Suggested Events for December 15th – 21st, 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.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider becoming a Hilltown Families Sustainer and make yours a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

Special Event: We Are Human: Family Storytime & Read-In with Megan Dowd Lambert

Join us for a Family Storytime and Read-In with Megan Dowd Lambert, Sunday, December 16, 11am – 12pm. Especially for families with kids 0-8, and all ages welcome! The first 25 attendees receive free entry to the Eric Carle Museum. All families will receive a FREE copy of “I Am Human” by Susan Verde, illustrations by Peter Reynolds.

This FREE family program is part of the month-long We Stand Together Hanukkah Ally Action (www.we-stand-together.org/ally-action-against-anti-semitism) aimed at creating solidarity through pride and compassion,through story-time and a FAMILY READ-IN featuring a curated selection of picture books to spark conversations about empathy, solidarity, and learning about Jewish identity and who we all are. All are welcome!

In light of the anti-Semitic and racist violence we are witnessing in our world, please join us for a reading of the newly released book, “I AM HUMAN: A BOOK OF EMPATHY” by Susan Verde and illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, read by Megan Dowd Lambert. This is an opportunity for families to come together and remember that we are all deeply connected. This beautifully illustrated book “lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.”

Through this delightful reading and age-appropriate activities, families will have an opportunity to show how much we care about all people and have an action to do with our children to bring the message right into our homes. Children want to make the world right. Each child will receive a coloring sheet of a Hanukkah Menorah (Jewish holiday candelabra). Families are invited to hang the menorah in their home to show support and compassion to all people who are targeted by hate and as a stand for empathy.

We Stand Together helps people of all ages learn how to be brave and is happy to provide this family event that helps us all remember the power of standing together and being our truly compassionate selves through age-appropriate Ally Actions. Join us!

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and fruit, along with The Mr. Fuzznogginz Show – the hippest, coolest, funniest magic show in New England. As always, we close out the morning with an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for the organizers, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.

Bulletin Board

Sign Up Now!

Central Rock Gym in Hadley is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks! Great for ages 7-13, our program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, and engage in exciting games and group activities. Email youth.crghadley@gmail.com for info or visit www.centralrockgym.com.

Add Your Venue!

Hilltown Families is now partnering with local businesses and organizations throughout Western MA to help parents connect with the right venue for their kid’s birthday party. The Best Birthday Party Venue Directory will debut on January 1st, 2019. We would like to invite your venue to join our stellar team of spaces that are partnering with us to reach new customers and make birthdays throughout Western MA more fun for everyone! A 1-Year membership in the Best Birthday Party Venue Directory is $150. We have a special discount advertising package for folks who would like to take the promotion of their space to the next level, too! To add your venue, email Hilltown Families’ Director, Courtney Supple-Benoit, at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org to get set up quickly and easily!

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
December 15th – 21st, 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 »

Reiki Positive: Gently Taking Care of Your Anger

Energy is constantly changing. I honor the energy. It’s all around us. There are three types of invisible forces dancing inside us….emotions, thoughts, and life force energy. When we stuff down our emotions, we are creating blocks in our physical bodies, which make us more susceptible to illness. Life experiences trigger our emotions. All of us, kids and parents, need to express those emotions as they rise and fall away. But what do we do with all the people who quickly and shockingly aim their anger at us when we least expect it? How do we stop the “Grinches,” the “crazy makers,” the antagonists from knocking us over with their anger, hate, resentment, negativity? We don’t is the short answer.

We can’t control what other people do and say. And we can’t keep people away. Our daily lives are filled with interactions with other people. We can’t live on an island alone, although some people try it. Isolation is not the answer. Relationships are the connections and meanings on which we create our experiences. But how do we deal with friends, family, caretakers, employers, strangers who are mean to us, who hurt us, who keep bumping into our ethics and triggering our fear or anger?

You imagine yourself completely safe and strong and then genuinely ask if you can help them. Then you simply listen, without defensive responses. You can hear angry people, without allowing them to affect your own emotions. You can also ask them not to yell. And ask them to talk about their anger or pain. Anger is an emotion that is best dealt with intimately, not thrown at one another like daggers, not used as an outward, emotional hot-potato.

