License Plates Tell a Story & Inspire Learning in Kids

Social Studies on the Road

License plates… part of a greater story.

Watching for interesting license plates is a great way to keep kids entertained during road trips – with so many people traveling, the highways are filled with out-of-staters whose plates provide a great distraction from backseat boredom. Simply teaching kids to search for letters of the alphabet, colors, or specific digits can be enough to add some excitement to a somewhat monotonous drive, but expanding plate-searching games to become a family hobby can turn summer fun into full-time learning!

License plates reflect unique traits about their state’s culture, landscape, or history – each state’s design says something about the place, whether it’s subtly hinted at through color and design or highlighted with colorful images. Arizona’s standard plate has a backdrop of a beautiful desert scene, while Ohio’s new license plates feature rolling hills, farms, and a small city. Some plates remind us of our state’s claims to fame, like Georgia’s peach plate, Maine’s specialty lobster and moose plates, and the Wyoming cowboy plate. Even the somewhat plain Massachusetts red, white, and blue plate represents the state’s place in American history.

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32 Community Highlights: Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Museum Adventures to Musicals.

Mount Cemetery in West Chesterfield, MA. [Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]

Frankenstein to Ghost Tours. Stargazing to Birdwatching. Simple Machines to Science LabsMuseum Adventures to Musicals.

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 highlights this week are Cemetery Tours! While touring a cemetery around Halloween might fit well into a spooky themed community event, nearby cemeteries are great places to learn about local history and the lives of those who have lived here before us. Interpreters can share the history of the cemetery and the roles the departed may have had on the settlement and growth of the area. Here are several upcoming walks happening during the Halloween season…


Nature StudiesMusic/Film StudiesCulinary ArtsAstronomyAnimal StudiesCemetery ToursCultural StudiesMusicals/TheaterMuseum AdventuresFarmingSciencePlant Studies


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29 Community Highlights: Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Beatbox to Native American Flute.

Great weekend to carve a pumpkin for Halloween! Where’s your favorite place to PYO pumpkins in Western MA?  Click here to share your recommendations.

Witches Butter to Apple Cider. Bear Hole to Old Burying Ground. Beatbox to Native American Flute.  Community Service to Community Meals.

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 is Archeology Day with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield on Saturday, October 19th. Families can learn about local history and local archaeological digs by taking part in an archaeological tour of the historic village, searching for artifacts in a mock dig site, attending a lecture on digs that have taken place at the former site of the Pocumtuck Fort, or visiting a display of artifacts that have been recovered from two local sites – Sanford Tavern and Taylor’s Fort. These free activities are not only fun for the entire family, but they give visitors of all ages to learn about local history and discover how archaeology has shed a light on life in the past here in Western Massachusetts.


Fall HarvestLandscape/HistoryAnimal StudiesLiteracyCultureCemetery ToursParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceScienceCommunity Meals


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Columbus Day Weekend

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for October 12th-18th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: October 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

October 12th-18th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 10 New Picture Books for Halloween
  2. Our Daughters: 5 Ways To Talk With Your Daughter About Technology
  3. Q&A: Home Remedies for Colds and Flu
  4. Lloyd Miller Guest DJ Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  5. Family-Friendly Farms for Pumpkin Pickin’ in Western MA

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling.

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Community Preschool alumna volunteer at the Ashfield Fall Festival, helping to raise funds for the preschool!

Barns to Trolleys. Matcha to Blueberries. Honey to Bread. Canoeing to Storytelling.

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 is Art Walk Easthampton.  The theme this month is “Know Thy History,” and it happens on Saturday evening. The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town. These free events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience


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Suggested Events for October 12th-18th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Fall Festival is every Columbus Day weekend! A great small town festival to attend with your family, taking in Hilltown culture on the town common in Ashfield, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 12

Do you love Llamas? Have you read Llama Llama Red Pajama? Would you like to meet the author? Anna Dewdney, author of the New York Times bestselling Llama Llama series reads from her newest tale, Llama, Llama and The Bully Goat on Saturday, October 12th at 4pm. This time Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. Enjoy a storytime-read aloud from the author herself after which she will sign books. The fun won’t end there! Activities, sweet treats and a REAL LLAMA will be present! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075. 413-534-7307 www.odysseybks.com

Oct 14, 20 & 27

October at Hayloft Studio in Whatley, MA.-Monday, 10/14 or Sunday, 10/27: Extreme Pumpkin Carving-Create a wicked scene upon your pumpkins. Learn basic carving and safety skills, as well as design and illuminating effects. Bring your own pumpkins. All ages. Children under 8 with adult. Sunday, 10/20: Day of the Dead Workshop-Learn Mexican Day of the Dead traditions while decorating sugar skulls & making Catrina dolls. Sugar skulls are decorated in memory of departed loved ones using icing, beads, feathers, etc. Catrina dolls are an icon of the joyful memories of the dead in Mexican traditions. Make Catrina dolls by recycling white plastic bags. All ages. All workshops are from 10am-2pm & $20. Go to www.darcytozier.com or email darcytozier@gmail.com

Oct 18-19, 24-26

The Doll People is a brand new children’s musical adapted for the stage by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner. Based on the beloved series by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, it will receive its world premiere in Theatre 14 at Smith College in Northampton, MA, on October 18 at 8PM, and will continue to show at 8PM on October 19, 24, and 25. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday, October 26, at 2PM. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 413-585-ARTS (2787) or online at www.smith.edu/smitharts. The Box Office window is open October 14 to October 18 from 1-4 PM, October 21 to 25 from 1-4 PM, and one hour before all posted show times. Call to inquire about a group rate for schools, libraries, and community centers.

