June 6-19, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: June 6-19, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

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Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

Virtual Music Lessons

Michael Nix, NixWorks Music Lessons and Classes. Greenfield, MA. High-quality music lessons! Welcoming students in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Michael Nix offers private instruction, classes, coaching for performers, and prep for college and performance auditions – serving the private instruction and home-school community since 1980. Friendly, fun, supportive lessons tailored to the interests and needs of the student. Guitar (Classical, Steel String, Electric), Banjo (5-String, Tenor), Mandolin, Uke, Composition, Theory. Group Classes offered when practical. Zoom, Skype, and other online platforms. References available. 413-772-0328. mnix@nixworks.com. www.NixWorks.com.

Virtual Classes & Summer Program

Drama Studio Summer Programs. Springfield, MA. The Drama Studio is a unique community where young people come to grow as artists, leaders, and individuals. Now offering a variety of virtual acting classes and theatre programs in a safe environment for ages 6-18, including: Stories on Stage, where students will gain character, voice and performance skills, and build expressive communication skills in a fun, exciting peer group. In Comedy Improv Jam, students will learn to think on their feet and activate imaginations. For teens: TeenScene Audio Plays – improvise, write and produce original one-act podcasts. Other classes: Songwriting, The Art of the Audition, Stage Management/Tech, and Yoga for Actors. No prior acting experience required. Summer enrollment now open! Space is limited. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 28; Age Range of Campers: 8-18yo. Contact: 413-739-1983. info@dramastudio.org. dramastudio.org/summer-programs

Each year, approximately 2 billion popsicles are sold worldwide. But where did the idea for this tasty treat come from? Find out in this TED-Ed lesson: How the popsicle was invented by Jessica Oreck. Support your learning about the history of the popsicle with a few tasting pops from Crooked Stick Pops! This local small businesses based out of Easthampton offers free home delivery while their shop is closed. Choose your pops here, or call, text, or email in your order. Cost: $3.50/pop (minimum order 10). FREE same day home delivery if ordered by 12noon. They have partnered with Holyoke Hummus Company to offer Dinner and Dessert Delivered! So be sure to inquire! Not ready for pops? No worries. They have online gift certificates available too.

Wishing you could visit the baby animals on the farm? The Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield has announced a controlled & limited opening starting Thurs, June 4, as part of the MA Phase 1 initiative. The Village will open its outdoor spaces to the public, including its beloved baby animals in fenced-in outdoor areas, Thursdays-Sundays, 10am–3pm in June. New measures are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. In addition to seeing baby animals, guests can walk the outdoor paths through the 20-acre historic Village, and hike the one-mile Farm & Forest Trail. Maps & info about the historic buildings and heirloom gardens will also be available. Learn more about their Phase 1 opening and ongoing plans at hancockshakervillage.org.

Playing music is a physical as well as a mental process, encouraging careful listening and focus. One way to get our children interested in exploring sound, musical instruments, and creating music is by watching others perform. Students and alumni of Community Music School of Springfield will host a virtual Perform-A-Thon on their website and Facebook page on the afternoon & evening of Thurs, June 11. This is an excellent opportunity to invite your family to tune in and witness the beauty of musical expression that occurs every day at CMSS. This event will be streamed and hosted live with the support of Focus Springfield. It will help raise funds for CMSS’s financial aid & scholarship program, making music education accessible for all.


Historic Deerfield, a museum of early American life situated in an authentic 18th-century New England village in Deerfield, is a community-based educational resource that supports learning all year round. Subscribe to their eNewsletter, Dispatches from Historic Deerfield, where you can “Get Your Deerfield Fix” each week! Support interests in New England history & architecture, 1800’s cooking & baking, fashion & textile history, natural history, agriculture, and much more. Check-out their weekly blog posts, Maker Mondays, where their educators share learning activities you can do at home, including baking, journaling, and berry ink. Follow them on Facebook and check out their YouTube channel, too, for weekly virtual learning opportunities!

