HFVS Animals & Adventures Episode with Guest DJ, Stephen Michael Schwartz (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Animals & Adventures Episode
with Guest DJ, Stephen Michael Schwartz

Listen to Podcast:

Stephen Michael Schwartz, a children’s singer/songwriter for over thirty years, is best known as a member of the popular trio, Parachute Express. Here he shares with us some of his favorite traveling songs and tunes about animals, both real and make believe.  His talent for songwriting gives him a unique perspective on what makes a classic song and his love of performing qualifies him to handpick this special selection of our very best singer/songwriters. – www.stephenmichaelschwartz.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
February 25th & 26th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Stephen Michael Schwartz – “Take A Hike” – Bucket of Wow!
  • Okee Dokee Brothers – “Through The Woods” – Through The Woods
  • Parachute Express – “What Will I Take To The Moon?” – Happy To Be Here
  • The Beatles – “Drive My Car” – Rubber Soul
  • Johnny Mercer/Peggy Lee “The Freedom Train” – Lost Capital Masters
  • John Denver – “Leaving On A Jet Plane” – The Essential John Denver
  • Harry Nilsson – “Nobody Cares About The Railroad Anymore” – Harry
  • Trace Adkins – “The Owney Song” – Tales From The Rails (Smithsonian Institute Mobile App)
  • Stephen Michael Schwartz – “Kitty Walks A Tightrope” – Songs From The Sandbox
  • The Irish Rovers – “The Unicorn Song” – The Best of the Irish Rovers
  • Stephen Michael Schwartz – “Toby The Worst Dog In The Whole Wide World” – Songs From The Sandbox
  • Dave Kinnoin – “My Dog Brings Out the Best of Me” – The Best In Me
  • Sarah McLachlan – “Blackbird” – Rareities, B-sides and other stuff/ Vol.2
  • Jimmie Dodd – “The Pencil Song” – Rare Mickey Mouse Recordings
  • Stephen Michael Schwartz – “Losing a Tooth” – Bucket of Wow!
  • Burl Ives – “Little White Duck” – Burl Ives Sings Children’s Favorites
  • Parachute Express – “See You Later Song” – Who’s Got A Hug

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Suggested Events for February 18th – 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, MA)

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, MA)

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

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

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Bulletin Board

Feb 25

Meet Curious George and others at the WGBY Love for Learning PBS Kids fan fair Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10am to 3pm at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. It’s like a comic book convention for PBS Kids (ages 2–8). Children are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character. Enjoy show-themed activity stations, tabletop fun from community partners, and live demos from children’s book authors and illustrators. Plus, meet live characters, including Curious George, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat, and others. The event is free (with suggested donation in support of public television). Event details and registration available at wgby.org/fanfair. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org.

Feb 26

Mister G February Fiesta! Presented by Sunnyside Child Care Center (one of the area’s longest running early childhood centers, offering quality care for children ages 18 months through five years). Come hear Latin Grammy winner Mister G perform songs in English and Spanish for kids from 1-100! Crafts, pizza, popcorn, and fun for all. Sunday, February 26, 10am-noon, at the Florence Civic Center, 140 Pine St., Florence. $8/per person or $25 for the family! www.sunnysidekids.org.

Open House: Mar 4

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is holding an Open House on Saturday, March 4, 9:30-11am. They are enrolling now for Fall 2017. Sunnyside provides play-based programs with an emergent curriculum for ages 18 months-5 years on 8 wooded acres between Northampton and Easthampton. Sunnyside values and promotes diversity, and offers flexible scheduling and a sliding scale tuition to make their high-quality childcare more accessible. Visit them at the open house, or call to schedule a tour. Sunnyside, 557 Easthampton Rd., Northampton. 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org.

Mar 4

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Nursery Open House, Saturday, March 4, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Teaching Creatures at 11:30am with their special program: Amazing Mammals. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.

2017 Preschool Directory for Western MA

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2017 Winter & Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 25th – March 3rd, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Classic Children’s Books Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Classic Children’s Books Episode
with Guest DJ, Jason Didner

Listen to Podcast:

Spend an hour with this episode of Hilltown Family Variety Show and you’ll grow your family’s love of reading, books and stories. “Jersey Jason” Didner, from the Jungle Gym Jam, is the guest DJ ahead of his Massachusetts debut at the Eric Carle Museum, which inspired his featuring of songs that set storybooks to music, like “The Brown Bear Rap,” “Chicken Soup with Rice” and “The Dot Song.” Jason also reads a book titled “The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade,” written by none other than children’s singer/songwriter Justin Roberts.  − junglegymjam.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
February 18th & 19th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Two of a Kind – “I Like a Good Story” – So Many Ways to Be Smart
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Magic Beans” – Make Believers
  • They Might Be Giants – “Fake Believe” – Here Come the ABC’s
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions – “Every Day I Write the Book” – Punch the Clock
  • Emily Arrow – “The Dot Song” – Storytime Singalong, Vol. 1
  • Baze and His Silly Friends – “Poor Mother Goose” – Best Day Ever
  • Carole King – “Chicken Soup with Rice” – Really Rosie
  • Book: Justin Roberts – “The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade”
  • Miss Nina – “The Brown Bear Rap” – Sha Doo Be Doop
  • The Original Broadway Cast of Seussical the Musical – “Green Eggs and Ham” – Seussical
  • Monty Harper – “Hangin’ Out with Heroes at the Library” – The Great Green Squishy Mean Concert CD
  • Mister Billy – “A Guy Named Stan” – Super Superhero Songs
  • Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam – “My Superpower” – Lollipop Motel
  • Lunch Money – “I Love My Library” – Dizzy
  • Justin Roberts – “A Wild One” – Lullaby

