Learning Ahead: May 30th-June 3rd, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 21 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. This week, don’t miss our special listing of Memorial Day events, Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness!


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HFVS Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez

Moona Luna’s Sandra Velasquez takes you on a Latin American bus adventure.  Based on her own travels by bus through Latin America, she provides you with a soundtrack for a journey that is as rich and diverse as the changing landscape. – www.moonalunamusic.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 28th & 29th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “PANORAMA” by Moona Luna


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Rana Santacruz – “Lo Unico Que Quiero” [Chicavasco]
  • Moona Luna – “Panorama” [Panorama]
  • Los Super Seven – “Canoero” [Los Super Seven]
  • Susana Baca – “Que Bonito Tu Vestido” [Afrodiaspora]
  • Ana Tijoux – “1977” [1977]
  • Moona Luna – “Vamos, Let’s Go” [Vamos, Let’s Go]
  • Rana Santacruz – “Ojitos De Maguey” [Chicavasco]
  • Paulihno Moska & Ceu- “10 Contados” [Ceu]
  • Pistolera – “Ponle Frenos” [El Desierto Y La Ciudad]
    Moona Luna – “Espejos” [Panorama]
  • Los Diablitos – “Los Caminos De La Vida” [Sorpresa Caribe]
  • Moona Luna – “La Llegada” [Panorama]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 28th & 29th, 2016

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

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 28th-June 3rd, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Agriculture ♦ Culinary Arts ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ Physics ♦ Earth Science ♦ Puppetry ♦ Career Studies ♦ Native American Studies ♦ Intergenerational ♦ Children’s Literature ♦ Language Studies ♦ Ornithology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Tinkering ♦ Theater Arts ♦ Dance ♦ Memorial Day ♦ Music Studies ♦ Service-based Learning

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season
  2. Geocaching & Letterboxing Support Learning and Outdoor Adventures as a Family
  3. Let Them Grow: Backyard Bird Paradise Brings Toddlers Closer to Nature
  4. What to Play? Creative-Free Music Making!
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds.

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If you love wool, weaving, textiles, fiber arts, or animal husbandry, you won’t want to miss the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! Western MA is full of talented, crafty people, and opportunities to learn or practice your fiber arts skills with them abound throughout the year.

Rhubarb to woolcraft. Bubbles to adventure playgrounds. World music to Shakespeare. These are just a few of the community-based 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 community highlight this week: Adventure playgrounds invite children to engage with a variety of open-ended, simple materials (think giant cardboard boxes, tubes, fabric, string, bales of hay) to create the play spaces and experiences they desire. Participating an adventure playground not only stimulates the imagination, it encourages collaboration and builds self-esteem. Visit The Play Workshop‘s pop up playground on Saturday, May 28, from noon until 4pm, to try out this fun, different, joyful type of creative free play! 413-588-2208. Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


AgricultureCulinary ArtsFiber ArtsAnimal HusbandryPhysicsEarth SciencePuppetryCareer StudiesNative American StudiesIntergenerationalChildren’s LiteratureLanguage StudiesOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTinkeringTheater ArtsDanceMemorial DayMusic StudiesService-based Learning


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Suggested Events for May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 5

Join Lander-Grinspoon Academy for a day of carnival fun! When? Sunday, June 5th. Where? LGA, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. There will be Games, Prizes, Face painting, Dunk tank, Bounce obstacle course and more! Food & drink from Holyoke Hummus Company, Chanterelle-To-Go, LGA Bake shop, Herrell’s Ice Cream & Fort Hill Brewery. Tons of fun for the entire family. Event takes place rain or shine. Entrance is free but activities will require tickets. Email office@landergrinspoon.org if you have any questions.