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio, an online exhibition featuring artworks created by more than 20 leading picture-book artists during the global pandemic. Illustrator/author Mo Willems co-organized the exhibition with Ellen Keiter, The Carle’s chief curator. The curators hope the exhibition will provide solace to everyone counting on picture books during this challenging time. If you’ve been making art at home, they invite you to share it on social media, too: #CarleArtInPlace. Whether you’re making art or learning about art from home, The Carle is a treasured community-based resource in Western MA that support learning and creativity! Make a donation: www.carlemuseum.org/give.

Are you looking for a community-based educational resource to support music studies at home? Each week, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Homegrown Series delivers a new video to support virtual learning! Music students can hear from Maestro Rhodes, SSO musicians, youth orchestra musicians, SSO staff, and others. Their Homegrown Series includes videos that explore and demonstrate different genres of music, composers, and pieces. You can even learn about the different instruments with their virtual Musical Petting Zoo episode! Explore their series online and consider donating to their Musician’s Relief Fund to support SSO musicians whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the current Covid-19 global pandemic.

PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
June 6-19, 2020

Saturday, June 6Sunday, June 7
Monday, June 8Tuesday, June 9Wednesday, June 10
Thursday, June 11Friday, June 12

Saturday, June 13Sunday, June 14
Monday, June 15Tuesday, June 16Wednesday, June 17
Thursday, June 18Friday, June 19

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflowers & Honeybees in Art & Literature

Art and Reason

Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

While exploring spring ephemerals, think about how these fleeting flowers have influenced artists across the centuries. Take, for instance, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, a common spring wildflower that can be seen in the deciduous woods of Western Massachusetts. It is native to the Northeastern United States and flowers from April to June. In 1930, artist Georgia O’ Keeffe created a series of 6 paintings of this flowering plant while on Lake George in New York. The National Gallery of Art owns five of these six paintings. Looking at the painting, how does the artist choose to represent the flower? Remember, this flowering plant is quite small; how does the artist create a sense of drama and intensity that may often be overlooked when coming across the plant on a woodland walk?

Are there any other wildflowers you can think of that have influenced artists? Take a moment to consider why flowers are so appealing to humans. Is our attraction to flowers emotional or practical? For the honeybee, flowers are a source of food. What do they signal for humans? Could it be for the same reason? Other reasons? Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Home Schooling vs Remote Learning

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Home Schooling vs Remote Learning

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Friday, May 29, 2020 with Sienna and Patrick discussing the differences between these past couple of months of remote learning and full time home schooling.

Click on the video below to view.


During this past couple of months of distant learning at home, families with children in public school have experienced virtual facilitated learning at home, where their education has been physically isolated from their school community, teachers, and peers on assigned subjects in which the student may or may not be interested, and within prescribed timeframes and school deadline that may or may not work for their family.

Home-based learning can look a lot different than remote learning from home. It can be facilitated by the parent (homeschooling) or self-directed by the student (unschooling), and based on the interests and needs of the student and their family. And it will look different from family to family, depending on several factors:

  • Family Values & Dynamics.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Where they live (rural, urban, suburban).
  • Community-based educational & personal resources in which they have access.
  • Time of year.
  • Interests of the child/family.
  • Learning styles.

Things to consider when supporting your child’s learning from home: Read the rest of this entry »

May 30-June 12, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: May 30-June 12, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

New start date. Jun 29-Aug 21

Zoo Camp at The Zoo in Forest Park. Springfield, MA. Explore Nature. Discover Wildlife. Meet Exotic Creatures. Join the Zoo Camp at The Zoo in Forest Park 9am-4pm daily during the summer and school breaks. Children ages 6-13 will enjoy animal circle (meeting a new animal every day), diet preparation demonstrations (see what goes into preparing diets for over 200 animals), animal enrichment activities, scavenger hunts, arts & crafts, and much more. Pricing starts at $250 for nonmembers per weekly sessions with daily rates of $60. Sign up for a wild time! Dates: Jun 29-Aug 21; Age Range of Campers: 6-13yo. Contact: 413-733-2251. education@forestparkzoo.com. www.forestparkzoo.org.

