From Our Library: A Booklist for Studying Seed Dispersal

From Our Library: A Booklist for Studying Seed Dispersal

Fall isn’t just about leaves falling from trees – it’s about seed dispersal, too! As summer’s lush plants turn to brown, crumble, and collapse, seeds are being dispersed left and right. Studies of seed dispersal can illuminate secrets to plant reproduction, inspire seed collection, and bring learners closer to the landscape that surrounds them. Pair these titles with seed pod collection, plant dissection, and other hands-on seed-centric activities. Download our PDF guide to see descriptions and suggested age ranges for each title!
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Weekdays in Western MA: November 12th – 16th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 12th – 16th, 2018

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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 Weekdays in Western MA!

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HFVS Food Episode with Guest DJs, The Green Orbs (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Food Episode with Guest DJs, The Green Orbs

Food, glorious food!!! We all eat it, so why not sing some songs about it! Heather Hirshfield and Eddie RosenBerg III, otherwise known as The Green Orbs, take you on a musical culinary journey with songs from artists like Weird Al, The Pop Ups, and Cookie Monster on the menu. — www.TheGreenOrbs.net

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 10th & 11th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: The Green Orbs – “The Suction Cup Shuffle” [Thumb Wrestling Champions]


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

Weird Al Yankovic – “Eat It” [Greatest Hits]
Mike Phirman – “What Makes The Breakfast” [Songs To Sing At Children]
Gunnar Madsen – “10,000 Pancakes” [I Am Your Food]
They Might Be Giants – “Nine Bowls Of Soup” [Here Come the 1, 2, 3’s]
Shirley Temple – “Animal Crackers In My Soup” [Remember Shirley]
The Green Orbs – “Soup (An Epilogue)” [Thumb Wrestling Champions]
Jumpin’ Jamie – “I Wanna Be Healthy” [Kookie]
The Green Orbs – “Twelve Steps To Eating Your Veggies” [Thumb Wrestling Champions] Brian Wilson – “Vega-Tables” [Smile]
The Green Orbs – “Robert Broccoli” [Thumb Wrestling Champions]
Dan Zanes ft. Loudon Wainwright III – “All Around The Kitchen” [Family Dance]
Lucy Kalantari – “Our Garden” [Big Things]
The Beatles – “Wild Honey Pie” [The White Album]
Cookie Monster – “C Is For Cookie” [Sesame Street: Sing The Alphabet]
Dee Dee Sharp – “Mashed Potato Time” [Cameo Parkway-The Best of Dee Dee Sharp] Laurie Berkner – “Victor Vito” [Victor Vito]
Yosi – “On Top Of Spaghetti” [What’s Eating Yosi?]
Joanie Leeds – “Sushi” [City Kid]
Raffi – “Apples And Bananas” [One Light, One Sun]
The Pop Ups – “Banana” [Radio Jungle]
The Wiggles – “Fruit Salad” [Lachy!]
The Hit Crew Kids – “Party In My Tummy” [Kids Just Wanna Have Fun]

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Candy Science. Creative-Free Play to Service-Based Learning.

Glassblowing to Mooncakes. Quakers to Ecosystems. Creative-Free Play to Nature-Based Learning. 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 seasonal highlight this week:

Veterans Day, a U.S. national holiday originally known as Armistice Day, provides communities with the opportunity to honor and learn about the service provided by former military members. Chances for community service to support and honor veterans are available right here in our own community, and families can also learn about military history on Veterans Day by engaging in living history demonstrations and activities. Read more in our post, Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA.

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Suggested Events for November 10th – 16th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Nov. 18

Interested in starting a Girls on the Run program at your school? Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for new sites for our spring season. Come check out what Girls on the Run is all about at our Fall 5k, taking place at Smith College on November 18th at 10:30am! Our 5k is unlike anything else. Upon arrival, you will be swept away by the excitement in the air. Colored hair spray, facepaint, joy and positivity can be seen and felt before the celebratory run even begins. This fall we will be hosting over 500 girls, their running buddies, families and many community members. Come and run, feel inspired and take home a smile you will wear from ear to ear the rest of the day! Register and learn more about the 5k at: www.girlsontherunwesternma.org.