Deadline Oct 18

The Ashfield Local Goods Fundraiser to benefit Sanderson Academy is here! This is the perfect opportunity to purchase locally made gifts for the holidays while supporting education. Find unique, creative and practical items from Hilltown vendors such as handmade jewelry, pottery, books by local authors, maple syrup, gift certificates for restaurants and more! Go to www.ashfieldlocalgoods.com to view the catalog and download an order form. Deadline for orders is October 18th and needs to be returned to Sanderson Academy. Items will be ready for pick up at the Free Ice Cream Social and Distribution Event on November 16th between 9:30am and Noon at Sanderson Academy, located at 808 Cape Street in Ashfield. Call 413-628-4404 with questions.

Oct 19

Don’t miss the UMass Homecoming Hockey Tailgate & Stockbridge Pumpkin Festival, Saturday, October 19 from 4:00-6:30 p.m. at UMass Amherst near the Mullins Center. Free family fun includes music, children’s crafts, bounce houses, a mobile arcade and more! Have a great time carving pumpkins at the Stockbridge Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkins are $7 for kids and $10 for adults, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships. Grab some traditional tailgate fare at the BBQ tent including burgers & hot dogs fresh off the grill, coleslaw, fruit salad, chips and lemonade. UMass Hockey vs. Michigan State starts at 7 p.m. Ticket Pricing: $12 BBQ (kids 5 & under eat free), $20 BBQ+game, $60 4BBQ+4game. 800-456-8627 or alumni@admin.umass.edu for more info.

Oct 20

The Academy at Charlemont hosts an Open House for prospective students and families, October 20 from 1 to 3 PM on the campus at 1359 Route 2 in Charlemont. Meet teachers, students and current parents to learn about our community and program for Grades 7 to 12. At The Academy, everyone learns, everyone plays, and everyone matters. Rigorous and creative education in a nurturing community, governed by an Honor Code that works! Find details and register at www.charlemont.org.

Oct 24

Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages when a cure is most likely and the treatment choices are greater. Breast cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death (after lung cancer) among American women. Breast tomosynthesis has revolutionized breast cancer screening. In Breast Tomosynthesis: What, Why and How, Mansi Saksena, MD, discusses the technique, effectiveness, and applications of breast tomosynthesis. Attend a free lecture, Thursday, Oct. 24, 6–7 pm at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or (888) 554-4CDH (234).

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

Hilltown Families is hosting another Kids’ Winter Wear Swap at the Meekins Library on Saturday morning, October 26th from 9:30-11am. Free and open to all families with children of all ages!

JOIN 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.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 12th-18th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for October 5th & 6th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for October 5th-11th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 33 Community Highlights: River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: October 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

October 5th-11th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Natural HistoryIndustryEnergyCommunity ServiceLiteracy/StorytellingFire SafetyLocal HistoryCultural StudiesFood HistoryScienceParent Workshops

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Library Cat Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Q&A: What Are the Going Rates For a Mother’s Helper or Babysitter?
  3. 5 Ways to Enjoy Shorter Days with Less Light
  4. The Holyoke History Walk: A Virtual Tour of the City
  5. Let’s Play: Alternate Identities

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music 

33 Community Highlights: River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History.

Orchard Ladders in Deerfield, MA

Apple orchard ladders in Deerfield, MA. Take your kids apple picking this weekend!  See where our readers recommend in our post, Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA? (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Talc Mines to Papermaking. River Cleanups to Storytelling. Russian Food to Apple History

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 is at the Keep Homestead Museum in Monson. There will be a free talk entitled “How the Apple Changed America and How America Changed the Apple” by Russell Steven Powell, a New England apple expert, on Sunday afternoon, October 6th. Powell will discuss the history of apples around the world and how America has cultivated many of these to form a “melting pot” of apples. He will also discuss heirloom apple varieties and the history of New England orchards.


Natural HistoryIndustryEnergyCommunity ServiceLiteracy/StorytellingFire SafetyLocal HistoryCultural StudiesFood HistoryScienceParent Workshops


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for October 5th-11th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Fall festivals are in full swing, including the Conway Festival of the Hills taking place this Sunday, October 6th. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 5, Nov 2 & Dec 14

Chandler’s Restaurant Kid’s Cooking Class is an opportunity for parents and their children to explore the craft of cooking in a no pressure setting utilizing ingredients and utensils safe and accessible to kids. Classes will be structured so as to provide ample opportunities for children to be involved in most of the preparation. The classes are held at 10:30am with lunch to follow. October 5th will be a cider making demonstration, November 2nd is lasagna and on December 14th the kids will be making gingerbread houses! $25 per child includes instruction, lunch, and complimentary lunch for one accompanying parent. Space is limited; call 413-665-1277 for reservations. For more information visit chandlers.yankeecandle.com. South Deerfield, MA.

Oct 6

Visit the Springfield Museums on Sunday, October 6 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for their “Family Fiesta,” featuring the musical group Surcari and an appearance by “everyone’s favorite girl explorer.” Visitors can also enjoy the new exhibit, Fiesta: Flora and Fauna from Puerto Rico, and a variety of hands-on activities. Admission to all four Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden is $15 adults, $10 seniors/college students, $8 children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. General admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of address. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org. Sponsored by Baystate Health with funding from the TD Charitable Foundation.