Jun 5

Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “Raising Spiritually Intelligent Children,” a Sunday, June 5 workshop at Eastworks in Easthampton, MA with author, psychologist, and teacher Dr. Christopher Willard. Participants will learn how to cultivate virtues like Effort, Patience, Determination, Truthfulness, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity. Dr. Willard is the author of Child’s Mind, Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, and Growing Up Mindful. This workshop is appropriate for parents, caregivers, educators, therapists, social workers, and all who work with and care about the next generation. Suggested contribution: $25-$40 plus a voluntary donation to Dr. Willard. Please pre-register. Questions: general@insightpv.org.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

May 28

Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley welcomes local author Megan Lambert & illustrator Nicole Tadgell for a special story time and drawing demo on Saturday, May 28 at 11am for their new picturebook, Real Sisters Pretend. This warm, engaging story, which unfolds entirely through the conversation of two adopted sisters, was inspired by the author’s own daughters, whom she overheard talking about how adoption made them “real sisters” even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike. Event attendees will enjoy cookies & coloring sheets inspired by the book, and are encouraged to add drawings of their own families on a mural to be displayed at the Odyssey. FREE and open to all families, whether or not they have experience with adoption.

Do you like to cook? Want to know how wool gets from a sheep to your mittens? How about how a cow’s milk becomes ice cream or cheese? Ever wonder how cars get all of the cool paint designs? Are you interested in finding out how things are made? How would you like to cruise down the bike path on a skateboard that you built? Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton is offering two weeks of summer programs for students entering grades 6, 7, & 8. Week 1: July 25-28; Week 2: August 1-4. Half day and full day available. For more information, visit smithtec.org or call 587-1414 ext. 3414.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Berkshire Family Fun: June 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
June 2016

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of June. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Connects Visitors with Local History, Animal Husbandry, and Fiber Art

Annual Sheep and Woolcraft Fair Connects Visitors with Local History, Animal Husbandry, and Fiber Art

Want to learn how to dye wool with Kool-Aid or make a needle-felted fairy? Perhaps you’ve never seen sheep dogs in action or can’t tell a Cotswold from a Corriedale? Indulge your curiosities by attending the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair this Memorial Day weekend!

You may sing your children songs about them and count them when you’re falling asleep, but did you know about sheep’s important role in our history and everyday lives? The first viable flock of domesticated sheep arrived in the colonies in 1609, and shortly thereafter a small but strong wool industry was up and running. Landowners built stone walls to corral their flocks (you probably have come across these in your wanderings!) and colonists even cleared the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket so they could be used for sheep storage. The colonies were so successful in their maintenance of flocks and production of wool that the British government eventually banned colonial wool exports to lessen competition with their own wool markets. This act was one of several that incensed colonists and led to the Revolutionary War. Sheep playing a role in our fight for independence? Absolutely! Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families Pop-Up Open House

Stop by our Pop-Up Open House taking place during the WGBY Asparagus Festival on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10am-6pm.  Come meet some of our board members, staff and volunteers and learn about the work of Hilltown Families and how you can get involvedLook for our tent on the Hadley Town Common while perusing all of the family fun activities this annual local food festival has to offer.

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

Now a decade old, Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, serving thousands of families living throughout western Massachusetts. Through an online grassroots communication network, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of western Massachusetts by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education and increase participation in community life.

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

Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness

For some, Memorial Day is a deeply personal holiday, a day for remembering those who have served the people of our country. Participating in these Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies can also be a form of placemaking, strengthening ties to community spaces and encouraging social interaction between generations. These events also offer a chance to personally thank local veterans and recognize them for their bravery and service.

Ceremonies to honor veterans on this holiday often take place in outdoor, common spaces such as Main Streets, sidewalks, and town commons.

As friends, neighbors, and community members gather in these areas, opportunities for small acts of kindness arise. For example, families can bring a bouquet of daisies or loaves of fresh baked bread to a Memorial Day parade to share with veterans as small tokens of gratitude.

Memorial day parades thus invite people to engage with their communities in placemaking. Participating in parades by marching alongside an organization or viewing the parade from a common space thus supports individual health and well-being by strengthening a connection to place. Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Spring Craft Idea

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Painting With Nature

We have talked a lot about engaging children in nature-based art. It is a fun and easy way to get outside, have fun and expose your child to the process of art. We love taking the children out and collecting bits and pieces that can be used in the process. Spring is a great time for it. But, lately in the Valley and Hilltowns the weather has been unpredictable- making it tough to plan a full day outside. It has been cold and windy in the morning and warm and sunny in the afternoon. For toddlers, it can be tough to spend a long time outdoors, so we have found that we can break projects up into two parts: Collecting and then Doing, to make it more toddler friendly. Read the rest of this entry »

Native American Culture in the Berkshires

Experience Mohican Culture in the Berkshires

United States history is a story that intertwines many cultures and peoples. To fully understand U.S. history and American culture, you must first understanding the impact which Native Americans and European colonists had on each other. The best way to gain insight into any culture is to fully immerse yourself, not only by listening but also by engaging in meals, rituals, musical performances, dances and more. You’re invited to get a glimpse of modern day Mohican culture at the Native American Festival at Mount Greylock.

