Suggested Events for October 1st-7th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“My family recently relocated to Western MA. Hilltown Families has been an invaluable resource for learning about our new community and introducing it’s rich culture to us… Hilltown Families is a wonderful resource and my family is extremely grateful as it has made a huge difference in helping us to establish our new roots.” – Adam Brisben (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.

Featured Fall 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, 2016 Fall 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.

Bulletin Board

Oct 1

Harvest Day Open House at The Hartsbrook School, Saturday, October 1, 10am-12noon. Join the festivities and learn more about The Hartsbrook School, and the Land Stewardship Program. Take a workshop in beekeeping, seed saving and fiber arts. Meet the animals that live on the farm. Explore the gardens, woods, streams and fields that the students care for, work on and learn about. This event is for current families and those wishing to learn more about the school. A bountiful, locally grown snack will be served! Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on curriculum firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. The Hartsbrook School is located at 193 Bay Rd. in Hadley. For more info call 413-586-1908 or visit online at www.hartsbrook.org.

Oct 7

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their Pumpkin Patch event starting Oct 7 and will run the rest of the month every Fri, Sat & Sun including Monday, Oct 10 for Columbus Day. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch and each child can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for youth (ages 2-12) and $3 for child (under age 2). East Windsor, CT.

Oct 2

The 55th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills is on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-4pm, rain or shine. Enjoy live music, the famed “skillet toss,” craft fair, parade, log splitting contest, art, blacksmithing, weaving, local products, and of course, yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough with maple cream! For the kids, a hay maze, hill slide, children’s book signing, and lots of free activities. Sign up for the Covered Bridge Classic or Kids Fun Run! The festival is located in historic Conway center, Route 116, 8 minutes from Route 91 in Deerfield. Admission, parking, and almost all activities are free. See www.festivalofthehills.com for details.

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 bmacleod@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
October 1-7, 2016

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 »

Sense of Place: Community Festivals

From 19th Century Brooms to Colonial Doorways

From 19th Century Brooms to Colonial Doorways

Broom corn drying

This year at Hatfield’s Fall Festival (Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016), you can learn about two livelihoods: How local people grew broom corn and made brooms to sell in the early to mid-1800s, and how local carpenters (or joiners) likely carved their fancy Connecticut Valley doorways in the mid-1700s. The Hatfield Historical Society, which sponsors and puts on the event, hopes to inspire others to join these artisans in learning about industries from our past by recreating them today.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: September 26-30, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
September 26-30, 2016

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

HFVS Songs About America Episode with Guest DJ, Rocknoceros (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

 Songs About America Episode with
Guest DJ, Rocknoceros

Rocknoceros joins us as our Guest DJ with a Songs About America Episode. The musical trio explore their record collections to find tunes that celebrate, illustrate, and even criticize the Land of the Free.  Starting with the Chuck Berry-inspired rock ‘n roll of the 1950s, the selections quickly span the decades that followed and the various styles that continue to thrive today.  Join in the fun as the band members discuss the people and places that help make American music what it is, with a few asides about lemonade stands and Irving Berlin. — rocknoceros.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Sept 24th & 25th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO: Read along with Rocknoceros as they sing about the Lone Star State in this up-tempo country rocker from the “Plymouth Rockers” CD.


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Rocknoceros – “United States of America” [Rocknoceros]
  • Otis Redding – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” [The Essentials: Otis Redding]
  • Ramones – “Rockaway Beach (Live)” [It’s Alive (Live)]
  • Recess Monkey – “Lemonade” [In Tents]
  • Chuck Berry – “Sweet Little Sixteen” [20th Century Masters – The Millenium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry]
  • The Beach Boys – “Surfin’ U.S.A.” [Surfin’ USA]
  • Van Halen – “Dancing In the Street” [Diver Down]
  • Bruce Springsteen – “Born In the U.S.A.” [Born In the U.S.A.]
  • Rocknoceros – “Squeakers” [Plymouth Rockers]
  • Elton John – “Philadelphia Freedom” [Greatest Hits 1970-2002]
  • Grateful Dead – “U.S. Blues” [From the Mars Hotel]
  • Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer – “I’m My Own Grandpa (feat. Riders In the Sky)” [Dancin’ In the Kitchen]
  • Dwight Yoakam – “The Late Great Golden State” [21st Century Hits:  Best of 2000-2012]
  • David Bowie – “Young Americans” [Young Americans]
  • Rocknoceros – “God Bless America” [Plymouth Rockers]