Oct 6

Conway Festival of the Hills – Sunday, October 6th. One of the best fall festivals around! Like their page on Facebook. The Festival has something for everyone – Covered Bridge Classic Road Race, kids activities (hill slide, hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, and more), food (ice cream, baked goodies, fresh cider, and more), craft fair with many vendors, art exhibit and book sale, author signing with numerous local authors, live bands and music all day, Festival Parade at 1 p.m., Conway Historical Society open house, and the heralded Log Splitting and Skillet Toss competitions. 10am – 4pm. Free. Center of Conway, MA.

Deadline Oct 18

The Ashfield Local Goods Fundraiser to benefit Sanderson Academy is here! This is the perfect opportunity to purchase locally made gifts for the holidays while supporting education. Find unique, creative and practical items from Hilltown vendors such as handmade jewelry, pottery, books by local authors, maple syrup, gift certificates for restaurants and more! Go to www.ashfieldlocalgoods.com to view the catalog and download an order form. Deadline for orders is October 18th and needs to be returned to Sanderson Academy. Items will be ready for pick up at the Free Ice Cream Social and Distribution Event on November 16th between 9:30am and Noon at Sanderson Academy, located at 808 Cape Street in Ashfield. Call 413-628-4404 with questions.

Add some STEAM to your child’s education in science and art! Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering basic wheel throwing techniques for all ages. Adults & children can learn a new art skill, pottery, while mastering the physics of wheel throwing techniques. Parent/Child, girls’ night out, workshop with a friend, homeschool classes… there are all options, it’s up to you! Only four wheels, individualized attention, and great introductory rates for customized one day workshops, mini-sessions and more! Make your own bowls and mugs together or individually. More info at www.CyclePottery.com; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594

Oct 12

Do you love Llamas? Have you read Llama Llama Red Pajama? Would you like to meet the author? Anna Dewdney, author of the New York Times bestselling Llama Llama series reads from her newest tale, Llama, Llama and The Bully Goat on Saturday, October 12th at 4pm. This time Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. Enjoy a storytime-read aloud from the author herself after which she will sign books. The fun won’t end there! Activities, sweet treats and a REAL LLAMA will be present! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075. 413-534-7307 www.odysseybks.com

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 5th-11th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 28th & 29th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 28th-October 4th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 28 Community Highlights: Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Community Meals to Local Gardens., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 28th-October 4th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Local HistoryClimate ChangeLiteracyScienceIndustryAstronomyMusic & ArtGardeningAnimal StudiesCommunity MealsParent Workshop

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Two Fall Soups for Chilly Autumn Nights
  2. Bring a StoryWalk to Your Neighborhood
  3. 8 Ways to Make Math Fun at Home
  4. 15 Recommended Activities Grandparents Can Do With Their Grandkids in Western MA
  5. HFVS Lucky Diaz Guest DJ Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

28 Community Highlights: Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

Hoosac Tunnel to Comet Ison. Plein Air Painting to Piano Music. Community Meals to Local Gardens.

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 about monarch butterflies and their annual migration at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton on Saturday morning. Monarch enthusiast John Bowe will teach about the monarch life cycle and migration route. Those who attend may even get to see monarch caterpillars or butterflies out in the field! Then on Sunday, discover the busy and exciting lives of squirrels and chipmunks at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. There will be crafts, a story, games, and a chance to go outside and see these small mammals prepare for winter. Both events are best for kids ages 4-12.


Local HistoryClimate ChangeLiteracyScienceIndustryAstronomyMusic & ArtGardeningAnimal StudiesCommunity MealsParent Workshop


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for September 28th-October 4th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Last week an energetic group of Hilltown Families’ citizen scientists and Kurt Heidinger, Executive Director of Biocitizen, conducted our fourth annual rapid biotic assessment of the Westfield River in West Chesterfield.

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 5, Nov 2 & Dec 14

Chandler’s Restaurant Kid’s Cooking Class is an opportunity for parents and their children to explore the craft of cooking in a no pressure setting utilizing ingredients and utensils safe and accessible to kids. Classes will be structured so as to provide ample opportunities for children to be involved in most of the preparation. The classes are held at 10:30am with lunch to follow. October 5th will be a cider making demonstration, November 2nd is lasagna and on December 14th the kids will be making gingerbread houses! $25 per child includes instruction, lunch, and complimentary lunch for one accompanying parent. Space is limited; call 413-665-1277 for reservations. For more information visit chandlers.yankeecandle.com. South Deerfield, MA.

Oct 6

Visit the Springfield Museums on Sunday, October 6 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for their “Family Fiesta,” featuring the musical group Surcari and an appearance by “everyone’s favorite girl explorer.” Visitors can also enjoy the new exhibit, Fiesta: Flora and Fauna from Puerto Rico, and a variety of hands-on activities. Admission to all four Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden is $15 adults, $10 seniors/college students, $8 children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. General admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of address. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org. Sponsored by Baystate Health with funding from the TD Charitable Foundation.

Add some STEAM to your child’s education in science and art! Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering basic wheel throwing techniques for all ages. Adults & children can learn a new art skill, pottery, while mastering the physics of wheel throwing techniques. Parent/Child, girls’ night out, workshop with a friend, homeschool classes… there are all options, it’s up to you! Only four wheels, individualized attention, and great introductory rates for customized one day workshops, mini-sessions and more! Make your own bowls and mugs together or individually. More info at www.CyclePottery.com; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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.