When I lose my temper, my friend used to say, “She’s pushing your buttons again. Get rid of your buttons, so she can’t push them.” Thich Nhat Hanh agrees. He says in his book called Anger – to eliminate your buttons, you must take very gentle and deliberate care of your emotions. Hold your anger close and give it love and attention. “Anger is your baby,” he writes. We often push our emotions aside, but that just makes them grow and feel worse, like a crying baby. Cradle and love your baby. So now, I sit quietly, visualize myself younger and I tenderly ask her questions like…

  • Why are you so angry?
  • Were you hurt in the past by something or someone?
  • Can I do something to douse the flames or tame the fire of anger inside you?
  • Tell me how to help, because your anger needs my attention and most of all my love and understanding.

When someone else is making you crazy, then look inside yourself. When someone else is taking up too
many of your thoughts, then look inside yourself. Your anger is crying for you to listen. Self-compassion
is the key.

If you’re looking for guidance and support in raising your little ones, Alison would like to help! Send your questions to: a.vale5000@gmail.com


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Vale

Alison was born and raised deep in the woods of Pennsylvania, where her childhood imagination ran wild and free. As a scabby-kneed tomboy she seemed fearless, yet as she grew older, her fears and anxieties clearly got worse. She attained her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology. As a clinical researcher and biostatistician at a university medical center for 18 years, Alison co-authored many medical articles and observed first-hand the short-comings of conventional medicine. She left clinical academia to become a Reiki Master Teacher and author. Her goal is to forge energy medicine into conventional medicine and share more intriguing stories and workshops. She has an 8-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, and is still learning every hour of every day how to parent.

Weekdays in Western MA: December 10th – 14th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA: December 10th – 14th, 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 Songs That Evoke Special Memories Episode with Guest DJs, Evan and Vanessa

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Songs That Evoke Special Memories Episode with Guest DJs, Evan and Vanessa

Music and memories often go hand in hand, and this is a theme that bilingual children’s/family musicians “Evan and Vanessa” love to explore!  In this program they will take listeners through an array of beautiful music from many decades, sharing special memories they associate with each song, as well as discussing how music can develop a memory that sparks a child’s and enthusiasm for language and culture!  – www.evanandvanessa.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
December 1st & 2nd, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Sun Sun Sun” by Evan and Vanessa


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

1. Cliff Edwards and Disney Studio Chorus – “When You Wish Upon A Star” [NOW That’s What I Call Disney”
2.  Evan and Vanessa – “Sun Sun Sun” [In Our World There Are No Strangers]
3.  Peter, Paul and Mary – “Puff The Magic Dragon” [The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary]
4.  Shel Silverstein – “Rings Of Grass” [Drain My Brain]
5.  The Beach Boys – “Don’t Worry Baby” [All Summer Long]
6.  Elvis Presley – “Can’t Help Falling In Love” [The Essential Elvis Presley]
7.  Evan and Vanessa – “Los Pollitos” [In Our World There Are No Strangers]
8.  The Sandpipers – “Guantanamera” [Guantanamera]
9.  Juan Wauters – “Así no más” [Who Me?]
10.  Evan and Vanessa – “Somewhere Out There” [In Our World There Are No Strangers]
11.  The Modern Lovers – “Ancient Long Ago” [It’s Time For]
12.  Fred Rogers – “It’s You I Like” [Beyond The Neighborhood: The Music Of Fred Rogers
13.  Molly Drake – “I Remember” [The Tide’s Magnificence: Songs and Poems of Molly Drake]
14.  Connie Converse – “There Is a Vine” [How Sad, How Lovely]
15.  Evan and Vanessa – “In Our World There Are No Strangers” [In Our World There Are No Strangers]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 8th & 9th, 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 December 8th – 14th, 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 bi-weekly post, Learn Local. Play Local. for 12 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Counting Birds to Caroling. Birthdays to Holidays. 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
December 8th – 14th, 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. Sewing Skills Connect Local Culture, Local History, and Self-Sufficiency
  2. 11 Ideas for Creative Free Play
  3. Oak & Acorn: White Pine Tea for Winter Days
  4. Western MA Folk Remedies for Wellness
  5. Let Them Grow: The Gift of Warm-Heartedness

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 »

12 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Counting Birds to Caroling. Birthdays to Holidays.

