August 22-28, 2020: Suggested Learning Ideas, Events & Resources for Western MA

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through bthe social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With 10,000 opt-in subscribers and over 2.7 million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover learning ideas and community-based educational opportunities to explore at home and outdoors this weekend and next week.

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PreK-8th. In-Person/Indoors & Outdoors.

Kids need space and adventure. Parents need to know they’re safe and learning. At The Center School in Greenfield, you get both–it’s all about balance. With small class sizes, outdoor learning spaces, a focus on their students’ social and emotional needs, and a curriculum rooted in social justice, the Center School plans to provide responsive, in-person school beginning August 24th. While in-person, the focus will be on creating joy and a classroom community that can be pivoted to a rigorous remote learning environment if necessary. Read more about their reopening plans, and see an educational overview, at www.centerschool.net. Due to small class sizes, space is very limited. To apply, email Lauren Obregón at admissions@centerschool.net.

 

Find what you’re looking for in our 2020/2021 Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA!

Indoor & Outdoor Program

YMCA in Greenfield Preschool. Greenfield, MA. An exceptional experience for the young learner! Healthy child development and learning starts early. That’s why YMCA in Greenfield Preschool offers an early childhood education program that helps children learn the essential skills they’ll need later on. Certified, trained, supportive staff work to help everyone have the best possible start in their education! The Y Preschool allows children to: grow personally, clarify values, develop specific skills, improve personal & family relationships, and become better leaders. Early learners become instilled with the YMCA’s mission of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility while encouraging an atmosphere of cooperation, mutual respect, and a safe environment for all. Preschool. Ages 2.9-5yrs. For more information: ljackson@your-y.org; 413-773-3646; www.your-y.org.


September

The 10th Annual Will Bike 4 Food is taking place with a virtual twist! Join The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for a month-long version of their WB4F cycling event to provide emergency meals to local families & individuals during Hunger Action Month in September. Riders of all ages & abilities are welcome to participate, cycling at any time, anyplace, and any distance to raise funds to support neighbors facing hunger. To encourage WB4F participants to stay active while safely engaging with fellow cyclists, The Food Bank is partnering with local fitness establishments, offering virtual fitness classes & online workshops. Individuals/teams register at WillBike4Food.org. Registration is $35 to benefit The Food Bank. Inquiries: jennifert@foodbankwma.org


Adapted In-Person/Indoors

Roots Gymnastics Center: Fall Classes. Westfield, MA. Join Roots Gymnastics Center this fall with their small class sizes, socially distanced groups, and additional cleaning and sanitizing makes for a clean and safe gymnastics experience! For more information: info@rootsgymnastics.com; 413-562-2333; www.rootsgymnastics.com.

Discover virtual & adapted programming in our 2020/2021 Class Directory for Western MA!

Virtual

Stoneleigh-Burnham School’s Distance Learning Program. Greenfield, MA. Stoneleigh-Burnham School, an independent day and boarding school for girls in grades 7-12, is pleased to offer a remote experience for the first half of the 2020-21 school year. Beginning in September 2020, students will engage in a robust online program that has been designed and evaluated through the lens of distance learning to serve better their students’ interests, abilities, and circumstances. In addition to formal class time, co-curricular programs, and remote social events, students will participate in wellness and physical activity programming. SBS fosters the development of strong female identities in a small and inclusive multi-cultural environment and supports students in a variety of time zones. For more information: admissions@sbschool.org; 413-774-2711; sbschool.org/more.

Wolf Tree Programs in Montague, MA. Wolf Tree’s programs are designed to foster children’s curiosity and connection to nature in a fun, safe, and supportive environment. Experienced and engaging instructors help them learn essential leadership and team-building skills, develop confidence, and become stewards of the land and local communities. Learn to make fire and rope, plant and tree identification, wildlife tracking, outdoor cooking, nature crafts, and more. Wolf Tree Programs fosters healthy relationships to self and community through nature immersion and wilderness living skills. They offer a variety of summer and school year programs for children and adults. Sending kids home happy since 2007! 413-775-3181. info@wolftreema.com. www.wolftreema.com.

Virtual

Hybrid Music Lessons and Classes at Community Music School of Springfield. Virtual/Springfield, MA. Fill your fall with music! CMSS is now enrolling for hybrid private and semi-private music lessons for children, teens, and adults across a wide range of instruments and genres. Students are carefully matched with a teacher who will best meet their needs, and CMSS registration team will gladly assist you in deciding whether to rent or purchase your instrument. This year, ensembles are completely FREE! CMSS invite musicians of all ages to meet and mingle with like-minded music-loving peers and create memorable music experiences in a group that matches your interests and musicianship level. 2020-21 programming will start remotely, and students will have the choice to ease into a mix of remote and in-person experiences as possible/appropriate. For more information: rstorozuk@communitymusicschool.com; 413-732-8428; communitymusicschool.com.

Virtual

Northampton Community Music Center: Online Lessons & Classes. Northampton, MA. The Northampton Community Music Center is a nonprofit organization offering the highest quality music instruction for all ages and abilities to residents of Western Mass and beyond since 1986. Music Together for babies and toddlers provides an excellent musical foundation and family bonding experience. Individual lessons in more than 20 instruments and a variety of musical genres are available for students as young as age 4. A wide choice of group classes is available for children and adults to explore specific styles, tools, and music-making techniques. All skillfully taught online until we can all safely be together again. Registration now open for the fall through their website. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. For more information: registrar@ncmc.net; 413-585-0001; ncmc.net.

