Memorial Day: Learning through the Lens of the Season

 

 

 

 


Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.

Dear Sarah: An Advice Column Addressing Everything from Toddler Tantrums to Teenager Troubles

 

Dear Sarah,

The #MeToo movement has me wondering – how we can raise daughters who will speak out about harassment and abuse, and know that it is not their fault? Can you share your thoughts about this?

Signed,
Concerned Mama

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Dear CM,

I am raising a daughter too, and I share your concerns. I congratulate you for broaching this important topic. As parents, we are the earliest and best teachers of our children regarding their bodies and their rights. We can empower them from very young ages in a wide variety of ways.

Here are just a few of my thoughts for parenting all children – our daughters and sons:

Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Early Spring Garden Prep Activities for Little Hands

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Fun Gardening Activities for Little Hands!

Garden starts like tomatoes, pea shoots and other delicate plants are not something a toddler can easily handle without destroying. However, there are some really great garden prep activities that even the littlest of the little ones can help with. Watering, raking, and weeding may be the obvious places to start, but here are a few more fun early spring garden prep activities for the younger green thumbs.


Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: May 21st – 25th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
May 21st – 25th, 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 STE(A)M Episode with Guest DJs, Dan Crow, and John Wood (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS STE(A)M Episode with Guest DJs, Dan Crow, and John Wood

STE(A)M Episode with guest DJ’s Dan Crow and John Wood, featuring various artists singing the praises of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. – http://dancrow.com/

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 19th & 20th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Sick Science! videos for summer science experiments to do at home.


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

Dan Crow – You’re An Engineer [Concoctions]
Katherine Dines – It’s Amazing What You Can Do With Your Brain [Hunkta Bunkta Boo 2]
Roger Day – The Brain Train [Why Does Gray Matter]
Danny Weinkauf – Botany [Danny Weinkauf and The Red Pants Band]
Janet and Judy – Thank A Plant [Musical Almanac]
Dan Crow – Science, Science, Science [Concoctions]
Dave and Oliver Kinnoin – Weightless [Crazy With Happiness]
Lucky Diaz and The Family Band – Gato Astronauta [Fantastico]
Bill Harley – Milky Way [Down In The Backpack]
Marla Lewis – Sedimentary Rock [Life’s Lessons 3rd-5th Grade]
Jonathan Sprout – E=MC2 [American Heroes #4]
Eric Ode – Poor Planet Pluto [When You Smile]
Patricia Shih – The Abacus [The Power Of One]
The Brian Waite Band – Five Cool Cats [Can’t Sit Still]
David Fisher: The Rock ’n Rope Warrior – Jump [Dinosaur Disco]
James Coffey – I’m An Engineer [Come Ride Along With Me]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 19th & 20th, 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 May 19th – 25th, 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.


In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in your marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. Click HERE to learn how you can share your business with thousands of families throughout Western MA!

Recent Grad? Retired Manager or Executive? You Could Be Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

advertise with Hilltown Families

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 12th – 18th, 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. Interpretive Trail Marking the History of the Mill River Flood to Offer Service-Based Learning
  2. Explore Local History and Culture with a Downtown Springfield Walking Tour!
  3. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 19th – 25th, 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

Are you in the business of improving people’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health and well-being? Hilltown Families is offering service providers a chance to spread the word about your services with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. We are connecting Western MA families with the health and wellness resources we need, while also supporting the businesses that make our local economy thrive. If you, or someone you know, would like to be included in this list, click HERE to find more information or to fill out our easy sign-up form. You can also reach out to our helpful Program Manager, Courtney Supple-Benoit, with any questions. We encourage our burgeoning entrepreneurs, small business-owners, non-profit managers, and even our large institutional neighbors to reach out and get connected with us – and families throughout Western MA!

Recent Grad? Retired Manager or Executive? Current Job Not Feeding Your Passion? You Could Be Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Bulletin Board

May 19

Jamie Kent returns home to make his Academy of Music headlining debut! With plenty of surprise guests, and a very special collaboration (and fundraiser) with the JFK Middle School Jazz Band in store, this is a show not to be missed! Named by RollingStone.com as an “Artist You Need To Know”, and dubbed a “Must Watch Artist” by The Huffington Post, one might say the future of Jamie Kent looks quite promising. Kent has toured with legendary acts like Huey Lewis & The News and The Doobie Bros. His latest album “All American Mutt”, debuted at #16 on the Billboard Charts and was the only independent artist to break into the Top 20 at the time. Check out homegrown Jamie Kent and support the JFK Middle School Jazz Band this Saturday night in Northampton! Tickets are available at aomtheatre.com.