On Sunday, September 29th from 1pm-4pm, the Hilltown Village will offer a free volunteer training at the Village Congregational Church, 32 Main St. in Cummington.  Hilltown Village prepares volunteers to provide weekly home visits during the first 3 months after a baby is born. A family is matched with a volunteer who visits the family home on a weekly basis. Home visits may include preparing meals, washing dishes, providing companionship, playing with older children, and helping in other ways that a good neighbor or extended family might.  Train to be a volunteer. For more info contact Anna Westley, Family & Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-625-6948 or Anna@MotherwellDoulaCare.comwww.itavillage.info.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 28th-October 4th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 21st & 22nd, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 21st-27th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 21st-28th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


History & Local CulturePollinatorsLanguage ArtsPlant & Nature StudiesHistoryAstronomyCultural StudiesLocal Food

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Autumn Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Local Hilltown History Website is Now “Live”
  3. Citizen Scientists Track Owls in Massachusetts
  4. Tips for a New School Year
  5. Q&A: Where to Pick Local Pears?

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

22 Community Highlights: Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes.

Want to improve your foraging skills and learn about wild edibles? Blanche Derby is leading a free wild edible workshop on identifying, collecting, and preparing wild edibles this weekend.

Honeybees to Wild Edibles. Chinese Moon Festival to Tibetan Sand Mandalas. Arugula to Grapes

These are just a few of the 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 is part of the Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop series in Holyoke.  On Saturday morning, September 21st, the series will feature the life cycle of the spinach plant and include a lesson on pollination, in addition to some real-life farm experience planting spinach and harvesting arugula. The workshop will wrap up with a lesson in culinary arts that utilizes the harvested food: in this case, arugula and cheese quesadillas!


History & Local CulturePollinatorsLanguage ArtsPlant & Nature StudiesHistoryAstronomyCultural StudiesLocal Food


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for September 21st-27th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Discover the wonderful world of honey and honey bees at Warm Colors Apiary’s annual Honey Festival this Saturday in South Deerfield, 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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Sep 21

Eric Carle Book Signing! Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art this Saturday, Sept 21st at 10am (Members: 9am) in Amherst as it welcomes back their co-founder Eric Carle. Be the first to get his new book, Friends, at a special pre-launch book signing for his fans in the Pioneer Valley! Come buy a copy, meet Eric Carle in person & get your book signed while viewing his original artwork in the new exhibition: The Art of Eric Carle: Friends. Create tissue paper art & see a great film all about Eric’s life as an artist too. There will also be face painting, storytimes & art studio activities. Free with museum admission (Book signing is not limited to Friends books.) Visit www.carlemuseum.org for signing guidelines or call 413-658-1126.

Sep 22

SUKKOT HARVEST FESTIVAL! Sunday, 9/22, 1-4pm at Abundance Farm, 253 Prospect St. in Northampton. In celebration of the harvest, Congregation B’nai Israel and Lander Grinspoon Academy are holding a Sukkot Harvest Festival for all ages, open to the public. The Festival will launch “Abundance Farm,” a burgeoning small-scale farm and outdoor classroom. Will include apple cider pressing, wheat threshing and winnowing, cob oven baking, honey extraction, garlic planting, a fermentation workshop and crafts for toddlers. Also live music, animals and healthy snacks. Suggested donation of $5. Move inside in case of rain. For more information please contact Rabbi Jacob Fine at rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org or 413-584-3593 x203. Find on Facebook here.

Sep 27

Do you love Percy Jackson, Spiderwick or the Amulet series? Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for an evening with two highly acclaimed middle grade authors for a ‘lost things’ scavenger hunt and all the pizza you can eat! Graphic novelist Greg Ruth, illustrator of Our Enduring Spirit, written by Barack Obama, will be presenting his debut graphic novel, The Lost Boy, which explores the mystery in a magical world when a boy discovers the tape recordings of a missing boy under his floorboards. Matthew Kirby, winner of the 2012 Edgar award will be reading from his new book The Lost Kingdom, a wild adventure set in the vast American wilderness. For Ages 7-14. Friday, September 27, 6pm. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley. www.odysseybks.com

Goodchild Music – Music for Life! Barbara Goodchild, a certified Simply Music Teacher, offers the following classes in Shelburne, MA. Simply Music Piano (7 yrs & up): a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has beginning students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces – from their first lessons! Play-a-Story (5-7 yrs): an improvisational introduction to piano while making music for stories. Simply Music Rhapsody (3 mos.-5 yrs): an exciting and experiential music and movement class, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy. Eric Goodchild offers Bagpipe, beginning Violin-Fiddle, & Clawhammer Banjo lessons (10yrs to adult). Tel: 413-625-8203, Email: ebgoodchild@hughes.net Music for all ages!

Oct 6

Only New England Appearance! Herbie Hancock performs for one night only, Sunday, October 6, 7:30pm at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. There are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 14 Grammy® Awards, he continues to amaze audiences. He’ll be joined by his quartet, James Genus on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Lionel Loueke on guitar. Make it a date night with a free pre-show party on the plaza for ticket-holders with appetizers, live entertainment and cash bar. Tent opens at 6pm. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartscenter.com.