When Europeans first came to what is now the United States, the area was home to over 300 different languages. Now, due to past U.S. government policies which forced assimilation on Native Americans, only 175 of these languages remain, and many are endangered languages.

The last known fluent speaker of the Mohican language was a Stockbridge resident who died in 1933. As part of a wide movement towards preservation of Native American languages, some Mohican words have been recovered from old dictionaries, letters, books and other written texts. The word Mohican itself comes from the original, “Muhheakanneuw,” which has many translations related to the Hudson river along which this group once resided. One such translation reads: “the people of the waters that are never still.” An interesting difference between English and the Mohican language is that there is no gender distinction between third person pronouns in Mohican. “Pumisoo” is the word for both “he” or “she,” and could be roughly translated to: “that person.” Read the rest of this entry »

STEM Opportunities at The Great Holyoke Brick Race

STEM Opportunities at The Great Holyoke Brick Race

Intergenerational collaborations can provide young students with hands-on lessons in the basic science of physics and principles of design at the 5th Great Holyoke Brick Race happening on Saturday, June 4th!

Take on the coolest gravity based physics experiment around at the Great Holyoke Brick Race!  Similar to the Boy Scouts of America’s traditional Pinewood Derby, the event requires that participants create their own miniature car to race down a specific track.  However, unlike Pinewood Derby, the cars are not wooden – the main piece of material is a brick!

Sponsored by Paper City Studios and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the race is open to participants of any age and from anywhere in the world (No need to be a Holyoke native!).  Entries can be created by individuals, or by teams of any size, allowing for lots of intergenerational collaboration and knowledge pooling.

The event can be used as a means of providing hands-on physics learning.  Each car will need to be carefully designed and built with attention to the basic principles of physics.  Depending on the age of participants, car-building can lend itself nicely to in-depth explorations of mathematical ideas and the principles of design, too!

The race will take place on Saturday, June 4th, 2016 on Race Street in Downtown Holyoke.  Check in for racers will begin at 10am. Event runs 11am-3pm  For more specific information regarding entries, as well as design suggestions, visit the race website: www.brickrace.org.

Build Bridges Between Generations by Volunteering With Elders

Build Bridges Between Generations by Volunteering With Elders

Community volunteer work can become an intergenerational opportunity when families commit to engaging with local elders. By connecting with local organizations, elder communities, and volunteer communication networks, families can enrich their own lives and the lives of others. Donations of time, labor, skills, and more can help to provide support to community members, and can help to build bridges between generations.

May marks the national celebration of Older Americans Month, a month-long awareness-raising event meant to shed light on important issues facing older adults. In order to acknowledge such challenges, as well as the many contributions that elders have made to their communities, families can seek out volunteer opportunities that connect them with local elders. Older community members can benefit from everything from social visits to housework and meal delivery, meaning that engaging with elders has numerous entry points. Families can consider their specific interests, skills, and abilities when seeking out elder-centric volunteer opportunities.  Read the rest of this entry »

Open Sesame: The Lure of Foxes

Open Sesame: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

The Lure of Foxes
Two Middle Grade Novels Weave Stories of Children and Foxes

There’s something about foxes. Something magical. And beautiful. And wild. Their expressive faces, their curious, intelligent nature, their coats of fire or of smoke enchant me, and remind me of my innate connection to the natural world. Whether it’s a red flash in the snow, the playful pounce of kits in the morning sun, the silhouette of a bushy tail disappearing into the woods, or a shrill bark at twilight – every encounter with a fox lures me to my own wildness. That is why I was immediately drawn to two new middle grade novels which weave the stories of children and foxes.