Jul 2-Jul 19

Summer is just around the corner! Western Mass Summer Soccer Academy is for girls and boys ages 6-14. Held at Look Park, the academy features special trainings with New England Revolution Academy Coaches to improve skills, promote team play and have fun! Campers will also experience plyometrics training to improve speed, agility and quickness. For more information, call 413-250-7460, email escagel@comcast.net, or visit www.westernmassathletics.com.

Jul 16 – Aug 8

The 2018 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop presents their 8th outdoor, traveling spectacle Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aspiring actors, artists, musicians, singers and set-designers will enjoy 3 weeks of movement, voice work, intensive actor training and work on large apparatus (aerial trapeze, circus silks, stilts, spools) with guest artists from Knighthorse Theatre, Double Edge Theatre and other luminaries of the Valley’s performing arts community. Located at the Hawlemont School in the foothills of the Berkshires, July 16 – Aug 8, Mon-Fri (9am to 4pm) with select evening and WE rehearsals. Performances at Berkshire East Mtn Resort: Aug 4-7. No prior acting experience required, generous financial assistance and scholarships available. For info, visit hilltownyouth.org, email hilltownyouth@gmail.com, or call 413-387-8783.

USA Waste and Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. They are also currently offering $25 off dumpsters for spring cleaning! Dumpsters must be delivered by August 1, 2018. For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email services@usarecycle.com, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!

Puzzled Escape Games, in Easthampton, has been rated the number one escape game in Massachusetts, and it’s because we are different. Not only do we offer the only kids escape game experience in the state, we also prioritize set dressing, storyline, and a fully immersive experience. You and your team are completely immersed in the experiment, and one of our rooms even includes a live after! Come see what all the hype is about and bring your friends, family, or coworkers for an amazing experience they won’t forget. Birthday parties and team-building packages are available. We look forward to hosting your group! For info, call (413) 203-5519 or visit www.puzzledescapegames.com.

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

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
May 19th – 25th, 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 »

Farmers’ Markets: Learning through the Lens of the Season

 

 

 

 


Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.

Jamie Kent & Friends at The Academy of Music!

Jamie Kent returns home to make his Academy of Music headlining debut!

With plenty of surprise guests, and a very special collaboration (and fundraiser) with the JFK Middle School Jazz Band in store, this is a show not to be missed! Named by RollingStone.com as an “Artist You Need To Know”, and dubbed a “Must Watch Artist” by The Huffington Post, one might say the future of Jamie Kent looks quite promising. Kent has toured with legendary acts like Huey Lewis & The News, and The Doobie Bros. His latest album “All American Mutt”, debuted at #16 on the Billboard Charts and was the only independent artist to break into the Top 20 at the time.

Jamie and the boys return to Western MA for this special night, which will feature plenty of surprise guests and new songs from the band’s upcoming album. Grab your tickets while they last, spread the good word, and check out all the details below…

Saturday May 19th
The Academy of Music Theatre
Doors 7pm – Show 8pm
Tickets available at Academy Box Office or online at:
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1620377

With very special guests the JFK Middle School Jazz Band (Directed by Rhees’ mother Claire Anne!) and The FrannyO Show. See you there!

Literature in Context: A Community-Based Education Guide to Rebecca Rupp’s After Eli

Literature in Context: A Community-Based Education Guide to Rebecca Rupp’s After Eli

Download the Learning Map, which links this book to local opportunities for community-based learning.

Daniel Anderson’s older brother Eli was killed while serving in the American military in Iraq, and three years after Eli’s death, Daniel is still working out how to feel and how to move forward after such a monumental event. In order to try to find meaning in death – not only Eli’s, but all deaths – Daniel has created a Book of the Dead. His Book of the Dead is really an old binder, but it’s filled with names of the deceased and their causes of death, all of which Daniel processes to find meaning in both their lives and their deaths – with the hope that he will someday be able to find meaning in Eli’s death and the hole that it has left in his life.

Daniel’s Book of the Dead has been years in the making by the time his story begins, right at the kickoff of what turns out to be one of the most transformative summers of Daniel’s life. Whether its all of his studies of creative causes of death or simply the time that has passed, Daniel finds himself suddenly able to open his eyes and truly see the world around him. He makes friends, begins to see the good in others, and even begins to better understand the impact that his brother’s death has had upon the other members of his family. Luckily, Daniel’s summer of awakening isn’t just a moment, it’s a beginning – and by the story’s end, his momentum is leading him away from his Book of the Dead and towards whatever is next.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: May 14 – 18, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
May 14 – 18, 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

Save

Save

HFVS Imagination & Empathy Episode with Guest DJ, Margot Bevington (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Imagination & Empathy Episode with Guest DJ, Margot Bevington

Margot Bevington of Ms. Margot’s Music shares songs about imagination and empathy in this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. From iconic children’s classics to jazz, hip-hop, classically inspired, and music of the 80’s, many of these songs were an inspiration to Ms. Margot to imagine and empathize when she was growing up. Ms. Margot suggests using art materials to draw what you imagine while you listen! – www.inandoutoftheclouds.com

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

Featured Video: Project by Ros Lukman, re-cut to fit to Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Nature Boy.”