Ornithology to Language Arts. Citizen Science to Placemaking. Dickinson to Dickens. 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:

A fun holiday tradition, caroling events are wonderful intergenerational events that explore choral music with your family and friends. With many songs sung during the holiday seasons rich in history, there is much to learn, plus it’s good for your health and wellness! Download our Nov/Dec issue of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts to discover more about these annual events listed below. Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 8th – 14th, 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.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and fruit, along with The Mr. Fuzznogginz Show – the hippest, coolest, funniest magic show in New England. As always, we close out the morning with an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for the organizers, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.

Bulletin Board

Dec 7, 8, & 9

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. This year, everyone is invited to our village tavern to enjoy traditions from the early Middle Ages to rousing contemporary carols. Come hear ancient songs, see the Abbotts Bromley horn dance, a mummers play and the passing of the yule log! There will be Basque, molly and sword dances! Friday and Saturday Dec. 7 and 8, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 9, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and children 5-16 years, at Amherst Books, Amherst; Broadside Bookshop, Northampton; World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield; at the door or online. Information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org.

Dec 7 – 9

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 7 – 9 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 7 at 4:00 p.m. has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience, and is also ideal for young children. The 40th Anniversary Celebration Performance that evening features special musical guests and a champagne treat for the adults. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Dec 8

As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host a Winter Fair featuring musical performances and holiday gift-making on Saturday, December 8. Holiday crafts use recycled and natural materials and include fairy houses, full-sized wreaths, gingerbread people, and more. All proceeds support the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School library and educational programs. The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing mixed-aged classrooms and an arts-integrated approach to curricula. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery and is open to students throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties. For more information about the Winter Fair visit www.hilltowncharter.org or call (413) 529–7178.

Dec 9

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, December 9. The program begins at 1 PM. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership, with daily round trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield and the hilltowns, including several stops along each route. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Dec 9

There Will Be Light: A Community Hanukkah Celebration. Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 pm – 7:30 pm at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St., Northampton. Join us at 5 pm for two programs: 1. Candle lighting & song circle. Light hanukiot in the main sanctuary and sing songs of light and hope in-the-round with Molly, Aram, and Rabbis Jacob and Justin. 2. Candle lighting & music for families with kids ages 0-5. Join Felicia Sloin & friends for 8th night menorah lighting, story telling, song, and play. At 6:30 pm, a catered dinner will be served. RSVP requested: cbinorthampton.org. $10/person, $7/children 12 and under. We encourage you to bring your own menorah. For more info, contact Merideth Lively: mer@cbinorthampton.org or (413) 584-3593.

Dec 15

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 15th at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com.

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
December 8th – 14th, 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 »

New Year’s Day Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families, Flywheel Arts Collective, & Easthampton Family Center

Off the Mat: Caught Stealing

Off the Mat: Caught Stealing

Been caught stealing
Once when I was 5
I enjoy stealing
It’s just as simple as that.

-Jane’s Addiction

My son went through a sticky fingers phase a few years back. Office supplies went missing from my desk. Quarters vanished from my dashboard bin, too often stranding me at a meter. His actions included a bit of Robin Hood-esque passing on quarters to friends. In exchange for what? I still don’t know. Perhaps simply to curry favor. Perhaps out of genuine generosity. I imposed natural consequences when possible; no you can’t have a quarter for the gumball machine because you’ve taken all of the ones I keep in the car.

Then he “borrowed” a friend’s new marker set without permission. After returning the set with an apology and amends, we speculated on potential social consequences of stealing, how if people don’t trust you, they won’t want you to come back to play at their house. His mind spun all sorts of ethical questions, focused mainly on getting away with it. He argued that there’d be times when you don’t get caught stealing, so it would be ok. I countered with practicalities like security cameras, but also about the deeper importance of self-integrity. You’d know. You’d know you took something that isn’t yours.

Asteya.

