45 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Ice Harvesting to Quantum Physics. MakerSpace to Ballet.

Animal Adaptations to Phenology. Shakespeare to Paddington Bear. Classical Piano to Hip Hop.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 weekArtZoo opens at the Berkshire Museum this weekend. Set out on an adventure at this family-friendly exhibition that explores a magnificent menagerie of creatures portrayed in photograph, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more! Grouped by species, as in a real zoo, ArtZoo at the Berkshire Museum features wild animals from every corner of the world. Scientific specimens – a pair of real sea turtles, a life-size ostrich skeleton, and enormous 10-inch eggs – provide an unmatched visual and educational experience. Interactive activities like Animal Yoga, a live monitor lizard, games, and a zoo quest are also included. Visitors of all ages will marvel at the variety of ways artists have chosen to portray animals. Since many of the objects are from the Museum’s permanent collection, ArtZoo provides a fun and unique opportunity to view some of these rarely seen items. The exhibit begins on January 23, 2016 and will be on display through May 1, 2016 at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Animal StudiesNature StudiesHikingDendrologySnow SportsAdaptive SportsSocial JusticeCanadian StudiesColonial HistoryIce HarvestingLocal HistoryHuman StudiesWorld HistoryBalletMakerSpaceQuantum PhysicsComputer CodingMusic StudiesUpcyclingQuiltingLiteracyPhilosophyCommunity ConnectionsCommunity MealParenting SkillsTheater StudiesOpera


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Animal Studies

ADAPTATIONS
Saturday, January 23, 10:30am
Should I stay or should I go? And, if I stay, should I sleep or not? These are some basic questions answered by adaptations that animals have evolved for surviving winter in cold climates. Pam Snow will address these issues and more through stories and hand-puppet activities in a special Sprouts Storytime at Belding Memorial Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main Street, Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

BLACK BEARS
Saturday, January 23, 1pm-2pm
It is now relatively common to see a black bear in Western Massachusetts, but this wasn’t always so. The state’s population has grown forty-fold in as many years. In “Black Bears: An Introduction to your Neighbors,” Ralph Taylor, MassWildlife Connecticut Valley District Supervisor, will describe the history and status of the American black bear in Massachusetts, current research, human/bear conflicts, and tips on coexisting with black bears. In the Great Hall at the Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

EXOTIC SPECIES
Saturday, January 23, 5pm-7pm
Look a rhinoceros in the eye, watch a jaguar attack a caiman, and get up close and personal with a live monitor lizard during a Family Friendly Preview Party of the Berkshire Museum‘s new ArtZoo exhibit. Set up by species, like a real zoo, animals are portrayed in photos, paintings, sculptures, ceramic, video, and more. There are also scientific specimens and interactive stations. How does each artist capture the essence of the creature in the chosen medium? Can you do a butterfly pose? Come learn about wild animals and art in the warmth and safety of the museum. RSVP. 413-443-7171, ext. 313. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (FREE Members, $ Non-members)

OWLS
Saturday, January 23, 5pm-7pm
Enjoy a shadow-puppet presentation of Jane Yolen’s classic book Owl Moon and learn about the seven species of owl that live in Massachusetts. What species is in the book and puppet show? Then, go outside to call for owls in the winter woods. With luck, some will answer, but they may not be the same species as in the book/show. After, sip hot chocolate and nibble on a snack. At the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Suitable for kids 5-10. Registration required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($)

ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS
Saturday, January 23, 6:30pm-8:30pm
The natural world looks, feels, and sounds different in the dark. Step into the moonlit night on snowshoes with staff from the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center for a Full Moon Family Adventure. Learn how animals find their way, and some their prey, in minimal light. (Hint: they have special adaptations, whether physical or behavioral.) The program meets inside the cozy yurt behind the Visitor Center and returns to the center for cocoa and snacks around the woodstove afterward. Snowshoes provided; no previous experience necessary. Bring water; wear light-weight waterproof pants and warm socks and boots; and dress in layers that can be shed with movement. For ages 7 and older. Registration required. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA. ($$)