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Suggested Events for January 28 – February 3, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“[Last year] was the first year my three year old participated in the Valentine’s Day swap & we had a blast making and receiving our cards in the mail. This site truly enhances what western Massachusetts is all about community and our great state!” – Summer Mikaitis (Pittsfield, MA)

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

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

Hilltown Families Events

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

Saturday, February 4, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Open House:Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education – Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon in Amherst. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Jan 29

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

Open House: Feb 4

The Campus School at Smith College. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 4, from 9:30am-11:30 am at the school on Prospect Street. Tour the school. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 28 – February 3, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Family Day: Celebrating Parent Engagement & Healthy Happy Kids

Monday, September 28th is Family Day

Monday, September 28th, 2015, is Family Day, and the Communities That Care Coalition is encouraging families to celebrate by spending quality time together as a family.  Family Day is a national movement, launched by Columbia University’s Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) to celebrate parental engagement as an effective tool to help keep kids substance-free, healthy and happy.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bird Identification in Western Massachusetts Made Easy, and Fun!

The Fun of Bird Identification in Western Massachusetts Made Easy

Blue bunting in West Chesterfield, MA.

Birds are everywhere this time of year, some migrating, some that stay with us over winter. Do you know who you’re sharing your yard with? Birds of all sorts have long since migrated to and from western Massachusetts, nesting here for the summer or passing through in their migrations… and it’s high time to get out and get birding!

Birds species can, of course, be identified by looking at them – their size, shape, color, feather pattern, and other distinctive markings help to distinguish one species from another. But what happens if you can’t get a close look at a bird? What if a flash of red passes by up ahead on a trail, or you’ve spotted a raptor soaring high above you? Often times you’re left with only a roadside silhouette of a sighting with which to try and identify a species, and using physical features alone can sometimes be very difficult. On top of the challenges presented by partial sightings are the similarities that some species share – it can be hard to tell which small, semi-spotted brown-and-white bird you’re seeing if you don’t have binoculars allowing you a closer look.

Click here to read on for resources on how to identify birds by their calls and upcoming birding events in Western MA…

Diverse Range of Animals & Resources in Western Mass Support Community Based Education

Animal Friendly Western Mass Stimulates Learning in Children (and Adults!)

Animals are a common interest among children. Whether they’re in love with cats of all shapes and sizes or fascinated by the destructive power of a shark’s jaws, children can learn a lot through having an interest in creatures. In utilizing the numerous animal-related community-based learning resources available locally, families can support children of all ages in learning about everything from biological classification to compassion.

Gecko at the Berkshire Museum

As far as learning goes, children’s animal-related interests often have much to do with their age and the developmental stage that they’re in. Young children’s interest in animals is generally limited to a curiosity about where they live, what they eat, and what they do all day – similar to the curiosities that children have about the people around them. Elementary-aged children slowly develop the ability to understand animals as a complex topic, and begin to consider ideas like adaptations, predator-prey relationships, natural habitats, and extinction. Meanwhile, older learners (teens and tweens) can explore an interest in animals by learning about the biological complexities of species classification, the role of conservation in species preservation, and the diversity of animal species and habitats around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Explore & Connect to Where You Live through Nature Bingo & BioBlitz

Creative Nature Scavenger Hunt Stimulates Nature Education & Strengthens a Sense of Place

Outdoor adventures with kids have a way of turning into loosely-structured scavenger hunts. Woodland trails are littered with interesting treasures, beaches wash up endless items of interest, and the tall grasses of meadows reveal new treats wherever you part the seas of green. Supporting children’s interest in looking closely at nature and discovering treasures is easy enough to do. While unstructured, free play and exploration can uncover lots of natural wonders big and small, adding just a little bit of structure can help children lead themselves to certain discoveries or a specific learning goal, and will support learners of all ages develop useful skills that can be applied in many different educational and real-life contexts.

While we’ve covered the basics of nature scavenger hunts in an archived post, there are more possibilities for learning via nature exploration than we could ever list! The simplest way to open your family’s eyes to nature using a game-like structure is to use bingo-style cards to track your discoveries. Online resources for nature bingo abound, including boards filled with variations on camping bingo and MassAudubon’s nature bingo, which offers four different cards (one to match each season) that help to open players’ eyes to the interesting and exciting natural occurrences, connecting them to the seasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Library Events Support Chemistry, Physics, Forensics & More this Summer!

