Hilltown Families’ Service-Learning Micro-Event Series for Families

Hilltown Families will be hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! This series is modeled after our larger community-service events, with a shift towards smaller micro-volunteer opportunities through the spring at community events, including winter farmers’ markets, in the hopes that these smaller volunteer opportunities will allow us to engage new audiences with service-learning opportunities!

The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm. Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)!

  • Date: Saturday, January 21st
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  • Event: Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market
  • Location: Amherst Regional Middle School (170 Chestnut Street)
  • How to Volunteer:
    • Option 1) Stop by between 10am-2pm with your families for a kid-friendly activity;
    • Option 2) Sign up to help run the table (60-minute slots available). To sign up, just follow the instructions on the page. It only takes a few seconds to do.

To learn more about the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market, visit them online, or better yet, come on by to support local farming and healthy living!

Learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families here: TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement


Hilltown Families Service-Learning Micro-Event Series is sponsored by Easthampton Savings Bank. Thank you to their support of volunteerism and service-based learning for families in Western MA!

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Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!

Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!

This Valentine’s Day, spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by participating in Hilltown Families’ 9th annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Participation is easy – all you have to do is sign up, make ten handmade valentines and drop them in the mail, and you’ll receive ten handmade cards in return. Not only is the event an opportunity for families to connect with others in their community, participation allows families the opportunity to be creative together – an activity that can lead not only to creative-free play, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry and cultural studies!  Read on…

Ice Harvesting: Local History, Literature & Culture

Local Living History & Ice Harvesting

Filling the Ice House (1934) Harry Gottlieb. Oil on canvas, 40 3/8 x 60 3/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor, 1964.1.19

Historically, living without refrigerators in New England required strategies for prolonged food storage and preservation. In the November/December Seasons edition of Learning Ahead, we looked at different forms of food preservation such as curing, salting, and canning. Early New Englanders didn’t have the luxury of refrigerators, but they did harvest ice from frozen lakes and ponds in order to keep food stored without spoiling. The frozen chunks of ice harvested were kept insulated by materials such as sawdust in a dark, cool place so that the ice would last beyond the winter months.  Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Harvesting: Community Events & Resource

Ice Harvesting: Community Events & Resource

Throughout the winter, check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for community events and demonstrations of ice harvesting. Here are three featured resources in Western MA to add to your itinerary:

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge.

Fire & Ice Days is an annual celebration with ice harvesting demonstrations showing how 19th century Americans adapted their lifestyles to the cold New England winters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Explorations of Ice Harvesting

Henry David Thoreau & “The Pond in Winter”

Ice harvesting is embedded within the history and cultural traditions of New England. So much so, in fact, that it also influenced the literary reflections of  writers such as Henry David Thoreau who described the harvesting of ice in his chapter, “The Pond in Winter,” from Walden. As you explore ice harvesting through  living history demonstrations and artifacts from the past, read Thoreau’s chapter on  “The Pond in Winter” for historical understanding from a literary perspective.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Ice Harvesting

Think about this:

What were the challenges of ice harvesting that the modern refrigerator eliminates in terms of food preservation and food storage?

How did ice harvesting force New Englanders to think about their daily lives all year round? (Reread Thoreau’s passage for a hint!) How did harvesting ice connect people with the seasons and their natural environments?

Given early New Englanders’ dependency on natural resources, what challenges did New Englanders face that we no longer worry about given our modern technologies? What did they not worry about?


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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Let Them Grow: Ice Transforms the World Around Us!

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Amazing Ice

It’s snowing here as I write this, and it maybe snowing where you are as you read this. It is winter in the Valley and the Hilltowns are beautiful, the river still flowing, glazed like pottery with ice. My toddler watches hypnotically as the water runs in and under and around. Clear blue water meets white ice; it’s fascinating. Getting too close to ice and water in the winter does not sound like fun with a toddler.  So I decided to come up with some creative ways to experiment with ice.