GROUNDHOGS
Friday, January 29, 10:30am-11:30am
Meet some of the wildlife that share the Connecticut River watershed with us during the Great Falls Discovery Center‘s Kidleidoscope programs on Four Fridays in January. Each program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft. This week’s animal is the groundhog, or woodchuck. When groundhogs are hibernating, they take a breath only once every minute! Meet in the Great Hall. Recommended for ages 3-6 with a caregiver. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Nature Studies/Hiking

PHENOLOGY/TRACKING
Saturday, January 23, 9am-12:30pm
Join Mass Audubon for a moderately strenuous hike on snowshoes at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The three-mile round-trip trek leads to a 50-mile view atop Lenox Mountain (2,126 feet). Along the way, you’ll pass through a northern hardwood forest, tracking wildlife and identifying trees by their bark. The winter woods, barren of leaves, reveal secrets that are kept in summer. Bring your own snowshoes or borrow theirs. Cross-country ski poles or trekking poles are recommended. Best suited for teens and adults. 413-637-0320. 427 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE Members and Lenox Residents, <$ Non-members)

CREATIVE FREE PLAY/HIKE
Saturday, January 23, 10am-11am
Learn how to introduce your child to nature confidently on a First Child in the Woods: Caregiver and Infant/Toddler Walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Exploring nature promotes creativity and problem-solving and is a great bonding activity for families. Dress for the weather. For ages birth-5. Registration required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Dendrology

TREE IDENTIFICATION
Saturday, January 23, 10am-2pm
When the leaves have fallen, what are we left with to identify trees and shrubs? Bark, branching patterns, and habitat for a few things. In “Bare Trees and Naked Shrubs: An Introduction to Woody Plants in Winter,” teacher/naturalist Boot Boutwell will share secrets for figuring out who’s who in the winter landscape. The programs will start inside, continue outdoors to look at 15-20 specimens, and finish inside with a twig quiz and hot drink. At the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. For lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Registration required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Snow Sports

With winter truly upon us here in western Massachusetts, families are gearing up for ski season! Take advantage of the many properties and trail systems catering to crosscountry skiing during the winter months. Families can find lessons, equipment rentals, and opportunities to explore the wintry landscape by tapping into local resources for crosscountry skiing! Read more in our post, 6 Western MA Cross-Country Ski Resources.

SKIING/SNOWSHOEING
Saturday, January 23, 10am-3pm
Have you been wanting to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing but don’t know how to start? Come to Winter Trails Day at Notchview Reservation and learn how to enjoy these fun ways to exercise outdoors in winter! Free ski and snowshoe lessons, wax clinic, tips on dressing for winter sports, and snowshoe hike. Half-price trail passes allow use of skis and snowshoes for two hours. Quantities limited; first-come, first-served. 413-684-0148. Route 9, Windsor, MA. (<$)

SNOWSHOEING
Saturday, January 23, 10:30am-12noon
Have you been trying to keep your family more active this winter? Join Mass Audubon for a family hike on snowshoes at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Snowshoeing is an easy-to-learn sport for all ages that promotes physical activity and social interaction. Start with an introduction to equipment and safety, then head out for a trek through wetlands and across gentle slopes. Dress warmly and in layers. Bring snowshoes if you have them. A limited number of adult and child snowshoes are available if reserved ahead of time. Suitable for children ages 5-12 and their caregivers. 413-637-0320. 427 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Making winter recreation accessible to all, local organizations are offering a wide array of opportunities for community members of all abilities to participate in inclusive recreational opportunities. From sled hockey and skiing to basketball and bowling, children and adults of all abilities can find activities to match their interests! Read more in our post, Winter Brings Opportunities for Inclusive Recreation.