New start date. Jul 6-Aug 14

Berkshire Nature Camp at Mass Audubon. Lenox, MA. At Berkshire Nature Camp, campers ages 3-16 have fun and make friends as they discover nature! Trail explorations, wildlife observation, outdoor play, hands-on activities, games, and crafts keep campers engaged throughout the summer. Camp takes place at Pleasant Valley, Mass Audubon’s 1,400-acre wildlife sanctuary with diverse forests, meadows, mountains, brooks, and beaver ponds. For over 70 years, Berkshire Nature Camp at Pleasant Valley has inspired children’s love for the unique nature of western Massachusetts. Campers learn by playing, exploring, and having free choices and guided activities in a safe space with caring instructors. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 14; Age Range of Participants: 3-16yo. Contact: 413-637-0320. berkshirecamp@massaudubon.org. www.massaudubon.org/berkshirecamp.

Online. Aug 10-14

Being Self. Greenfield, MA. Being Self is a unique online camp experience for LGBTQ+ kids. Each day will be a 2-3 hour session involving theatre, self-discovery and artistic activities. The goal of the camp is to help young people discover who they are in this moment and who they would like to become. All activities lead to a final video project where campers will record a documentary of who they are. These videos will be edited together into a short film which will be shown on Eggtooth Productions website. Dates: Aug 10-14; Age Range of Participants: 15-18yo. Contact: 413-522-1445. joe@joedulude2.com. eggtooth.org.

Online. Aug 10-14

The Putney School Summer Arts. Putney, VT. The Putney School Summer Arts hosts summer arts workshops in July for high school students. Create and connect through art. Dive deep into workshops and join a wildly creative community. About a hundred students attend the three-week session, and workshops are capped at 12 students, fostering a close-knit community of young artists. Students come to discover a form, others to hone their practice, and all connect with the faculty. Dates: Jul 12-31; Age Range of Campers: 14+yo. Contact: 802-387-6297. dfolgar@putneyschool.org. summer.putneyschool.org.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio, an online exhibition featuring artworks created by more than 20 leading picture-book artists during the global pandemic. Illustrator/author Mo Willems co-organized the exhibition with Ellen Keiter, The Carle’s chief curator. The curators hope the exhibition will provide solace to everyone counting on picture books during this challenging time. If you’ve been making art at home, they invite you to share it on social media, too: #CarleArtInPlace. Whether you’re making art or learning about art from home, The Carle is a treasured community-based resource in Western MA that support learning and creativity! Make a donation: www.carlemuseum.org/give.

Are you looking for a community-based educational resource to support music studies at home? Each week, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Homegrown Series delivers a new video to support virtual learning! Music students can hear from Maestro Rhodes, SSO musicians, youth orchestra musicians, SSO staff, and others. Their Homegrown Series includes videos that explore and demonstrate different genres of music, composers, and pieces. You can even learn about the different instruments with their virtual Musical Petting Zoo episode! Explore their series online and consider donating to their Musician’s Relief Fund to support SSO musicians whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the current Covid-19 global pandemic.

PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 30-June 12, 2020

Saturday, May 30Sunday, May 31
Monday, June 1Tuesday, June 2Wednesday, June 3
Thursday, June 4Friday, June 5

Saturday, June 6Sunday, June 7
Monday, June 8Tuesday, June 9Wednesday, June 10
Thursday, June 11Friday, June 12

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Poppies: The Flower of Memorial Day

Hilltown Families Presents: The Tom Knight Show, “The Solar System”

The Tom Knight Show: “The Solar System”

Hilltown Families and western Massachusetts musician/artist, Tom Knight, have partnered up to offer a series of singing puppet shows for families at home, featuring puppets, songs, and dancing for all ages.  In episode five, Tom sings a rockin’ song about the solar system while planets spin around his head. (Really.) Allie learns what’s included in the system and why Pluto is not a planet any more.


ABOUT TOM KNIGHT

Tom Knight is a multimedia artist, based in Haydenville, MA.  He has been delighting children and their grown-ups with his original, interactive, musical puppet show since 1988 with a unique blend of musicianship and puppetry shows. With his release of five CD’s for children and over 900 performances at festivals, museums, and libraries across the country, Tom Knight’s show are always lively and engaging for an intergenerational audience.