Both of these stories unfold through the point of view of the human characters and also from the point of view of the foxes, and the experience of being in the foxes’ world is riveting. But these are not light-hearted stories. Emotionally compelling, achingly real, these are stories about love and loss, the costs of war, grief, soul purpose, and hope. These are stories about the relationship between humans and their environment, the spiritual connections among every living thing, and the perilous impact of humans on the natural world. It’s sensitive material, but deftly handled by the authors, these are shimmering, powerful stories for middle grade readers and up.   Read the rest of this entry »

Western MA Spring Food Festivals Strengthen Ties to Local Culture

Spring Food Festivals Strengthen Ties to Local Culture

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3028/2356387096_34b8e3f3ed.jpg

One of the biggest factors tying food to culture is habitat. The ecological factors which determine which edible plants thrive in an area partially determines the meals which become a culinary mainstay within that culture. Post globalization, it is possible to find food from all over the world in the United States. Shopping at farm stands and farmers’ markets, and attending local food festivals can reconnect citizens with their local food culture. The community-driven, outdoor nature of these events (particularly in warm months) also drives placemaking.  Read the rest of this entry »

Building Fairy Houses Promotes Learning, Creative-Free Play & Citizen Science

Building Fairy Houses Promotes Learning, Creative-Free Play & Citizen Science

By Andrea Caluori-Rivera
MassLIFT AmeriCorps Member at Hilltown Land Trust & Kestrel Land Trust

A few weeks ago kids gathered at Hilltown Land Trust’s Bradley Sanctuary in Williamsburg to explore the woods and build fairy houses for future trail visitors to see.

The task was simple: head out into the woods, collect items, choose a spot and start building.  Two hours later, the entrance to Bradley’s woods featured creative structures leaning against tree trunks, hiding behind rocks, or settled right on the trail.  Each house was unique and showed an innovative use of materials: sticks, acorn caps, fallen leaves, moss, lichen, birch bark and more.  While we were out collecting materials, we came across salamanders, heard birds, and observed the different textures and colors nature offered to help us create our little structures.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning and wonderful activity that fosters skills such as teambuilding, creative play, engineering, design and citizen science. Hilltown Land Trust’s Bradley Sanctuary is open to the public and available for you and your family to build your own simple fairy houses! Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Streamcrawling

Streamcrawling

When I started writing this column in 2011, I did so hoping to inspire readers to “make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you!” Rivers are all around us, but they don’t form as much a part of ourselves as roads do. Close your eyes again: can you see a river? How far can you follow it? Does it lead anywhere?

If we close our eyes, we can see roads. Try it yourself— for just a moment, close your eyes and visualize the way to Northampton, Pittsfield, Greenfield or Springfield from your front door. It’s not hard to see mental images of roads, is it? They just appear because they are engraved into our neural systems.

We carry the “environment” inside ourselves. The “environment” is part mental construction, part everything else.

This truth is self-evident, but—after studying the ways we comprehend and fit into the designs of nature for over thirty years—I have yet to read much, or participate in many discussions, about it. True: the concept of “nature deficit disorder” has gained currency, which is good; but, the larger issue of getting more than individuals over the disorder—and getting vast populations over it—can’t even be imagined yet. Individuals can take a long hike every couple of days, or garden, and get over it. But how do the people of NYC, or any other urban inhabitation on earth, get over it? Do these populations even want to get over it? Is there a candidate for public office anywhere running on a platform of ensuring that all citizens get over nature-deficit disorder? Is getting over it “good for the economy?” Can it be considered a “market-based solution?” Is there anyway that Wall St. investors can “financialize” the process, or corporations turn it into a product, or universities turn it into a hot new major? Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 23rd-27th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Silly Words Can Make Serious Music Episode with Guest DJs, The Dream Jam Band (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Silly Words Can Make Serious Music Episode with Guest DJs, The Dream Jam Band

Join Guest DJs The Dream Jam Band as they travel through the ages from Shape Note Singing to Scat to Doo Wop, Country, Rock and Roll, Folk and even Throat singing. Discover how silly words can make serious music! – www.dreamjamband.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 21st & 22nd, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Have a Party When You Get the Blues