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Margot Bevington – “From There to Here” [I am 4, 5, 6]
  • Gene Wilder – “Pure Imagination” [Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Soundtrack]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Imaginary Friend” [Perfect Quirk]
  • Katherine Dines – “It’s Amazing What You Can Do With Your Brain” – [Hunk-ta-bunk-ta: Boo-2]
  • Liz Buchanan – “Imagination” – [Amazing]
  • Tim Seston – “Wake the Imagination” [Here to Play]
  • John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, for PBS Digital Studios – “In Your Imagination” – [Reading Rainbow Remixed]
  • Two of a Kind – “Hey Little Ant” by Phil & Hannah Hoose – [Connections]
  • Margot Bevington – “Storytime” [I am 4, 5, 6]
  • Brett Dennen & The Mosaic Project – “Empathy” [Peacing it Together]
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass – “Nature Boy” [Fitzgerald & Pass…Again]
  • Dave Kinnoin – “It Could’ve Been Me” [The Best in Me]
  • Stevie Wonder – “I Just Called to Say I Love You” [The Woman in Red]
  • Fred Rogers – “You Are My Friend” [Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood]
  • Margot Bevington – “Heart, Pencils, and Crayons” [I am 4, 5, 6]

Save

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 12th & 13th, 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 May 12th – 18th, 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.


In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in your marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. Click HERE to learn how you can share your business with thousands of families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

advertise with Hilltown Families

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 12th – 18th, 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. Supporting Spanish-Language Learners
  2. In Appreciation: Gratitude Discussions Inspired Joyous Living
  3. Clouds Connect Learners to the Local Environment & Nature Studies
  4. Learning Landscapes: Re-Framing Creativity
  5. 100+ Science Books to Support STEM Learning at Home & in the Classroom

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 12th – 18th, 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.

Health & Wellness Directory

Are you in the business of improving people’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health and well-being? Hilltown Families is offering service providers a chance to spread the word about your services with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. We are connecting Western MA families with the health and wellness resources we need, while also supporting the businesses that make our local economy thrive. If you, or someone you know, would like to be included in this list, click HERE to find more information or to fill out our easy sign-up form. You can also reach out to our helpful Program Manager, Courtney Supple-Benoit, with any questions. We encourage our burgeoning entrepreneurs, small business-owners, non-profit managers, and even our large institutional neighbors to reach out and get connected with us – and families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader?

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Bulletin Board

May 20

Whole Children is bringing some inclusive family fun to Look Park with its fourth annual “Wild Goose Chase” 5K and kids’ carnival. There are events for all ages and abilities, including a chip-timed 5K race, a 1.2 mile fun run/walk/roll, and plenty of kids’ races. The Expandable Brass Band will keep the pace with their festive music as the racers head out on the course. The fun doesn’t stop there. A carnival includes horse-drawn wagon rides with Muddy Brook Draft, hula hooping by Hoop Joy’s Stephanie O’Keeffe, yo-yoing and other games with A2Z Science and Learning Store, games, face-painting, music, and more. Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus and its Friendship Band will also be on hand to entertain the crowd. Register now at wholechildren.org.

May 12

Bring the whole family to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for Saturday May 12th from 9am-1pm for their annual Touch a Truck event. Over 50 big rigs will converge on the BMH parking lot. Spend the day in the driver’s seat playing with buttons and levers, trying on firefighters’ bunker gear, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and so much more! Have fun participating in the scavenger hunt, taking chances on raffle prizes, and playing fun games in our Health Fair. Minutes over the MA border, the hospital is located off Exit 1, I-91 in Brattleboro, VT. Admission: $5 per child (2-12), $15 for families with 3 or more children, under 2 and over 13, by donation. All proceeds benefit BMH.

May 12 – 30

Bring Learning Home with Oak Meadow! From May 12–30, take 20% off their flexible, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 10% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. K-4 is child-centered, playful, nature-based; 5-8 encourages independence, increased intellectual engagement; High School offers challenging college-prep courses. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. Or sign up for a Virtual Open House if you have more questions. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start anytime.