Statewide Summer Learning Programs Offer Developmental Advancement

This summer, libraries across the state are offering an innovative summer reading program to young readers. Titled Fizz, Boom, Read!, the program supports the development of reading and literacy skills, while also allowing participants to explore the intersection of science and the humanities. By combining science with reading, libraries are encouraging children to explore the world of non-fiction writing- opening up endless possibilities for learning and satisfying science-based curiosity. Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS: Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry

Listen to Podcast:

Keith Terry from Crosspulse Ensemble is our Guest DJ this week! Keith’s program is about World Music AND Music of the World – not only songs from artists around the planet, but sounds of the planet, itself – from the calls made by insects and birds,  to  atmospheric sounds created by lightening.  Plus some found sound — music created by the sounds we don’t always think of as musical, such as fog horns and trains, even bricks.  Join Keith in this exploration of some new and unusual ways of creating and listening to music.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 14th & 15th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO: Keith Terry, organizer of the International Body Music Festival, stopped by The World studios in Boston to demonstrate the amazing music the human body can make. – www.crosspulse.com


 Archived Podcasts ♦ Radio  Facebook  Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Body Beat – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do.
  • Bayaka Pygmies – Bayaka Song – Pulse of the Planet
  • Ba Benzélé Pygmies – Unknown – Anthology of Afro Music – UNESCO
  • Zap Mamá – Brrrlak! –  Divas volume two
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Cumbe – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Mangbetu – Water Drumming – Pulse of the Planet
  • Tangle Eye – Katie Left Memphis with wood chopping – Alan Lomax’s Roots of the Blues
  • Unknown – Bricks – Unknown
  • Postal Workers Cancelling Stamps at the University of Ghana Post Office – 1975 field recording, James Koetting
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Flores – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Mayan Marching Band – Unknown – Unknown
  • The Tahitian Choir – Morotiri Nei – Rapa Iti
  • Keith Terry & Crosspulse – Body Music – Keith Terry & Crosspulse
  • Vocal Sampling – Una Forma Mas – Una Forma Mas
  • Barbatuques – Cneiro verde – O Seguinte é Esse
  • Ants – Ants – Pulse of the Planet
  • Antonio Carols Jobim – Foghorn – original soundtrack from the film Black Orpheus
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Jalan Jalan – I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do
  • Talab Khan Barna – Sat Bhayan Ki Ek Behanadli I – Latcho Drom: Bande Originale Du Film Soundtrack
  • Atmospheric Whistlers – Atmospheric Whistlers – Pulse of the Planet
  • Barbatuques – Respirando – O Seguinte é Esse
  • Inuits – Unuit Throat and Harp Songs – Canadian Music Heritage Collection
  • Sergio Mendez – Fanfarra Despedida – Brasileiro

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • ❥ Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  • ❥ A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  • ❥ Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  • ❥ Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  • ❥ Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  • ❥ Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  • ❥ Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  • ❥ Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Underground Railroad Episode (Podcast/Radio Show)

Listen to Podcast:

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Underground Railroad Episode

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” According to American folklore, this song was a “musical” map which led fugitive slaves north to freedom. For a history of the song, see www.followthedrinkinggourd.org.


Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

Discover the Songs: Lyrics & History

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Sheep Shearing & Maple Syrup Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

SHEEP SHEARING & MAPLE SYRUP EPISODE

Sheep Shearing

Shearing the sheep and skirting the fleece at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. Click on photo to see more images. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfie

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 9th & 10th, 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

  • Lunch Money – “Wake Up, World” – Dizzy 
  • Pete Seeger – “Maple Syrup Time” – Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger
  • Kitty Donohoe  – “Maple Syrup” – Bunyan and Banjoes
  • Phil Rosenthal – “Buffalo Gals” – This Land is Your Land
  • Nashville Bluegrass Band & Kid Pan Alley – “Extra Hand” – Kid Pan Alley
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Carla Sciaky – “Sheep Shearing” – Spin the Weaver’s Song
  • Justin Roberts – “Field Trip” – Pop Fly
  • The Hipwaders – “Field Trip” – Goodie Bag 
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • L. Frank Baum – The Story of Baa-Baa Black Sheep
  • Teresa Doyle – “The Shearing” – If Fish Could Sing … and Sheep Could Dance
  • Matt Nathanson – “Starfish and Coffee” – For the Kids Too
  • Moxy Fruvous – “Maple Syrup Time” – If I Had a Song: Songs of Pete Seeger Vol. 2
  • The Hipwaders – “Things You Want” – Goodie Bag 

Must-Hear Music Monday: Mister Rabbit by Caspar Babypants

Caspar Babypants’ New Kids’ Books

Bunny Rabbit in the SunlightDid you know that Caspar Babypants is now writing kids’ books? It’s true!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that all of Caspar’s album covers are beautifully illustrated with paper cut out pictures. All of those adorable little creatures were created by Caspar’s, that is Chris Ballew’s, real wife, Kate Endle.

So doesn’t it make perfect sense that they would team up to create a couple of bright, colorful, and fun-to-read books for kids? Of course it does!

With Kate illustrating and Caspar writing, these two new books are perfectly balanced and delightfully beautiful. Bunny Rabbit in the Sunlight is a simple board book for little guys and My Woodland Wish is a longer book for bigger guys.

Both are adorable and both follow a similar theme: pictures of cutey pie wild animals and rhymes about what those animals do (and how much we want to play with them).

Plus, each book comes with a FREE Caspar Babypants song that you can download at Caspar’s website.

And speaking of all things cute, bunny, and Caspar Babypants… have you seen the video for Mister Rabbit?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Are your children’s back to school supplies safe?

Make sure your children’s back to school supplies are safe & PVC free!

Did you know your child’s school supplies may be loaded with toxic PVC plastic? Go PVC-free this Back to School Season with their free guide.

