Suggested Events for May 20th-26th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

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

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

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Health & Wellness Directory

In an effort to connect families with health and wellness resources in the region, weʼre offering service providers, resources, and institutions a chance to partner with Hilltown Families in their marketing with a brand new online resource: Western MA Health & Wellness Directory.

We’ve all been there… deep in discussion about our health and wellness with friends and family, around the dining room table and cocktail parties, at a playgroup and on the playground. How often have you found yourself looking for a recommendation or local service that could support the health and wellness of your family? This spring we are pulling together a comprehensive list of services and practitioners that can support the health and wellness of you and your family. If you would like to be included in this list, find our more info here and reach out to our amazing Sales & Marketing Manager, Merricka Breuer. (Online publish date: Spring 2017)

Bulletin Board

May 20

Come along for a Literary Adventure at Home Sweet Home a free Historic Open House Day at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington. Home Sweet Home takes place Saturday, May 20, from 10am-4pm. See the beautiful hills and fields that inspired Bryant’s early poetry, tour this incredible historic house, walk through Old Growth Forest and experience why this meaningful place beckoned the poet to come back and call it home again. Self-guided tour of the homestead, 19th century games & lawn games, greetings from the homestead, postcard writing, and writing nooks. www.thetrustees.org.

May 20

Thinking about planting an organic garden this spring, but feeling a little overwhelmed? The Atlas Farm Store’s Garden Fest, on May 20, will help. Healthy and strong organic vegetable and flower starts; organic compost and expert advice from the Atlas farmers and the UMass Vegetable Program, to answer gardening questions. Plus tour the Atlas greenhouses, have lunch, sample food from local vendors, listen to music and more. Learn how Atlas grows their delicious fruits and vegetables; leave ready to plant an organic garden. Saturday, from 12-5pm, Atlas Farm Store on Routes 5 & 10 South Deerfield. www.atlasfarm.com.

June 3

Celebrate all things local and agricultural at the WGBY Asparagus Festival on the Hadley Town Common Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 6pm. This outdoor, family-friendly event offers character meet-and-greets with PBS Kids’ Curious George, outdoor learning games and displays, live children’s music in the am (pop/folk music in the p.m.), and many local food and beverage vendors. Parents can enjoy the farmers/makers market, the local craft beer tent, or the gourmet Chef Spearit Lunch (tickets sold separately for the this). Festival admission is free with suggested $5/person donation. Proceeds benefit local public television and PBS station WGBY. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org. Event details at wgby.org/asparagus.

Mobile App

Saturday morning errands, dinnertime, on the way to the beach this summer – these are all great times to talk to your children about underage drinking or drug use. It’s never too early or too late to convey your hopes, your expectations, and your family values. Many small talks are fine. Get tips on how to make the most of your conversations by downloading the Talk. They Hear You mobile app. Learn more at EasthamptonCoalition.org.

May 21

Fast, slow, young, old…Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park on Sunday, May 21, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages and abilities. There will be race invents, including a chip-timed 5K race and a just-for-fun 1.2 mile race, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring music and live performances, food trucks, face painting, games, prizes, hula-hooping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!

Jun 12

Kathryn Kothe Roszko of CyclePottery along with two assistants will teach kids ages 9+ how to throw plates, bowls, mugs, and more on the potter’s wheel. Campers will also learn hand building, trimming, decorating & glazing techniques. 4-6 students max. Camp is held in her studio in Florence. 7 sessions throughout the summer, with various options from 3-5 days, 9am-3pm. First 5 day camp begins June 12th! Dates: June 12-Aug 24; Age Range of Campers: 9+yrs.
Contact: 413-219-9594; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; www.cyclepottery.com.

Job Open- ing

Tinkergarten, a fast-growing Northampton-based company with the mission to get kids learning through outdoor play, is currently hiring for the FT position of Leader & Customer Support Liaison. This position is responsible for providing support to Tinkergarten’s team of leaders around the country, as well as to current and prospective families. The ideal candidate is an exceptional communicator; enjoys problem solving; has a natural ability to provide both warm and efficient service; and is excited about the fluidity, and fast pace of working for a startup. For more information, see tinkergarten.com/pages/careers. If interested, send your resume and a note about why you are interested in the role to support@tinkergarten.com.