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 21st-27th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 14th & 15th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Featured Community Building Events, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Food HistoryOrnithologyHabitat & EcologyLiteracyHistoryMusic Studies ♦  Film/Tech/TeensGrandparentsSTEM

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child
  2. Recommend an Educational Podcast or Website for Families
  3. Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA?
  4. Featured Video: Reflections of Motherhood
  5.  Music Worth Adding to Your iTunes Children’s Mix

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA Lui Collins' Upside Up Music

22 Community Highlights: Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds.

Coffee to Silk. Watercycles to Watersheds. Literacy to STEM

These are just a few of the 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 takes place in the Hilltowns at the Becket Arts Center. Nationally-renowned storyteller Judith Black will perform a free preview of “Our Heritage To Save” on Wednesday afternoon, September 18th. This is a story of 17-year-old Hannah Jean Conrad, a passionate Confederate supporter, and her family as they struggle with the realities of living in the Yankee-occupied town of Collierville, Tennessee in 1863 – revealing a different perspective on the events surrounding the Civil War.


Food HistoryOrnithologyHabitat & EcologyLiteracyHistoryMusic Studies ♦  Film/Tech/TeensGrandparentsSTEM


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for September 14th-20th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Last Saturday at Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families collaborated with Whole Foods Market Hadley and brought families together in the fields for a day of community service, gleaning 669 POUNDS organic kale, collards, chard and broccoli leftover from a recent harvest to donate to The Food Bank of Western MA. See photos in our follow-up post, Kids Day of Community Service Benefits Many! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Sep 14

Pioneer Valley Ballet is pleased to announce auditions for The Nutcracker are being held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Children ages 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition and play a role in PVB’s 35th anniversary production. Unique to the region, PVB’s community productions include dancers from the community, PVB students, and professionals. Roles include Reindeer, Angels, Gingerbread, Party Children, Fleur, and Candy Canes. Auditions are held at Pioneer Valley Ballet, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton on Saturday, September 14 beginning at 10:30am. Registration forms are available online and in PVB’s studio. For more info: pvb@pioneervalleyballet.org or 413-527-6363.

Sep 15

International Dot Day! Make plans to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst this Sunday afternoon, September 15th as they celebrate International Dot Day! Every year, almost a million children and adults around the world devote a whole day to celebrate Peter H. Reynolds’ beloved children’s book, The Dot, a book that encourages personal creativity. The Museum’s celebration on Sunday, Sept 15th from 1-4pm will include films, special storytimes, art activities and a presentation and book signing with The Dot’s author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for the day’s schedule or call 413-658-1126.

Begins Sep 21

ALMA is a fresh approach to Jewish education for youth and families. ALMA believes that Jewish tradition has the potential to add profound meaning and richness to peoples’ lives and be a force for positive change in the world. ALMA believes that students must genuinely enjoy themselves in order to learn and develop the love of Jewish life that they aspire to impart. ALMA staff work hard to create a culture that is joyful, where their students feel respected and not stifled. ALMA provides engaging communal experiences that inspire and support youth and families to cultivate increasingly meaningful and joyous Jewish lives. ALMA brings Torah to life through engaging each student’s mind, body and soul. More info: rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org.

Goodchild Music – Music for Life! Barbara Goodchild, a certified Simply Music Teacher, offers the following classes in Shelburne, MA. Simply Music Piano (7 yrs & up): a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has beginning students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces – from their first lessons! Play-a-Story (5-7 yrs): an improvisational introduction to piano while making music for stories. Simply Music Rhapsody (3 mos.-5 yrs): an exciting and experiential music and movement class, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy. Eric Goodchild offers Bagpipe, beginning Violin-Fiddle, & Clawhammer Banjo lessons (10yrs to adult). Tel: 413-625-8203, Email: ebgoodchild@hughes.net Music for all ages!

Oct 6

Only New England Appearance! Herbie Hancock performs for one night only, Sunday, October 6, 7:30pm at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. There are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 14 Grammy® Awards, he continues to amaze audiences. He’ll be joined by his quartet, James Genus on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Lionel Loueke on guitar. Make it a date night with a free pre-show party on the plaza for ticket-holders with appetizers, live entertainment and cash bar. Tent opens at 6pm. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartscenter.com.

3D Mammograms at Cooley Dickinson. 3D mammograms offer more detail and earlier cancer detection. And 3D mammograms are now offered at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, when a cure is most likely, the prognosis is better and the treatment choices are greater. 3D mammography, also known as Breast Tomosynthesis, was pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital and is the latest advancement in breast cancer detection in more than 30 years. Is it time for your mammogram? Get a 3D mammogram exam. To schedule an appointment, call 413-582-2101 (Northampton) or 413-253-8062 (Amherst).

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 7th & 8th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 7th-13th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Autumn Bucket List!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food Traditions., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

September 7th-13th- 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Entomology ♦  Transportation History ♦  Archeology ♦  Culinary Arts & Food History ♦  Fashion ♦  Storytelling ♦  Immigration Studies ♦  Cultural Celebrations ♦  Ornithology ♦  Colonial History

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 5 Solutions to Packing a Waste-Free Lunch
  2. 6 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas
  3. How to Get Kids to Practice Their Musical Instruments
  4. Q&A: Temper Tantrums… What to Do?
  5. Western MA Folk Remedies for Wellness

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food Traditions.

Pictured here are Hilltown Families’ volunteers at The Food Bank of Western MA last September. Join The Food Bank this Sunday, September 8th in Hatfield for a Family Volunteer Day.