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PLAYLIST

  • The Dream Jam Band- “Leave it in the Soup” [Leave it in the Soup]
  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five- “Heebie Jeebies” [The Essential Louis Armstrong]
  • Ella Fitzgerald- “Oh Lady Be Good” [The Scat of Jazz]
  • The Coasters- “Yakety Yak” [Hi Five The Coasters]
  • Johnny Cymbal- “Mr. Bassman” [Mr. Bassman]
  • Shirley Ellis- “The Name Game” [Rock ‘N’ Roll Pop and Soul Sisters]
  • The Beatles- “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da” [The White Album]
  • The Dream Jam Band- “Nicky Nicky Knock Knock” [The Dream Jam Band]
  • Bobby Darin- “Splish Splash” [Bobby Darin]
  • The Dream Jam Band- “Friends of the Sea” [Leave it in the Soup]
  • John Odrasik- “The Hoppity Song” [For the Kids]
  • Father Goose (feat Dan Zanes)- “Jig Jog Gee” [Putumayo Kids World Sing-Along]
  • Lisa Loeb- “Jenny Jenkins” [Jenny Jenkins]
  • Roseanne Cash [feat Dan Zanes]- “Fooba Wooba John” [Family Dance]
  • Shirley Temple- “Polly Wally Doodle” [The Littlest Rebel]
  • Laurie Berkner- “Boody Boody Ya Ya Ya” [Under the Shady Tree]
  • Tom Chapin- “What is a didjeridoo?” [Around the World and Back Again]
  • Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band- “Thingamajig”  [Lishy Lou and Lucky Too]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers- “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” [Can You Canoe?]
  • The Dream Jam Band- “Boing” [Leave it in the Soup]

 

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 21st & 22nd, 2016

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

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 21st-27th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 21st-27th, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Reborn! Nature Table for May
  2. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  3. Learning Landscapes: Empowering Children in Learning Critical Life Skills
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding

Art created by native peoples of the Pacific Northwest offers a vibrant and engaging look into Native cultures, folklore, history, and values. Visit this new exhibit, Finding Raven, at the Berkshire Museum on its opening day, and enjoy special interactive stations to enrich your understanding and appreciation of the techniques, stories, and identities behind the works of art!

Railroads to running. Cultural studies to coding. Gorges to gardening. These are just a few of the community-based 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 community highlight this week: Storytelling is a highly empathetic process. When you combine the creative empathy involved in storytelling with the therapeutic effects of expressing yourself through pictures, the activity has a profound impact. Comic books and graphic novels do just this; they force artists and writers to think about people’s emotions, and the social impact of characters’ actions on each other. On Saturday, May 21st, 10:30am-1:30pm, The Lee Library is hosting a Comic Jam, a collaborative storytelling adventure for cartoonists of all ages and abilities. This fun-filled event will encourage participants to think critically, empathetically, and creatively. Each artist will contribute to other artists’ comics, resulting in a highly original work which could not be created by a single individual. No prior experience or ability is required. Participants can drop in any time. 413- 243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting


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Suggested Events for May 21st-27th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

OVER 65 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Home School

Learn Organically with Oak Meadow and Save Mother’s Day to Memorial Day! From May 8–30, take 15% off their flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. The nature-based curriculum fosters critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

May 22

Fast, Slow, Young, Old… Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park, on Sunday, May 22, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages. There will be race events, including chip-timed 5K and 1.2 mile races, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring a free photo booth, balloon sculptures, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and live performances, food and drink, face painting, games, and prizes. The first 600 registered goose chasers will receive a free water bottle and Bueno Y Sano coupon. All kids’ race participants will receive medals. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!

May 28

Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley welcomes local author Megan Lambert & illustrator Nicole Tadgell for a special story time and drawing demo on Saturday, May 28 at 11am for their new picture book, Real Sisters Pretend. This warm, engaging story, which unfolds entirely through the conversation of two adopted sisters, was inspired by the author’s own daughters, whom she overheard talking about how adoption made them “real sisters” even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike. Event attendees will enjoy cookies & coloring sheets inspired by the book, and are encouraged to add drawings of their own families on a mural to be displayed at the Odyssey. FREE and open to all families, whether or not they have experience with adoption.

