationSt. Patrick’s DayPurimCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesSpring EquinoxLiteracyTheater/MusicalsParent WorkshopsCrafts


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 15th-21st, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Thank you [Hilltown Families] for the wonderful work you do. I’m impressed with your web site and all of the information you manage to get out there. You are an inspiration to all of us working to create and build programs that uplift society.” – MaryGrace Stewart (Academy Hill School, Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western Massachusetts

Add your summer camp/program to the list!

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 16 & 30; Apr 3-May 29

Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering an Adult Beginner Wheel Throwing class: 8 classes on Thurs. from 9-11am, Apr 3-May 29 (skipping Apr 24), w/open studio time on Sat. 2-4pm. Drop the kids off at school and enjoy some quiet, creative time for yourself making pottery! Interested in a Tues. class, same time? Contact Kathryn. Cost: $260. Includes 25 lb bag of clay, tools, glazes, firings & studio time. Also Parent/Child Workshops: Limited openings on Sun., Mar 16 & 30, 2-3:30pm. $25/pair for lesson + $10 for Kathryn to trim, glaze & fire work. See www.cyclepottery.com for more info, call 413-219-9594 or email kathryn@cyclepottery.com. 4 students max/class, allows for individualized attention!

Mar 22-23

March 21-23, IMA & Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) present Rock the Moon a spring “coming of age” gathering for girls 9-12 in Goshen, MA. Program includes musical activities & use of herbs to support well-being; activities focus on self-care & nourishment, creative self expression, and building healthy social networks & community. Tonya Lemos & Lisa Ganci of BSHS offer short hands-on workshops on making herbal self-care products & teas. Musicians Rebecca Lasaponaro, Megan Miller & Hannah Mohan of the band And the Kids will work with the girls on music-making & song writing that engenders a “rock & roll” attitude toward coming of age. Tuition: $250. Includes food, housing, & access to IMA’s instruments. More info: 413- 268-3074 www.ima.org

Mar-Apr

Farm Hands Preschool, located at Town Farm in Northampton, is hosting visiting days on Wednesdays throughout March and April. Please contact teacher/director Alya Stoffer Koloszyc at alya@thefarmeducationcollaborative.org to schedule a visit. Farm Hands is currently enrolling students ages 2-6yo to join a farm school family which consists of two classrooms, many chickens, two goats, two angora rabbits, and an infinite number of plants both cultivated and wild! Spend the days growing and preparing food, feeding and watering the animals, sledding, building, acting out original stories, and creating a democratic culture of care that keeps all community members feeling safe and heard. Learn more at www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

One’s never too old, and rarely too young to study violin! Vicki Citron, experienced teacher of over 30 years, offers Suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 and up. Learn violin the way we learn language – through listening, imitation, and practice. Vicki understands different learning styles, has a passion for music and a love of children. She creates a positive environment where play and discipline are equally valued. Watch your child’s confidence and mastery grow through carefully prepared steps which guarantee success. Weekly private lessons and group classes in Shelburne. For more information: citronmusic.com, 413-625-6269 or citronmusic@gmail.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

 The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Come to Flywheel for free pancakes, an episode of Pancake Mountain, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! The Saturday Morning Music Party events get families and kids of all ages engaged in their community through music and food. This event is free and open to all ages, making it a great opportunity to meet your fellow community members and make some new friends! Flywheel is located at 43 Main Street in Easthampton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 15th-21st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective
Saturday Morning Music Party
March 15th, 10am, Easthampton, MA

The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Join Hilltown Families and Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 15th at 10am!

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton continue our super fun  ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ for a final Saturday this winter! Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages!

During a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, a screening of Pancake Mountain will delight families. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.”  Get the kids moving and shaking off the winter blues.

Flywheel Arts Collective located in the old town hall in Easthampton (43 Main Street). This event is free and open to people of all ages.

DJ Youthelectronix, a.k.a. Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series in 2013, partnering with Hilltown Families. Driven to continue the success of past Saturday morning activities at Flywheel, Smith says, “We started the Saturday Morning Music Party to provide families with an affordable, fun activity that was enjoyable for adults as well as kids. We hope that families from all over the Valley will attend.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.