Monarchs to Macroinvertebrates. 19th-Century Chores to Food TraditionsIntergenerational Story Swap to Nature-Based StoryWalk

These are just a few of the 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 is service based learning at The Food Bank of Western MA. On Saturday, September 7th, Hilltown Families and Whole Foods in Hadley are hosting a Kids’ Day of Community Service, gleaning left over organic vegetables at Atlas Farm to donate to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. With 100 folks signed up to help, the event is full on Saturday; however, on Sunday, September 8th, The Food Bank is holding Family Volunteer Day in Hatfield for family members of all ages – even toddlers can help out! Activities include touring the Food Bank warehouse, sorting food (including organic vegetables gleaned the day before), educational opportunities for kids, a screening of the documentary A Place At the Table, and more. It is important that kids understand the value and importance of volunteering and community service, and this is an excellent opportunity to give them some hands-on experience volunteering to help improve food security for area residents. This free all-ages event shows that no one is too young to start making a difference in their community.


Entomology ♦  Transportation History ♦  Archeology ♦  Culinary Arts & Food History ♦  Fashion ♦  Storytelling ♦  Immigration Studies ♦  Cultural Celebrations ♦  Ornithology ♦  Colonial History


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for September 7th-13th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Have you checked out Art in the Orchard in Easthampton yet? It’s definitely a must see! Take your family this weekend for a celebration of art & farming!

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Sep 7

JOURNEY, a wordless picture book by local author/illustrator Aaron Becker, celebrates its debut with a behind the scenes look at the book making process this September at the Hope and Feathers gallery in Amherst. Come help kick things off with the artist on Saturday, September 7th from 4-7pm with a wine and cheese affair. The show includes sketches, watercolor tests, book dummies, and final artwork from the New York Times Best Selling picture book. Prints, cards, and signed copies of the book are also for sale. Come see what all the buzz is about! Hope & Feathers is located at 319 Main Street in Amherst. 413-835-0197. A special reading and slide show will precede the event at the Amherst Jones Library at 2pm.

Begins Sep 9

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Sep 10

Amherst Montessori SchoolAmherst Montessori School has September openings for children ages 15 months – 3 years in the Toddler or La Casita Spanish Toddler programs. Featuring music, movement, and outdoor play daily in a nurturing, child-centered environment. Full- and part-time schedules available. Scholarships available. Open House on September 10th from 10-11:30am at 27 Pomeroy Lane in Amherst! For more information please call Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at 413-253-3101 or email lmiller@amherstmontessori.org.

Begins Sep 13

Prenatal Yoga Class in Northampton starts Sept 13th. Courtney Hill Wulsin will be teaching a Prenatal Yoga class on Fridays from 11:30-12:30 at the Hampshire Regional YMCA. Free for members and only $10 drop-in for non-members. No yoga experience necessary and all stages of pregnancy welcome. In addition to being a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Courtney is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist specializing in Women’s Health and the birthing year. She is also a trained Birth and Postpartum Doula. This class is ongoing and anyone is welcome to drop in without registration at any time. Mats and props are provided. If you have any questions you can call 413-303-1246 or visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com.

Sep 13

Volunteers in Northampton Schools (VINS) Back to School Event is Friday, September, 13th! Are you available to give 1-2 hours a week of time to Northampton public schools? Join VINS for a meet and greet gathering – returning and new volunteers welcome! This event will cover some of the basics about VINS and get into detail about volunteer opportunities in the schools. Where: Forbes Library Community Room (downstairs/ Children’s Library). Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Light morning refreshments will be available. To RSVP, email or call vinsvolunteer@gmail.com / 413-587-1332. Find VINS on Facebook, too! Volunteers in Northampton Schools, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization, founded in 1981.

Sep 14

Pioneer Valley Ballet is pleased to announce auditions for The Nutcracker are being held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Children ages 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition and play a role in PVB’s 35th anniversary production. Unique to the region, PVB’s community productions include dancers from the community, PVB students, and professionals. Roles include Reindeer, Angels, Gingerbread, Party Children, Fleur, and Candy Canes. Auditions are held at Pioneer Valley Ballet, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton on Saturday, September 14 beginning at 10:30am. Registration forms are available online and in PVB’s studio. For more info: pvb@pioneervalleyballet.org or 413-527-6363.

Begins Sep 21

Jacob Fine writes,ALMA is a fresh approach to Jewish education for youth and families. We believe that Jewish tradition has the potential to add profound meaning & richness to our lives and be a force for positive change in our world. We believe that our students must genuinely enjoy themselves in order to learn & develop the love of Jewish life that we aspire to impart. We work hard to create a culture that is joyful, where our students feel respected & not stifled. ALMA provides engaging communal experiences that inspire & support youth & families to cultivate increasingly meaningful and joyous Jewish lives. We bring Torah to life through engaging each student’s mind, body & soul. For information contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org.”

3D Mammograms at Cooley Dickinson. 3D mammograms offer more detail and earlier cancer detection. And 3D mammograms are now offered at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, when a cure is most likely, the prognosis is better and the treatment choices are greater. 3D mammography, also known as Breast Tomosynthesis, was pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital and is the latest advancement in breast cancer detection in more than 30 years. Is it time for your mammogram? Get a 3D mammogram exam. To schedule an appointment, call 413-582-2101 (Northampton) or 413-253-8062 (Amherst).

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

Parents’ Night Out! Enter for a chance to win tickets!

JOIN 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.