The Center For Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) has created a Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies allowing parents and children healthier and safer options when it comes to choosing school supplies. CHEJ’s product list of PVC-free items include:

  • backpacks
  • binders
  • notebooks
  • lunch boxes, food wrappers & dishware
  • raincoats
  • shoes
  • art supplies
  • clothes
  • electronics
  • and more

Click here to download their free guide.

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining!

Follow Me on DeliciousWhere are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site, in the left-hand column.  Click any time to see what links we’ve added!

Below is the latest 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page). All links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement:

Read the rest of this entry »

Must-Hear Music Monday: Down at the Zoo

Down at the Zoo

Down at the ZooOne of my favorite bands is Belle and Sebastian and one of my all time favorite albums is Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Yes, I suppose that is music for grown ups, but my son loves this album, too!

Anyway, when I heard that Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian was creating kids’ albums I just had to check it out! Recording under the name Too Many Cookes, Mick’s newest album is Down at the Zoo and it’s just lovely.

The album is all about animals and their antics in the zoo. Elephants, monkeys, alligators… they’re all here. The lyrics are simple and wonderful fare for preschoolers and toddlers. Easy to sing to and full of life and imagery.

But what I really like is the quality of the music itself. The horns are tremendous throughout the album and it’s fun to talk to your kids about the different instruments you can hear in each song. My favorite song on the album has to be Sarah the Seal. Just so happy and free!

Check out the new album on the Down at the Zoo Facebook page and listen to one of the songs from the album here: We are the Tigers.

By the way, did you know that tigers like to eat chocolate pie?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Must-Hear Music Monday: New Video by Renee & Jeremy

Share This Video

Renee & Jeremy are simply awesome as is. Their music is melodic and beautiful. But they also seem to know all of the coolest artists around and when their songs are accompanied by animation… well, it’s perfection.

See for yourself:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Dads & Daughters Valentine’s Day Tips
By Joe Kelly

Dad and Daughter Sledding in Northampton, MA

Spend 1-on-1 time with your daughter. Take her sledding, to the museum, visit the library... (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  1. Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  2. A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  3. A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  4. A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  5. Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  6. Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  7. Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  8. Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters® Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  9. Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  10. Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

October 16th Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Radio Show/Podcast)

October 16th Episode

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
October 16th & 17th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Listen Now


FEATURED VIDEO: The Leisure Society play live at the Union Chapel on 15 May 2010 to launch American Laundromat’s latest charity compilation, Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies.


 

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PLAYLIST

Northampton Parents Center Turns 25!

Northampton Parents Center
25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert
Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Jay Mankita is a touring songwriter, an internationally recognized recording artists and a local dad. Join him on Saturday, October 16th at a fundraising concert for the Northampton Parents Center. Click on flyer to see larger image.

Northampton Parents Center is having a 25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert with Putumayo recording artist, Jay Mankita, Saturday, October 16th, at 4 pm in the upstairs of Edwards Church.  Everyone is welcome – the whole community is invited! A sliding scale donation is suggested, but  not required.  Please come celebrate music for the whole family with the Northampton Parents Center!

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON PARENTS CENTER

Northampton Parents Center is a nonprofit cooperative drop-in site for children (birth to kindergarten) and their caregivers. Since 1985, Northampton Parents Center (NPC) has provided a safe, nurturing environment for families with young children to socialize. Open Monday through Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 am, mid September to late May. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street. Generously supported by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Edwards Church, and partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care administered by Collaborative for Educational Services and Northampton Public Schools. www.northamptonparentscenter.org

October 2nd Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast)

October 2nd Episode

Listen Now


Featured video: The Flannery Brothers perform “Pirate or Parrot?” off of their new CD, The New Explorers Club.

Repeat Button Award
We’re loving The Okee Dokee Brothers new CD, Take it Outside.  Their combination of bluegrass and country sounds make for excellent breezy listening.  We find their songs fun, entertaining, even educational, with lyrics reminiscent of country living.  This album gets a 4-Star Repeat Button Award with four different repeat button requests being shouted from the back seat of the mini-van, including the songs: “Neighbors,” “Antidisestablishmentarianism,” “Tippy Toes” and “Auctioneer.”


PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Station ID: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Neighbors” [Take it Outside]Music
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Naked Truth” [Take it Outside]Music
  • Flannery Brothers – “Pirate or Parrot?” [The New Explorers Club]Music
  • Claire Bloom  – “The History of Seven Young Parrots (Of The Lake Pipple-Popple)” [Nonsense Stories and Poems by Edward Lear]
  • Steve Songs – “The Pirate Song” [Little Superman]
  • The Bazillions – “Super Sonic Rocket Bike” [Rock-n-Roll Recess]Music
  • Station Id: Bill Harley [www.billharley.com]
  • Caspar Babypants – “The Legend of the Bone” [This is Fun]Music
  • Bill Harley – “Jack and the Singing Leaves” [The Best Candy in the Whole World and Other Stories by Bill Harley]Music
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “The Extraterrestrials” [Take it Outside]Music
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “The Rattling Can” [Rise and Shine]

VALLEY FREE RADIO: It’s fundraising week over at our beloved community radio station, 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA). Visit Valley Free Radio online and make a donation to keep the station on air and equipment up-to-date.  Any amount is welcomed!  Visit www.valleyfreeradio.org and select the Donate Now button (large and up top) to make your pledge.