May 12

We Need Diverse Books Book Fair & Playground Party featuring What If… Book Launch: The Montessori School of Northampton and the Odyssey Bookshop present this fun event for families on Saturday, May 12, from 10 AM to 1 PM. The day will feature author Samantha Berger and illustrator Mike Curato introducing their new book What If… at 11 AM, as well as fun activities including face painting, bubbles, and an obstacle course. The school, located at 51 Bates Street, enrolls students from 18 months through 14 years, and will be open for tours and information. Join us and expand your library of diverse books! Light refreshments; open to the public; free admission; rain or shine. Information at (413) 586-4538 or northamptonmontessori.org

Jul 9 – Aug 17

Kamp for Kids brings together children with and without disabilities in a unique integrated model that promotes understanding and growth. Kamp activities include a music program, group skits/performances, integrated water activities, expressive arts, outdoor education, and non-competitive sports. As a fully inclusive summer camp located in Westfield, MA, it is our mission to serve a population comprised of both children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. Not only does this philosophy promote understanding and growth, but it also allows families to keep their children together within one day camp. Kamp serves children and young people ages 3-22 years of age. For more information, call 413-568-8484 or email anne.benoit@bhninc.org.

USA Waste and Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. They are also currently offering $25 off dumpsters for spring cleaning! Dumpsters must be delivered by August 1, 2018. For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email services@usarecycle.com, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!

Puzzled Escape Games, in Easthampton, has been rated the number one escape game in Massachusetts, and it’s because we are different. Not only do we offer the only kids escape game experience in the state, we also prioritize set dressing, storyline, and a fully immersive experience. You and your team are completely immersed in the experiment, and one of our rooms even includes a live after! Come see what all the hype is about and bring your friends, family, or coworkers for an amazing experience they won’t forget. Birthday parties and team-building packages are available. We look forward to hosting your group! For info, call (413) 203-5519 or visit www.puzzledescapegames.com.

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

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
May 12th – 18th, 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 »

Mother’s Day: Learning through the Lens of the Season

 

 

 

 


Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.

Off the Mat: Tell it Slant

Off the Mat: Tell it Slant

Photo credit: Whitney H

In my 20s, a girlfriend introduced me to May baskets. She purchased old baskets from Goodwill or wove paper ones and gathered small treasures like stickers, maybe candy. Then, early on a weekend morning, the two of us would drive around town snipping blossoms to fill the baskets. We only took flowers from public places (we decided campuses counted as public) in ways that were respectful of the plant’s growth, never too much from one spot. Flower glutton that I am, the back seat soon filled with apple blossoms, rhododendron, plum, pear, and if lucky, a few remaining sprigs of forsythia. Baskets overflowing, we’d drive to our friends’ houses, still very early on a weekend morning, sneak a basket onto the stoop. Ring. And RUN!

Don’t be seen. Don’t get caught. And don’t tell. Even when asked, lie through your teeth. I think I still have friends these 20+ years later who – believing my dishonest denial – still wonder who delivered those baskets.

I don’t remember now how many years we did this, maybe five? More? As the friendship shifted more into our 30s, I stepped out of the tradition.

Until the year my kiddo turned seven. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: May 7th – May 11th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
May 7th – May 11th, 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 Great Outdoors Episode with Guest DJ, Andy Z (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Great Outdoors Episode with Guest DJ, Andy Z

Join Guest DJ, Andy Z for a musical journey to “the great outdoors,” and experience songs that teach, inspire, and remind all to look for miracles in nature, big and small. Selections include pop and rock classics, children’s music standouts, and contemporary kindie hits. – www.andyz.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 4th & 5th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “From spirals to spots to fractals, nature is full of interesting patterns. Many of these patterns even resemble geometric shapes. One of the most common? Hexagons. Why do we see this six-sided shape occur so many times in nature? This week we explore why hexagons are so common in the natural world, from honeycomb to bubbles to rocks, and what their mathematics, physics, and biology may have in common.” – via It’s Okay To Be Smart


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

Frances England – “Explorer Of The World” [Explorer Of The World]
Justin Roberts – “Rolling Down The Hill” [Lemonade]
John Denver – “Rocky Mountain High” [John Denver’s Greatest Hits]
Nick Drake – “From The Morning” [Way To Blue (An Introduction To Nick Drake)] The Okee Dokee Brothers — “Saddle Up” [Saddle Up]
Andy Z – “Camping Song” [Camp Andyland]
Grin Brigade – “It’s Spring” [Crazy With Happiness]
Tom Petty – “Wildflowers” [Wildflowers]
Marla Lewis – “I Love To Talk To Plants” [I Love To Talk To Plants]
Andy Z – “Bizzy Bee” [Camp Andyland]
Chicago – “Saturday In The Park” [Chicago IX – Chicago’s Greatest Hits]
Andy Z – “Drink More Water” [Camp Andyland]
The Singing Lizard – “I’m A Little Cloud” [AlphaBeat]
Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky” [All Over The World: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra]
Andy Z – “Galaxy Song” [Camp Andyland] America – “A Horse With No Name” [America]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 5th & 6th, 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 May 5th – 11th, 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.