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 20th-26th, 2017

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Guest DJ Lucy Kalantari is back with more community centered songs. Families, neighbors, friends–she covers the many different and beautiful relationships that come through our lives Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, May 20, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Spring marks the arrival of warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and other migratory birds. Learning to identify them by sight and sound can add a new layer of appreciation to the spring season. Lime Kiln Wildlife Sanctuary’s education coordinator will be offering guided morning walks of the trails to teach participants how to identify species of local birds. If time permits participants may also check other nearby birding hot spots. Bring binoculars; beginners are welcome. This program is best suited for adults. 413-637-0320. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)

Saturday, May 20, 7:30am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/LOCAL HISTORY
Before its incorporation as a town, the area now known as Longmeadow was once farmland within Springfield. In the early 19th and 20th century, Longmeadow was a site for brownstone mining; many well-known American buildings were constructed out of brownstone mined there. You can learn much more about the history of Longmeadow at the 38th annual Long Meddowe Days! On May 20 and 21, people of all ages can engage in fun, educational activities. All proceeds from the event fund future educational programs, historical research, and maintenance of the Storrs House Museum. Crafters, artists, photographers and talented youth crafters will be showcasing their work on the town green, and musical acts will perform throughout both days. The Storrs House Museum will be open both days- from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday. Tours of the Old Burying Yard in Longmeadow Cemetery by an expert local guide will take place on both days starting at 2pm. Longmeadow, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 8am-10am
AUTOMOTIVE
Do you enjoy learning about collector, classic and custom vehicles? The second annual Wheels and Waffles event at Eastern States Exposition will feature a diverse car show and live, classic music from the 50s and 60s. Anyone who arrives in a show vehicle will receive complimentary breakfast and coffee. Car and transportation shows can teach people about automotive technology, while the presence of vintage cars provides insight into technological history. Weather permitting. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 8:30am-2:30pm
BOTANY/PLANT SALE
Plant sales offer the opportunity to support local horticulturalists and exchange knowledge as well as goods! If you need plants for your spring and summer gardening, come to the Garden Club of Amherst’s annual Plant Sale! The sale will be held rain or shine and funds from the sale will support beautification projects, an annual UMass scholarship, and contributions to local conservation and education organizations. You can choose from a wide selection of plants donated by local gardeners. Under the tent on the Amherst Common. Amherst, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 9am-12pm
BICYCLING
You can get some fresh air and exercise, and a bike tuneup, all while benefiting the West Springfield Partnership for Education! Come to the Bearhol Bike Ride as part of Baystate Bike Week. Participants will start off the ride at Fausey Elementary School where Colorado Ski Shop will be providing bike tune ups and lending out some demo bikes. The ride will begin at 10am and head to Bearhole Reservoir. Cyclists will be given the option of a casual route or advanced route. Email aeaton@pvpc.org for more information. 784 Amostown Road. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 9am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Community tag sales are a form of collaborative consumption. These sales encourage community members to interact and support one another in an exchange of goods. Rather than buying your next round of products at a large chain store, first see if you can find it at the Northampton Parents Center Annual Tag and Bake Sale! Parents in particular may find themselves cycling through products very quickly as their kids grow. Donate your gently used items (kids items, household items, anything in good reusable condition) ahead of time or just participate in the sale to support the family center. The sale will take place on the front lawn of the Unitarian Society. Contact the Northampton Parents Center Facebook page for more information. 220 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 9am-3pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/BOOK & PLANT SALE
Spring and summer are great times for outdoor reading- in your yard, in the park, at the beach- you can get vitamin D while you read! This is also the time of year for collaborative consumption in the form of community-based markets. Buy your next round of books and plants at the Sunderland Public Library’s Book Plant and Bake sale to support your positive hobbies and the library simultaneously. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Sunderland Public Library’s Book Fund. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 9am-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/PLACEMAKING
Be a part of local history by attending the 26th annual Chester on Track, celebrating the railway-era history of Chester, brought to you by the Chester Railway Station. There will be civil war reenactors, Blacksmith demos, a parade, a train show, a railroad station museum and a craft sale! There will be lots of activities for people of all ages. Automobile lovers can see classic cars from corvettes to Model ‘T’s to 1920’s-era freight cars. For kids there will be a petting zoo, bounce house, and more. This is a great chance to learn about, and develop a newfound appreciation for, a wonderful Western Mass town! 413-354-7878. Chester, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 9am-4pm
SOCIAL JUSTICE/ACTIVISM
Young people today have inherited a system of racial inequality, but they are in a good position for creating sweeping cultural changes. Middle schoolers and high schoolers are invited to a conference, Walking the Talk for Racial Justice, to discuss issues such as mass incarceration/prison industrial complex, the militarization of the police force, white privilege/implicit bias, islamophobia and systemic racism. This event will provide participants with tools and resources for activism, and offer ample opportunity to brainstorm these complex issues. Keynote speaker Anika Nailah is a cultural liberationist, spoken word artist, and the founder and former director of Books Of Hope, a Boston-based, youth literacy program. Gain inspiration and perspective from this conference. Dining Commons at Greenfield Community College. 1 College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED TOURS
Come along for a Literary Adventure at Home Sweet Home a free Historic Open House Day at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington. See the beautiful hills and fields that inspired Bryant’s early poetry, tour this incredible historic house, walk through Old Growth Forest and experience why this meaningful place beckoned the poet to come back and call it home again. Self-guided tour of the homestead, 19th century games & lawn games, greetings from the homestead, postcard writing, and writing nooks. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA.