Valley Free Radio is a commercial-free community radio station that gets the vast majority of its funding from listeners like you!  Make a donation of $20 or more during our show (Saturday, 9-10am) and receive a CD from one of the many wonderful family-genre musicians we feature every week on our show. Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to let us know that you made your pledge.  Thank you for supporting community radio!

Back-to-School Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

Listen Now

Back-to-School Episode

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
September 11th & 12th, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


Featured Video: Our friends over at Boston Children’s Music turned us on to this new video,Bookmobile Submarineby John Hadfield.


PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Chuck Berry – “School Day” [His Best, Volume 1]
  • Imagination Movers – “First Day of School” [Juice Box Heroes]
  • The Not-Its! – “Welcome to Our School” [Time Out to Rock]
  • Station ID: Charity and the JAMband [www.jamjamjam.com]
  • Charity and The JAMband – “Jump into the Middle” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Ernie & Neal – “Pre-School Punk” [Rock the House]
  • Duplex – “Figure 8” [Album]
  • Jack Johnson – “We’re Going to be Friends” [Sing-a-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George]
  • Opus Ditty – “Folsom Preschool Blues”
  • Rocknocerous – “School Bus” [Dark Side of the Moon Bounce]
  • Tom Paxton – “What Did You Learn in School Today” [Best of Tom Paxton]
  • The RTTs – “Learning My Letters” [Turn It Up Mommy!]
  • Adam and the Couch Potatoes – “Go To The Playground” [One Size Fits All!]
  • Clint Holmes – “Playground in My Mind” [Radio Hits of the ’70s]
  • The Terrible Twos – “Playground” [Jerzy The Giant]
  • Ellis Paul – “I Like To Swing” [The Dragonfly Races]
  • Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck – “Carnival Ride” [Special Kind of Day]
  • Lisa Loeb – “It’s Not Goodbye” [Camp Lisa]
  • The Sweet Colleens – “The Terrible Twos Step” [The Monkey Dance: All The Kids Are Doin’ It!]Music
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “The Rattling Can” [Rise and Shine]Music

7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child

7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child
By Emily Graham, PTO Today

When your child heads back to school, it’s a great time to start talking with his teacher.

What can you tell a teacher that will help him do his job better? You might be surprised. While your child’s teacher is the expert in education, no one knows more about your child than you do. It’s just as important for parents to tell teachers about issues at home that may affect school performance as it is for teachers to report how children are doing in the classroom.

Students do best when parents and teachers work together as partners. The start of a new school year is a great time to open a dialogue with your child’s teacher. Not sure where to start? Here are seven things teachers wish you would tell them. Sharing this information with a teacher will help her better understand your child’s needs and lay the groundwork for a cooperative relationship throughout the school year.

READ MORE:  7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child – GreatSchools.net.

Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Princess Katie & Racer Steve @ The Carle

WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
At the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA

Princess Katie & fan. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Hilltown Families and the Northampton Community Music Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA on Saturday, August 7th at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  Deadline to enter to win is 08/04/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT PRINCESS KATIE & RACER STEVE

“Don’t let the name fool you, this Manhattan-based musical duo (and married couple) stirs up some seriously rockin’ music, ranging from alt-pop to country to reggae, all with a positive message.” (Publishers Weekly)

In 2008, Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock co-present Princess Katie & Racer Steve at Lyman Hall in Northampton, MA.  PK&RS had the kids rockin’ out and doing the tango, with the parents laughing and joining in … Two years and two albums later, they’re returning to the Pioneer Valley, and this time to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts, sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River!

Princess Katie & Racer Steve have recently released a new album titled Tiny Cool, which has been described as “a book you cannot put down – in music form!” They create high energy, positive and upbeat music that both kids and parents alike can enjoy.

Spontaneity and surprise are key to PK&RS shows. You never know what they’ll dream up. Princess Katie (aka Katie O’Sullivan) says, “I just can’t seem to do a show unless it’s spectacular for the kids!”

“Alternative rock-loving parents will dig how much Katie sounds like Natalie Merchant (only much more chipper), and the high-spirited high jinks of Racer Steve will keep their tots in stitches.” (FamilyFun magazine)

Find out more about Princess Katie and Racer Steve at www.princessracer.com.

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER

The Northampton Community Music Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all.” NCMC’s talented 50+ faculty members offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 750 participants a year—both adults and children—and bring concerts and other musical events to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.

This family concert is the sixth concert in the Kids Concert Series sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River.  The Eric Carle Museum is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission is $6, with all proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Program at NCMC.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 08/04//10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $6 and available at 12:30pm the day of the show.  No advance reservations. – For more information about the Northampton Community Music Center, call 585-0001.

Suggested Events 07/24/10-07/30/10

Like This!

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Hot Air Balloon Display at the Green River Festival last Saturday in Greenfield, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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.