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Weekdays in Western MA: January 16 – 20, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
January 16 – 20, 2017

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 Learning Ahead!

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HFVS Children’s Songs from Around the World Episode, with Guest DJ Priscilla Ahn (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Children’s Songs from Around the World Episode
Guest DJ, Priscilla Ahn

This week, The Hilltown Family Variety Show brings you Children’s Songs from Around the World, with Guest DJ, Priscilla Ahn! Priscilla is a singer-songwriter who recently debuted her first album for children and their parents.  In this episode, she shares some of her favorite songs from places around the world (real and imaginary).  No matter the language or culture, Priscilla believes we can all connect through enjoying good music together.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Jan 14th & 15th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Charity Kahn – “The Lovingkindness Song”


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
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Children’s Songs From Around the World with Guest DJ, Priscilla!

  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • Priscilla Ahn – “Body Sounds” [LA LA LA]
  • Hikaru Utada – “Boku Wa Kuma” [こころに響く NHK みんなのうた ベスト <KING SUPER TWIN SERIES> ]
  • Caetano Veloso – “O Leaozinho” [Caetano Veloso]
  • African Moonlight Stories Voices – “Babalawo Mo Wa Bebe” [African Moonlight Stories Folksongs – EP]
  • Kishore Kumar – “Ina Mina Dika” [Bollywood Productions Present – The Glory Days, Vol. 32]
  • Neil Young – “Sugar Mountain [Live]” [Sugar Mountain Live At Canterbury House 1968]
  • Grethe Agatz – “Ekkoleg” [Viva La Muerte Soundtrack]
  • Harry Nilsson – “The Town (Narration)” [The Point!]
  • Harry Nilsson – “Me and My Arrow” [The Point!]
  • Mercedes Sosa – “Duerme, Negrito (Album Version)” [30 Años]
  • Deserts Chang – “Bao Bei (in a day)” [My Life Will…]
  • Hui Ohana – “Nanakuli” [Young Hawaii Plays Old Hawaii]
  • Lee Dahyun – “Mother” [Lee Dahyun Piano]
  • Cat Stevens – “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” [Footsteps in the Dark – Greatest Hits, Vol. 2]
  • Priscilla Ahn – “Dream” [A Good Day]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 14-15, 2017

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 January 14th – 20th, 2017 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 22 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Scutes to Scales. Social History to Music Theory., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our featured post of Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA.

Plus, check out our 9th annual Handmade Valentine Swap for families throughout the four counties of Western MA! And if that weren’t enough, we also have our next Saturday Morning Dance Party coming up on February 4, 2017 at the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton from 10am-12pm! And finally, check out Hilltown Families’ new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm.

January 14th – 20th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

ZoologyCivic EngagementTeen AdvisoryRevolutionary WarLocal HistoryMusic StudiesAmerican HistoryCivil RightsService-Based LearningMartin Luther King, Jr.HerpetologyCulture StudiesSkillsharingCommunity MealSocial HistoryPhotographyCulinary ArtsSocial Justice

 

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22 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Scutes to Scales. Social History to Music Theory.

Playing music is a physical as well as mental process, encouraging careful listening and focus. Reading musical scores requires us to train our brain to recognize patterns and decode information. We can get our children started with exploring sound, building instruments, and creating music at the Clark Art Institute’s Music Day on Sunday, January 15. 1pm-3:30pm. In conjunction with I/O Fest this day of musical exploration will also feature performances brought to you by the Williams College Department of Music. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Reptiles to Shays’ Rebellion. Music Theory to Social History. MLK Day of Service to Nature Studies. Photography History to Racial Equality. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week: Have you ever heard the term “scute?” This biological term refers to an external bodily “plate,” such as a turtle’s shell, crocodile skin, and bird feet. Children and their parents are invited to learn about “Scutes and Scales” at this biologically themed nature event at the Hitchcock Center on Saturday, January 14, 10am-11am. This program is part of an ongoing Saturday Science series for children and their parents to explore natural topics through scientific activities. These events will take pace on the second Saturday of the month, through June. Call ahead to reserve your spot. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