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES PRESENTS

Hilltown Families presents is a program of Hilltown Families, a community-based education network serving all of western Massachusetts, partnering with local artists, performers, individuals, organizations, and small businesses in the delivery of educational and entertaining video content for families at home. Interested in participating? Send your proposal to swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.

Online and Self-Directed Learning During Memorial Day

ONLINE LEARNING: Learning about the individuals who served in wartime can have a significant impact on our sense of appreciation as we remember their acts of service. Introduce yourself to the American Vietnam War Veterans who were born on this day/month and those who died on this day/month. How does learning of their age, race, hometown, religion, marital status, length of service, how and where they perished, and reading comments from friends and family, impact your emotional connection to the people who served our country?

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: Another way to learn about veterans who served our country is by visiting historic graveyards. In Agawam at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, nearly 10,000 veterans and their dependents have been interred. Filled with stone markers that chronicle a community’s history, local cemeteries can provide visitors with a look deep into the past and even into the lives of those who have served our country. Families wishing to engage in self-guided tours of a historic cemetery can visit Longmeadow’s Olde Burying Yard section of the Longmeadow Cemetery, where a collection of headstones serve as a museum chronicling the town’s history. Some gravestones can be explored via virtual tour, while others must be located in person. Historic Northampton offers virtual tours of the city’s Bridge Street Cemetery, a 300-year-old graveyard that is the final resting place of many notable Northamptonites. As true to any community space during COVID-19, please practice safe social distancing and be respectful of other visitors while visiting loved ones.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

VOLUNTEERING: In addition to remembering those who died while serving our country, Memorial Day can also be a day to pause and express appreciation towards those who survived and are currently serving our country. Operation Gratitude’s response to COVID-19 is a call to action for #VirtualVolunteerism. They are providing ways for families to give back from your own home.

Photo credits: (c) Sienna Wildfield

May 23-June 5, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: May 23-June 5, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

Sale May 10 – 25

Need some extra help homeschooling? Oak Meadow is here for you. A trusted homeschooling option since 1975, Oak Meadow is offering 20% off all items in their bookstore, May 10-25. Save on K-12 homeschooling curriculum, which provides inspiring learning experiences for creative, motivated students. Or purchase craft supplies, homeschooling resources, books, and more. Shop Mother’s Day through Memorial Day at oakmeadowbookstore.com


Jun 15-Aug 28

Our Place Summer School. Northampton, MA. Our Place Summer School gets kids off the screen and into the green. For 5 days, campers hike, climb, wade, and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Students go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! Dates: Jun 15-Aug 28; Age Range of Campers: 6-12yo Contact: 413-320-0522. info@biocitizen.org. ma.biocitizen.org.


Jul 13-Aug 7

Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop in Charlemont, MA. The 2020 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop presents their 10th Outdoor, Traveling Spectacle, Shrek. Aspiring actors, artists, musicians, singers, and set-designers will enjoy 3 weeks of movement, voice training, intensive actor training and work on large apparatus (aerial trapeze, circus silks, stilts, spools) with guest artists from Knighthorse Theatre, Double Edge Theatre, and other luminaries of the Valley’s performing arts community. Located at the Hawlemont School in the foothills of the Berkshires, July 13-Aug 5, Mon-Fri (9am to 4pm) with select evening and WE rehearsals. —”Performances at Berkshire East Mountain Resort: Aug 1-4. No prior acting experience required, generous FA and scholarships available. Their mission is to build supportive, creative communities, and put on great shows! Dates: Jul 13-Aug 7; Age Range of Participants: 10-18yo. Contact: 413-387-8783. hilltownyouth@gmail.com. hilltownyouth.org.


In times of hardship, children’s books are an important resource that helps educate & inspire! With schools and libraries closed, High Five Books, a Florence-based independent bookstore, is rallying to put children’s books into the hands of young readers in need during the stay-at-home advisory. Valley Book Rally has partnered with the teams that coordinate the Community Food Distribution Project to distribute books. Through this project, hundreds of families in western MA receive free bags of food distributed each week. Funds raised via the Valley Book Rally campaign will be used to supplement this distribution. Help them reach their goal in supporting literacy, community connection, and kindness to families in need in Western MA: Valley Book Rally.