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday & Saturday, July 23rd & 24th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Thai style fish cakes with cucumber relish and coconut rice.  Special drinks: Asian style Pimm’s Cup and Lime Shandy. Also available: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

BEST BET

Saturday, July 24th at 10:30am: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. Director Tom McCabe is going to place a very special spin on this classic. His take – a tale about bullying. The twist? The troll is the one who is bullied, teased and, at the beginning of the story, alone. With the help of the audience and lots of suggestions from fairy tale characters crossing the bridge overhead, the troll will make friends and work things out. – Making friends is tough, especially if you feel different. – Every kid in the audience can bring their own special talents to participate & shine! 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, July 24th from 12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm: Pittsfield City Hoopla at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, Drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more.  Great event for all ages! Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

August 14th at 9pm: Mt. Greylock Star Parties. Join families on the summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak for a wonderful evening of night sky observing!  Astronomy Association members are eager to share their knowledge about the night sky. Families will be able to observe the ringed majesty Saturn, galaxies, open star clusters, whispy nebula, double stars, colored stars, Neptune, Uranus, and much more through telescopes on display. The programs are FREE, appropriate for all ages and canceled only if there is heavy cloud cover or rain. Please contact the Mt. Greylock Visitors Center at (413)-499-4262 or Kevin Collins from the Astronomy Association at (413)-320-2509 if you have questions regarding the program or status of the program. Lanesbourgh, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

Shelley Brooks of the South Berkshire Community Coalition writes: Kickball Tournament – we need players! Deadline to sign up – Friday, July 23… We are looking for 10 eager players that would like to join our SBCC Kickball Team. This fun (one-time) event will take place *Saturday, July 31* at the Little League Field in Great Barrington. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and wrap up arou…nd 6 p.m. All ages (and abilities) are encouraged to join!  Call us at 413-528-1919 x 14 or email at sbcc@chpberkshires.org.

Deadline to enter to win: Tonight, 7/22, at 7pm!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Help support The Food Bank of Western MA. Food and fund drives organized by community groups, schools, and local businesses help fill The Food Bank’s warehouse and enable them to dedicate more resources towards their mission. Organizing a food drive or other fundraising event for The Food Bank can make a major impact in your community. Most-needed items: peanut butter and jelly, rice and canned soup or stew, spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce, canned pasta meals, tuna, low-sugar cereals, canned beans. For more information about how your group can support The Food Bank, or to arrange a drop-off time of food or funds, please call The Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or email our Development & Marketing Department: development@foodbankwma.org.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Part-time volunteer opportunities. The Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Hilltown CDC) is offering three part-time one-year stipended volunteer positions starting in September to talented adults (must be over 18) who are interested in serving as Commonwealth Corps members and learning about the community development field. Hours are flexible; each volunteer will serve approximately 17 hours per week as an assistant on community outreach projects relating to Hilltown CDC’s work on affordable housing, small business development and planning projects. For more information, contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org.

Deadline to enter to win: August 4th

WORKSHOP: Thursday August 12, 2-5 PM. Grow Food at Schools workshop. This popular workshop features school garden and greenhouse techniques, curriculum connections, and service learning. Geared toward educators; all are welcome. PDPs (professional development points) available to teachers. Pre-registration required, contact solidarity@seedsofsolidarity.org.

WORKSHOP: Tuesday, August 24 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Chicopee Public Library, Workshop “Making Sense of Behavior: Teaching Young Children How to Develop Self-Control and Self-Regulation Using Behavioral and Sensory Techniques.” Designed to assist teachers, parents, and caregivers of children with challenging behaviors – the children who hit, bite, scream, etc. We will explore the reasons behind their behaviors and concentrate on a variety of techniques to help them develop more appropriate ways to deal with stress and channel their frustration, energy level, or sensory need. For more information contact Karen Cassidy at 413-783-5500 ext 16 or at kcassidy@thomchild.org.

LOCAL MUSICIANS WANTED: Local musicians wanted to perform as part of the Greenfield Savings Banks Morning Melodies summer series of musical entertainment featuring local artists.  If you have musical ability and would like the opportunity to schedule a date when you could perform for your Hilltown neighbors, please call Sarah Mancinelli (775-8291) at the bank.

PARENT NIGHT OUT: Saturday July 24, 4 PM, 10th Annual Chili & Chowder Fest, Camp Russell in Richmond, ages 21+. Sponsored by Boys and Girls Clubs of Pittsfield. Now in its tenth year, the Chili & Chowder Fest showcases the talents of chefs from more than 20 eateries across Berkshire County. The event will also feature pontoon boat rides on Richmond Pond, music, raffles, door prizes, beer and wine, and other snacks and refreshments. Tickets may be purchased at the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield and will be sold at the door if any remain; tickets are limited to 500. For more information, call (413) 448-8258.


WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 7/24

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Local contradance superstars Rhubarb Pie have reformed as Calamity Physics! Fun, danceable tunes loved by kids and adults alike! Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

9am-10pm – YANKEE DOODLE DAYS: At the Charlemont Fairgrounds.  Civil War Re-Enactment, Ox Draw, Music, Kid Activities, Rides, Demolition Derby, Crafts, Animals, much more. www.charlemontfairgrounds.org Charlemont, MA (>$)

9am-3pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: The Third Annual Otis Arts Festival at the Farmington River Elementary School, 555 Main Road (Rte. 8).  This year over 50 artists and artisans will be featured. Entertainment will feature Moonshine Holler, Appalachian fiddlers and singers  (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Henry the Juggler (11 a.m.), Leland Martin, fiddler and Joe Dziok accompanist (1:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.). 269-0220 Otis, MA (FREE, SALE)

9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The kids can learn about colonial cooking at the Historic Deerfield Museum’s Open Hearth Cooking Classes. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA

10am HIKE: The Deerfield River Watershed Association’s July Hike will be a chance to explore Colrain’s Archeology and Geography.   Join Muriel Russell, local expert in Catamount history, for an exploration of cellar holes and caves in the Catamount State Forest.  This is always a popular hike because of its variety and it is not too strenuous. Bring  flashlight to explore caves, unscented  bug repellant and lunch to enjoy at McLeod Pond.  Directions to start: From Rte. 112 in Griswoldville, Colrain, take Adamsville Rd. to Lively Rd., then quick left onto East Catamount Rd. (steep and dirt) to end where there is parking.  Please register with Muriel 624-3311. Colrain, MA (FREE)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center. Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

10am – MUSIC: Come to the  Greenfield Savings Bank Conway office for family music, featuring Joanie Schwartz, Conway resident, local realtor and singer/songwriter. Joanie is very lively and tries to involve others to sing along. 775-8291 Conway, MA [FREE]

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: Paintbox Theater presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff at  Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus. 587-3220 Northampton, MA ($)

10:30-11:15am – NATURE STUDIES: Tom Ricardi will have his birds of prey at the Village Commons’ Summer Children’s Entertainment Series, outside in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Zucchini Brothers at Eastfield Mall Center Court. 543-8000 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

11am – THEATER: “The Mummy’s Tale and Other Stories from the Great Beyond” at the Berkshire Museum. This family-friendly journey explores the ultimate mystery: the afterlife as viewed across centuries and cultures. www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

11am-3pm – TAG SALE: Children’s Tag Sale, Chester Parent Center, Town Center Playgrounds (across from Town Hall). (Rain date July 31) to benefit Chester Elementary School PTO. 623-0111 Chester, MA (SALE)

11am-4pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Snow’s Ice Cream is celebrating their 100th anniversary with $1 ice cream cones for all. Snow’s will be serving cones at the River Valley Market (North King St.). Students of the Northampton Community Music Center will be playing music for the event throughout the earlier part of this event – from 11am till 2pm (approx.) All proceeds of the event will benefit the Music Center. Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

12Noon-5pm & 8-10pm – HOOP-FEST: Pittsfield Cioty Hoopla happens at Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House. Hula Hooping, Fire Poi Spinning, drumming by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots (8-10pm) and more. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

1pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: All ages welcome to cool off with some ice cream at the Whately Library (202 Chestnut Plain Rd.). 210-4346 Whately, MA (FREE)

1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer. Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. 256-6234 amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUMS ADVENTURES:  Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the art of acclaimed “New Yorker” and children’s book illustrator William Steig and his wife/creative collaborator Jeanne Steig, during SuperSteig Day, a family event.  298-4100 www.nrm.org Stockbridge, MA (FREE FOR KIDS)

1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

2pm-12Midnight – BLOCK DANCE: The Hinsdale muster team will be hold its 12th annual Block Dance.  Music, dancing, fireworks, kids’ muster, water polo, bonfire and more.  Hinsdale Fire Department. 655-8084  www.hinsdalefire.org Hinsdale, MA (FREE)

3-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Hilltown Sustainability Celebration at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.).  Contra dance and potluck/picnic.  Live music with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen, Josh Wachtel and Benny Schults & Choral Group.  Activities for all ages, including dance movement workshop, seed ball making, bag sew, ride an electric bike and more.325 3988 Cummington, MA (FREE)

6pm – MOVIE SCREENING: Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas – a red carpet fundraiser!  Moviegoers are encouraged to dress for the red carpet or as their favorite character from the Ramona books. The evening will also feature a silent auction with signed books, movie posters, etc, and a special pre-screening video specific to Franklin County.  774-3167 x 101 Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

6-9pm – HIKE: Blueberry Moon Hike.  Seach for berries on a 3-mile hike at the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Ages 8 & older. (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA (>$)

7pm – YOUTH THEATER: Starlight’s Youth Theatre’s production of Les Miserables at the Belchertown High School. 533-7896 Belchertown, MA ($)

7pm – OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE: Scaramouche Jones – a one-man show, at the Three Sisters Sanctuary. This is the first performance in the new outdoor stone amphiteater. “On the eve of the millennium, Scaramocuhe Jones, a 100-year old pale faced Gypsy clown, breaks a fifty year silence to tell his life story. We are taken on a journey from the slums of Trinidad to England, via Africa, Italy and wartime Poland: an odyssey spanning the entire 20th Century.” Performances are July 22 – 31. www.threesistsersanctuary.com 268-3850 Goshen, MA ($)

8pm – THEATER: Double Edge Theatre presents The Firebird 2010 Indoor/Outdoor Traveling Summer Spectacle. The Firebird is based on the classic Russian folk tale as well as a multiplicity of other Firebird and Phoenix myths and legends. 866-811-4111 www.doubleedgetheatre.org Ashfield, MA ($)

8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as their first show, and Grown Ups as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

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Great Parks Pursuit: Outdoor Family Adventure Game

Great Park Pursuit: The MA State Park Family Adventure

The Great Park Pursuit

Outdoor adventure game challenges all ages to disconnect from cyberspace and reconnect with open space.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is launching its fourth annual Great Park Pursuit, a summer-long series of free family adventures in Massachusetts state parks. This year, families will design their own Park Pursuit adventures with activities they choose.