Original broadcast:  June 27th & 28th, 2015

Save

Suggested Events for September 24th-30th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is the first place I check when deciding what to do with a free weekend, day, or even hour… This website is an absolute service to our community – not just people with kids but for everyone! I’d be at a total loss most weekends or when guests visit, if not for Hilltown Families, and I think we should support it as it has supported us.” – Lauren Weinsier (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 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.

Featured Fall 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, 2016 Fall 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.

Bulletin Board

Sep 24

Shabbat Shabloom! Saturday, Sept 24 at 10am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. Celebrate the end the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Stay to stroll the farm, play on the playground and enjoy grape juice and homemade challah. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! Facebook group.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There will be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Oct 1

Harvest Day Open House at The Hartsbrook School, Saturday, October 1, 10am-12noon. Join the festivities and learn more about The Hartsbrook School, and the Land Stewardship Program. Take a workshop in beekeeping, seed saving and fiber arts. Meet the animals that live on the farm. Explore the gardens, woods, streams and fields that the students care for, work on and learn about. This event is for current families and those wishing to learn more about the school. A bountiful, locally grown snack will be served! Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on curriculum firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. The Hartsbrook School is located at 193 Bay Rd. in Hadley. For more info call 413-586-1908 or visit online at www.hartsbrook.org.

Sep 23

The Hartsbrook School is pleased to welcome Kim John Payne, family counselor & internationally acclaimed author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. In defense of the extraordinary power of less, Kim John Payne helps to reclaim the space & freedom we all need. This simplifying path allows kids’ individuality to shine & their attention to flourish. The Simplicity Parenting approach is based on over 30 years’ experience of successfully supporting busy families. For those who want to balance their children’s lives but don’t know where to start, Simplicity Parenting offers both inspiration & a blueprint for change. Fri, Sept 23 at 7pm. $15. 193 Bay Rd, Hadley. 413-586-1908

Sep 24 & 25

The 18th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is the weekend of September 24 & 25 from 10am-5pm in Orange, MA. There’s something for everyone at this annual cultural celebration! Over 100 booths are vibrant with local artists, farmers, and fabulous food. Enjoy amazing music, performance, spoken word, and dance on three stages; chef demos and renewable energy education including the new Portal to the Future. Great for families with performances throughout the fields, a pottery tent, hula-hooping, horse-drawn hayrides, and garlic games all weekend. Only $5/adults; Kids 12 & under are free! More info at www.garlicandarts.org, including directions/parking & program updates. Follow on Facebook for updates on the festival that stinks!

Oct 2

The 55th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills is on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-4pm, rain or shine. Enjoy live music, the famed “skillet toss,” craft fair, parade, log splitting contest, art, blacksmithing, weaving, local products, and of course, yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough with maple cream! For the kids, a hay maze, hill slide, children’s book signing, and lots of free activities. Sign up for the Covered Bridge Classic or Kids Fun Run! The festival is located in historic Conway center, Route 116, 8 minutes from Route 91 in Deerfield. Admission, parking, and almost all activities are free. See www.festivalofthehills.com for details.

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 bmacleod@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
September 24-30, 2016

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 »

Learning through the Lens of Food: Apples

Poetry, Place & Hearth: Apples

Food connects us. It’s an integral part of our cultural identity and is often prepared with the idea of sharing, giving, and enjoying together.  Nothing indicates the beginning of autumn and the fall harvest in Western Massachusetts like the crisp bite of a local apple picked right off the tree, or the sweet taste of a freshly baked apple pie.