In need of a serious spring cleaning? Learn about history through the lens of cleaning! Have you ever heard of “four thieves vinegar?” According to Wikipedia, “This specific vinegar composition is said to have been used during black death epidemic of the medieval period, to prevent the catching of the plague… it was used by rubbing on the hands, ears, and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.” Similar herbal vinegars have been used as medicine since the time of Hippocrates. One such formula is used locally by GreenLove Eco Cleaning when cleaning homes, cars, and office spaces. Once the state shutdown order is lifted they can come to your home for a serious deep cleaning with their Formula of the Four Thieves in hand!


In the 19th century, Western MA saw a huge merino sheep boom when many farms purchased Australian sheep for their incredibly soft fleece to produce wool for textiles. Experienced and novice knitters can tap into this rich agricultural history and strengthen a sense of place by purchasing their wool yarn locally. Often, the wool is processed regionally and requires many hands to create it: from the farmer that cares for the animals to the sheep shearer, spinners, and hand-dyers. Sheep to Shawl in Deerfield, an independent shop selling a variety of local yarns produced in the Pioneer Valley and Northern Berkshires, is selling online and offering either curbside pickup or will mail directly: www.sheepandshawl.etsy.com. Buy local, knit local!


PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 23-June 5, 2020

Saturday, May 23Sunday, May 24
Monday, May 25Tuesday, May 26Wednesday, May 27
Thursday, May 28Friday, May 29

Saturday, May 30Sunday, May 31
Monday, June 1Tuesday, June 2Wednesday, June 3
Thursday, June 4Friday, June 5

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 16-29, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 16-29, 2020

Saturday, May 16Sunday, May 17
Monday, May 18Tuesday, May 19Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 21Friday, May 22

Saturday, May 23Sunday, May 24
Monday, May 25Tuesday, May 26Wednesday, May 27
Thursday, May 28Friday, May 29


FEATURED RESOURCE: DANDELIONS

DANDELION: Looking through the lens of the common dandelion, this week, we explore how wild edibles, naturalized species, and spring flowers can support self-directed and facilitated learning at home. The spring return of dandelion blossoms mark the season and inspires learning that supports interests, sparks curiosity, and connects us to the places we call home.

ACTIVITIES: Associated activities to encourage experiential learning through plant, place, and history include cooking, baking, brewing, mindful observations, journaling, sketching, photography, plant identification, data collection, plant dissection, and video viewing.

RESOURCES: And in addition to the dandelion, other community-based resources highlighted to support learning through the lens of naturalized plant species include native and ornamental plant species, untreated lawns, fields, and meadows, native animal species, grocery stores, brew supply shops, libraries, and book stores.

INTERESTS: So select an interest below to support your learning while strengthening a sense of place:

World HistorySocial StudiesEcologyAgricultureMedicineMythologyCulinary ArtsPastry ArtsBakingBrewingWild EdiblesForagingNutritionFermentationBotanyScientific ProcessBotanical DrawingNature PhotographySTEMGeometryFibonacci SequencePhysicsAerodynamicsBiomimicryFolk ArtFolk MusicFolk MedicineImaginative PlayCreative-Free Play

Read the rest of this entry »

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: May 16-29, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

Sale May 10 – 25

Need some extra help homeschooling? Oak Meadow is here for you. A trusted homeschooling option since 1975, Oak Meadow is offering 20% off all items in their bookstore, May 10-25. Save on K-12 homeschooling curriculum, which provides inspiring learning experiences for creative, motivated students. Or purchase craft supplies, homeschooling resources, books, and more. Shop Mother’s Day through Memorial Day at oakmeadowbookstore.com.


Virtual Farm Store

This time every year, many families start to think about tending to their gardens, growing their own food, and being able to access locally grown food easily. Gardening connects families with the seasons and is a multidisciplinary activity embedded with learning every step along the way, from botany to soil science to meteorology. At home, gardening can take place in either a garden plot, porch containers, and/or window sills, becoming a learning laboratory for all members of the family. Now is the time to order your plants, and Bare Roots Farm in West Chesterfield is open for pre-orders via their online store. Bare Roots Farm is a locally owned family greenhouse growing useful organic plants. Orders can be picked up at their Farm Stand (329 Ireland Street) beginning the 2nd week of May. Place your order now at Barerootsfarm.com.