ADAPTIVE SPORTS
Saturday, January 23, 11am-3pm
People of all abilities can enjoy outdoor winter activities at Wendell State Forest. All Out Adventures will provide instruction, adaptive equipment, and assistance for accessible snowshoeing, kicksledding, sit cross-country skiing, sled skating, and snowmobile rides. Discover the thrill of playing in the snow! Pre-registration required. Dependent on snow/ice conditions. 413-584-2052. 392 Montague Road, Wendell, MA. (FREE)

SNOWSHOEING
Sunday, January 24, 1pm-3pm
The Berkshire Natural Resources Council is holding a Snow Shoe Clinic for all ages at Housatonic Flats. Come try a great outdoor activity and explore this in-town trail system that travels through field and forest and offers glimpses of the Housatonic River. A group will start out each hour. Bring your own snowshoes or try a pair provided by Berkshire Bike & Board. Pre-registration requested; 24-hour advance reservation required for snowshoes. Cross-country skiers also invited. 413-499-0596. Route 7, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Social Justice

RACIAL JUSTICE CONFERENCE
Saturday, January 23, 9am-5pm
Attend the “Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice” Conference at Trinity Church in New York City via live-streaming at Charlemont Federated Church. Listen to speakers, including Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Emilie Townes, Gary Dorrien, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, as well as participate in onsite facilitated discussion groups. The live-streamed conference takes place 1/21-1/23. Suggested donation covers all three days. 413-337-5525. 175 Main Street, Charlemont, MA. ($$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

INTERGENERATIONAL/SOCIAL CHANGE
Saturday, January 23, 9am-5pm
Parents (especially moms) and teens are invited to join a long-line of people working for the common good at Common Threads — Generations in Conversation on Social Change, a one-day dialogue at the Northampton Quaker Meeting House. Activities include small dialogue groups, slam poetry, inspirational speakers, music, drumming, and music by local songwriters. Bring your own lunch. Snacks and tea provided. Free for those under 20 years old. Registration required. 43 Center Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

CANADIAN STUDIES
Saturday, January 23, 3pm
The Pass System (Not Rated, 2015), a documentary by Alex Williams, explores the Canadian “pass system,” which required Native Canadians to have a pass in order to leave their reservations. Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Ojibwe, and Blackfoot Elders who lived under the system share their experiences, and notable Canadian historians provide commentary. At the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College. Green Room, T114, 121 Green Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Local History

SEASONAL STUDIES
Saturday, January 23, 9:30am-4pm
Sunday, January 24, 9:30am-4pm
Explore Winter Work & Play in the 19th century at Old Sturbridge Village. Learn about timber harvesting, an essential winter activity, and watch farmers make fence material or hew a log. Watch ice harvesting (there was no refrigeration!), which had to go on despite harsh weather. Try cutting ice with vintage tools and hear about Boston’s “ice king”, who made a fortune in the ice industry. Step into another time and space to watch a blacksmith, potter, tinner, and other craftspeople doing their winter work. When it’s time to play, enjoy parlor games, storytelling, and music inside, or sledding, snow sculpting, or a sleigh ride outside. 800-733-1830.1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Families can further their learning about the local ice harvesting industry by utilizing an online resource made available by the Southwick Historical Society. Filled with photographs an dense information, the web page chronicles the rise and fall of booming ice harvesting industries in Southwick where, thanks to a nearby railroad, it was quite easy to harvest and transport ice straight to New York City.

LOCAL HISTORY/FRENCH & INDIAN WAR
Sunday, January 24, 2pm-3pm
More than 300 years ago, French soldiers, Canadians, and their Native allies, raided the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts. One hundred and twelve Deerfield men, women, and children were captured and taken on a 300-mile forced march to Canada. The raid was one of a number of traumatic events that took place in New England throughout the century before the French and Indian War. As part of their commemoration of the 312th anniversary of the raid, Historic Deerfield is hosting a free winter lecture series, “In Harm’s Way: Conflict and Captivity before the French and Indian War.” The first workshop in the series, “Rethinking King Philip’s War in the Connecticut River Valley: Pushing Beyond Old Assumptions”, will be led by Peter Thomas, Retired Associate Research Professor of Anthropology from the University of Vermont. Deerfield Community Center, 16 Memorial Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Film Studies

From locally-run theaters to festivals of youth’-made films, western Massachusetts’ film offerings and numerous and varied. Including events appropriate for film buffs of all ages, local meet-up groups, creative community-building events, and specially themed screenings and series events offer up a wide array of opportunities to engage in film studies. Read more in our recent post, Community-Based Resources for Film Studies in Western MA.