Virtual, Private Tutoring & Coaching

Downtown Sounds Music School. Northampton, MA. Downtown Sounds Music School provides music education for a wide variety of instruments. They offer online lessons seven days a week for guitar, piano, voice, bass, drums, percussion, ukulele, brass and woodwind instruments, banjo, mandolin, and more. Whether students are just starting, looking to expand their abilities, or learning to play a favorite song, their teachers are passionate about working with students of all ages to meet their musical goals! For more information: lessons@downtownsounds.com; 413-586-0998; downtownsounds.com.


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SUGGESTED LEARNING IDEAS,
RESOURCES, & EVENTS
August 22-28, 2020

Saturday, Aug 22Sunday, Aug 23
Monday, Aug 24Tuesday, Aug 25Wednesday, Aug 26
Thursday, Aug 27Friday, Aug 28

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Online and in-person events and resources shared below are done so as a courtesy and not as an endorsement. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm information, age appropriateness, registration requirements, safety protocols, and associated costs.

Discover virtual & adapted programming in our 2020/2021 Class Directory for Western MA!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Suggested Events

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


UNSEEN WORLD

There is much which is imperceptible to the human eye, either because it moves too fast, too slow, is too small, or is all-encompassing. This unseen world can be unveiled to us through the use of film and microscopes. The use of tools to help us see a world that exists right in front of us is a fascinating experience. What else might we not be able to see or detect yet someday be able to with the invention of new tools and resources? How does perceiving an “unseen world” contribute to our perspectives on life, and how might it impact our way of being in the world? Today’s self-directed learning module takes this concept and unfolds it by illustrating what we do have access to seeing using cameras, film, and electron microscopes, leaving us to ponder what we might be missing, which is literally in front of our eyes!

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Find what you’re looking for in our 2020/2021 Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Suggested Events

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


WORDS OF WISDOM: ASTRONAUTS

When a human leaves earth and travels to space, they return with the universal reward of a new perspective. These videos highlight astronauts’ renewed viewpoints, echoing an embodied awareness through their experiences in outer space that we are all connected. In today’s self-directed learning module, listen deeply to the wisdom of these astronauts, discussing with your family, and share your thoughts on human connection during a time of social isolation.

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Discover virtual & adapted programming in our 2020/2021 Class Directory for Western MA!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Suggested Events:

 

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


EXTINCTION

The extinction of animal species can be attributed to many different factors, but it all boils down to the impacts of humans. Thinking about endangered and extinct animals can conjure up great questions and topics to explore. Loss of habitat and invasive species are two human-induced causes of extinction of plants and animals. (Are WE an invasive species?!) A difficult topic to face, learning about extinction, the contributions of human behavior, and understanding which species will survive can lead us to a better understanding of why scientists are looking towards gene-editing and cloning as a method for reversing extinction and solutions for habitat conservation. For today’s self-directed learning module, link together human impact, invasive species, the strategy behind the conservation of umbrella species, the ethics of gene-editing, and a look at the efforts to save species for a deep dive on a hard subject.

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Find what you’re looking for in our 2020/2021 Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Suggested Events:

 

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


TOMATO SEASON

Late July and August is the season of tomatoes! Looking through the lens of tomatoes, there are many directions your curiosity can lead you. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Surprise your kids with that answer and then go down the rabbit hole of how the anatomy of plants guide us in how we classify fruits and vegetables. Once you have that squared away, interests in agriculture, food history, and culinary arts can be illuminated through tomatoes in today’s self-directed learning module!

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Discover virtual & adapted programming in our 2020/2021 Class Directory for Western MA!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Suggested Events:

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


CONSERVATION BIOLOGY: REWILDING

Today, let’s explore rewilding, an attempt to reverse the destruction of our natural world through the reintroduction of keystone animals. What’s a keystone animal? We’ll start our learning there, learning what happens when they are no longer a part of an ecosystem (trophic cascade) and how their reintroduction (rewilding) can impact our environment. Today’s self-directed learning module is an excellent catalyst for getting curious! Search online to discover what megafauna once roamed New England. See if you can list which local animals are keystone species. After watching the video series below, ask yourself how you might imagine keystone animals would impact our local environment if they were reintroduced or allowed to increase in number.

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Find what you’re looking for in our 2020/2021 Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Suggested Events

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


SHADOWS

When the hot summer sun is high in the sky, what might be the first thing you look for (other than a cold body of water)? A shadow! Summer shade is a well-appreciated shadow on a hot August day! Another well-known shadow, one full of myth and folklore, is the shadow of the earth on the moon’s surface as it moves between the sun and the moon. Following your interests through the shade of shadows can not only touch on myth and folklore, but it can also support an interest in storytelling! Start with an online search to discover the stories different cultures have around the earth’s shadow on the moon, then give storytelling through the medium of shadows a go in your own home. In today’s self-directed learning module, get inspired by several methods for telling stories through the use of shadows!

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Discover virtual & adapted programming in our 2020/2021 Class Directory for Western MA!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Suggested Events:

Want to have your online or in person event, class, or workshop featured with Hilltown Families? Inquire at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


SWEET CORN SEASON

August is the season of sweet corn! Sold at most farmers’ markets and local grocery stores in late summer, corn is a summer staple with a rich history and loads of learning opportunities. Corn can be a catalyst for learning about different Native American cultures and current efforts to save heirloom varieties and traditional preparation techniques. Corn can also be a useful lens for learning about agriculture, physics, culinary arts, and folk music. In today’s self-directed learning module, let corn lead the way for sparking your curiosity and supporting your interests!

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Chester, Gill, Goshen, Hadley, Heath, Hinsdale-Peru, Holyoke, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, New Salem, Northern Berkshire, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Washington, Westhampton, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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