Saturday, May 20, 9am-5pm
BOTANY/PLANT SALE
Tending to a family garden or even just watering house plants can teach kids about responsibility and various branches science at the same time! Bringing your child along to a plant sale, he or she will learn about habitat and ecology as you pick out plants that will thrive with the conditions of your home and yard. The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual plant sale, Plants and Answers, will provide thousands of woody and herbaceous plants for purchase, as well as expert advice. The plants will be displayed by habitat and include plants for sunny areas, beds and borders, dry areas, plants for the woodland edge, and woodland plants, as well as annuals, tropicals, and vines. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-12:30pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Now is the time to search for early blooming wildflowers! Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for a leisurely guided walk. Naturalist Linda Cysz will help you look for meadow and woodland wildflowers, gathering edible plants for snacks and identifying flowers along the way. Bring trail snacks, curiosity, and a hand lens if you have one. This program is for adults. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-1pm
HORTICULTURE/AGRICULTURE
Seed saving is a fantastic way to practice self sufficiency and resilience, and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning – the digging-in-the-dirt kind that leads to some serious discoveries. You can get started by attending the Hilltown Seed Saving Network’s fifth annual Spring Seed and Plant Exchange! Beginners can bring questions and learn about growing plants for food, replanting seeds, attracting pollinators, developing healthy soil and more. Experience savers should bring seeds, seedlings, and perennial divisions to share if they can. Rain or shine. Community House. For more information call 413-634-5013. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (SALE/EXCHANGE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-3pm
NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY
The Great Falls Massacre occurred on May 19, 1676, during King Philip’s War. Near a falls on the Connecticut River, a group of English colonists slaughtered many Native Americans . To commemorate and honor the 341st anniversary of this tragedy, the Nolumbeka Project Day of Remembrance will teach participants about Native American culture and history through music, videos, PowerPoint presentations, a radio documentary, and more. Attendees will have the chance to walk the area and reflect. At 1pm, there will be a ceremony with Tom Beck, Medicine Man and Ceremonial Leader of the Nulhegan Coosak Band of the Abenaki. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Buildings are designed with both form and function in mind, therefore, architecture can teach us about artistic, as well as practical trends. Changes in architectural styles of homes can reflect changes in lifestyle. Architectural learning can also support placemaking as individuals gain a greater understanding of how their communities have developed over time. You can learn about history through the lens of architecture by visiting any of the ten Trustees historic sites open for free for their Home Sweet Home day! At The Mission House there will be guided tours on the hour, and a Story Book Walk throughout the day. Bring a book to donate to the new Little Free Library. Call 413-298-8138 for more information. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Buildings are designed with both form and function in mind, therefore, architecture can teach us about artistic, as well as practical trends. Changes in architectural styles of homes can reflect changes in lifestyle. Architectural learning can also support placemaking as individuals gain a greater understanding of how their communities have developed over time. You can learn about history through the lens of architecture by visiting any of the ten Trustees historic sites open for free for their Home Sweet Home day! Call 413-298-8138 for more information. Ashley House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is a site of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail. Elizabeth Freeman, also known Mum Bett, was enslaved in the Ashley House, and later became the first black slave to successfully sue for and win her freedom. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Ashley Falls. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10am-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Buildings are designed with both form and function in mind, therefore, architecture can teach us about artistic, as well as practical trends. Changes in architectural styles of homes can reflect changes in lifestyle. Architectural learning can also support placemaking as individuals gain a greater understanding of how their communities have developed over time. You can learn about history through the lens of architecture by visiting any of the ten Trustees historic sites open for free for their Home Sweet Home day! Call 413-298-8138 for more information. Naumkeag, the former home of the Choate family built at the height of the Gilded Age, invites you to tour the Peony Garden and the Chinese garden, view books in the library, and write a poem to hang in the woods for others to read! 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10:30am
FAMILY MUSIC
“Shiprock and Anchor Dog” are a family music act incorporating storytelling into their lyrics. Their songs tell the story of two dog best friends who have adventures together across enchanted landscapes. You can see them perform for free at The Common School, and find out about the Summerfun Shiprock and Anchor Dog camp, for ages eight through twelve. 521 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 10:30am-12pm
PARENTING/STEM
Children are born scientists! Whenever your young child asks a “Why?” question about the world, they are demonstrating their natural inquisitiveness about how things work. The Collaborative for Educational Services “Young Scientists” program will give parents the tools to encourage and build upon this natural, scientific curiosity. Child care will be available during the parent learning session, which will be followed by fun parent-child activities. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. Monson Free Library. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 12pm-5pm
HORTICULTURE/AGRICULTURE
Thinking about planting an organic garden this spring, but feeling a little overwhelmed? The Atlas Farm Store’s Garden Fest will help. There will be healthy and strong organic vegetable and flower starts and organic compost. Visitors can gain expert advice from the Atlas farmers and the UMass Vegetable Program. Bring your gardening questions. Plus, you can tour the Atlas greenhouses, have lunch, sample food from local vendors, listen to music and more. Learn how Atlas grows their delicious fruits and vegetables; leave ready to plant an organic garden. Atlas Farm Store on Routes 5 & 10 218 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 20, 1pm-3pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Scratch is an online program which helps remove the intimidation factor from coding. Even young children can learn to use Scratch’s highly intuitive program to creative interactive stories, games, and animations, and in doing so they can begin to grapple with the concept of coding while having fun. Junior coders ages seven and up are invited to Scratch Day at Holyoke Codes, where they will learn how to get started with this awesome visual coding language. Experts can also attend and learn new tricks. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 20, 5pm and 6pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
Community meals are a chance to meet neighborhood families and strengthen your community ties. Having a strong positive connection with your community is a major component to personal happiness. All are welcome to reap the benefits of community gatherings by attending the annual Strawberry / Asparagus supper at the First Congregational Church of Hadley. Hadley is well-known around the state as a prime place for growing asparagus- known locally as “Hadley grass.” Call Delores 413-584-4117 or Joan 413-362-6654 for reservations. 102 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. ($; Children under 12 <$; Children under 6 FREE)