“Getting families with children of all ages out and engaged in their community has it’s challenges in the winter,” says Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield.  “A free morning music party with pancakes, and dancing is a recipe of fun for kids of all ages, and inviting for parents too!”


This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

27 Community Highlights: Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Fiddle Music to Cheese Caves.

Shadow Puppets to Sewing Machines. Manhattan Project to Fiddle Music. Tracking Fairies to Cheese Caves

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The BagShare Project is holding a free Sewing Machine and Clothing Repair Clinic on Sunday, March 9 in Cummington. Bring your sewing machine in for repair, learn how to fix and oil it yourself, and learn basic clothing repair, like sewing on buttons, shortening pants, and patching jeans. Bring a project you need help with so you can learn how to fix it on your own in the future. This clinic is an excellent example of collaborative consumption and how we can use it to educate as well as support sustainable living.


Puppet ShowsLiteracyWomen’s History MonthOutdoor AdventuresMusic StudiesHistory of Writing/PrintingCollaborative ConsumptionTeen/HistorySTEMSports HistoryTheater/MusicalsParent Workshops


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 8th-14th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Local Hero Hilltown Families founder Sienna Wildfield did a TEDx Talk about sense of place and how many opportunities there are for us as parents right here in Western MA to enrich our children’s sense of place through community involvement. View it here, it’s worth the 10 minute break from your norm today. We all need that reminder right now as we eek through these last weeks of winter wondering why we settled in New England. Love our happy valley.” – Angie Gregory (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 8

Dance the morning away at Nonotuck Community School‘s 3rd Annual Family Dance Party! DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9FM will be playing kid friendly tunes on Saturday March 8, 2014 from 10am to 12pm. Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. Use the building’s West Entrance and find the concert in Room 160 across from Riff’s on the first floor. $5 per person, kids under one are free, all proceeds benefit Nonotuck Community School. Nonotuck Community School provides high quality education and care for children 15 months to 5 years in an environment that promotes self-esteem, creative thinking and individuality.

Mar 8

Bugtastic Book Bash! Buzz on over to The Odyssey Bookshop on Saturday, March 8th at 2pm for a Bug Book Party! Dig for worms, decorate your own bug, snack on gummy bugs and join them for a bugtastic reading by author, Angela Diterlizzi and illustrator Brendan Wenzel’s newest picture book, SOME BUGS. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bug(toy.) Extra prizes for those who come in bug themed costumes! This event is free of charge but please RSVP by emailing kids@odysseybks.com or call us at 413-534-7307. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 8 & 9

This weekend: March 8th & 9th! Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the ‘Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company’ and musical guests ‘Four Sisters & the Farmhands.’ This innovative local dance troupe puts on a show you don’t want to miss with a modern take on traditional Irish dance and music. Due to their exciting shows being sold out in the past, they are now offering two shows including a family friendly and affordable matinee on Sunday. Tickets can be reserved by email at celticheels@gmail.com, purchased at the World Eye Bookstore, or if available at the door. $12/adults $10/seniors+students $3/children under 5. Showtimes: Saturday@7:00 + Sunday@2:00 at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls. A wholesome and fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Weds in Mar

Calling all school volunteers! Are you a parent or community member available to help students in reading? Do you have as little as one hour a week to give to Northampton classrooms? Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) will be holding workshops in March to train prospective volunteers in guiding K-5 students in early literacy. Schedule & Information: Every Wednesday morning in March from 9-12 pm. These FREE training workshops will take place at RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School. RSVP’s required by March 3rd. Find more information online: vins.northampton-k12.us/vins-volunteer-training or call Anne Schlereth, 413-587-1332.