In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in your marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. Click HERE to learn how you can share your business with thousands of families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

advertise with Hilltown Families


May 5th – 11th, 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 Them Grow: Spring Craft Idea
  2. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  3. Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence
  4. Local History: Greenfield Home to First Dinosaur Museum in the Country!
  5. Growing Raspberries this Summer in Your Family Garden

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 5th – 11th, 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Health & Wellness Directory

Are you in the business of improving people’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health and well-being? Hilltown Families is offering service providers a chance to spread the word about your services with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. We are connecting Western MA families with the health and wellness resources we need, while also supporting the businesses that make our local economy thrive. If you, or someone you know, would like to be included in this list, click HERE to find more information or to fill out our easy sign-up form. You can also reach out to our helpful Program Manager, Courtney Supple-Benoit, with any questions. We encourage our burgeoning entrepreneurs, small business-owners, non-profit managers, and even our large institutional neighbors to reach out and get connected with us – and families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader?

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Bulletin Board

USA Waste & Recycling is a family owned and operated business that provides the best Waste and Recycling removal services in the area! They are offering one month of free residential collection services to NEW customers! For EXISTING customers: refer a new customer and receive a free month as well! USA Waste & Recycling is offering this free service to residents of Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, and Belchertown. With their single stream recycling service, you no longer have to separate your plastic, cardboard, paper, and glass – all recyclables go in one container! For more information, visit www.usarecycle.com, email services@usarecycle.com, or call their outstanding customer service center at 1-800-998-2984 to subscribe!

April 14 – May 6

Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

May 5 & 6

May 5 & 6: Memorial Hall Museum, at 8 Memorial Street, in Deerfield, MA, celebrates ArtWeek with a botanical twist during its opening weekend! Always in Bloom” is a weekend of FREE activities that engage all the senses! Saturday: ongoing workshops for adults in perfumery, floral design, wet felting, watercolor painting, candied violets, and a mint-water tasting salon (each workshop lasts 15 to 45 minutes or more depending on interest) with nearby activities for children ages six and older. Sunday kicks off at 11 am with music in praise of honey bees and drop-in family craft activities until 2:30 pm (outdoors, weather permitting). The museum is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm both days, with a floral-themed scavenger hunt and free admission.

May 6

On Sunday, May 6th, Abundance Farm in Northampton will be hosting a Spring Community Volunteer Day from 10:00am-1:00pm. Everyone is invited to join this day of community building to work on spring projects that will prepare the Farm for a new growing season. You are encouraged to bring a shovel! Free lunch of soup, salad and bread will be provided for volunteers. This event is friendly to all ages, including young families; kids and grown-ups will have the unique opportunity to help beautify the outdoor classroom and prayer space that many of their Shabbat Shabloom families use during the summer and plant flowers for the summer picking season. Bring along your kid-friendly wheelbarrows, trowels and shovels if you have them! Visit abundancefarm.org for more info!

May 6

16th Annual Renaissance Festival: Free – Rain or Shine – Fun for All Ages! Sunday, May 6th, 2018 11am – 4pm in the meadow of the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Arts,650 E. Pleasant Street in Amherst. Theater, Music, Falconry, Phoenix Swords, Tudor Bowery Demonstrations, Weaving, Music Making with Robie Bones, Buffoons, Games, Blacksmithing, Dancing, and so much more! Free on-site Handicap Accessible parking and Free off-site parking with Free shuttle van. Check www.umass.edu/renaissance for Festival Schedule & Parking Information or call 413-577-3603.

May 12

We Need Diverse Books Book Fair & Playground Party featuring What If… Book Launch:  The Montessori School of Northampton and the Odyssey Bookshop present this fun event for families on Saturday, May 12, from 10 AM to 1 PM.  The day will feature author Samantha Berger and illustrator Mike Curato introducing their new book What If… at 11 AM, as well as fun activities including face painting, bubbles, and an obstacle course. The school, located at 51 Bates Street, enrolls students from 18 months through 14 years, and will be open for tours and information.  Join us and expand your library of diverse books!  Light refreshments; open to the public; free admission; rain or shine. Information at (413) 586-4538 or northamptonmontessori.org

May 12

Bring the whole family to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for Saturday May 12th from 9am-1pm for their annual Touch a Truck event. Over 50 big rigs will converge on the BMH parking lot. Spend the day in the driver’s seat playing with buttons and levers, trying on firefighters’ bunker gear, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and so much more! Have fun participating in the scavenger hunt, taking chances on raffle prizes, and playing fun games in our Health Fair. Minutes over the MA border, the hospital is located off Exit 1, I-91 in Brattleboro, VT. Admission: $5 per child (2-12), $15 for families with 3 or more children, under 2 and over 13, by donation. All proceeds benefit BMH.