Yoga philosophy identifies asteya, or not-stealing, as one of the fundamental ways to engage in the world without adding to its suffering, or our own. The lessons of asteya are obvious in these concrete examples from my kiddo and from my own childhood. It’s been a long time since I had to return the $1 bill taken from the church donation box of my youth! My shame was lesson enough for me to still remember the experience, forty plus years later. Sanskrit scholar Nicolai Bachman says “the choice (not to steal) is obvious if you are to develop inner and outer happiness.”

So where in my life can I do better about not taking from others?

“You interrupted, Mama.” The setting is Thanksgiving Saturday morning kitchen conversation. I jumped into the conversational fray. My kiddo called me on it. I didn’t say excuse me or wait my turn. I interjected.

Ah, here’s my asteya growing edge: I steal air time. I talk over people. It’s a longstanding habit born of the need to get a word in edgewise in my chatty family and to claim space in my male dominated previous career.

Those may be my reasons, but they are no excuse.

I’m impatient. I hear where someone’s train of thought is going – or think I do, let’s be honest – and don’t want to wait for them to get there. I like my ideas and want to share them. Many times, with the best intentions.  I find it easy to speak in public, easier than many. How do I step back and let others claim space? Not speak for – or over – those younger, less privileged in race or economics or education, less comfortable speaking, less verbally pushy than I am? How do I not steal their air time?

It’s easy to resort to punishing myself internally for such failures to live up to my ideals. Thankfully, it’s growing easier to recognize the unproductive nature of such self-criticism. Self-shaming becomes a way I steal from myself, my own peace of mind, my chance to change.

Reading commentaries by my favorite teachers, I’m reminded of the many aspects of not taking: honesty, trust, generosity, receptivity. These are ideals, yes. And they are also tools. Both Bachman and yoga master Nichala Joy Devi take asteya beyond “thou shalt not steal”, flipping it into proactive generosity and receptivity. “Living with generosity and honesty brings material and spiritual prosperity,” Devi writes.

As gift giving season swings into high gear, I’m looking for day to day opportunities to expand my generosity and practice asteya. How can I give, not just material things, but give of my time, my attention? How can I give others space as well, rather than claiming it for myself? When am I giving too much, depleting my energy, stealing my own health? When can a snag a moment of self-acceptance? That’s one I’d welcome to be caught stealing.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ginny Hamilton

Pain specialist, yoga instructor, and Reiki Master 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. www.ginnyhamilton.com

Weekdays in Western MA: December 3rd – 7th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
December 3rd – 7th, 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 What’s New? Episode, with Guest DJ, Danny Weinkauf

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

What’s New? Episode, with Guest DJ, Danny Weinkauf

Grammy Award-winning artist and longtime bassist for They Might Be Giants Danny Weinkauf plays some of his favorite new music from various Kindie artists. – http://www.dannyweinkauf.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
December 1st & 2nd, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Pumpkins (Are My Favorite Fruit)” from Danny Weinkauf’s album, Inside I Shine.


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

1. Frances England – “Into the Wild” (Blue Skies and Sunny Days)
2. Danny Weinkauf – “Pumpkins are my favorite fruit)” (Inside I Shine)
3. Brady Rymer – Under the Big Umbrella
4. The Okee Dokee Brothers “Ukulele in a snowstorm” (Winterland)
5. Danny Weinkauf – ”I don’t want to live on the moon (Theme from Sesame St.)” (Inside I shine)
6. Suzi Shelton – Raindrop (Hand in Hand)
7.  Lucy Kalantari – All the Sounds
8. Andrew and Polly – “Little Bitta You” (Odds and Ends)
9. Hot peas ’n’ Butter – Back to the land (Back to the land)
10. Danny Weinkauf – “inside I Shine” (Inside I shine)
11. Vered “You’re Gonna Be” (Songs for sisters and Brothers)
12. Jon Samson “Imaginationoogy” (A New Kids album)
13. They Might Be Giants “Infinity” (Here come the 123s)
14. The Laurie Berkner Band “This is how I do it” (Superhero)
15. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo “Mozartistic’ (Mozartistic)
16. Danny Weinkauf – “Wiggle wiggle” (Inside I Shine)

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Berkshire Family Fun: December 2018

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 2018

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 1st & 2nd, 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 December 1st – December 7th, 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.