Mar 22-23

March 21-23, IMA & Blazing Star Herbal School (BSHS) present Rock the Moon a spring “coming of age” gathering for girls 9-12 in Goshen, MA. Program includes musical activities & use of herbs to support well-being; activities focus on self-care & nourishment, creative self expression, and building healthy social networks & community. Tonya Lemos & Lisa Ganci of BSHS offer short hands-on workshops on making herbal self-care products & teas. Musicians Rebecca Lasaponaro, Megan Miller & Hannah Mohan of the band And the Kids will work with the girls on music-making & song writing that engenders a “rock & roll” attitude toward coming of age. Tuition: $250. Includes food, housing, & access to IMA’s instruments. More info: 413- 268-3074 www.ima.org

Mar-Apr

Farm Hands Preschool, located at Town Farm in Northampton, is hosting visiting days on Wednesdays throughout March and April. Please contact teacher/director Alya Stoffer Koloszyc at alya@thefarmeducationcollaborative.org to schedule a visit. Farm Hands is currently enrolling students ages 2-6yo to join a farm school family which consists of two classrooms, many chickens, two goats, two angora rabbits, and an infinite number of plants both cultivated and wild! Spend the days growing and preparing food, feeding and watering the animals, sledding, building, acting out original stories, and creating a democratic culture of care that keeps all community members feeling safe and heard. Learn more at www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your winter vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

 The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Come to Flywheel for free pancakes, an episode of Pancake Mountain, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! The Saturday Morning Music Party events get families and kids of all ages engaged in their community through music and food. This event is free and open to all ages, making it a great opportunity to meet your fellow community members and make some new friends! Flywheel is located at 43 Main Street in Easthampton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 8th-14th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

21 Community Highlights: Tap Dance to Folklore. Tulips to Trees.

Edible Book to Dr. Seuss Birthday. Wind Turbines to Hydrodynamics. Black Holes to Hubble Telescope. Food Systems to Sugaring

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Just when you think you can’t stand winter for one minute longer, the spring flower shows open up at area colleges offering smells and colors of spring! Both the Smith College Botanical Garden and the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden will show off their extensive collections of flowering bulbs in their greenhouses starting this Saturday, March 1. Smith College’s annual Spring Bulb Show will take place at the Lyman Conservatory in Northampton, and The Spring Flower Show at Mt. Holyoke will be held in the college’s Talcott Greenhouse in South Hadley. A visit to these free shows can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany and plant habitat. Why is it, children might wonder, that the bulbs are blooming even though nothing else in nature seems to have woken up? What is it about greenhouses that allows plants to bloom when there is still snow on the ground? Ask questions and learn what makes a greenhouse different from outdoors to better understand the different needs that species of plants have.


Literacy/ArtLocal History  ♦ Performing ArtFolkloreHuman StudiesBotanyDendrologyFood StudiesScience & SustainabilityMaple HistoryAstronomyParent WorkshopsEngineering


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 1st-7th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Just found out about [Hilltown Families on Facebook] and I love the information all in one place. Now, no more random hit-or-miss internet searching for fun things to do. Thank you so much, excellent concept!” Susan Mulry (Holyoke, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House: Mar 1

Please join the Hartsbrook School at their Open House, this Saturday, March 1, 10AM – 12PM in Hadley, MA. Parents and their children are invited to explore, learn and experience their classrooms and unique Waldorf curriculum. They will have activities for children in their brand new Early Childhood Center, Elementary School and High School. Visit their farm animals, make a craft, watch a play rehearsal! Come and learn more about their brand new “Forest Classroom” meet their teachers and take a tour. This event is open to all ages and free. Contact admissions@hartsbrook.org for more information, or call 413-584 -3198.

Mar 1

Join the Springfield Museums on Saturday, March 1 for their annual Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration! The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and features the annual Seuss Cake Contest plus two great shows by The Deedle Deedles Dees, “America’s ultimate teaching band.” And be on the lookout for the Cat in the Hat himself, who will be prowling the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden! All this plus great hands-on art and science activities throughout the day, all included with Museum admission. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Mar 4

In Gluten-Related Disorders: Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone, Alessio Fasano, MD, will review current knowledge about the three main forms of gluten reactions: allergic (wheat allergy), autoimmune (celiac disease), and possibly immune-mediated (gluten sensitivity). The lecture will be introduced by gastroenterologist and Cooley Dickinson Medical Staff member Jaya Agrawal, MD. This community lecture, free and open to the public, will be Tuesday, March 4, at 6 pm. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes; capacity is limited. The lecture will held in the Dakin Conference Room, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton.