Nov 11

The Milltown Artisan Fair on Sunday, November 11 from 11-5 at Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton) features a juried selection of fine handmade goods by twenty local artists and makers. Jewelry, ceramics, home decor and furnishings in various media, original art and prints, mixed media assemblage, textile art, ornaments, photographs, fashion accessories for children, adults and pets, and more. Free admission. A full descriptive listing of exhibitors may be found at the Milltown Artisan Fair Facebook event page. Contact: milltownartisanfair@gmail.com.

Nov 17

The Holiday Fair at The Hartsbrook School: a seasonal celebration and long-time family favorite in the Valley! Enjoy candle dipping, gingerbread decorating, jump rope making, pony rides, a treasure hunt for young children and holiday shopping from local artisans. Fun for all ages. Experience the wonder that abounds at the fair! Saturday, November 17th from 10 am to 3 pm. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov – May

Toddler Story Time at The Common School: Looking for a cozy morning activity for your toddler? Look no further! The Common School will be holding a free Toddler Story Time filled with books, songs, finger plays and a simple snack for children ages 14 months to 3 years. This event will take place once a month with their librarian, JennyKate Marble. This series begins November 8 and continues through May on the first Thursday of every month (note it is the second Thursday in November and January due to school closings). Meet at The Common School library, 521 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, from 9:30-10:30 AM. Please contact Dana Kadish, Director of Admissions, at outreach@commonschool.org with any questions.

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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, 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 at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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
November 10th – 16th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

 

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Reiki Positive: Steps to Generate Positivity

Steps to Generate Positivity

Photo courtesy of BK

Break the trance of fear, then shrink the fear with positive energy with these 7 tactics.

  • Name your fear so it cannot ambush you – All of us are afraid of something, but rather than run away or freeze, fear can open you to opportunity and growth. It’s a useful negative emotion to study and gain more knowledge about yourself. Always lock eyes with the fear, name it, and thank it for teaching you, BUT it is not in charge of your life – you are!
  • Listen to your intuition – Practice getting quiet in a deep trance style, with a drum, or guided, or silent, or walking, or in any way you can coax your “brain chatter” to quiet down. Intuition comes to each of us differently, keep listening for it. I hear my intuition when I write or when I listen to moving water. Search for your inner voice.

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Off the Mat: Passionate Energy

Passionate Energy

Photo courtesy of wishful photog

Winter vacation during a cold snap. 3 kindergarten boys + 2 moms + 1 little sister + local indoor playground = a sanity break for everyone. Climbing structure, water play, firefighter dress up, lunch break. The boys, used to eating together in the school cafeteria, plow through lunchbox contents and are ready to play far more quickly than we are. We suggest they go run around the open space nearby, farther from the tables but still within sight. There’s grabbing and take downs, but all three are smiling and well matched – rules I learned from another mom of boys.

Soon, little sis joins the boys. Big bro pretty quickly knocks her down and piles on top. Her expression shows she’s not hurt, but not happy. Their mom calls him off and running resumes. Then big bro tackles little sis again. This time, brother’s friend piles on top too. And I watch my bright eyed boy run gleefully to join the fun and hop on the pile.

Three boys, each twice her size.

One little girl underneath. Not smiling.

Walking the line between not my place and not OK, I call my own child off with the sharp tone he knows to heed immediately.

Not OK.

You guys are all the same size, so if you want to wrestle and everyone’s having fun, that’s ok. But the rule in our family is it’s not ok for bigger kids to pile up on a littler one.

During a visit to Grammy and Poppy’s, a gleeful tickle game turns to tears. Escaping my father’s grasp, he announces his intent, I’m gonna teww on you to Mama.

He’d said stop. Poppy didn’t listen.

Later that night, my dad and hubby get an earful from me.

You are the most important men in his life. His biggest examples. He needs to learn from YOU that when a person sets a rule about their body, a good man listens. He stops. This isn’t about tickling. This is teaching him about respecting rules for other people’s bodies.

Both understood. Both know my story.

When my parents talked about sex, they always wrapped the details in an unwavering abstinence message. We were good (read Christian) girls; we would of course wait until we were married. I remember vividly one conversation when I was 16 about my attraction to my on again/off again boyfriend, the boy who would later feature prominently in my most egregious #metoo narrative.