ZoologyCivic EngagementTeen AdvisoryRevolutionary WarLocal HistoryMusic StudiesAmerican HistoryCivil RightsService-Based LearningMartin Luther King, Jr.HerpetologyCulture StudiesSkillsharingCommunity MealSocial HistoryPhotographyCulinary ArtsSocial Justice


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Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for January 14th – 20th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Join us for our 9th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Here’s what one of our participants had to say last year about the swap: “I participated in this swap last year for the first time. I LOVED making the Valentine’s for my list of folks. I am not usually very excited about the mail but this event made me excited for the mail to come. This is such an uplifting way to celebrate a day that can be lonely sometimes. Thank you for this activity. Count me in again!” – Carla D. (Chicopee)

Join us for our 9th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Here’s what one of our participants had to say last year about the swap: “I participated in this swap last year for the first time. I LOVED making the Valentine’s for my list of folks. I am not usually very excited about the mail but this event made me excited for the mail to come. This is such an uplifting way to celebrate a day that can be lonely sometimes. Thank you for this activity. Count me in again!” – Carla D. (Chicopee)

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

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

Hilltown Families 9th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Bulletin Board

Jan 13

Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, January 13, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include time to explore Montessori materials, circle time and a story. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Jan & Feb

Start the weekend off right with Amherst Cinema’s $5 Family Films Series on Saturday mornings in January and February! The diverse lineup—including animated, live action, documentary, musical, and foreign films—is sure to delight kids big and small. Travel to Neverland with Hook, visit an enchanted forest in The Secret of Kells, escape vicious farmers with Fantastic Mr. Fox, and make new friends with My Neighbor Totoro. Go on an adventure with Buttercup and Westly in The Princess Bride, laugh along with Buster Keaton in The General, and meet classic cartoon characters in The Looney Tunes Revue. Take flight with Winged Migration and sing from the mountaintops with The Sound of Music. For more information, visit www.amherstcinema.org.

Open House: Jan 21

Open House! Nonotuck Community School. Jan. 21, Sat. 10am-12:30pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months-5 years. Tours for grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Open 7:30am–5:30pm. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for 40 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Dr., Florence in Northampton. For more information visit www.nonotuck.org or contact them at 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org.

Jan 21

Makerspace at The Hartsbrook School − Learn a new skill or craft! Make a design in 3D software (TinkerCAD) and print your creations, or experiment with Ozobots, Little Bits electronics and Sphero. Create a chain mail craft, learn to knit or take a fine arts class. Children and adults are welcome. This event is also an open house where interested families can learn more about the school, the academics, the practical arts and the land stewardship program. Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on teaching firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. Saturday, January 21st, 10am to 12noon. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908, www.hartsbrook.org

Accepting applications for fall 2017. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 210 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

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 info@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
January 14th – 20th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an EventCultural 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 »

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! Beginning the series with a New Year’s Day Music Party that was our best party to date, we will be continuing on Saturday, February 4, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall!

As always, we’ll have a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit. After the breakfast, we’ll be joined by special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. They’ll get you moving, smiling, laughing and singing. Get ready for tempo changes! Then the kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party!

These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families’ Service-Learning Micro-Event Series for Families

Hilltown Families will be hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! This series is modeled after our larger community-service events, with a shift towards smaller micro-volunteer opportunities through the spring at community events, including winter farmers’ markets, in the hopes that these smaller volunteer opportunities will allow us to engage new audiences with service-learning opportunities!

The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm. Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)!

  • Date: Saturday, January 21st
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  • Event: Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market
  • Location: Amherst Regional Middle School (170 Chestnut Street)
  • How to Volunteer:
    • Option 1) Stop by between 10am-2pm with your families for a kid-friendly activity;
    • Option 2) Sign up to help run the table (60-minute slots available). To sign up, just follow the instructions on the page. It only takes a few seconds to do.

To learn more about the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market, visit them online, or better yet, come on by to support local farming and healthy living!

Learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families here: TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement


Hilltown Families Service-Learning Micro-Event Series is sponsored by Easthampton Savings Bank. Thank you to their support of volunteerism and service-based learning for families in Western MA!

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Martin Luther King Jr. & The Power of Voice

Inspiration through Voice:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for an end to racism and the enacting of civil rights legislation (see the short documentary, The March). From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., King’s speech was delivered to an audience of over 250,000 people. The speech, now known as “I Have a Dream,” is considered one of the most important moments in the American Civil Rights Movement.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January), take a moment to read (or listen to!) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.” This speech is a defining example of the power of voice. It is a reminder of how words, voice, stories, ideas have the ability to inspire and enact positive social change to better our communities and make them more resilient and compassionate.

King’s speech speaks to the value and importance of kindness through civic engagement and community service. Finding ways to serve your local community also reveals opportunities to learn something new, meet neighbors and engage in intergenerational dialogue with others. Community service is an empowering action. Not only does it enrich our local communities, but it also enriches our own experience through the learning of new skills and activities.


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

Annual MLK Jr. Community Celebrations in Western MA

Annual MLK Jr. Celebrations in Western MA

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against civil injustice and fought for the civil rights of black Americans. His work to create a just and peaceful society is a reminder of how important civic engagement and service is in sparking positive social change and the formation of ethical communities that champion diversity, openness, compassion, and solidarity. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, many organizations and volunteers dedicate themselves to a day of community service in honor of his commitment to social justice.

On the 3rd Monday in January, the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day offers families a three-day weekend – a treasure that can be used to engage in meaningful community-based learning opportunities. Families can take advantage of this special day honoring Dr. King’s work and lasting impact on our country by taking part in community celebrations, giving their time to be part of a day of service, or attending educational screenings and performances.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: The Power of Voice

9th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 9th Annual
Community Handmade Valentine Swap

It’s that time of the year again! For the past nine years, Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. Sign up below!  It’s FREE to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts!

A handmade valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive handmade valentines from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if your kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility. All are welcomed!

Deadline to sign up (below) is Wednesday, February 1st. On Friday (2/3/17), you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your valentines off by Feb. 7th.

If interested in participating this year, the information below must be filled out and submitted by Wednesday, February 1st, 2017.  Participation is free and open to all residents living in the four counties of Western MA, including Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire & Hampden counties.

If you have multiple children and would like each one to receive their own list of families to swap with, please register each person separately.

Click here to sign up!

Weekdays in Western MA: January 7 – 13, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
January 7 – 13, 2017

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.

Save

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HFVS Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano (Radio Show/Podcast) (Rebroadcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Doo-Wop Episode
with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano

LISTEN TO PODCAST:

Preschool of Rock takes you on a magical musical journey from the late 1940’s to present day music.

Michael Napolitano hosts the show with his father, Tony Napolitano. Their musical experiences span 7 decades from Tony’s childhood singing Doo-wop on street corners in Newark NJ to Michael’s youth Rocking drums in the basement! With songs like Preschool of Rock’s Family Song they discuss how the Napolitano Family continues this musical lineage as Michael’s children sing on this track with their parents and grandparents. From Bobby Darin to Led Zeppelin, this show is certain to educate and entertain. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes!!

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

Featured video: Michael & Tony Napolitano. – www.preschoolofrock.com


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • The Young Rascals – “A Beautiful Morning” [The Rascals]
  • Preschool of Rock – “The Family Song” [Everything Makes a Sound]
  • The Ideals – “Do I Have The Right” [Doo-Wop Treasures Volume 5]
  • Glenn Miller Orchestra – “In the Mood” [N/A]
  • Bobbly Darin – “Splish Splash” – [Bobby Darin]
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) – Simon & Garfunkel [The Best of Simon &
    Garfunkel]
  • The Beatles – “Penny Lane” [Magical Mystery Tour]
  • Preschool of Rock – “Cupcake Song” – [Everything Makes a Sound]
  • Chicago – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” [Chicago Transit Authority]
  • Led Zeppelin – “Rock and Roll” [Led Zeppelin IV]
  • Bob Marley – “Roots, Rock, Reggae” [Rastaman Vibration]
  • Medeski, Martin & Wood – “Let’s Go Everywhere” [Let’s Go Everywhere]
  • Tito Puente – “Ran Kan Kan” [Single]
  • Preschool of Rock – “Safari Song” [Everything Makes a Sound]