May 12 – 30

Bring Learning Home with Oak Meadow! From May 12–30, take 20% off their flexible, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 10% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. K-4 is child-centered, playful, nature-based; 5-8 encourages independence, increased intellectual engagement; High School offers challenging college-prep courses. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. Or sign up for a Virtual Open House if you have more questions. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start anytime.

Jun 25 – Aug 17

Join Barrington Stage Company KidsAct! Junior, an exciting theatre program for students ages 7-10 in Pittsfield– focused on building acting skills through fun theatre games, as well as the creation of an original play to be performed for parents and friends on the final day of the program. KidsAct! Senior is an exciting new program designed for ages 11-14 focused on building performance skills through individualized coaching. Students will write their own monologues and be coached on songs for use in auditions for productions in the Berkshires. KidsAct! has been bringing the professionalism of BSC to students in the Berkshires since 2004. Winner of the 2016 Gold Daisy Award for Best Drama/ Theater lessons in the Berkshires, by Macaroni Kid. Register today. Dates: Jun 25-Aug 17. For more info: 413-997-6108; education@barringtonstageco.org; barringtonstageco.org/education-bsc/kidsact.

Jun 25 – Aug 24

At Joy Art Space Summer Art Program, students experience the joy of creating art while developing new skills and finding their unique artistic voice! Themes of the week-long sessions include Exploring Art, Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, and Cartoons & Comics. Summer sessions meet from 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri at Joy Art Space, in downtown Amherst. Full day option available for sessions 1-4 through Amherst LSSE Adventure Day Camp. Classes are capped at 6 students for small group atmosphere and individual attention. Joy Art Space’s teacher and founder, Lily Joy Friedling, has taught privately and in schools for 10 years, and has an M.A. in Art Education from Columbia University. For more information, call 413-345-2747, email lily.joyartspace@gmail.com.

Jul 9 – Aug 17

Kamp for Kids brings together children with and without disabilities in a unique integrated model that promotes understanding and growth. Kamp activities include a music program, group skits/performances, integrated water activities, expressive arts, outdoor education, and non-competitive sports. As a fully inclusive summer camp located in Westfield, MA, it is our mission to serve a population comprised of both children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. Not only does this philosophy promote understanding and growth, but it also allows families to keep their children together within one day camp. Kamp serves children and young people ages 3-22 years of age. For more information, call 413-568-8484 or email anne.benoit@bhninc.org.

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

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 Eventsand 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
May 5th – 11th, 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 »

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Spring Holidays as a Catalyst for Kindness

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Spring Holidays as a Catalyst for Kindness

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, April 30, 2018 with Sienna and Lauren talking about how the spring holidays are the perfect time to show kindness and appreciation towards others through self-initiated activities while learning via community-based resources.

Click on video for viewing.


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

Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Monday, May 28th, 2018!

Berkshire Family Fun: May 2018

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
May 2018

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May. 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, story hours 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 grants from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Sandisfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

10th Annual Geography and Science Expo Invites Self-Directed Studies of World History, Culture, and Science

Geography and Science Expo Invites Self-Directed Studies of World History, Culture, and Science

The 10th Annual Geography and Science Expo is an inter-generational geography fair featuring the work of students from all school choices throughout Berkshire County and beyond. It’s free to participate and open to all, taking place on Thursday May 17, 2018, at the Berkshire Atheaneum in Pittsfield, MA. Want to participate? Pick your country, state or region, sign up, and get busy studying and preparing your presentation! Sign up details below.

Where in western Massachusetts can families sample international cuisine, learn about world history and science, examine foreign landmarks, and collect passport stamps? The annual Geography and Science Expo offers all this and more – and now is the time to become a part of this unique educational celebration!

Held on Thursday May 17, 2018 at the Berkshire Athenaeum from 6-8pm, the Geography and Science Expo showcases the work of self-directed learners from all over western Massachusetts. Participants spend weeks (or even months!) independently researching a country, culture, region, moment in history, scientific discovery and create museum-like displays to share what they have learned and to educate visitors to the event about their chosen topic. Displays can teach visitors about a topic through text, images, and/or models, and can also include experiential components – giving young learners the opportunity to imagine the best way in which to teach others about what they’ve learned. Common experiential learning elements to expo displays include samples of traditional foods and crafts or games derived from a specific culture. And this year, they’ve added Science! Read the rest of this entry »