What did I see in him?

The phrase I’d use now is vibrant life force. Intensity. The word I knew then was passion.

Mom, trying to bridge the gap, tentatively ventured, you mean, sex?

No! I stomped. That’s exactly what I don’t mean. I knew that’s what you’d think!

Passion, joie de vivre, intensity, vibrancy. We tie them all to sex. Those qualities are certainly sexy, attractive. And so much more.

Yoga philosophy names brahmacarya as one of the ethical tenets of yoga. Brahmacarya. The sex one. Brahmacarya is commonly translated as celibacy. (What?! Yoga philosophy teaches celibacy?!?) This view singles out sex as separate, something to suppress. I find wisdom – and healing – from teachers who define brahmacarya as responsible sexual behavior along with the conservation or moderation of life force energy beyond sex.

It helps me to acknowledge the other ethical pillars brahmacarya stands on: nonviolence, truthfulness, and not taking from others. Like remembering to breathe deeply and taking time to stretch my muscles, working with these interwoven ethical practices improves my quality of life. Hopefully too, my quality of parenting.

So with my son, we are not pushing an abstinence message. We focus on consent. We try to use proper names for body parts and sex acts and answer the questions he asks, which are getting more and more explicit – gotta love sleepover camp! He’s still in the eeew stage (thankfully). But we know that will change, even if he can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that?!

Last weekend, we attended a small birthday party which featured abundant candy and caffeine in addition to cake. Their sugar high was exponentially frenzied. Five boys running and wrestling, tackling and tickling. Close to chaos, yet never spun out of control. And when the birthday boy’s little sis joined the fray, I was heartened to see my son slow down, pretend wrestling with her – half his age & size, moderating his energy to play appropriately with her smaller, younger body.

Maybe some of our teaching is getting through.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ginny Hamilton

Pain specialist, yoga instructor, and Reiki practitioner Ginny Hamilton teaches simple & proven techniques to release pain & restore energy in the workplace, group classes & private sessions. She has put down roots in South Amherst with her spouse and young son. Daily she’s amazed by the beauty the Pioneer Valley offers, though her allergies beg to differ. In Off the Mat, Ginny explores how yoga’s physical and mindfulness exercises help her parent and how parenting shapes her yoga practice. http://www.ginnyhamilton.com

HFVS Being Bilingual Rocks Episode with Guest DJ, Hamlet Meneses of Mi Amigo Hamlet (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Being Bilingual Rocks Episode with Guest DJ, Hamlet Meneses of Mi Amigo Hamlet

Being Bilingual Rocks! is what musician-educator Hamlet Meneses (a.k.a. Mi Amigo Hamlet) is all about. In this episode he shares a great variety of bilingual songs from his bilingual friends, as well as other artists who have influenced and inspired some of his songwriting. And through the music he takes you in a journey of learning about numbers, days of the week, family, things being connected, being happy, coming together and dance, about love, and he closes beautifully with a statement of empowerment, “Sí Se Puede / Yes We Can” a song by his friend and Western MA musician, Mister G. — miamigohamlet.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 3rd & 4th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Laila” off of Happy Land Is Tierra Feliz


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

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  • Mi Amigo Hamlet “Happy Land” [Happy Land Is Tierra Feliz]
  • 123 Andrés “¡Salta, Salta!” [¡Uno, Dos, Tres Con Andrés! En Español Y En Ingles]
  • Laura Doherty “Uno Dos Tres” [Kids In The City]
  • Mi Amigo Hamlet “Dias De La Semana” [Happy Land Is Tierra Feliz]
  • Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats “Una Gran Familia” [Hold Tight, Shine Bright]
  • Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies “Everythingsconnected” [Bouncing Ball of Energy
  • Nathalia “When I grow Up (feat. Daniel Jimenez Afanador)” [Cuando Era Pequeña]
  • Mi Amigo Hamlet “Los Instrumentos” [Happy Land Is Tierra Feliz]
  • Sonia De Los Santos “¡Alegría! [¡Alegría!]
  • Flor Bromley “Las Aves Vuelan” [Chiqui Music Boom]
  • Natalia y La Forquetina “O Pato (El Pato)” [Casa]
  • Joan Manuel Serrat “Barquito de Papel” [Mediterráneo]
  • Francisco Gabilondo Soler Cri Cri “El Chorrito” [Mas Canciónes del Grillito Cantor]
  • Mi Amigo Hamlet “Laila” [Happy Land Is Tierra Feliz]
  • Alina Celeste “Te Quiero” [Love Is Te Quiero ]
  • Mister G “Sí Se Puede / Yes We Can” [Mundo Verde / Green World]