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Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, May 21, 10am-1:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/FUNDRAISER
Fast, slow, young, old…Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park, and is an inclusive family event for all ages and abilities. There will be race invents, including a chip-timed 5K race and a just-for-fun 1.2 mile race, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring music and live performances, food trucks, face painting, games, prizes, hula-hooping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Head over to runreg.com to register now! 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($ – $$)

Sunday, May 21, 10am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/LOCAL HISTORY
Before its incorporation as a town, the area now known as Longmeadow was once farmland within Springfield. In the early 19th and 20th century, Longmeadow was a site for brownstone mining; many well-known American buildings were constructed out of brownstone mined there. You can learn much more about the history of Longmeadow at the 38th annual Long Meddowe Days! On May 20 and 21, people of all ages can engage in fun, educational activities. All proceeds from the event fund future educational programs, historical research, and maintenance of the Storrs House Museum. Crafters, artists, photographers and talented youth crafters will be showcasing their work on the town green, and musical acts will perform throughout both days. The Storrs House Museum will be open both days- from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday. Tours of the Old Burying Yard in Longmeadow Cemetery by an expert local guide will take place on both days starting at 2pm. Longmeadow, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, May 21, 12pm-2pm
BICYCLING
Do you have a vintage bicycle you like to show off? Participate in Baystate Bike Week’s Vintage Bicycle Ride to see other vintage bicycles. Vintage bikes show us how this useful tool for both leisure and transportation has changed over the years. Choose from two biking routes and you will end up on Park Square in downtown Westfield. This event helps draw attention to a much-loved invention for exercise and sustainable transport! Meet at the New Horizons Bike Shop. Register on the Baystate Bike Week website. 55 Franklin Street. Westfield, MA.

Sunday, May 21, 2pm-3:30pm
BIOLOGY/POETRY
Writers of all genres have historically drawn inspiration from nature. Looking at a single natural creature through the perspective of different authors can help you to learn about both biology and literature. The Bobolink is a grassland bird which Emily Dickinson, William Cullen Bryant, and many other poets have written about. In his presentation, “The Poet’s Bobolink,” David Spector will teach listeners about biology and poetry. Weather permitting, participants will also step outside to hear descendants of these bobolinks at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (Non member $; Member <$)

Saturday, May 21, 2pm-5pm
BICYCLING/FASHION
Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves flexible athletic clothing and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their typical, everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. In fact, women’s fashion of the time was a hindrance to their ability to ride, and this was a catalyst for change in women’s style of dress and in the design of the bicycle as manufacturers began marketing towards women. Learn more by reading our post, Exploring the History of Fashion through Bicycling. You can discover what it was like to bike in traditional attire by participating in Sweet Spoken’s third annual Spring Tweed Ride! All ages are welcome. Participants will meet in the pedestrian plaza behind Thorne’s Market. Visit Friends of Northampton Trails & Greenways (FNTG) website for more information and to register. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