Apple season is a beloved time of year in New England with apple orchards preserving our heritage, regional identity, and local landscape. By visiting pick-your-own apple orchards, we meet the farmers that grow our food, learn firsthand how apples grow, and engage in the seasonality of the land and the sense of belonging it instills within us. Traditional recipes, the scenic orchard landscapes, and the representation of apple-picking in literature and art remind us of how the apple has become a rich part of our cultural heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

PYO Apples

Pick Your Own Apples in Western MA

Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an important part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples, and make up over two thirds of the regions apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts, and families can enjoy this year’s fantastic apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel.

Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check out these orchards and farms in Western Massachusetts for Pick Your Own Apples!  Read the rest of this entry »

Poetry of William Cullen Bryant: The Planting of the Apple-Tree

Poetry of William Cullen Bryant
“The Planting of the Apple-Tree”

Did you know that William Cullen Bryant, a 19th century poet (and Schoolhouse Poet like John Greenleaf Whittier) planted over 800 apple trees on his farm property? While the orchard is no longer active, you can still visit the poet’s homestead in Cummington, MA. A property of The Trustees, The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is open for house tours and other activities in the fall.

While visiting the property, take a look at the scenic Hilltown views of the Westfield River Valley, take a picnic lunch (don’t forget your freshly picked apples!) and read Bryant’s poem “The Planting of an Apple-Tree.

The poem’s various stanzas walk through the passage of time, starting with the planting of the apple tree and ending with the apple tree in its old age, as well as the poet who planted it. The tree is more than just the bearer of fruit, but as Bryant nostalgically mentions, is a tree that represents childhood, home, and identity.  It provides shade on hot days, perfumes the air with the fragrance of springtime, and offers a resting place for playing children in the summer. The apple reminds the poet of New England’s seasonality and the apple-tree represents a unique  American spirit beginning to blossom in the mid-19th century.  Read the rest of this entry »

Culinary & Family History Through the Apple Pie

Hearth

Where did the saying “Upper crust” come from? According to the U.S. Apple Association, in early America, when times were hard and cooking supplies were scarce, cooks often had to scrimp and save on ingredients. Apple pie was a favorite dish, but to save on lard and flour, only a bottom crust was made. More affluent households could afford both an upper and a lower crust, so those families became known as “the upper crust.”

In 1828 Lydia Maria Child published her book The American Frugal Housewife.  It was a popular book utilized by many 19th century women for its recipes, remedies, and home economics advice.  It also includes a few apple recipes, such as a common recipe for apple pie.  In her 12th edition from 1833 of The American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. Child writes:

Apple Pie
When you make apple pies, stew your apples very little indeed; just strike them through, to make them tender. Some people do not stew them at all, but cut them up in very thin slices, and lay them in the crust.  Pies made in this way may retain more of the spirit of the apple; but I do not think the seasoning mixes in as well.  Put in sugar to your taste; it is impossible to make a precise rule, because apples vary so much in acidity.  A very little salt, and a small piece of butter in each pie, makes them richer.  Clovers and cinnamon are both suitable spice.  Lemon brandy and rose-water are both excellent.  A wine-glass full of each is sufficient for three or four pies.  If your apples lack spirit, grate in a whole lemon. (p.67-68).

Curious to try your hand at apple pie?  Not sure which apples to use?  Ask a farmer!  At many pick your own orchards, or at local farmers’ markets, farmers can usually tell you which apples are best for baking and best for eating. Read the rest of this entry »

Community Apple Celebrations: Featured Events

How Do Apples Grow?

Weekdays in Western MA: September 19-23, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
September 19-23, 2016

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners, in addition to our bimonthly publication, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

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Suggested Events for September 17th-23rd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has made it oh so easy to in a few minutes find fun outings and events for our family. It’s also a wealth of information about this wonderful place that we live in. Thanks for making it so accessible.” – Amy Cullen (Williamsburg, 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.