Weekdays in Western MA: November 5th – 9th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 5th – 9th, 2018

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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 Weekdays in Western MA!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 3rd & 4th, 2018

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 November 3rd – 9th, 2018 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our new column from Hilltown Families’ Founder and Director of Community-Based Education, Sienna Wildfield, Mindful Engagement through the Seasons. The latest edition focuses on Learning through the Lens of Seeds. And, as always, be sure to peruse our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Check out the New Members of our After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory!

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 3rd – 9th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Let’s Play: Nature Based Play & Art in Autumn
  2. Seasons at Our Table: Harvest Season
  3. HFVS Halloween Episode with Guest DJ, Andy Z (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. DIY: Mexican Sugar Skulls
  5. Parenting Possibilities: Chores and Halloween

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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Suggested Events for November 3rd – 9th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Nov. 18

Interested in starting a Girls on the Run program at your school? Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for new sites for our spring season. Come check out what Girls on the Run is all about at our Fall 5k, taking place at Smith College on November 18th at 10:30am! Our 5k is unlike anything else. Upon arrival, you will be swept away by the excitement in the air. Colored hair spray, facepaint, joy and positivity can be seen and felt before the celebratory run even begins. This fall we will be hosting over 500 girls, their running buddies, families and many community members. Come and run, feel inspired and take home a smile you will wear from ear to ear the rest of the day! Register and learn more about the 5k at: www.girlsontherunwesternma.org.

Nov. 3

Awaken your child’s capacities! Without rush and deeply rooted, Hartsbrook provides an inspired, authentic curriculum within a nurturing community. Teachers support students on their unique journey towards balance, confidence, self-determination, and making a difference in the world. Come experience the school for yourself at The Hartsbrook School’s Fall Open House, 10 am to noon on Saturday, November 3rd. PreK through high school. Student work will be on display and teachers will be available for your questions. All ages welcome. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov. 3

WGBY Kids Fan Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. puts popular educational TV programming front-and-center with a full day of activities. With over a dozen education-focused community organizations — not to mention live PBS KIDS characters Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat — public television station WGBY is hosting a PBS KIDS fan fair that showcases award winning educational content and provides a family-friendly day of creativity and fun. You’ll enjoy live kids’ music, animals, delectable treats courtesy of local partners, sessions with children’s authors, and creativity stations. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wgby.org/fanday.

Accepting applications for fall 2019. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209 or visit www.bement.org.

Nov – May

Toddler Story Time at The Common School: Looking for a cozy morning activity for your toddler? Look no further! The Common School will be holding a free Toddler Story Time filled with books, songs, finger plays and a simple snack for children ages 14 months to 3 years. This event will take place once a month with their librarian, JennyKate Marble. This series begins November 8 and continues through May on the first Thursday of every month (note it is the second Thursday in November and January due to school closings). Meet at The Common School library, 521 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, from 9:30-10:30 AM. Please contact Dana Kadish, Director of Admissions, at outreach@commonschool.org with any questions.

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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, 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 at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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
November 3rd – 9th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: November 2018

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 2018

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of October. 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!


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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Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Seeds as a Catalyst for Learning

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Seeds as a Catalyst for Learning

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, October 29th with Sienna and Danny talking about how to use seeds and pods as a catalyst for inspiring children to learn about our local ecology.

Sienna has contagious admiration for seeds. She just loves them so much.
And she’s going to help you and your children, therefore, love them too!
– Mass Appeal Host, Danny New

Click on the video below to view.


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).

Sienna’s next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Monday, November 26th, 2018!

Community-Based Service Learning Opportunity: Hilltown Holiday Help!

For more than twenty years local families have received help with gifts for their children through a community project called Hilltown Holiday Help. Children of families with low to moderate income in the hilltowns are eligible to receive clothing and toys.