The Good Life: May is the Perfect Time…

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

May is the Perfect Time…

34936077296_53780f7eb8_nAccording to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the month of May is significant. The Celts traditionally celebrated Beltane on the first of May, later known as May Day: a day half-way between spring and summer which welcomed the return of earthly fertility in the form of flowers. Modern pagans still believe that it is a day when the veil separating them from the spiritual world thins, making May 1st powerful for enchantments, similar to Samhain or Halloween. Northern Europeans still celebrate Walpurgisnacht (also known as Vappu or Walpurgis depending on what country you are from) with dancing, bonfires, and sprigs of tender flowers to ward off “evil” and welcome the sun’s return. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: April 30th – May 4th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
April 30th – May 4th, 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

Save

Save

Día del Niño Episode with Guest DJ, Twinkle (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Día del Niño Episode with Guest DJ, Twinkle

“It’s All about the Kids -Los Ninos” with Award-winning Peruvian-American bilingual kindie music phenomenon Twinkle. — http://www.twinkleandfriends.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
April 28 & 29, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Twinkle Time – “Kidz Rock (feat. Mista Cookie Jar)”


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

Twinkle feat. Mista Cookie Jar – “Kidz Rock-Remix” [Just Dance]
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – “Los Ninos” [Made in LA]
The Not -Its! – “Kid of the Week” [Are You Listening?]
Recess Monkey -“Bravest Kid In the World” [Flying!]
Jazzy Ash- “Big Kid Now” [Ready!]
Genevieve Goings -“All Grown Up” [Do You Know ?]
Kim Wilde – “Kids In America” [Kim Wilde]
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – “Kids Place” [Good Egg]
Twinkle Time – “Dream Big” [Twinkle Time]
Mister G – “Luckiest Kid in the World” [Pizza for Breakfast]
The Laurie Berkner Band – “My Family -Dance Remix” [Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes]
The Not -It’s! -“Great To Be a Kid” [Tag, You’re It!]
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band feat. Mista Cookie Jar – “Magic Believers” [Made in LA]
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Make the Future” [Make Believers]
Andrew and Polly – “Forever Young” [Odds and Ends]
Alphabet Rockers – ” I’m Proud” [Rise Shine #Woke]
Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips – “Inner Child Rock ” [Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution]
Twinkle Time – “It’s OK 2 Be Me” [Twinkle Time]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 28th & 29th, 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 April 28 – May 4, 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.


In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in your marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. Click HERE to learn how you can share your business with thousands of families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

advertise with Hilltown Families


April 28 – May 4, 2018

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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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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Mass Moments Presents a Day-by-Day Calendar of State History
  2. Off the Mat: Water as Self-Care
  3. HFVS Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  5. Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

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Suggested Events for April 28 – May 4, 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Health & Wellness Directory

Are you in the business of improving people’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health and well-being? Hilltown Families is offering service providers a chance to spread the word about your services with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory. We are connecting Western MA families with the health and wellness resources we need, while also supporting the businesses that make our local economy thrive. If you, or someone you know, would like to be included in this list, click HERE to find more information or to fill out our easy sign-up form. You can also reach out to our helpful Program Manager, Courtney Supple-Benoit, with any questions. We encourage our burgeoning entrepreneurs, small business-owners, non-profit managers, and even our large institutional neighbors to reach out and get connected with us – and families throughout Western MA!

Are YOU Our Next Leader!

Hilltown Families seeks a new Executive Director!

Working towards creating a culture of intentional learning, Sienna Wildfield founded Hilltown Families in 2005 as an innovative approach to education and community-development. We began as a simple email listserv for families living in the rural regions of Massachusetts, and now Hilltown Families serves all four counties of western Massachusetts, sharing tens of thousands of community-based educational events, resources, and opportunities over the years for all generations and all levels of learning.

Hilltown Families is now seeking a half-time Executive Director to shepherd the next level of growth of the local organization. Further information about the opportunity is available here: Executive Director Job Description. Please spread the word!

Bulletin Board

May 20

Whole Children is bringing some inclusive family fun to Look Park with its fourth annual “Wild Goose Chase” 5K and kids’ carnival. There are events for all ages and abilities, including a chip-timed 5K race, a 1.2 mile fun run/walk/roll, and plenty of kids’ races. The Expandable Brass Band will keep the pace with their festive music as the racers head out on the course. The fun doesn’t stop there. A carnival includes horse-drawn wagon rides with Muddy Brook Draft, hula hooping by Hoop Joy’s Stephanie O’Keeffe, yo-yoing and other games with A2Z Science and Learning Store, games, face-painting, music, and more. Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus and its Friendship Band will also be on hand to entertain the crowd. Register now at wholechildren.org.

April 14 – May 6

Meet the newest additions at Hancock Shaker Village! Explore the hands-on Discovery Barn, try your hand at crafts, stay for story time, and then visit the Shaker Schoolhouse. Tour the renovated Dairy Ell. Play Barn Bingo. Hear about seed saving and plant a seed to take home. Tour our greenhouses where seeds get their start. Meet our merinos and follow wool from sheep to cloak. Walk and wonder on the accessible (stroller-friendly) trail to explore. Compete (for fun) in Farm Games with competitions like the Grain Bag Toss, Moo Juice Squeeze, and more. Pony rides, face painting, balloon art on weekends. Cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and milking demos. There are hundreds of activities. See a full schedule at HancockShakerVillage.org.