HUMAN NATURE/VEHICLES
Saturday, January 23, 10am
What happens when one’s car becomes not only a mode of transportation but a radical form of self-expression? Automorphosis (Not Rated, 2009) is a humorous and touching look into the minds and hearts of people who have transformed their automobiles into works of art, from a Camera Van, to a Peace Car, to a Telephone Car. See how driving a mobile masterpiece changes how the world looks at you, and how you look at the world. If you could make your vehicle into rolling artwork, what would it look like? Showing at the Amherst Cinema as part of the Family Films Series. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

WORLD HISTORY
Saturday, January 23, 11am
In 1944, the Soviets invaded Lithuania for the second time in five years. The youth of the country rose up in resistance, forming a guerilla army called the Forest Brothers. One of them, Juozas Luksa, escaped to Paris, where he launched a publicity campaign about the plight of his country. After writing a memoir and marrying the love of his life, he agreed to be air-dropped by the CIA back into Lithuania to help liberate its people. The Invisible Front (Not Rated, 2014), a documentary, tells the story of the Lithuanian resistance through Luksa’s writings and his love letters to his wife. It will open discussion about making hard choices and sacrificing for one’s beliefs. Showing at the Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

EMPATHY
Monday, January 25, 6:30pm
Wear your pajamas and bring your sleeping bag to see Paddington (PG, 2015) at the Cummington Family Center. After an earthquake destroys his home in Peru and kills his uncle, Paddington hides away on a ship by himself to cross the ocean to London. Once there, he is taken in by the kindly Brown family and gets into assorted mischief. His life is at risk, however, when a cold-hearted taxidermist decides he would make a good specimen. Families can talk about how Paddington had to take care of himself and find a new home in a strange country all on his own. Is that happening to real kids anywhere in the world today? Are there any ways to help them? 2 Main Street, Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Dance Studies

BALLET/SHAKESPEARE
Sunday, January 24, 12:55pm
The Amherst Cinema presents the Bolshoi Ballet in a performance of Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew, staged by French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot. Although considered misogynistic by many modern critics, in addition to ballet, the classic play has been adapted for stage, screen, opera, and musical theater. Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, the 1967 eponymous film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and 1999’s 10 Things I Hate About You are examples. Watching any of these productions, or reading the original play, would provide ample material for comparison of storytelling techniques and treatment of the female lead character. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. ($$)

STEM

MAKERSPACE
Monday, January 25, 3:30pm-5pm
Drop in at the Springfield City Library‘s Teen MakerLab to try out a new project, including technology, arts and crafts, sewing, and more. Show off your “maker” skills and learn from other teens and tweens. 413-263-6828, ext. 425. 220 State Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

QUANTUM PHYSICS
Monday, January 25, 6pm
What is a photon, and how can it act “telepathic”? Does nature allow faster-than-light communication? Bright questions like these will be answered by Professor William Wootters, Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy at Williams College, at a SciTech Cafe event at Union Station. Wootters will discuss “Einstein’s Spooky Action at a Distance.” SciTech Cafe events are open to all those with curious minds regardless of age and background. Events, prizes and snack are free, but donations are appreciated. 125 Pleasant Street, #A Northampton, MA. (FREE)

CODING
Wednesday, January 27, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Calling all experienced Scratch game developers! Help Holyoke Codes create a game engine that will allow others to build better Scratch projects more easily. During “Advanced Scratch: Build a Game Engine,” you can contribute your best practices in developing custom block functions for jumping, side-motion, wall-jumping, wall sensors, velocity, gravity, shooting projectiles, displaying messages, scorekeeping, and more. The end-product will be a template for creating awesome Scratch games. This is the second of a two-part workshop. The first session meets Sunday, 1/17, from 1pm-3pm. You do not have to attend both sessions. For ages 10 and up. Registration requested. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Music Studies

CLASSICAL PIANO
Sunday, January 24, 3pm-5pm
Pianist Monica Jakuc Leverett plays Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” and works by Schubert, Chopin, and Maria Szymanowska at the Plainfield Congregational Church. Also, “The Winged Energy of Delight” by John Kennedy for toy piano. Benefit for the Mahican-Mohawk Trail. Donations acepted by the Franklin Land Trust. Snow date 1/31. 413-584-3017. Route 116, Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