Our Founder and Director of Community-Based Education, Sienna Wildfield, visited the folks at WWLP’s Mass Appeal to discuss Evergreens as a Catalyst for Learning. Find all the resources she shared on Mass Appeal in the latest installment of her new column, Mindful Engagement Through The Seasons: Evergreens. Also, check 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
December 1st – 7th, 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. 6 Holiday Podcasts from the Hilltown Family Variety Show
  2. Nature Table for December: Winter’s Only Green
  3. Family Outdoor Adventures: Stalking Winter Nests & Wildlife Tracks
  4. Hindsight Parenting: Knowing Your Worth
  5. Historical Lecture Series: Immigrant Communities in the Pioneer Valley

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 December 1st – 7th, 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.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

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

Dec 1

Center School Open House! Saturday, December 1st, 9am-12pm. Pre-School through 8th Grades. All classrooms will be open and teaching teams will offer activities for kids and families. A great opportunity to learn about the school for your child. Meet teachers, staff, parents and students. Light refreshments provided. All welcome! The Center School is located at 71 Montague City Road, Greenfield, MA. For more info, visit www.centerschool.net or call 413-773-1700.

Dec 9

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, December 9. The program begins at 1 PM. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership, with daily round trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield and the hilltowns, including several stops along each route. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Dec

Amherst Downtown is merry and bright this holiday season with music and activities for the whole family. The Annual Lighting of the Merry Maple on Friday, November 30, 3pm-7pm is filled with events and activities for all ages at the Fire Station, History Museum and the Commons hayrides, crafts, and storytelling, the High School chorus perform seasonal songs and the UMass Minuteman Marching Band arrives with Santa. Tree lighting at 5 pm. Pick up sacks at the Merry Maple and come back Saturday December 1st for Pack the Sack, 20% off downtown Amherst. Santa and Elf visit shops and street band Prone to Mischief perform around town; starts at noon. Free Holiday Concert by the Amherst Community Band at Mercy House on December 15th at 4 pm. Free Parking Saturdays starts November 24th. More information available at www.amherstdowntown.com.

Dec 7 – 9

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 7 – 9 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 7 at 4:00 p.m. has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience, and is also ideal for young children. The 40th Anniversary Celebration Performance that evening features special musical guests and a champagne treat for the adults. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Dec 7, 8, & 9

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. This year, everyone is invited to our village tavern to enjoy traditions from the early Middle Ages to rousing contemporary carols. Come hear ancient songs, see the Abbotts Bromley horn dance, a mummers play and the passing of the yule log! There will be Basque, molly and sword dances! Friday and Saturday Dec. 7 and 8, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 9, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and children 5-16 years, at Amherst Books, Amherst; Broadside Bookshop, Northampton; World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield; at the door or online. Information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org.

Dec 15

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 15th at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com.

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
December 1st – 7th, 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: Evergreens as a Catalyst for Learning

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Evergreens 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, November 26th with Sienna and Danny talking about explore the changing seasons through the lens of evergreens

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, December 31st, 2018!

Learning Landscape: November 2018

Every month, Hilltown Families features a new Learning Landscape, which aims to inspire learning along with a common theme easily spotted in our surroundings that month. The hope is to bring a little bit of the outdoors inside for inspection, dissection, identification, creative play, art projects, and lots of other educational activities. Download this month’s Learning Landscape to help open up children’s eyes to the unique attributes of each season, and to help them learn how to see these things in nature for themselves.

The November Landscape

It’s dark outside these days, and the hills all seem a little less tall now that they’re devoid of the leafy fluff that extends their reach a little closer to the clouds. While it may seem that the change in seasons signals to the natural world that it should slow to a stop, there are beginnings amongst all of the ending.