This effort is organized by Hilltown Family Center and Hilltown Social Services programs in conjunction with the National Honor Society at Gateway Regional High School. Wish Lists will be available at Hilltown Community Center from Monday, October 29 through Monday, November 26th. Children who live in Blandford, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Russell, and Worthington, newborn through the age of twelve, may be eligible. Please bring proof of residency and birth certificates or social security cards for children. Gifts will be distributed on Thursday, December 13, 1 – 5pm, at Hilltown Community Center.

Look for the National Honor Society’s Boot Drive and collection on Saturday November 17th in downtown Huntington. Local businesses, schools, churches, organizations and area residents are invited to help with fundraising and shopping to provide gifts. We can help you give a gift to someone in need in our
local communities. Hilltown Holiday Help has also found recipients for holiday meals, cords of wood, help with utility bills, gift cards, gifts for teens and adults, and other items when provided.

If you are interested in donating or have questions, please call Susan at 413-667-2203 x 311 or Kim at 413-667-2203 x 310

Mindful Engagement through the Seasons: Seeds

Learning through the Lens of Seeds

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” – Henry David Thoreau

In late October, as the deciduous trees release the last of their leaves, New England farm fields, meadows, and highway median strips appear as lifeless patches of summer gone by. For many, morning routines during the school year are hurried moments, choking down toast, cornflakes, or coffee on the way out the door in heroic attempts to get the kids on the bus or dropped off at school while making it to work on time. Once on the road, maybe stuck behind an old farm truck overloaded with bundles of hay or barreling down I-91 towards the upper or lower Pioneer Valley, shades of toast brown and cornflake yellow from breakfast are mimicked in the landscape as it whizzes by.

But are these sections of our landscape really just lifeless patches of brittle brown and bleached-yellow best served covered with a blanket of white snow? We watch these spaces awaken in the spring with emerging verdant shoots and leaves, become a buzz with pollinators in the summer, and release their final piquancy of color in early autumn with a scheme of foliage in which New England is so famous. This time of the year, the liminal space between foliage and snow, is no different with the amazing gifts nature has to offer. It’s just packaged differently and might require a renewed perspective.

Here is where slowing down and taking the time to observe the late autumn landscape might stir a sense of awe by understanding the staggering potential and rich history held in these liminal spaces in the form of seeds and their remaining pods.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Good Life: The Not Quite Empty Nest

Weekdays in Western MA: October 29th – November 2nd, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
October 29th – November 2nd, 2018

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Monday, October 29th, 2018
Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
Thursday, November 1st, 2018
Friday, November 2nd, 2018

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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HFVS Happy Haunted Halloween Episode with Guest DJ, Mr. Singer of the Sharp Cookies (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Happy Haunted Halloween Episode with Guest DJ, Mr. Singer of the Sharp Cookies

HFVS Happy Haunted Halloween Episode with guest hosts Mr. Singer and his 10-year-old nephew, Connor Thomas Martin, is an hour of fun, silly, spooky, songs that celebrate one of children’s very favorite holidays, HALLOWEEN! Mr. Singer plays some of his original spooky tunes and reads a story about Mary Shelley the teenaged author of Frankenstein, as well as playing a song by his friends in the Deep Fried Pickle Project. Connor tells stories of what scares him and what he does about it and gives a little tutorial on the eery sounding musical saw. It’s a rock-n-roll Halloween radio fun show that will get the whole clan psyched about HAAALLLLLOOOOWWWEEEEENNNN!!! – www.MrSingerAndTheSharpcookies.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
October 27th & 28th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured VideoMr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies’ Halloween Concert playing the Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” LIVE