Do you like to cook? Want to know how wool gets from a sheep to your mittens? How about how a cow’s milk becomes ice cream or cheese? Ever wonder how cars get all of the cool paint designs? Are you interested in finding out how things are made? How would you like to cruise down the bike path on a skateboard that you built? Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton is offering two weeks of summer programs for students entering grades 6, 7, & 8. Week 1: July 25-28; Week 2: August 1-4. Half day and full day available. For more information, visit smithtec.org or call 587-1414 ext. 3414.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 21st-27th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Over 60 Summer Camps & Programs in Western MA!

Family Life of the Dinosaur Supports Lessons in Paleontology

Rare Look at the Life of Dinosaurs Through the Lens of their Eggs, Nests & Young

Young paleontologists unite! Resources for learning about dinosaurs abound here in western Massachusetts. From museum exhibits to hands-on paleontology activities to natural wonders, our region is rich with experiential and place-based opportunities for learning about the prehistoric creatures of the past.

Trends come and go, but there are some topics which fascinate children across generations. One such topic is dinosaurs! Extinct species tell us a lot about evolution, biology, and the history of the Earth. Dinosaurs are particularly interesting because of their, in some cases, massive size. While birds are modern day descendants of dinosaurs, it is a challenging and fun exercise to try to imagine bird-like creatures being much bigger than humans, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which stood up to twenty feet tall! See a life-sized replica at the Springfield Museums and an actual skull at the Beneski Museum at Amherst College (both in their permanent collections) for an exciting comparison of just HOW much bigger these creatures were! Read the rest of this entry »

Interpretive Trail Marking the History of the Mill River Flood to Offer Service-Based Learning

Interpretive Trail Marking the History of the Mill River Flood to Offer Service-Based Learning

The Williamsburg Woodland Trails Committee is about to begin construction of a new trail that will provide public access to the ruins of the dam that caused the disastrous flood on May 16, 1874. The dam was built by a group of local factory owners to provide dependable water power to their mills. The design and construction of the 600′ long dam, however, proved to be inadequate and the dam burst. The resulting 600 million-gallon flood claimed 139 lives and destroyed much of the villages of Williamsburg, Skinnerville, Haydenville, and Leeds before depositing most of its debris in the meadows of Florence. At the time, it was the worst public works disaster in the history of the nation.

Now, adjacent landowners are collaborating with the Trails Committee on the construction of a new mile-long trail that will allow the public to hike to the ruins of the dam. The trail will traverse land that is part of a 250-year-old farm, and will also be used to tell the story of that farm and of local agriculture and forest management. The trail will include several footbridges, kiosks, interpretive signage, benches, and striking views of the gorge that the river follows below the failed reservoir. There will be extensive technical trail construction needed to make this a safe, enjoyable trail experience for users.

The community is invited to help and to be an exciting part of the creating of a community-based resource that will support the interests and education of residents and visitors to the area.  Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Contest Celebrates Place through the Lens of Agriculture

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Photo Contest

The 2017 MA Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest is seeking photographs of all types of agriculture, including pictures of farms/activities featuring cranberries, maple sugaring, flowers, Christmas trees, fruit, and farm animals.

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The annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar is an excellent resource that serves as an educational tool for teachers, legislators and the public and is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom. The calendar provides an attractive daily reminder of the diversity of agriculture across the state. It includes monthly educational/teaching tips, special ag-related days and website links on each page. The contest offers a wonderful opportunity for young people to participate in a hands-on photographical and agricultural learning experience.

There is no age limit, so children and adults of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to enter! For more details and submission form, visit MA Agriculture in the Classroom. Submission deadline is June 1, 2016. (FREE)

[Photo credits: (c) Sienna Wildfield]

Explore Local History and Culture with a Downtown Springfield Walking Tour!

Explore Local History and Culture with a Downtown Springfield Walking Tour!