Featured Fall 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, 2016 Fall 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.

Bulletin Board

Free Classes Sep 19-30

The Celtic Heels School of Dance is opening a new location in Florence this September and invite you to come try their classes for FREE between September 19-30. Classes are offered for ages 3-adult in Irish Dance, Irish/Tap, Irish/Ballet and Barre Fitness. They will also be holding their monthly Kids Magic Carpet Ride Yoga classes starting in October. Come experience the innovative style of Celtic Heels for yourself. Information regarding class times can be found at their website www.CelticHeelsDance.com or by emailing celticheels@gmail.com. Studio locations in Florence & Greenfield.

Sep 19 & Sep 21

Want more opportunities for healthy eating and active living? If you live in Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Russell or Worthington, join your neighbors on Monday Sept. 19 and Wednesday Sept. 21 to think outside the box about finding solutions for a healthier Hilltown region. Hosted by Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown CDC and the Hilltown Community Health Center. Share You Input: Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School OR Cummington Community House. Hear Expert Recommendations: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School. Dinner and childcare provided! For more information: cmarquis@collaborative.org, 413-588-5562 or visit http://tinyurl.com/HealthierHilltowns.

Sep 23

The Hartsbrook School is pleased to welcome Kim John Payne, family counselor & internationally acclaimed author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. In defense of the extraordinary power of less, Kim John Payne helps to reclaim the space & freedom we all need. This simplifying path allows kids’ individuality to shine & their attention to flourish. The Simplicity Parenting approach is based on over 30 years’ experience of successfully supporting busy families. For those who want to balance their children’s lives but don’t know where to start, Simplicity Parenting offers both inspiration & a blueprint for change. Fri, Sept 23 at 7pm. $15. 193 Bay Rd, Hadley. 413-586-1908

Sep 24 & 25

The 18th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is the weekend of September 24 & 25 from 10am-5pm in Orange, MA. There’s something for everyone at this annual cultural celebration! Over 100 booths are vibrant with local artists, farmers, and fabulous food. Enjoy amazing music, performance, spoken word, and dance on three stages; chef demos and renewable energy education including the new Portal to the Future. Great for families with performances throughout the fields, a pottery tent, hula-hooping, horse-drawn hayrides, and garlic games all weekend. Only $5/adults; Kids 12 & under are free! More info at www.garlicandarts.org, including directions/parking & program updates. Follow on Facebook for updates on the festival that stinks!

Oct 2

The 55th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills is on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-4pm, rain or shine. Enjoy live music, the famed “skillet toss,” craft fair, parade, log splitting contest, art, blacksmithing, weaving, local products, and of course, yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough with maple cream! For the kids, a hay maze, hill slide, children’s book signing, and lots of free activities. Sign up for the Covered Bridge Classic or Kids Fun Run! The festival is located in historic Conway center, Route 116, 8 minutes from Route 91 in Deerfield. Admission, parking, and almost all activities are free. See www.festivalofthehills.com for details.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

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. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
September 17-23, 2016

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 »

One-Room Schoolhouse: Connecting to Place through Literature & History

One-Room Schoolhouse: Connecting to Place through Literature & History

In the 1800’s, the traditional academic year was quite different in New England. An element of seasonality was incorporated into how the school term was determined. In rural areas, children who helped out on the family farm attended school during the winter and stayed home to assist with the harvest during the summer and fall. In a one-room schoolhouse, grade levels were often mixed and one teacher was responsible for all of the students’ learning. A man or woman, the school teacher assigned tasks to each student depending on the pupil’s age, grade, and level of advancement.

19th century poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, wrote a poem that describes well a typical country schoolhouse in New England. A Quaker, abolitionist, and native of Haverhill, MA, Whittier is part of a group of poets also known as the schoolroom poets. Whittier, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. were considered the first American poets to bring forth an authentic American voice and rival the British poets. They were referred to as the Schoolroom Poets, Fireside Poets, or Household Poets given their popularity and widely read works. One of Whittier’s poems, “In School-days,” read here in this video by Tom O’Bedlam, describes the memory of an old man as he recalls a fellow student and the life lesson she taught him.