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

The Specials – “Ghost Town” [Snatch]
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies – “Happy Halloween” [Happy Haunted Halloween]
John Zacherley – “Coolest Little Monster” [Twist Collection]
Gene Vincent – “Race With The Devil” [Race With The Devil 7”]
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies (featuring Mr. Nick Davio) – “Ain’t Scared of Nuthin’” [Happy Haunted Halloween]
Elvis Presley – “(You’re The) Devil In Disguise” [Billboard Hot 100 Singles 1963]
Deep Fried Pickle Project – “Cat Came Back” [Green and Bumpy]
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies – “Haunted Haus” [Muddy Water Beaver Dam Band]
Violent Femmes – “Nightmares” [3]
The Who – “Boris The Spider” [BBC Sessions]
Sofie Palmer – “I’m Not Scared of You, Be Scared of Me” [NA]
The Cramps – “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” [Songs The Lord Taught Us]
David Seville –  “Witch Doctor” [The Golden Age Of American Rock ‘n’ Roll]
Dick Dale – “Riders in the Sky” [Better Shred than Dead]
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies- “She Writes Frankenstein” story
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies – “Insane Scientist Victory Blitz” [Happy Haunted Halloween]
Danny Elfman – “Oogie Boogie’s Song” [The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack]
The White Stripes – “Little Ghost” [Get Behind Me Satan]
Donovan – “Season Of The Witch” [Sunshine Superman]
John Fogerty – “Wicked Old Witch” [Deja Vu All Over Again]
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Zombie Zoo” [Full Moon Fever]
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies – “Cartoon Saloon” [Bouncing Ball of Energy!]
The Strangeloves – “I Want Candy” [I Want Candy]
Roky Erickson & the Aliens – “I Walked With a Zombie” [The Evil One]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for October 27th & 28th, 2018

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 27th – November 2nd, 2018 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families. We add new events weekly, so be sure to check back for updates!

Check out the New Members of our After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory!

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 27th – November 2nd, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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Suggested Events for October 27th – November 2nd, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Nov. 3

Awaken your child’s capacities! Without rush and deeply rooted, Hartsbrook provides an inspired, authentic curriculum within a nurturing community. Teachers support students on their unique journey towards balance, confidence, self-determination, and making a difference in the world. Come experience the school for yourself at The Hartsbrook School’s Fall Open House, 10 am to noon on Saturday, November 3rd. PreK through high school. Student work will be on display and teachers will be available for your questions. All ages welcome. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov. 3

WGBY Kids Fan Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. puts popular educational TV programming front-and-center with a full day of activities. With over a dozen education-focused community organizations — not to mention live PBS KIDS characters Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat — public television station WGBY is hosting a PBS KIDS fan fair that showcases award winning educational content and provides a family-friendly day of creativity and fun. You’ll enjoy live kids’ music, animals, delectable treats courtesy of local partners, sessions with children’s authors, and creativity stations. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wgby.org/fanday.

Accepting applications for Fall 2019. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209 or visit www.bement.org.

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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, 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 at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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
October 27th – November 2nd, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Landscape for October 2018: Rhythms of Nature

This Month’s Learning Landscape Illustrates the Rhythms of Nature

The rains have littered the October ground with a crackling sea shed from the maples outside our window. Fall at our West County elementary school is beautiful, as it turns out, and warmer than we expected. Stories about the chill of fall air sit on the shelf, waiting for the cooler mornings to last all day long and provide the proper climate-context for their telling. Even our wardrobes are confused, and small bodies alternate constantly between winter coats and t-shirts as the temperature bobs up and down. Our classroom “pets,” a collection of pond snails, move about their bowl at approximately the pace that fall has arrived at this year, and they devour green leaves at about the same rate that those outside our window have changed. Our caterpillar has come and gone, his quick chrysalis-ed exit to an outdoor overwintering suspected to have been the result of a few days’ worth of boredom in our room. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: October 22nd – 26th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA: October 22nd – 26th, 2018

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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 Weekdays in Western MA!

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HFVS Harvest Episode with Guest DJ, Story Laurie (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Harvest Episode with Guest DJ, Story Laurie

Autumn means harvest time in the northeastern United States. But what are people harvesting in other parts of the country, and around the world? Join guest DJ Story Laurie for some lively songs (including two that were written by elementary school kids!); a crazy tale about a girl sailing around the world on a cabbage; and we’ll even check in with some folks in the Philippines, Finland, and Korea about what they’re harvesting right now. —  www.storylaurie.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
MONTH DAY & DAY, YEAR
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: John Green investigates the dawn of human civilization, looking into how people gave up hunting and gathering to become agriculturalists, and how that change has influenced the world we live in today. [via CrashCourse]


