Learning Ahead: June 1st-5th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 10 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens


Berkshire County

Monday, June 1, 3:30pm – INTERGENERATIONAL WALKATHON: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and the Egremont Council on Aging are hosting a Walkathon at the school on June 1. Students and local elders can come together to make connections while participating in the walkathon. Please sign up in advance. 413-528-5637. 35 West Plain Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Franklin County

CALL FOR TEEN ARTISTS: Teen artists are invited to submit works of any kind to an upcoming community exhibit at the The Art Garden. Following an optional theme of “On My Mind,” the exhibit encourages teens to create works inspired by their own thoughts (or anything else!). Submissions of both 2D and 3D work are welcomed, as are performance art pieces, which can be shared at the exhibition’s opening reception on Saturday, June 13th from 6-8pm. Every teen who submits work will have at least one piece displayed, and teens are welcome to submit multiple pieces. Work must be submitted by Sunday, June 7th in order to be included in the exhibit. For more information, contact csartgarden@gmail.com.

Hampshire County

Monday, June 1, 7pm – NERD NITE: Nerd Nite Noho presents Nerd Nite 18 at Eastworks! Learn about comic books from James Olchowski and stress from Thomas Schieffer. This is event is 21+. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

 Thursday, June 4, 6:30pm-8pm  – SKILLSHARING: Are you or your teen interested in cooking and baking? Let that interest lead you to this free workshop, Backyard Earthen Ovens with Ashley Schenk, happening on at River Valley Market. Learn how to cook delicious pizzas and artisan breads outside while enjoying the beautiful summer weather! Ashley Schenk from Broadfork Permaculture will be giving a workshop to teach self-directed teens & life-long learners how to build an outdoor earthen oven. This is an ancient art dating back 3,400 years in Egypt. It’s also an easy and inexpensive way to prep exciting meals while enjoying your family, friends, and nature. The workshop will cover oven construction, use, and modern adaptations for a variety of designs. You will learn how to create the perfect gathering space in your backyard for this summer. For more information or to register for the workshop, call River Valley Market at 413-584-2665 or visit their Customer Service. River Valley Market, 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (Free to attend, but pre-registration is required.)

Monday, June 1, 7pm – COMMUNITY SING ALONG: Join community members of all ages at the Westhampton Public Library for a community sing along. Bring an instrument, songs, or music to share with others, or just come and listen. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, June 5, 8am-7:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: The Emily Dickinson Museum is holding its Garden Days event June 4-8. On Friday, June 5, there will be a Historical Archaeology Field School Observation from 8am-4pm at the site of the Dickinson family barn from 8am-4pm, and volunteer shifts in the garden from 9am-12noon and 5:30pm-7:30pm. Older students interested in gardening and horticulture might enjoy volunteering in these lovely historic gardens. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, June 4, 5pm-7pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Stamell Stringed Instruments will have an exhibition of handmade and workshop made violin copies of those made by Joseph Guarneri. Learn about the historic trade of a highly regarded Italian luthier, strengthen an interest in music and music history, and engage with your community at this local music purveyor of violins, violas and cellos. Students interested in stringed instruments and music can attend the opening reception on June 4 to see these violins, many of which are available for purchase. 800-766-0936. 18 Kellogg Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, June 4, 5pm-8pm – ART WALK: Amherst Art Walk is the first Thursday of every month! Come downtown to tour art galleries and stores, explore the local art scene, and discover great local artists. Art Walks are a great way for people of all ages to experience art in their community. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Hampden County

Thursday, June 4, 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “The History of Friendly’s Ice Cream” with Friendly’s historian Rose Slate. Learn about the local company’s proud 80-year history. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, June 4, 5pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The fifth season of Culture and Cocktails continues on June 4 at the Springfield Museums! This month’s event is “Sushi and Sake.” Explore the world-renowned Japanese collection, take a gallery tour led by their knowledgeable museum educators, and sample sushi. There will be live music, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and more. You must be 21 or older to attend this event. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

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