When listening to (or reading) this poem, notice the description of the schoolhouse: the warped floors, the schoolmaster’s worn desk, and the battered seats of the students – all characteristics that point to a typical 19th century schoolhouse in New England.  Read the rest of this entry »

Community-Based Education Resources: One-Room Schoolhouses

Community-Based Education Resources: One-Room Schoolhouses in Western MA

Here in Western Massachusetts there are many preserved historic school houses people can visit to learn more about schooling and education before the 20th century.

Print out and take John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, “In School-Days,” with you to read as you explore these six historic schoolhouses in Western Massachusetts:  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning through the Lens of One-Room Schoolhouses: Featured Events

Who Were the Fireside Poets?

History of Education: A Lesson

Contemporary Conversations About Education

Contemporary Conversations About Education

Contemporary conversations about modern day education include” inspiring and forward-looking leaders and thinkers on the topic of learning, including Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson, Sir Ken Robinson and Geoffrey Canada, among others.” Hear what many of these folks have to share in this this TED Talk special on education:

Literary Guide for Natalia Romanova’s “Once There Was a Tree”

Literary Guide for Natalia Romanova’s “Once There Was a Tree”

Download literary guide for Once There Was a Tree.

Natalia Romanova’s Once There Was a Tree tells the story of life after death in nature. Beginning at the end of a great tree’s life, the book spotlights the many visitors and inhabitants who benefit from what the former tree’s stump and roots have to offer. Beginning and ending with human visitors, the chain of use includes bark beetles, ants, and even a bear! Each visitor to the stump gains something substantial from it and begins to feel ownership of it – though each, unbeknownst to them, ends up sharing it with all of the others. In the end, the stump remains and, though many have utilized it as a resource, it continues to offer itself to the world. So who then does it belong to? All of the visitors feel that it is theirs, yet each of them has taken advantage of a different part of the stump. Without realizing it, the people and creatures who feel they own the stump have actually shared it – allowing the stump to truly belong to everyone and, ultimately, to the earth itself.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: September 12-16, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
September 12-16, 2016

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners, in addition to our bimonthly publication, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts.

Select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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

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Suggested Events for September 10th-16th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families draws together the people living in the isolated Hilltowns… providing us with educational community- based events and information. Support Hilltown Families because Hilltown Families supports us!” – Pamela Haskins (Williamsburg, 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.

Featured Fall 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, 2016 Fall 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.

Bulletin Board

Sep 10

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is celebrating the 100th birthday of legendary author Roald Dahl with a fast-paced, live interactive game show on Saturday, September 10 at 2pm! The program is filled with fun facts, trivia and challenges that celebrate Dahl’s beloved stories such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches and The BFG. Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers and Story Pirates, the performance culminates in a brand new, improvised story based on ideas from the audience and inspired by the themes, language and hilarity of this iconic author. Recommended for 3rd-6th graders, but enjoyable for all ages! Free w/museum admission. www.carlemuseum.org

Sep 15

Amherst BID’s 5th Annual Block Party happens Thursday, September 15, from 5-9pm. North Pleasant Street is closed to traffic and vendors, performers and music fills the street. There is something to see and experience for every age. WRSI/The River and Hits 94.3 provide amazing live music on two stages with DJ Ragoza spinning tunes from the Peter Pan Futureliner bus. The Amherst Poetry Festival launches at the Block Party with a Poemkemon Scavenger Hunt and other fun activities. Please join the fun and help celebrate Downtown Amherst. For more information, please visit the BID Amherst Downtown.com site or write to ann@amherstdowntown.com.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There will be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Sept 24 – Jun 3

Full Moon Girls – Wild Natured Girls. Monthly Saturdays. Registration is open! Join in woodland adventures, learn practical crafts, and forge friendships through play. Girls immerse in the teeming wonders of nature and the connectedness of community. Learn to build friction fires, harvest wild edibles, climb trees, and more! Explore empowerment and embrace aliveness in this village of girls, guided by women mentors! Monthly in Montague for girls 7-15, (split into two clans). Sept 24th-June 3rd, 9:30 – 2:30, a sliding scale of $45-75/day. Contact FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com or 413-367-6191 or visit online at www.vermontwildernessschool.org/full-moon-girls!