Mar 5

Get ready for Shannon Hale as you’ve never seen her before! A new genre for the Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy, but featuring the same brilliant storytelling and well-rounded characters for which she is known, Dangerous breaks the barriers between science fiction and superhero adventure. Stop by Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a reading and signing on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:30pm as Shannon Hale breaks into young adult literature with her new novel Dangerous, called “One of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever.” by James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 5

“Invigorating the stage with that elusive thing called joy” (New York Times), Spirit of Uganda presents riveting programs of music and dance for audiences of all ages. To the melodic tones of standing drums, with dramatic choreography, bright, layered rhythms, and gorgeous call-and-response vocals, a vibrant cast of 22 performers, ages 10-20, bring to life the sounds and movements of East Africa. Ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.7 million orphans, these children personify the resilience and promise of Africa’s next generation when they are provided with the resources to succeed. They come to the FAC Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Mar 6

On March 6thThe Hartsbrook School will be hosting a lecture with Angela Hanscom, a revolutionary pediatric occupational therapist and founder of the unique and unconventional TimberNook camps, who will will talk about how lack of movement and play outdoors is affecting child development and academic success. Lecture takes place from 6:30 -8:30pm at The Hartsbrook School, located at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 413-584-3198. All are welcomed to this informative evening lecture.

Mar 8

Dance the morning away at Nonotuck Community School‘s 3rd Annual Family Dance Party! DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9FM will be playing kid friendly tunes on Saturday March 8, 2014 from 10am to 12pm. Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. Use the building’s West Entrance and find the concert in Room 160 across from Riff’s on the first floor. $5 per person, kids under one are free, all proceeds benefit Nonotuck Community School. Nonotuck Community School provides high quality education and care for children 15 months to 5 years in an environment that promotes self-esteem, creative thinking and individuality.

Mar 8

Bugtastic Book Bash! Buzz on over to The Odyssey Bookshop on Saturday, March 8th at 2pm for a Bug Book Party! Dig for worms, decorate your own bug, snack on gummy bugs and join them for a bugtastic reading by author, Angela Diterlizzi and illustrator Brendan Wenzel’s newest picture book, SOME BUGS. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bug(toy.) Extra prizes for those who come in bug themed costumes! This event is free of charge but please RSVP by emailing kids@odysseybks.com or call us at 413-534-7307. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Weds in Mar

Calling all school volunteers! Are you a parent or community member available to help students in reading? Do you have as little as one hour a week to give to Northampton classrooms? Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) will be holding workshops in March to train prospective volunteers in guiding K-5 students in early literacy. Schedule & Information: Every Wednesday morning in March from 9-12 pm. These FREE training workshops will take place at RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School. RSVP’s required by March 3rd. Find more information online: vins.northampton-k12.us/vins-volunteer-training or call Anne Schlereth, 413-587-1332.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective
Saturday Morning Music Party
March 15th, 10am, Easthampton, MA

The final Hilltown Families & Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party takes place  on Saturday, March 15th at 10am! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Join Hilltown Families and Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 15th at 10am!

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton continue our super fun  ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ for a final Saturday this winter! Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages!

During a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, a screening of Pancake Mountain will delight families. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.”  Get the kids moving and shaking off the winter blues.

Flywheel Arts Collective located in the old town hall in Easthampton (43 Main Street). This event is free and open to people of all ages.

DJ Youthelectronix, a.k.a. Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series in 2013, partnering with Hilltown Families. Driven to continue the success of past Saturday morning activities at Flywheel, Smith says, “We started the Saturday Morning Music Party to provide families with an affordable, fun activity that was enjoyable for adults as well as kids. We hope that families from all over the Valley will attend.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.

“Getting families with children of all ages out and engaged in their community has it’s challenges in the winter,” says Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield.  “A free morning music party with pancakes, and dancing is a recipe of fun for kids of all ages, and inviting for parents too!”


This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Ripple: The River Will Rise

The River Will Rise

Bridge remains at Chesterfield Gorge. (Photo credit (c) Sienna Wildfield)

This shivery month of melt, please bring your family to the upper neck of the Chesterfield Gorge and look across the Westfield River. You’ll see a twenty-foot tall stone wall tower— the remains of an old colonial bridge, a massive abutment built in 1769 by meticulous stackers of dark granite schist.