“We envision the Great Park Pursuit as a first step in building the next generation of environmental stewards,” said DCR Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “The Great Park Pursuit gives participants a sampling of what our more than 450,000 acres of state parks offer on a daily basis. Let’s not let television and the Internet replace wonderful, traditional activities like hiking, fishing, and biking.”

Each year, several hundred families have participated in the Great Park Pursuit, hiking to beautiful views, learning to fish, pitching a tent, roasting s’mores, discovering secrets of the past, riding in horse-drawn wagons, and much more.

This year’s program will run through September 18th. DCR parks across the Massachusetts will host Great Park Pursuit activities at various times and locations throughout the summer. Teams are challenged to participate in six programs in several themed categories by September 18th. Categories include “Into the Woods,” “Go Wild,” “Explore the Night” and more. Adults and children will step back in time, discover secrets of the coast, and get to know the night sky.

The Great Park Pursuit is free, but teams must register to be eligible to participate. For information and to register, visit www.greatparkpursuit.org.


About The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR):

An agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

Lullabies to Ease Transitions

More Lullabies

I’m a huge advocate of using music as a way to signal everyday events. This works especially well for special needs kids who may need a little extra help moving through transitions.

We have certain songs that we listen to when it’s time to eat or time to go to school, special Wake Up Songs, and, of course, special going-to-sleep songs.

We have so many sleep songs that we’ve actually separated them into three categories: relaxing songs when it’s time to just wind down a bit; nap songs; and bed time songs. I’m starting to feel like a lullaby expert!

So I wanted to share some of our favorite lullaby songs with you. Some are full albums and others are just one song off an otherwise excitable CD (and these days it’s so easy to just download one song), but all are magnificent.

Charlie Hope’s World of Dreams is a beautiful CD. She really thought through the entire concept from beginning to end and recorded an album fully with the intent of lulling your child to sleep.

I know it sounds obvious, but many lullaby CDs will include spoken words or jarring sounds that can wake you up! On World of Dreams, however, you’ll find that each song runs smoothly to the next, that the imagery is peaceful, the songs are ethereal, and the last song, If I Lie Here, sort of drifts off and fades away at the end, perfect for falling asleep to.

The beats on Under the Stars may move a bit faster than World of Dreams, but works beautifully for an afternoon nap time. What I love most about this album is that singers Nancy Falkow & Fran King take turns as lead vocalist, so get this very nice back and forth between a male voice and female.

Both singers are now based in Ireland (though Nancy is originally from the US), and you’ll hear lots of nature references in the songs that make me think of the Irish countryside. Very soothing and very sweet, my favorite song has to be I Wish You Love. It’s such a tender song about a parent’s love for their child.

This CD by Renee & Jeremy is a must-have in our car. It’s a Big World is the CD we pop in when Ivan is fussy and tired while we’re driving around town and just needs to settle down. It always works!

Renee & Jeremy are probably one of the best duo bands ever, their voices just blend perfectly, and this CD is home to my absolute favorite lullaby ever: Powder Blue. This is the song I hum to Ivan when it’s just me and him and he needs a little extra love. So simple yet so effective!

And can we talk for a minute about artwork? I’m just mesmerized by this CD cover. Brilliant and beautiful, but also soothing at the same time. Very nice.

A lot of artists will also record one lullaby song with the rest of the upbeat songs on their album. Here are some of our favorites:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

8th Birthday Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

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8th Birthday Episode

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Northampton, MA

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TAKE ACTION: Feeding Families in Western Mass

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Hatfield, MA writes:

U.S. Senate leaders are currently considering legislation that would cut benefits available to struggling families through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This legislation has been proposed as part of the pending American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (H.R. 4213) (“extenders bill”).

The proposed cuts to SNAP could reduce the amount of support that hungry families receive to put food on their tables by as much as $45 per month. For the hundreds of thousands of families in Massachusetts that are facing hunger, these cuts would mean more days without enough to eat.

Food hardship — what families experience when they don’t have enough money to buy the food they need — is a national problem. In Massachusetts, food hardship rates are at 16.3%, according to a report compiled by the Food Research and Action Center.

More than 114,000 people in Western Massachusetts receive support through SNAP to help feed their families — that’s about one in every eight residents of our region. Without the safety net provided by SNAP benefits, these families would face severe hunger or chronic food insecurity.

Now is not the time to roll back an essential program that helps fight hunger.

TAKE ACTION

Please contact Senators Brown and Kerry, and House Representatives, to ask them to reject any cuts to SNAP funding in the extenders bill.

Click here to find out how to contact Massachusetts Senators and Representatives.


About The Food Bank

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is the leading provider of emergency food that reaches individuals and families with lower incomes in western Massachusetts. In addition, The Food Bank is working with the community to develop strategies that will reduce the number of people in the four counties of western MA who must rely on emergency food. The Food Bank seeks to make nutritious and affordable food accessible to all residents in our region.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc.
PO Box 160, 97 North Hatfield Road
Hatfield, Massachusetts 01038-0160
(413) 247-9738
www.foodbankwma.org

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