Joining the host of local communities offering educational opportunities through walking tours, Springfield’s downtown has been given new life and new educational possibilities through a walking tour. Provided by the Springfield Central Cultural District, the tour spotlights over 200 years of the city’s history, and includes entry points for learning about everything from art and architecture to local government and the first gas-powered automobile.

Just in time for a season’s worth of great walking weather, the Springfield Central Cultural District presents a walking tour of downtown Springfield! By following the new walking tour, families can explore Springfield’s past and present, visiting landmarks whose significance remains relevant today but stretches back as far as the 1700’s. Through observational visits to parks, government buildings, businesses, and museums, families can explore local and national history, government, the evolution of local businesses, and all kinds of art, including sculpture, painted murals, and stained glass.

The walking tour is unlike most others in that while it includes a numbered list of locations, the tour does need to be followed according to the assigned numbers. The detailed map provided by the Springfield Central Cultural District features 25 notable locations which, thanks to their urban location, are all in very close proximity to one another and can be easily reached through many different routes. Families can explore all 25 of the central district’s significant landmarks, or easily navigate through the places and spaces that most interest them.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Empathic Impact of Art Celebrated in a Community Comic Jam!

Comic Jam: An Intergenerational Spontaneous Cartooning Event in the Berkshires

What is a Comic Jam? It is a collaborative storytelling adventure for cartoonists of all ages and abilities. Each artist will contribute to one another’s comics, creating unexpected and exciting stories! This project encourages creativity, working together, critical thinking and storytelling.

Various scientific research studies in the last several years have explored the neurological impact of reading in general and reading fiction in particular. A psychologist from York University in Canada found a connection between reading fiction and the ability to empathize.

Fictional stories are highly focused around people, describing their feelings, desires, and actions. When narration includes a character’s thoughts, the reader knows exactly how that character feels, and the reader sympathizes with these emotions. When characters thoughts are not revealed, readers have to think about the possible emotions and thoughts which lead to the character’s actions. This is the same kind of skill we use every day when interacting with people in our lives.

Storytelling is an even more involved empathetic process. When you combine the creative empathy involved in storytelling, with the therapeutic effects of expressing yourself through pictures, the activity has a profound impact. Comic books and graphic novels do just this- they encourage artists and writers to think about people’s emotions, and the social impact of character’s actions on each other. Plus, when a shared interest brings together community through the lens of creativity, it establishes a shared history that ties neighbors across generations, strengthening their sense of place.  Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Cynthia Kadohata’s “Half a World Away”

Literary Guide for Cynthia Kadohata’s Half a World Away

Download Literary Guide for Half a World Away.

Cynthia Kadohata’s Half a World Away is a complex and emotionally-charged work of incredibly realistic fiction. Weaving together themes of family, adoption, truth, and love, the story challenges readers to consider major ethical questions as they learn about protagonist Jaden’s struggles with change and self-discovery.

Adopted from a Romanian group home at the age of 8, Jaden has never truly felt a part of his so-called family. Though his parents show him love and care for him, he struggles greatly with strong emotions and dangerous habits that he doesn’t completely understand – causing him to feel that he doesn’t truly belong in his family. Having been abandoned by his mother at a young age, he fears that something is wrong with him – something that will make history repeat itself, leading his family to eventually cast him out as well.

Jaden’s challenges come to the forefront of his consciousness during a family trip to Kazakhstan, where they are to adopt baby Bahytzan from an orphanage in the southern city of Kyzylorda. While Jaden enjoys the almost unreal quality of his experiences in Kyzylorda, his parents deal with strong emotions as they struggle to bond with the new member of their family – leaving Jaden emotionally out of the loop, as he can’t seem to be able to engage emotionally with anyone, especially not his parents or their new baby. And he can’t escape the nagging feeling that the new child is meant as a do-over, thanks to the parenting obstacles that he has presented.

Half a World Away is a powerful story of astounding depth. Readers ages 10 and older can gain insight into the complexity of human psychology and the power of experience in human development. Using our literary guide, families can work together to delve into the many layers of the story, and can take advantage of critical thinking questions and suggestions for extension activities in order to put the story into context and to develop schema to support the development of connections to the characters and their experiences.

Learning Ahead: May 16th-20th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 30 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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