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Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, May 22, 9:30am-10:15am
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Practicing yoga at any age can connect you to your body and help you be more mindful. Starting young, kids can discover that yoga is a lot of fun and will possibly develop a lifelong love of the activity. The Community Network for Chidlren is offering a family yoga series ideal for kids ages two to five. Baby siblings are also welcome. The class will use music to guide kids through movements and postures while singing familiar songs. Kids will imitate different animals in their poses and complete a fun obstacle course. There will be five sessions, on April 24, May 1, 8, 15, and 22. Registration is required call 978-544-5157. Sessions take place at the Leverett Library. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 22, 10am-12pm
WRITING/MEMOIR
Memoir is a literary genre which helps the author make sense of his or her life, by creating a narrative from their experiences. Reading memoir opens us up to a world of true life experiences beyond our own limited one. John Sheirer is author of the memoirs Loop Year and Growing up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere. He will read from and discuss these works, as well as offer guidance on the topic of writing memoir, then lead participants in writing exercises. Visit glenmeadow.org for more information. Seating is limited, and registration is required; call 413-567-7800 or email learning@glenmeadow.org. The program will be offered by Glenmeadow at Bay Path University on its East Campus in the Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center, Room 222. The center is at 1 Denslow Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 22, 1:30pm-3pm
CRAFTS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Celebrate spring and sunshine by learning to create a sun-catcher! You can give this colorful craft item as a gift or hang it in your window. This free program will take place at the Lenox Community Center. Call Sue at 413-637-5535 to register. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 22, 4pm
LITERACY
Reading fiction is an enjoyable way to expand your understanding of the world and gain perspective of cultural experiences outside your own. The 2017 young adult novel, Lucky Broken Girl, is a multicultural coming-of-age story based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s. The book tells the story of a Cuban-Jewish immigrant adjusting to life in New York City. Young readers can use this book to think about multicultural perspectives, while becoming engrossed in a compelling story of resilience. Author, Ruth Behar, will be discussing her work in a talk at the Odyssey Bookshop. This is her first book for young readers. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 22, 6:30pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
School music programs constantly face budget cuts. While schools must follow legal standards and requirements for teaching subjects such as English and mathematics, schools are not required to teach the arts. Thus they are the first to go when funds are insufficient. It is important to understand that learning to play a musical instrument is not just a fun, educational activity in and of itself; it can improve competency in other academic subjects and life skills. The “Music Matters” Seminar at South County Center will serve to teach attendees about the importance of music to a child’s growth and development. Parents who attend will learn how to best assist their children in their musical learning. Seminar leaders Karen Berger and David Hodge will reference numerous studies which demonstrate how music education benefits overall intelligence and helps youth perform better in other studies. They will also speak to the social benefits of music, such as teamwork, goal setting, and time management. For more information, call BCC’s South County Center at 413- 528-4521. 343 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 22, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ STUDIES
Jazz stands out from other genres in many ways. Rather than consisting of a single catchy chorus repeated between verses throughout the song (as in most modern popular music), jazz songs tend to begin with a chorus accompanied by a melody known as the “head.” This melody can be repeated or throughout or played only once more at the end of the song. Jazz musicians tend to know a wide array of “standard” songs such that a group of jazz musicians could get together, call a tune, and play immediately. This genre frequently features improvisation, such that no two performances of the same song sound quite the same! Jazz also has many sub genres and has evolved considerably over several decades. You can attend the final Music Mondays Cafe at the Gaylord Memorial Library. to hear both jazz standards and contemporary originals. Singer, songwriter and pianist Champain Fulton has toured internationally and released two albums. She will be joined on trumpet by Stephen Fulton and on bass by Dor Samoha. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, May 23, 9:30am-11am
NATURE STUDIES
The average American child spends about thirty minutes of their day in unstructured, outdoor play, and more than seven hours in front of a screen (see this report for more information). Most people intuitively understand the connection between time spent in nature and positive well-being. Fresh air and exercise keep our bodies in shape and our minds focused. But did you know that time spent outdoors in childhood is also correlated with better distance vision? For young, developing children, the benefits are endless. You and your child can increase your time spent outdoors by participating in a nature playgroup at Naumkeag. The playgroup is best-suited for three to six year olds. It is not stroller friendly, though babies in arms are welcome. Participants, both children and caregivers, can expect to get very dirty and explore some of the most remote corners of the property. Registration is required. Call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
PARENTING