UKULELE
Monday, January 25, 6:30pm
The ukulele is one of the simplest instruments to play, with only three chords needed to play most songs. Join Julie Stepanek for a Ukulele Strum at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. Bring your uke, or other instrument, or just come to sing along. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO
Tuesday, January 26, 6pm-7pm
Playing an instrument is a mental workout. Kids can learn about and try out various musical instruments at the Musical Petting Zoo at the Sixteen Acres Branch of the Springfield City Library. Educators from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will introduce popular instruments during this hands-on program. Ideal for kids ages 8 and under but open to all. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

HIP HOP
Wednesday, January 27, 4pm-5pm
Learn to freestyle and rhyme, spit lyrics, and develop beats at Rock the Stacks!: Hip Hop at the Library at the Mason Square Branch of the Springfield Public Library. The Community Music School of Springfield will help young people develop their voice and self-confidence. For ages 6-14. Every Wednesday through 2/24. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Arts & Crafts

UPCYCLING
Saturday, January 23, 10am-12pm
Save resources by turning your old clothes into something beautiful at Upcycle a T-shirt Two Ways: Yarn and Daisies, a workshop offered by Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse. First, learn to make a ball of “tarn” that can used for any craft or needlework project requiring heavy-weight yarn. Then, cut petals from t-shirt scraps and sew them together to make flowers for accessories or home decor. For ages 10 and up. Students are encouraged to bring their own fabric cutting scissors, if available. T-shirts will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own. Registration required. 413-529-0126. Eastworks, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 126, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

QUILTING
Saturday, January 23, 10am-2pm
Williams College artist-in-residence Emily Johnson and her company Catalyst asked people across the country to share intentions for themselves and their communities on squares of fabric. You can help stitch these wishes into 80 quilts at a Community Sewing Bee at Makers’ Mill.The quilts will be used at a night of stargazing and performance in Williamstown in Spring 2017. No experience necessary, and all are welcome to be part of this project to spread joy. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Literacy

BOOK READING
Saturday, January 23, 1pm
Author, illustrator, and Longmeadow-native, Jennifer Mann will read her picture books Two Speckled Eggs and I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard at the Storrs Library. A book signing and mini art workshop will follow. Ask Jennifer how she decides what pictures to draw to help tell her stories. For all ages. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

EARLY LITERACY SKILLS
Tuesday, January 26, 10am-11am
Friday, January 29, 10am-11am
Come to the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose, with Kay Lyons. This lap-sit storytime is for ages 0-3, with a caregiver. In addition to reading a book, Kay teaches animal sounds using puppets, leads the group In hand rhymes, and introduces other concepts to the very young. Rhymes start children on the path to reading and strengthen bonds between children and caregivers. Rhymes with movement also promote coordination. The program is about 30 minutes long and followed by visiting time. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Philosophy

INTERGENERATIONAL BOOK READING
Sunday, January 24, 4pm
Philosopher and author Daniel Klein, seeking guidance on living the best life he could, started collecting quotes from the great philosophers when he was a young college student. Now in his eighth decade, he shares some of his favorites, from luminaries such as Epicurus, Emerson, and Camus, along with his own charming insights, in Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It. He will discuss the book as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series, in the Sedgwick Reading Room at The Lenox Library. 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Community Connections

POTLUCK DINNER/PLAYTIME
Saturday, January 23, 4pm-7pm
Bring a dish to share and an appetite for amusement to Family Fun Night at the Northampton Parents Center. Adults can socialize and relax while kids make new friends and play. Optional potluck dinner and playgroup from 4pm-5:30pm; surprise musical guest to follow. For kids ages birth to Kindergarten and their caregivers. 413-582-2636. Edwards Church (Lower Level), 297 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

DANCE
Saturday, January 23, 7pm-10pm
Shake off the cold with your friends and family at a Winter Family Dance at the Village Congregational Church. There’ll be a DJ, snacks, and crafts. This is a chance to renew relationships that may have gone dormant during this dark, indoor season. All proceeds will benefit Ravenwood, a non-profit group providing weekday outdoor education to homeschoolers and alternative learners in the Hilltowns. 32 Main Street, Cummington, MA. (<$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

VALENTINE SWAP
Tuesday, January 26
Who wouldn’t love to receive a unique Valentine this year? Join Hilltown Families’ 8th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap, then get out the art supplies and start creating. Deadline to sign up is Saturday, January 30th. On Monday (2/1/16), 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.