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Holy Modal Rounders – “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” [The Holy Modal Rounders 1 & 2]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Who Grew My Soup?” [single]
  • Taj Mahal – “Quavi, Quavi” [Shake Sugaree]
  • Palo – “Quimbombo” [This is Afro-Cuban Funk]
  • Harmonica Pocket – “Apple Apple” [Apple Apple]
  • Doug Elliott – “Creasy Greens” [Crawdads, Doodlebugs & Creasy Greens]
  • Dog on Fleas – “Ugly Fruit” [Bestest of the Best]
  • Mike & Peggy Seeger – “Oh, John The Rabbit” [American Folk Songs for Children]
  • Story Laurie – “The Cabbage That Sailed Around The World” [Live in Studio]
  • Field recording of a group of girls from Michoacan, Mexico, recorded by Henrietta Yurchenko – “La Bella Hortelana” [Latin American Children Game Songs]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch” [single]
  • Leadbelly – “Pick a Bale of Cotton” [Leadbelly Sings for Children]
  • Jay Ungar & Molly Mason – “Bound for Another Harvest Home” [Harvest Home]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Homegrown Tomatoes” [Groovin’ in the Garden]
  • Taj Mahal – “Annie’s Lover” [Giant Step]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for October 20 & 21, 2018

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 20th – 26th, 2018 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our featured post of 8 Family-Friendly Farms for Pumpkin Pickin’ in Western MA.

Check out the New Members of our After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory!

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS

October 20th – 26th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Halloween Season Inspires Hands-On Science
  2. Acts of Kindness: Adopt a Black Cat!
  3. HFVS Falling into Fall Episode with Guest DJ, Suzi Shelton & Emma
  4. 10 Picture Books for Halloween
  5. 8 Halloween Costume Safety Tips

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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Suggested Events for 20th – 26th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space.

Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!

If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Bulletin Board

Oct 20

Take part in the 47th Annual Fall Foliage Celebration and 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, October 20th , 9:30am – 1pm on the Amherst Town Common. This will be a family event with lots of great entertainment including FREE face painting, hayrides, dancing and drumming, local hip hop and more. The 5K includes beautiful vistas during peak foliage! The Amherst A Better Chance program has been in Amherst for nearly 50 years and has changed the lives of over 125 high schoolers. The community has played a critical role in making this program happen, so please sign up today. Click here to register: www.amherstabetterchance.org.

Oct 20 & Nov 17

Saturdoozy!! An Art Themed Kids Night Out in Noho! October 20th and November 17th. Fun, safe, and supervised, SATURDOOZY, welcomes children ages 7 and up, and will feature a DJ, dancing, games, ping-pong, arts and crafts, karaoke, face-painting, pizza, snacks and a movie to top the night! An added plus, parents can also opt for a “VALET SERVICE” – supervised curbside pick-up, so you don’t have to worry about parking! Admission is $30 (6PM – 10 PM) or $20 (6PM – 8PM), additional siblings half price. Pre-registration highly recommended at studio4noho.com or at 413-570-4491.

Oct 21

Celebrate the Valley’s farms, food, and friends with Kestrel Land Trust’s special 10th Annual 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival! Sunday, October 21, 11 a.m. – 2 pm on the West St. Common, Hadley. Family-friendly 5K race on a flat route through scenic farmland or a beautiful 2-mile riverside walk. Farmers’ Market Festival after the race with music by “The Empty Bottle Ramblers,” local food, products and crafts, plus a live Birds of Prey demo with Tom Ricardi. Henry the Juggler will be there, courtesy of Hadley Cultural Council. For the adults, free local beer by Valley Malt for registered participants age 21+. Get a special edition pint glass and be entered into a drawing for great prizes when you register at 5kforfarmland.org.

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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, 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 at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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
October 20th – 26th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

 

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

8 Family-Friendly Farms for Pumpkin Pickin’ in Western MA

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Where’s a good place to pick pumpkins with the kids in Western MA?