Toilet training can be difficult – you don’t have to do it alone! Attend a workshop to learn some tips, tricks, and strategies for successful potty training. This workshop at the Community Action Family Center will focus on how to get your child ready, when to worry and what to avoid around potty-training. Meet other caregivers experiencing the same challenges as your family. 413-475-1555. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 23, 12pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
Social support and community connections help people thrive mentally and physically, whether they are young or old. Meeting your neighbors at a community meal can help you build this social support. Seniors are invited to a Pizza Party, with food from The Olde Heritage Tavern, at the Lenox Community Center. Seniors and their loved ones are also invited to stick around, at 1pm, for an informational talk about Personal Emergency Response Systems. Gina Isenhart from Home Instead Senior Care will provide information and answer your questions. Call 413-637-5535 to make your reservation for the pizza party; transportation is available. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, May 23, 6:30pm-7:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/HORTICULTURE
Thanks to environmental activists and concerned citizens, people are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that bee populations have been declining at a dangerous rate for more than a decade. Climate change has caused some plant and animal species to migrate, negatively affecting a once thriving habitat for bees. Why should humans work to prevent threats to bees? Potential endangerment of bee species could be devastating for many species since bees are the main pollinators for many fruits and nuts. One thing you can do to help local pollinators thrive is to attract them to your garden. Ashley Schenk of Broadfork Permaculture will be teaching attendees about the best plants for attracting pollinators, in a workshop at the Sunderland Public Library. In her presentation she will discuss how to choose plants and shrubs to thrive in your yard’s conditions, as well as planting techniques and tips for creating wildflower meadows. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 23, 6:30pm-8pm
QIGONG/MEDITATION
Qigong is a form of mindful, light exercise. This internal art practice is a combination of two key ideas: Qi, the breath and vital energy that flows through the universe, and Gong, which refers to the skill of cultivating self-discipline. Makani Freitas will be leading a Qigong-Movement Meditation workshop designed to reduce stress and increase relaxation. Try it for the first time or expand your practice by attending this workshop at River Valley Co Op. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, May 24, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spring and fall are the best times of year for birdwatching if you want to learn about migratory birds. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s caretaker Jonathan Pierce will be offering a spring birdwatching guided walk for adults on Wednesdays in May. Participants will walk past beaver wetlands and through the woods to identify warblers, tanagers, orioles, and other species. Beginners are welcome. Bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 24, 4pm-7pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/LATIN AMERICA
Want to learn about Latin American culture, past and present? A panel discussion at Smith College entitled,”Place and Practice: History, Geography and the New Latin American Studies,” will provide multiple perspectives on this topic. Panelists for the symposium will explore several aspects of Latin American history and geography through new digital and quantitative data technologies. Attend this symposium to learn about both Latin America and new research technologies. Seelye 201. 2 Seelye Drive. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 24, 4:30pm-5:30pm
HISTORY/LITERACY
Does your teen or tween love to read? T(w)eens are invited to a book club at the Meekins Library to meet other book lovers and discuss what they’ve read! On May 24, participants will discuss the historical fiction book, The Fighting Ground, the story of a thirteen-year-old boy who, in 1778, longs to go off to fight the British. Readers will learn about history and share their opinions on the book while making new friends. The book will be available for checkout at the library. Registration is required. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 24, 6pm-7:30pm
LITERACY/PARENTING
Reading opens up a world of learning, relaxing entertainment, and much more. Reading fiction in particular strengthens the reader’s empathetic skills. In order to understand and enjoy a novel, the reader must consider various characters’ perspectives, an important lifelong skill! You can encourage literacy skills with your young children, not only by reading but also talking, playing, and singing! Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a four-session workshop (on May 3, 10, 17 and 24) on the importance of literacy, teaching parents and children fun activities they can do together. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. Call 413-586-4900 for more information. Clapp Memorial Library. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, May 25, 12:15pm
ART STUDIES/FOLKLORE
The early 20th century brought about vast and varying artistic movements such as cubism and surrealism. Russian painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985) drew upon folklore and fantasy in his art, and was later influenced by a group of artists he met in Paris. Curatorial Assistant Maggie North will be giving a talk on Chagall’s artwork, focusing on the movements of cubism and surrealism, at the Springfield Museums. Stick around for a guided gallery discussion at 1:30pm. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, May 25, 5pm-7pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
Food security is a year-round, 24/7 issue, and it’s always a good time to volunteer your time to help members of your community obtain food. Hilltown Families invites you to our monthly Family Volunteer Day at Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Hatfield facility. Families will work together sorting donated food items. Join us for meaningful work, meet other like-minded families, and give back to your community. Volunteer Days are an opportunity for intergenerational bonding and to demonstrate the importance of volunteer work to your children. Volunteering can also boost self-esteem and instill feelings of gratitude for what we have- both key components to personal happiness! Children of all ages are welcome. To sign up, please email the Volunteer Coordinator at alisonb@foodbankwma.org. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, May 25, 5pm-6:15pm