POSTPONED

POSTPONED

POSTPONED – BENEFIT CONCERT: The Connecticut River Watershed Council presents “Source to Sea with Robin & Linda Williams,” a benefit concert to support the 17th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup. Featuring Robin and Linda Williams and their Fine Group of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion playing “a robust blend of bluegrass, folk and acoustic country” music. Pat and Tex LaMountain of Greenfield will open. Saturday, September 21, 7:30pm at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls, MA. Tickets $15 all seats, for sale at World Eye Books, Mocha Maya’s and Boswell’s Books, online at www.ctriver.org/news-events/concert or by phone at 1-800-838-3006. – POSTPONED


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 7th-13th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Labor Day Weekend, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for August 31st-September 6th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Family Variety Show: Back to School Episode and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: September 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 31st-September 6th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Community ServiceCultureScience & MathHistoryAgricultural Fairs

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: Organic PYO Apples in Western MA
  2. Suggestions & Recommendations for Back-to-School
  3. 16 Picture Books That Celebrate Apples!
  4. Language Play: 5 Useful Apps That Help to Promote Speech & Language Skills
  5. Let’s Play: Collages

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology.

West African Drumming to Greek Dancing. Bridges to Comets. Stockbridge Mohicans to Victorian Technology

These are just a few of the 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 is chess! Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences, and helps players practice decision making. The Susan Polgar Foundation offers a page of information on this topic. If your child is interested in learning to play chess or is in need of new people to play with, there are opportunities to do so locally throughout the school year at various libraries. On Friday afternoon, September 6th, youth ages 7 and up can go to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids. This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master! For an intergenerational chess experience, drop in chess is organized on Saturdays from 1-3pm at the Forbes Library in Northampton. Check with our local library to see if they too offer chess opportunities for youth and adults!


Community ServiceCultureScience & MathHistoryAgricultural Fairs


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for August 31st-September 6th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Enjoy a community meal this weekend in the Hilltowns! The 43rd Annual Plainfield Firefighter’s Barbecue is on Sunday, Sept 1st behind the Shaw Memorial Library. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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. Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up in September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

BULLETIN BOARD

Begins Sep 4

The Center School‘s new pilot preschool has two openings available (start date, Sept 4) in Greenfield. One opening is full week, full time. The other slot is full day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classroom will have six children, aged two to five years. The lead teacher is Amy Jackson. Amy started at the Center School as an intern from Antioch University’s Masters in Education Program. In her time at the school she has served in classrooms, taught in the school’s Afterschool programs, run camps, and run a small daycare program for staff children. Amy is an extraordinarily warm-hearted, energetic, and nurturing teacher. For program information, please email info@centerschool.net or call 413-773-1700 ex1.

Sep 7


JOURNEY, a wordless picture book by local author/illustrator Aaron Becker, celebrates its debut with a behind the scenes look at the book making process this September at the Hope and Feathers gallery in Amherst. Come help kick things off with the artist on Saturday, September 7th from 4-7pm with a wine and cheese affair. The show includes sketches, watercolor tests, book dummies, and final artwork from the New York Times Best Selling picture book. Prints, cards, and signed copies of the book are also for sale. Come see what all the buzz is about! Hope & Feathers is located at 319 Main Street in Amherst. 413-835-0197. A special reading and slide show will precede the event at the Amherst Jones Library at 2pm.

Begins Sep 9

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Sep 10

Amherst Montessori School has September openings for children ages 15 months – 3 years in the Toddler or La Casita Spanish Toddler programs. Featuring music, movement, and outdoor play daily in a nurturing, child-centered environment. Full- and part-time schedules available. Scholarships available. Open House on September 10th from 10-11:30am at 27 Pomeroy Lane in Amherst! For more information please call Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at 413-253-3101 or email lmiller@amherstmontessori.org.

Begins Sep 13

Prenatal Yoga Class in Northampton starts Sept 13th. Courtney Hill Wulsin will be teaching a Prenatal Yoga class on Fridays from 11:30-12:30 at the Hampshire Regional YMCA. Free for members and only $10 drop-in for non-members. No yoga experience necessary and all stages of pregnancy welcome. In addition to being a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Courtney is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist specializing in Women’s Health and the birthing year. She is also a trained Birth and Postpartum Doula. This class is ongoing and anyone is welcome to drop in without registration at any time. Mats and props are provided. If you have any questions you can call 413-303-1246 or visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com.

Sep 21

POSTPONED – BENEFIT CONCERT: The Connecticut River Watershed Council presents “Source to Sea with Robin & Linda Williams,” a benefit concert to support the 17th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup. Featuring Robin and Linda Williams and their Fine Group of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion playing “a robust blend of bluegrass, folk and acoustic country” music. Pat and Tex LaMountain of Greenfield will open. Saturday, September 21, 7:30pm at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls, MA. Tickets $15 all seats, for sale at World Eye Books, Mocha Maya’s and Boswell’s Books, online at www.ctriver.org/news-events/concert or by phone at 1-800-838-3006. – POSTPONED

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: On Sunday, Sept 29 from 1-4pm, the Hilltown Village will offer a free volunteer training at the Village Congregational Church, 32 Main St. in Cummington. Hilltown Village prepares volunteers to provide weekly home visits during the first 3 months after a baby is born. A family is matched with a volunteer who visits the family home on a weekly basis. Home visits may include preparing meals, washing dishes, providing companionship, playing with older children, and helping in other ways that a good neighbor or extended family might. Train to be a volunteer. For more info contact Anna Westley, Family & Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-625-6948 or Anna@MotherwellDoulaCare.com. www.itavillage.info. Funded by the United Way of Hampshire County.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 31st – September 6th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 24th & 25th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for August 24th-30th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Agricultural Fairs, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 24th-30th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 10 Tips for Dad to Help Ease the Back-to-School Transition
  2. Language Play: 6 Pre-Reading Activities
  3. HFVS Back to School Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. 11 Suggestions on How Western MA Families Can Make Wise Back-to-School Purchases
  5. Q&A: Hair Cuts in Western MA

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin.