CITY SERVICE PEOPLE
Thursday, January 28, 10:30am
Meet an important member of the community in a casual setting during Coffee with a Cop Story Hour at Lilly Library. A police officer will read the story then join parents and kids in the community room for coffee and crafts. Learn what police officers do and ask any questions you have about their critical role in the community. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)

INTERGENERATIONAL POTLUCK
Friday, January 29, 6:30pm- 9pm
Much of cooking relies on specific chemical reactions that take place when certain types of food are combined. Microbiologist Paul Moe will share how fermentation affects cooking and demonstrate making sourdough bread at the Erving Senior/Community Center. Sign up to bring a potluck dish to share with your neighbors as part of a meal. Donations to cover the cost of paper goods will be requested. Sponsored by the Friends of the Erving Public Library. 413-423-3348. 1 Care Drive, Erving, MA. (FREE)

Parenting Skills

PET READINESS
Saturday, January 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
Bringing home a baby changes everything…just ask your dog. Help Fido with this life transition using positive, practical, and fun techniques from the national program Dogs & Storks: Preparing Your Dog for Life with a Baby. The workshop, presented by the Dakin Humane Society, covers preparing your dog before baby arrives, introducing your dog to the baby, reading your dog’s body language and recognizing signs of stress, and creating a safe environment for everyone. Registration covers up to two attendees and includes informational booklet. Please leave your dog at home. 413-781-4000. 171 Union Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

SPECIAL NEEDS
Monday, January 25, 10am-11am
Parents of children with special needs can find support and understanding from fellow parents at Our Children, Ourselves, a support group sponsored by the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County at the Johnson School. Share resources, challenges, and joys! Focused on parents of kids from birth to eight years old. Snacks provided. Call ahead to arrange free transportation and child care. 413-664-4821. 21 Williams Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE
Tuesday, January 26, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Most parents want their children to behave well but also be able to express themselves. Learn to be both firm and kind with your children and foster creative cooperation and self-discipline in an eight-week Positive Discipline course sponsored by the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County. Meets every Tuesday through March 22 at Head Start Johnson School. Registration required. 413-664-4821. 21 Williams Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

DE-ESCALATION
Tuesday, January 26, 6:30pm-8pm
Parents in the Gateway Regional School District are invited to attend “Lowering the Volume — Part 2,” a workshop covering discipline, de-escalation, and behavior management at home. The workshop, presented at the Gateway Distance Learning Center by Michael Saporito from Berkshire Training, Evaluation, Consulting and Coaching, will teach parents how to respond to their children’s emotional upsets and meltdowns. For parents of children of all ages and abilities. 413-685-1017. Across from the Gateway Regional High School office, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

SUPPORT GROUP
Thursday, January 28, 5:30pm-7:30pm
In the Game of Parenting, it helps to have support. The Parent Cafe, sponsored by the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County, is a game of conversation where parents share the joys and challenges of parenting and learn from one another. Enjoy a FREE meal, transportation and child care. Takes place at Johnson School Head Start; registration requested. 413-664-4821. 21 Williams Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Theater

LITERATURE IN THEATER/OPERA
Saturday, January 23. 7:30pm
Frankenstein. This hypnotic and intense musical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel breathes new life into the story of Frankenstein. Through movement and sound, audiences will marvel at the brilliance of this revision, which received favorable reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past summer. The show will be preceded by excerpts from a new opera based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic tale, The Masque of the Red Death. Literature, poetry, and musical theater come together to create this exciting and revolutionary theater experience. The performance is presented by Eggtooth Productions and will be held at the Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Bernardston, Blandford, Chesterfield, Erving, Holyoke, Pelham and Williamsburg Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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