CREATIVE WRITING/MEMOIR
Over the past several decades and generations, the typical roles and lives of women have changed drastically. While most women would agree that these changes are positive, grappling with the endless possibilities of career, love, and family poses new challenges. Ariel Levy explores this topic through her own story, the story of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses,” in her memoir The Rules Do Not Apply. You can hear her discuss her book in conversation with journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick, at The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Thursday, May 25, 5:30pm
JOURNALISM
Can you trust the media? Is free speech under attack? These are questions being asked by politicians as well as citizens, both liberals and conservatives. Free speech and free press are core American values, solidified in the Constitution’s First Amendment. American journalism today is facing great challenges to their reporting. The Norman Rockwell Museum is bringing together expert speakers to discuss this issue. Speakers include Jim Levulis, Associate News Director, WAMC Northeast Public Radio; and Tammy Daniels, Managing Editor, iBerkshires.com. All are welcome to attend. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 25, 6pm-8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Meet local music fans and spend some quality outdoor time with your community at a Coop Concert in Greenfield! The summer 2017 concert series kicks off on May 25 with performers Joe Graveline, Bruce Colgrove, and The Desmond Burke Trio. Hear a range of musical genres and styles at Energy Park. You can also explore the gardens, and children will be able to play on the train structure in the children’s area. Bring a lawn chair, or set up a picnic with friends and family. 413-772-1553, 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 25, 6:30pm
BOOK CLUB/HISTORY
Sisters Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney are pioneers of civil rights and inspiring African-American professionals. Sarah taught domestic science and Bessie practiced dentistry during the time of Jim Crow laws. In 1920s Harlem they met other black activists and later were among the first to integrate the New York City suburb of Mount Vernon. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years is the nonfiction account of their lives. You can check the book out of the Gaylord Memorial Library. and participate in a book discussion, sharing your insights on this historical account with other avid readers. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 25, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Ludwig van Beethoven and Claude Debussy each wrote works for strings, in the early 19th century. You can compare these works with a contemporary string composition at the Omer Quartet’s Spring concert. They will be performing Claude Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893), Beethoven’s String Quartet No.15, Op. 132 (1825), and Rocco Havelaar’s String Quartet No. 4 (2016). This concert is held in conjunction with the Mead Art Museum’s special exhibition: “Collector’s Journey: Highlights from the Print Collection of Dr. William A. Weary, Class of 1964.” Attending this event provides an opportunity to draw connections between art, music, and local history. Buckley Recital Hall. Arms Music Center at Amherst College. 53 College Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, May 26th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, May 26, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spring and fall are the best times of year for birdwatching if you want to learn about migratory birds. You can learn to identify the beautiful wood-warblers, orioles, thrushes, and more on spring birding walks at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Sanctuary Volunteer and Hoffmann Bird Club leader Noreen Mole will guide participants past wetlands and through meadows and woodlands, observing changes in ecology and bird species each week. Bring binoculars; beginners welcome. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 26, 10:30am
STORYTIME/LITERACY
Books have more components than just covers and pages! Do you know where the gutter is located? What about the flyleaf, the endsheets, the dedication page? All ages are welcome to this “Parts of a Book” storytime to learn about the parts of a book, listen to a story, and sing. Participants will also build their own books to take home! Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 26, 11:30am-1:20pm
ICE SKATING
Ice skating is a 3,000 year old sport and a New England family tradition! Whether indoors or outdoors, ice skating is a fun physical activity for kids and adults. Families are invited to skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst on Fridays in March and April. Check the Mullins Center website for a full calendar and details. The Mullins Center rink accepts cash or check only. Governors Drive. Amherst, MA. (Child <$)

Friday, May 26, 5pm-7pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/BOTANY
Berkshire Botanical Garden’s opening reception: PlayDate: Play Houses in the Garden. Meet the designers and builders who have re-imagined play house structures and tour the exhibition of 12 installations ranging from an antique aviary tea party to a three-sided rustic fire hut. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 26, 5:30pm-6:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL MUSIC
Singing releases both endorphins and oxytocin, leaving the singer more relaxed. Oxytocin also causes a feeling of bonding with others. Combine singing with a sense of community and you are bound to experience a strong sense of belonging. The Sunderland Public Library is hosting a community sing, for people of all ages and abilities. Lyrics will be provided. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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