Antique Tractors at the Cummington Fair

Tractors to Airplanes. Tomato Fest to Breakfast. Reggae to Gershwin…

These are just a few of the 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 highlights this week are all about transportation and engines! The first annual Great New England Wings and Wheels show takes place at Westover Metropolitan Airport this weekend and North Adams’ Motorama event is back for its third year on Sunday! And the Cummington Fair this weekend features small engines too, including an antique engines & tractor show.  Check out our Engines & Aircraft highlights for all the details!


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for August 24th-30th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The Cummington Fair is a gem of an agricultural fair that happens every August in the heart of the Hilltowns. Mark Melhorn, Arjuna Greist and Piet Slaghekke all picked “The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country” for our Summer Bucket List!

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. Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up this September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

Western Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs this Weekend and Next!

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 26

Ah Ha! Here is a party you won’t want to miss! Come to the Odyssey Bookshop on Monday, August 26th at 2pm to celebrate the release of Jeff Mack’s newest book, Ah Ha!. Join Odyssey staff for an afternoon of silliness, fun and lots of frogs! Jeff Mack will be reading and signing his book followed by games and yummy frog cake! Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will leave young readers guessing, laughing and on the edge of their seats. Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street at The Village Commons in South Hadley. 413-534-7307. www.odysseybks.com

Begins Sep 4

The Center School‘s new pilot preschool has two openings available (start date, Sept 4) in Greenfield. One opening is full week, full time. The other slot is full day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classroom will have six children, aged two to five years. The lead teacher is Amy Jackson. Amy started at the Center School as an intern from Antioch University’s Masters in Education Program. In her time at the school she has served in classrooms, taught in the school’s Afterschool programs, run camps, and run a small daycare program for staff children. Amy is an extraordinarily warm-hearted, energetic, and nurturing teacher. For program information, please email info@centerschool.net or call 413-773-1700 ex1.

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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

Tim May writes: “Organized adult pickup soccer game is being held every Monday evening @ 6pm until 7:30pm @ Pettingill Park, Main Street, Cummington. All skill levels welcome, friendly relaxed game with breaks for water. Mostly adults but skilled older kids welcome. Bring light and dark t-shirt. Contact Tim with questions: timothydavidmay@gmail.com. No fee. Will play even in wet weather unless pouring/thundering at kickoff. Many parents bring younger kids to play on nearby playground during games, however adult supervision there is not provided. Pass it on!”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 24th-30th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 17th & 18th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for August 17th-23rd, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 17th-23rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Sweeten Up Your Summer With Local Fruit
  2. HFVS Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. 18 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Western MA
  4. Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week
  5.  Q&A: Ear Piercing

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing.

Old Sturbridge Village is offering free admission for kids in the month of August. For this year’s Textile Weekend, Aug 17 & 18, Village historians are highlighting 19th-century fashion accessories and a tour of the new “Trimmed to Taste” exhibit, which salutes the clever creativity of early New England seamstresses.

Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Renaissance Garden to Shape-Note Singing. Greece to Middle East…

These are just a few of the 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 happens at the Kingman Tavern Museum in Cummington where there will be a free shape-note singing school on Saturday afternoon, August 17th.  Introduced in 1801, shape notes were designed to help facilitate community singing and originated in colonial New England. This type of singing was created to support a persons desire to sing with others either in their community or in their congregations. The class will teach participants about this unique singing style, celebrate American history, and offer a chance to engage in an intergenerational activity.


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for August 17th-23rd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The 9th annual Free Harvest Supper takes place on the Greenfield Town Common this Sunday evening, August 18th. Families can enjoy a bountiful, locally sourced (event the salt!) community meal!

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. Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up this September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Thursday-Sunday, August 22nd-25th in the Heart of Western MA – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual and beloved Cummington Fair takes place all weekend! Opens at 4pm on Thurs/Fri, and 7am on Sat/Sun. Weekend highlights – along with the opportunity to learn about farming and farm animals, local industries, and agriculture – include antique tractor show, the lumberjack championship, Marvelous Mutts dog show, demolition derby, roast beef, spaghetti & turkey dinners, 4H sheep contest, along with midway rides, games. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 26

Ah Ha! Here is a party you won’t want to miss! Come to the Odyssey Bookshop on Monday, August 26th at 2pm to celebrate the release of Jeff Mack’s newest book, Ah Ha!. Join Odyssey staff for an afternoon of silliness, fun and lots of frogs! Jeff Mack will be reading and signing his book followed by games and yummy frog cake! Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will leave young readers guessing, laughing and on the edge of their seats. Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street at The Village Commons in South Hadley. 413-534-7307. http://www.odysseybks.com

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Expeditionary Learning School in September. This cutting-edge program transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413-634-5327 or visit online.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, 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.

JOIN 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
August 17th-23rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

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