[Originally Aired January 26th & 27th, 2013]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 7-8, 2017

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 January 7th-13th, 2017 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 25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Meteorology to Mixed Media. Basketball to Tea., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our featured post of 2017 Winter/Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA.

January 7 – January 13, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Winter SportsNordic SkiingMindfulnessJapanese CultureLEGOSSTEMArt StudiesBasketballAnimal StudiesCivic EngagementGamesJewish CultureSleep ScienceParent SupportSkillsharingAromatherapyTheater HistoryLearning DifferencesWomen’s History

    

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25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Meteorology to Mixed Media. Basketball to Tea.

Learn about Jewish culture through the lens of food by screening three short films at the Yiddish Book Center on Sunday, January 8, 2pm. The center will be showing In The Last Blintz, Life and Hummus, and Bagels in the Blood. These films will explore Jewish food culture from New York, to Israel and Palestine, to Montreal. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tea Ceremony to Sports History. Ornithology to Nutritional Anthropology. Aromachology to Dyslexia. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Card games challenge your logical reasoning abilities, sometimes also involving mathematics and various social skills. Playing games in general is a great way to connect with your kids in a low-tech way, without screen technology. Do you or your kids like to collect card games? Kids and parents are invited to Make It Springfield to meet and play collectible card games on Sunday, January 8, 12pm-2pm. Challenge your brain by learning a new game, while meeting new families with shared interests. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


Winter SportsNordic SkiingMindfulnessJapanese CultureLEGOSSTEMArt StudiesBasketballAnimal StudiesCivic EngagementGamesJewish CultureSleep ScienceParent SupportSkillsharingAromatherapyTheater HistoryLearning DifferencesWomen’s History


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Suggested Events for January 7th-13th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!” – Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

“Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!” – Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Jan 7

Amherst Montessori School invites parents to an Open House on Saturday, January 7th at 10am. Meet teachers and administrators, tour AMS’ beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. Amherst Montessori is a warm, safe, and supportive community that nurtures a lifelong love of learning. Learn more and register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Accepting applications for fall 2017. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 210 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

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 info@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
January 7 – January 13, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

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Winter Explorations of Local Places: Winter Sports

Winter Sports in the Snow & on the Ice

https://c4.staticflickr.com/5/4049/4387341963_4c6626725e_o.jpgFor some, winter is greeted with a sense of reluctance – gone are the bright sunny days of summer filled with lush deciduous trees, rushing streams, colorful wildflowers, and easy temperatures. Instead, the natural landscape changes completely as do our routines and recreational activities. Whereas summer is boisterous and full, winter is quiet and still – similar to how snow quietly builds on the ground during a storm – it’s a part of what makes wintertime feel so magical.

How do we experience the outdoors during a time of year when we are often so inclined to stay indoors, looking at the outside world from the window?

https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8357/8325168305_7e98014694_o.jpgThere are many ways to remain active and engaged with the outdoors during the winter season. Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing are a few examples of different activities that encourage New Englanders to get outside, stay fit, and maintain a healthy lifestyle while connecting them to local places during the cold winter months. Although the equipment for these winter sports has changed since their original inception due to advanced technology and contemporary materials, the basic principle has stayed the same Additionally, many of these winter activities have a history deeply rooted in New England’s past thereby connecting them to our local traditions and culture!


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for places to ski, skate and snowshoe in Western MA.