This past week, my classroom hung the first few in a collection of bird feeders outside our windows. We’ve tracked goldfinches, blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees, and some small woodpeckers outside of our window, and the bird journal is quickly filling up with sightings. The buffet of thistle and sunflower seeds has attracted a wide variety of feathered folks, and we’re proud to feed them suet from a local farm. An outdoor snack time afforded us the opportunity to inspect our feeder-holding crabapple, allowing us to discover the many perfectly round holes pecked into its bark. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn how to identify the bird species found locally, and are planning to participate in some feeder-related citizen science this winter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: November 26th – 30th, 2018

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 26th – 30th, 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 Peace & Love Episode with Guest DJ’s Wendy & DB (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Peace & Love Episode with Guest DJ’s Wendy & DB

Wendy & DB show us the way to Peace & Love listening to some of their favorite songs and by telling us some stories about Peace that have touched their lives. All Aboard the Peace Train! — www.wendyanddb.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 24th & 25th, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured VideoPeace and love start right where you are. Join the Kindie Music Duo Wendy & DB on their adventure in their “Way Is Peace” music video filmed in partnership with wonderful organizations: Shelley Nyzynski-Reese of A Better Life for Kids (ABLFK) was able to help by providing sign language from students in ABLFK homes for orphans in Ghana, Africa. Throughout the creation of the video, producers Wendy Morgan & David Box were able to draw from many organizations that help young students from pre-school age programs such as Easterseals Early Head Start as well as, high-school-age students in the MYA VX Recording Choir led by Gary Fry & HHW Gospel Choir directed by Daniel Henry and Jean Pinkerton-Hendricks.


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Ben Harper (With my own two Hands) Diamonds on the Inside
  • Dolly Parton (Peace Train) cover song by Cat Stevens
  • George Harrison (Give me Peace on Earth) Living in the Material World
  • Eagles (Peaceful Easy Feeling)
  • Mister G (Together as One) Fireflies
  • Bob Marley (One Love) Exodus
  • Kim & Reggie Harris (It’s all about Love) Resurrection
  • Fred Rogers (Won’t you be my Neighbor)
  • Lucy Kalantari (The Peace Song) All the sounds
  • Isley Brothers (Harvest for the World)
  • Wendy & DB (Way is Peace) Single release
  • Beatles (All together now)
  • Wendy & DB LIVE PERFORMANCE  (If I had A Hammer) Seegar/Hays
  • Paul Simon (Love me like a Rock) There goes Rhyming Simon
  • Wendy & DB (Miracle) HomeEarth

Save

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 24th & 25th, 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 24th – 30th, 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 weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Language Arts to Technology. MYO Gifts to Pastry Gifts., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our featured post from our Founder, Sienna Wildfield, which connects mindfulness and community-based education in Mindful Engagement through the Seasons: Gratitude

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 24th – 30th, 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. Winter: A Time for Sharing Stories and Connecting with Community.
  2. Q&A: 18 Recommended Winter Resources & Activities for Families with Special Needs in Western MA
  3. Q&A: 20 Reader Recommendations for a Rustic Winter Getaway in Western MA
  4. Winter Farmers’ Markets & Seasonal Food: Intersection of Culture, Tradition and Creativity
  5. Winter Brings Opportunities for Inclusive Recreation

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Language Arts to Technology. MYO Gifts to Pastry Gifts.

Zines to 3D Printers. Cookies to Hand-Knitted Scaves. Current Affairs to Placemaking. 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:

During the holiday season, gift-giving is considered a traditional aspect of our seasonal celebrations.  Instead of purchasing a gift, gift givers can also look to the domestic arts, crafts, and visual arts for inspiration in making handmade gifts that encourage originality and thought. There are ways to give gifts that are value-base (non-commerical & creative-free play), support learning, and are accessible through community-based events, resources and opportunities! Resources include Craft Fairs & Open Studios, Makerspaces and Bakeries.  Interests include Language Arts, STE(A)M, Fiber Arts, Math, Mindfulness, and Pastry & Culinary Arts. And opportunities include Glassblowing, Zines, Journal Making, and Knitting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 24th – 30th, 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.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

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

Dec

Amherst Downtown is merry and bright this holiday season with music and activities for the whole family. The Annual Lighting of the Merry Maple on Friday, November 30, 3pm-7pm is filled with events and activities for all ages at the Fire Station, History Museum and the Commons hayrides, crafts, and storytelling, the High School chorus perform seasonal songs and the UMass Minuteman Marching Band arrives with Santa. Tree lighting at 5 pm. Pick up sacks at the Merry Maple and come back Saturday December 1st for Pack the Sack, 20% off downtown Amherst. Santa and Elf visit shops and street band Prone to Mischief perform around town; starts at noon. Free Holiday Concert by the Amherst Community Band at Mercy House on December 15that 4 pm. Free Parking Saturdays starts November 24th. More information available at www.amherstdowntown.com.