Open House: Apr 29

Young World Child Care Center has been enriching the lives of children and their families in the Greater Easthampton Community since 1980 through the belief that children develop into strong, independent individuals when given the proper materials, challenges, and opportunities. Dedicated Educators welcome children aged 2.9 right through 11 years old. Young World proudly offers a variety of care options to meet the needs of families. Full Time & Part time Pre-school Care is available in addition to a traditional Nursery School Program. Young World also provides Before and After School Care for children in Kindergarten straight through 4th Grade. Make an informed choice about quality care. Open House: Sunday, April 29, 1:30-3pm. Call 413-527-3983 for a tour today. youngworldchildcarecenter.com

May 6

16th Annual Renaissance Festival: Free – Rain or Shine – Fun for All Ages! Sunday, May 6th, 2018 11am – 4pm in the meadow of the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Arts, 650 E. Pleasant Street in Amherst. Theater, Music, Falconry, Phoenix Swords, Tudor Bowery Demonstrations, Weaving, Music Making with Robie Bones, Buffoons, Games, Blacksmithing, Dancing, and so much more! Free on-site Handicap Accessible parking and Free off-site parking with Free shuttle van. Check umass.edu/renaissance for Festival Schedule & Parking Information or call 413-577-3603.

May 12-13

The Archery Intensive teaches new archers everything they need to know about traditional recurve archery, with all equipment provided. Over two days students will learn about equipment and safety, develop consistent and effective archery form, explore the practice of instinctive aim, sew their own leather quiver, and enjoy archery exercises and games in a beautiful outdoor range. Perfect for beginning to intermediate archery students interested in recreational archery, mounted archery, archery as a mindfulness practice, running archery, or bowhunting. The class is open to adults of all genders; teens or tweens are welcome to attend if a parent or guardian is present. Family discounts available. For information, contact mountainsongexpeditions@gmail.com or visit mountainsongexpeditions.com.

Jun 25 – Aug 17

Join Barrington Stage Company KidsAct! Junior, an exciting theatre program for students ages 7-10 in Pittsfield– focused on building acting skills through fun theatre games, as well as the creation of an original play to be performed for parents and friends on the final day of the program. KidsAct! Senior is an exciting new program designed for ages 11-14 focused on building performance skills through individualized coaching. Students will write their own monologues and be coached on songs for use in auditions for productions in the Berkshires. KidsAct! has been bringing the professionalism of BSC to students in the Berkshires since 2004. Winner of the 2016 Gold Daisy Award for Best Drama/ Theater lessons in the Berkshires, by Macaroni Kid. Register today. Dates: Jun 25-Aug 17. For more info: 413-997-6108; education@barringtonstageco.org; barringtonstageco.org/education-bsc/kidsact.

Jun 25 – Aug 24

At Joy Art Space Summer Art Program, students experience the joy of creating art while developing new skills and finding their unique artistic voice! Themes of the week-long sessions include Exploring Art, Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, and Cartoons & Comics. Summer sessions meet from 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri at Joy Art Space, in downtown Amherst. Full day option available for sessions 1-4 through Amherst LSSE Adventure Day Camp. Classes are capped at 6 students for small group atmosphere and individual attention. Joy Art Space’s teacher and founder, Lily Joy Friedling, has taught privately and in schools for 10 years, and has an M.A. in Art Education from Columbia University. For more information, call 413-345-2747, email lily.joyartspace@gmail.com, or visit joyartspace.com.

Jul 9 – Aug 3

College for Kids in Westfield provides innovative and creative educational programs for kids ages 5-16, promoting and maintaining an enjoyable learning environment. Each week from Jul 9-Aug 3 will feature different classes, giving the option for parents to enroll their child in a morning session, afternoon session, or both. College for Kids offers a range of subjects including science, digital media, magic, culinary, and the arts. In addition to returning favorites such as Digital Nature Photography, European Desserts, Super Science Adventures, and The Art of Magic, they are excited to offer brand new classes in 2018 including Broadway Bound, Programming Fun with Python, American Raku Pottery, and more! For more info: 413-572-8557; collegeforkids@westfield.ma.edu; westfield.ma.edu/cfk.

Add your camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

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
April 28 – May 4, 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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Sheep Shearing: Learning through the Lens of the Season

 

 

 

 

 

 


Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.

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Weekdays in Western MA: April 23 – 27, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
April 23 – 27, 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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