  • Patricia McCarthy Krutiak recommends, “Whitney’s Farm Stand. Route 8. Cheshire, MA.” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Heather Dunham Katsoulis recommends, “Westview Farms Creamery in Monson (Hampden Co.); Austin Brothers Valley Farm in Belchertown (Hampshire Co.); and Fletcher Farm in Southampton (Hampshire Co.).
  • Jessica J Logsdon recommends, “Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire.” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Nancyjo Craig Rongner recommends, “We always go to McCray’s Farm in South Hadley. You can visit the animals, grab ice cream or lunch, and head out to their pumpkin patches via wagon ride. Mt. Tom provides a really pretty fall backdrop as the leaves change.” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Rebecca Sutton Heath recommends,” Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock… hay rides pumpkins, animals and games… oh, and corn maze- so much fun!” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Kate Erickson recommends, “Fletcher Farm in Southampton off Route 10. Free hay rides and a kid play area.” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Amanda Florek recommends, “We are heading to McCray’s Farm this weekend!” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Heather Richardson recommends, “Randall’s Farm and Greenhouse in Ludlow.” (Hampden Co.)
  • Rebecca Trow Addison writes, “I haven’t found any places in the Greenfield/Amherst/Northampton areas.”
  • Anna White recommends, “Howden Farm in Sheffield, MA.” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Jo Buswell Sauriol recommends: “Westview Farms Creamery.”

Add your suggestions in the comments!

Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Apple Love

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Apple Love

After a trip to Pine Hill Orchard and taste testing several kinds of apples, strolling the quaint hills and admiring the artwork, my kids were obsessed with apples. It just so happen to be Apple Week at the daycare. I was on a mission to make apples even more exciting this year and so were the teachers at the daycare!

We vowed to focus more activities on sensory play and that meant more messy fun. We can up with these go-to fall apple activities that are easy, engaging and beautiful!

Read the rest of this entry »

Need Help Paying for Childcare?

FYI: Childcare Subsidies Are Available Now!

The Hilltown Community Development Corporation, funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development and the Town of Chesterfield, is now administering childcare subsidies for working families with children ages 0-5 residing in the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Peru, Plainfield, and Worthington. Parents must be working, or in a vocational or educational program during childcare hours to qualify.

If your gross household annual income is below the limits listed, you may be eligible for assistance in paying for your childcare costs:

  • Household of 2 – $51,200
  • Household of 3 – $57,600
  • Household of 4 – $64,000
  • Household of 5 – $69,150
  • Household of 6 – $74,250

Please contact Steve Herzberg for an application – 413.588.6693 or steven_herzberg@msn.com.

Weekdays in Western MA: October 15th – 19th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
October 15th – 19th, 2018

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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 Weekdays in Western MA!

Save

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HFVS Getting Along Episode with Guest DJs, David Ladon and Seth Adams (a.k.a. Animal Farm)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Getting Along Episode with Guest DJs, David Ladon and Seth Adams (a.k.a. Animal Farm)

Explore themes of friendship and community with musician-educators David Ladon and Seth Adams, the singer/songwriter team behind the children’s music band Animal Farm. David and Seth share some Animal Farm tunes from their albums Run Free and We Are One, as well as songs by everyone from Nina Simone to Kermit the Frog. These are songs that celebrate not only getting along but learning to love and share with one another. After all, we’re all riding on this rollercoaster trip around the sun! You and me are we, and we are one! — www.animalfarmband.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
October 12th & 13th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Cranky Pants” by Animal Farm


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PLAYLIST

  • Fred Rogers “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” [Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood]
  • Lisa Loeb “Say Hello” [Feel What U Feel]
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings “This Land Is Your Land” [Naturally]
  • Mr. Dave “I Will Share” [Feeling Good]
  • Animal Farm “Paws and Think” [We Are One]
  • Laurie Berkner “The More We Get Together” [Buzz Buzz]
  • Sly and the Family Stone “Everyday People” [Stand!]
  • Animal Farm “The Hippo Song” [Run Free]
  • Kermit the Frog & Friends “Get Along” [Sesame Street]
  • Odetta “If I Had a Hammer” [Live]
  • Shiprock and Anchordog “Blueberries” [Shiprock and Anchordog]
  • Nina Simone “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” [Silk & Soul]
  • Carole King “You’ve Got a Friend” [Tapestry]
  • Animal Farm “We Are One” [We Are One]
  • Sharon, Lois & Bram “Skinnamarink” [Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Record]

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