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 24th – 30th, 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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Black Friday Alternatives to the Mall in Western MA, 2018

Smart Black Friday Alternatives to the Mall

Download a copy of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA for Nov/Dec. (38 page PDF) for the holiday season.

SELECT YOUR OWN TREE
Local Organic Christmas Trees! Justamere Tree Farm in Worthington, MA, has cut your own and pre-cut Christmas trees available Friday, Saturday, & Sunday after Thanksgiving, and weekends in December. Come by the farm between the hours of 9am-4pm to select your very own locally grown Christmas Tree. Their gift shop, in the post and beam barn, will feature their very own artisanal maple products for sale. Also, handcrafted wreaths and swags made on the farm are available. Experience a wonderful destination and a beautiful drive into the Hilltowns, creating a new tradition with your family. Visit them at www.justameretreefarm.com/trees for more information & directions or email them at welch@justameretreefarm.com.

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Dear Sarah: Helping Our Teens Take Responsibility

HFVS Songs of Gratitude Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

HFVS Songs of Gratitude Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman

Eric Herman gets downright happy in this show featuring songs that celebrate feeling good about yourself and about life, and being positive and grateful. — www.erichermanmusic.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 17 & 18, 2018
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video:

What makes you happy? Have you ever wondered why? Join SoulPancake as they take an experimental approach to what makes people happier and then it a try yourself with your kids this holiday season:

 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • James Brown – “I Got You (I Feel Good)” [James Brown – 16 Original Hits]
  • Eric Herman – “What a Ride” [What a Ride]
  • Schneiderman Sisters – “Three Little Birds” [That Baby CD]
  • Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella – “Hakuna Matata” [The Lion King Soundtrack]
  • Bobby McFerrin – “Don’t Worry Be Happy” [Simple Pleasures]
  • David Tobocman – “Hello Goodbye” [Lemonade School]
  • Randy Kaplan – “My Little Laugh” [The Kids Are All Id]
  • Eric Ode – “Let a Little Light Shine” [When You Smile]
  • Eric Herman – “The Best Parts” [Party Animal]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Gotta Be You” [Make Believers]
    -Story by Eric Herman-
  • The SqueeGees – “I Can I Can” [Veggie Soup]
  • Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – “The Little Band That Could” [Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could]
  • Jack Johnson with Ben Harper – “My Own Two Hands” [Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George]
  • Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies – “I Wanna Be That Guy” [Bubble Wrap]
  • Pharrell Williams – “Happy” [Happy]
  • REM with Kate Pierson – “Shiny Happy People” [Out of Time]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 17th & 18th, 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 17th – 23rd, 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.

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 17th – 23rd, 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. 4 Books that Explore the History of Thanksgiving
  2. HFVS Thanksgiving Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. Learn About 1830’s History of Thanksgiving in New England
  4. Seasons at Our Table: Harvest Season
  5. Living History Museums Bring the Holiday Season Alive!

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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November: A Month of Generosity

Creating Sanctuary Through Shared Meals

November is a month of generosity, with gestures of abundance played out through our community landscape. Nature is generous, leaving our open fields and meadows with a plethora of grass and wildflower seeds feeding wildlife in the winter and delivering a promise to summer pollinators. The cultivated land is generous, delivering a cornucopia of locally grown food from the late harvest. People are generous, volunteering and spreading kindness during the holiday season. Family and friends are generous, sharing recipes and stories during holiday dinners. And the community is generous, creating a shared history together during annual community meals.

During this month there are at least two common threads that run through these gestures of generosity. The first of which is food! Integrating community engagement opportunities centered around food with curiosity and compassion can help to strengthen our connection to place by being fully present in the moment and open to those with whom we share our lives… and our meals!
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Suggested Events for November 17th – 23rd, 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 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 17

Saturdoozy!! An Art Themed Kids Night Out in Noho! 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.

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 17th – 23rd, 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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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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