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

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. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
September 10th-16th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

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Learning Ahead: Agricultural Fairs

Local Traditions & Cultures: Agricultural Fairs

As summer winds down and signs of autumn appear, annual agricultural fairs throughout Western Massachusetts mark the season with celebrations of local culture through the lens of farming traditions. Beginning as early as August, these annual fairs honor the unique character of towns throughout our region, fostering community pride, and strengthening intergenerational relationships through a shared interest and experience. With a stroll through exhibition halls on the fairgrounds and experiencing both traditional skills, crafts, and customs, visitors can support their interests through various learning opportunities while cultivating relationships and strengthening a deeper sense of place.

With many exhibition categories reserved specifically for youngsters, exhibition halls offer families the opportunity to share their own work, projects, and produce with others – and the opportunity to share the active role that they have in preserving local culture. See our post, Youth Participation at Agricultural Fairs Learning about History, Agriculture, Science & More.

Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life that have been cherished and passed on for generations. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture, local history, and a connection to place.   The agricultural fair’s long-standing presence in New England history reminds people of the importance in gathering to celebrate and share, even during difficult times, in order to foster a sense of community and collaborative spirit.  Many fairs are over 150 years old and have even taken place during some of our country’s most difficult economic periods and war time.  These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art.

These annual community-based events give learners great insight to the past through current day traditions. Take the time to learn about the long and rich history of our agricultural fairs and you’ll have a renewed way of viewing the many traditions found at each fair. Historical society museums are at some fairgrounds, open during the fair for families to view primary source artifacts and antique equipment displays. Come curious and bring your questions!

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Agricultural Fairs Support a Sense of Place & Interest in Domestic Arts

Learning through the Lens of Quilts: Featured Exhibits & Events

3 Community-Based Events Support Interests & Education Through the Lens of Quilting

Karen Pratt Exhibit
BINGO! Gallery at Shire City Sanctuary
September 2016

The BINGO! Gallery at Shire City Sanctuary is proud to present the Karen Pratt Exhibit, which features the work of local quilt artist Karen Pratt during the month of September. Each year, Hoffman California Fabrics hosts a world-wide quilting contest. The quilt collection on display represents a chronological journey of Pratt’s entries into the Hoffman Challenge, which she has participated in since 1997 and uses to challenge herself as an artist. The exhibit supports the work of a local artist while introducing textiles as a distinct and practical form of art. The exhibit will be on view throughout the month of September 2016 at the BINGO! Gallery at Shire City Sanctuary. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

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Why Quilting?

Quilting Offers Multidisciplinary Exploration of Math and Art

Often, math and art are seen as opposites: structure and the lack thereof. At the intersection of the two, however, lies quilting: an art form that is inherently mathematical. Families can explore everything from shape identification to tessellations by learning to create quilts together! Read more in our post, Quilting Offers Multidisciplinary Exploration of Math and Art.

Why Knitting?

Knitting Supports Explorations of History, Agriculture & Mathematics

An age-old skill, knitting provides us with some of our most treasured warm clothes. Learning the art of knitting can not only help to provide warmth, but can lead to explorations of local history, local agriculture, and complex math – and families can even engage in service-based learning by donating hand-knitted goods to help support people in need! Read more in our post, Knitting Supports Explorations of History, Agriculture & Mathematics.

Community-Based Education Resources: Explore Your Interests in the Domestic Arts

Learning through the Lens of Textile Arts: Featured Events

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