I remember looking at it a few years ago, marveling at the brawn and artistry of the backwoods engineers who made it. They must have believed their incredible backaches were worth it, that their bridge would stand for centuries, and they and their progeny would make a living collecting tolls where hemlocks now cluster and choke.

Over two hundred years have gone by, the bridge is long gone and the road it extended is a deer and porcupine highway. Another two more centuries will go by, I imagined then, and the abutment will remain unstaggered, a gratifying, even beautiful, example of our manipulation of the biome to achieve economic goals. And aside from this, I thought, the imperturbability of the stacked stone next to the swift and crashing rapids is, itself, a story that offers a lesson… Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Telescopes to Architecture.

On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22, families are invited to Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke for a free guided family program – “Signs of the Season.”

Shaker Inventions to Turkish Coffee. Smith Splash to Kitchen Kaboom. Telescopes to Rainforest

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Students in grades 6 through 12 (ages 11 through 18) are invited to come to Smith Splash in Northampton on the Smith College campus for a day of workshops for middle and high school students taught by college students. Write a parody song, learn about energy and mathematical proofs, create a zine, and learn American Sign Language. Takes place on Saturday, Mar 1. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 26!


HistoryBirds of PreyFilm StudiesNature StudiesSTEMEntomologyCultureFood StudiesArchitectureBlack History MonthParent Workshops


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 22nd-28th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families was hugely helpful to us when my sister and her four kids came to visit from out of town for their school vacation week… Sisters and cousins alike had a blast. Going to a sugarhouse was a big highlight for my niece and nephews! I love being able to easily access the best of what our region has to offer.” – Jennifer Hartley (Florence, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMP

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 22

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Grammy-Nominated Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 22nd from 10:30am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Feb 23

Sunday February 23, 9:30 am – CPR & First Aid Training at Hartsbrook School. This certificate CPR & First Aid class is designed for anyone caring for children. It will include basic life-saving techniques for critical situations as well as first-aid treatments for illnesses and injuries such as cuts, abrasions, impaled objects, shock, head trauma, sprains, fractures, burns, allergic reactions, stings, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and infections. Conventional treatment protocols as well as natural modalities including homeopathic remedies and herbal preparations will be taught. You may attend CPR and/or First Aid. Contact instructor, Nicole Thurrell to register or for more information as school office is closed for the week.

Mar 4

In Gluten-Related Disorders: Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone, Alessio Fasano, MD, will review current knowledge about the three main forms of gluten reactions: allergic (wheat allergy), autoimmune (celiac disease), and possibly immune-mediated (gluten sensitivity). The lecture will be introduced by gastroenterologist and Cooley Dickinson Medical Staff member Jaya Agrawal, MD. This community lecture, free and open to the public, will be Tuesday, March 4, at 6 pm. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes; capacity is limited. The lecture will held in the Dakin Conference Room, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton.

Mar 5

Get ready for Shannon Hale as you’ve never seen her before! A new genre for the Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy, but featuring the same brilliant storytelling and well-rounded characters for which she is known, Dangerous breaks the barriers between science fiction and superhero adventure. Stop by Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a reading and signing on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:30pm as Shannon Hale breaks into young adult literature with her new novel Dangerous, called “One of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever.” by James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy. The Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street in South Hadley, MA.

Mar 5

“Invigorating the stage with that elusive thing called joy” (New York Times), Spirit of Uganda presents riveting programs of music and dance for audiences of all ages. To the melodic tones of standing drums, with dramatic choreography, bright, layered rhythms, and gorgeous call-and-response vocals, a vibrant cast of 22 performers, ages 10-20, bring to life the sounds and movements of East Africa. Ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.7 million orphans, these children personify the resilience and promise of Africa’s next generation when they are provided with the resources to succeed. They come to the FAC Concert Hall on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Amherst Montessori School is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. AMS is a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For info on how to apply, financial aid, their upcoming Kindergarten Screenings, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your winter vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 22nd-28th, 2014

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Berkshire Family Fun

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