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Nordic Skiing in Western MA

Nordic Skiing in Western MA

Accessible to skiers of all ages and abilities, nordic skiing is a favorite winter activity locally. Skiers young, old, inexperienced, and expert can take advantage of local trail systems, equipment rentals, classes, and special community events in order to experience the magic that nordic skiing adds to a Western Massachusetts winter.

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Originating in snowy Scandinavia, nordic skiing has been a competitive sport since the 18th century. It provides access to nature during the winter as well as the chance to explore local outdoor places and trail systems in Western Massachusetts. Many of the nordic ski centers in our region offer lessons to beginners to help inexperienced skiers learn the basic techniques of cross-country skiing. In addition to being a fun winter sport that maintains physical fitness, it is also a way to connect with friends, neighbors and the local community whether out on the trails or warming up in the ski lodge! Read the rest of this entry »

Alpine Skiing in Western MA

Alpine Skiing in Western MA

Different from nordic skiing in equipment and technique, alpine skiing is about speed. In alpine skiing the entire boot is attached to your ski whereas in nordic skiing only the toe of the boot is attached. Nordic skiers slowly traverse a variety of terrain via trail system or off trail whereas alpine skiers go down a mountain at a higher rate of speed.

Interestingly, skiing has origins in ancient history. Wooden planks of various shapes and sizes preserved in bogs in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway point to a certain form of skiing used to traverse snowy terrain in colder countries. In fact, some fragments of these earlier skis have been carbon dated to around 8,000-7,000 BCE! However, what we now refer to as downhill skiing began with Norwegian Sondre Norheim (1825-1897), considered a pioneer in modern skiing. His contribution included a design of different bindings and skis with curved sides to facilitate turns; as well as the Telemark ski technique (named after the Telemark region of Norway) which combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Skating in Western MA

Ice Skating in Western MA

https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7024/6720457523_7b45c310f5_o.jpgIce skating is an activity that takes practice, but even for beginner skaters it’s still a fun activity to try with a group of friends! Rinks offer neighbors and friends a chance to come together and engage in a new or beloved activity. There are many rinks, outdoor and indoor, for ice skating in Western Massachusetts. Note that the conditions of outdoor rinks can vary daily based on the weather.

The earliest form of ice skating is thought to date back to about 3,000 years ago in Finland. The original skates used were constructed with lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots.

Skating as we understand it today originated when steel blades were added to the skates by the Dutch in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Dutch sharpened the edges of the blades to aid movement. In fact, the word “Skate” derives from the Dutch word “schaats” which means leg bone – referring to the original skate material that steel replaced.

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Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S. Whether you like to skate slow or fast, practice turns or hold onto the wall as you go, there’s fun for all to be had on an ice skating rink.  Read the rest of this entry »

History of Snowshoeing

History of Snowshoeing

https://c6.staticflickr.com/5/4051/4312064157_815c3a8582_o.jpgDid you know that snowshoeing was practiced 6,000 years ago? The world’s oldest known snowshoe was discovered in September 2016 at an altitude of 10,280 ft on the Gurgler Eisjoch glacier close to the Italian-Austrian border.

While snowshoes are used recreationally in modern day New England, the original  intended use of snowshoes was survival-based, allowing people to travel and hunt in  the winter on foot, across snowy terrain. The Native Americans developed the traditional webbed design with some of the earliest snowshoe designs measuring over 7 feet long! Their design was modeled on the observation of particular animals who were able to swiftly move through deep powdery snow.

European settlers, hunters, and trappers observed the Native American snowshoes and began to use and produce them as well.  Often these were made with white ash frames and untanned animal hide.

As industry continued to flourish in the 1900’s and cities began manufacturing more goods, the need to hunt and trap food in the winter became less of a necessity.  As a result, the snowshoe’s role in human history shifted from being functional to recreational.  Snowshoes became a way for winter hikers and walkers to experience the outdoors. The materials have also changed from wooded frames to aluminum, which allow the snowshoes to be lighter and more comfortable to wear.


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts to learn more about the history of winter sports, including ice skating, nordic and alpine skiing.

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