Jul 13-Aug 7

Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop in Charlemont, MA. The 2020 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop presents their 10th Outdoor, Traveling Spectacle, Shrek. Aspiring actors, artists, musicians, singers, and set-designers will enjoy 3 weeks of movement, voice training, intensive actor training and work on large apparatus (aerial trapeze, circus silks, stilts, spools) with guest artists from Knighthorse Theatre, Double Edge Theatre, and other luminaries of the Valley’s performing arts community. Located at the Hawlemont School in the foothills of the Berkshires, July 13-Aug 5, Mon-Fri (9am to 4pm) with select evening and WE rehearsals. —”Performances at Berkshire East Mountain Resort: Aug 1-4. No prior acting experience required, generous FA and scholarships available. Their mission is to build supportive, creative communities, and put on great shows! Dates: Jul 13-Aug 7; Age Range of Participants: 10-18yo. Contact: 413-387-8783. hilltownyouth@gmail.com. hilltownyouth.org.


Online Classes

Online Classes. Chad Stewart, former Disney Animator and veteran homeschool Dad, offers Online Animation or Drawing Classes for ages 11-18. Weekly classes are one hour long, and industry professionals complete video reviews of homework as a part of every class they teach. The cost is $350 for the full 12-week session, and the Summer Session begins June 1st. Classes tend to fill up quickly so you can hold your child’s spot with a $50 deposit at the time of registration! Classes are held during Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions, so if you can’t join them now, check back with again! Chad has worked on films such as Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Polar Express, and has much to share with students of his Drawing or Animation Classes. Contact: 661-755-5775. kayla@theanimcourse.com. theanimcourse.com.


PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 16-29, 2020

Saturday, May 16Sunday, May 17
Monday, May 18Tuesday, May 19Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 21Friday, May 22

Saturday, May 23Sunday, May 24
Monday, May 25Tuesday, May 26Wednesday, May 27
Thursday, May 28Friday, May 29

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Botany Lessons from the Front Lawn

A Common Lawn Weed Supports Lessons in Botany

Did you know that a dandelion flower is many flowers that make up a single head? Getting curious and paying attention to flowers that pop up during the spring and summer can help us become more mindful of the seasons, weather conditions, and plant species. Our front lawns, local meadows, and even cracks in the sidewalks can be a great place to start simple lessons in botany!

Keeping a journal to document observations, either in words, sketches, or photographs, can support awareness of seasonal patterns and how sunlight, insects, weather, and soil conditions can impact plants. Sharing your plant observations with citizen science projects, like Ohio State University youth-focused program, Dandelion Detectives integrates mindful observation with the scientific process of data collection.

In the spring, one flowering plant which can quickly spark curiosity and begin simple lessons in botany is the common dandelion. Easy to identify and loaded with teachings in not only botany, but also the culinary artshistory, and STEM, the dandelion is perfect for learning about a plant life cycle, the parts of the flower, and the processes of pollination and seed distribution.

Getting curious about the structure and function of the dandelion and exploring the entire plant from blossom to stem to taproot is a great place to begin. Compare and contrast a dissection of the dandelion flower with other plants that are flowering at the same time (i.e., daffodil, azalea, wild violets). Notice the differences in form, color, and patterns. Compare the levels of sunlight (full, partial, or shade) in which these different plant species grow, which insects are essential to their pollination and research to learn if they are an annual or perennial plant.  In this video, learn how to conduct a flower dissection and how to organize an exploration of flowering parts and functions.

Budburst, a national network of citizen scientists monitoring plants as the seasons change, is an online resource that supports simple lessons in botany too. Using your observations and growing interests via common dandelion, follow these steps to participate: Learn how to observe, Make an observation, and Report your observation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Flowers Support STEM Learning

Geometry & Physics in a Dandelion Seed

The seed head of the common dandelion is anything but common. Within the shape and patterns of its seeds are lessons in geometry and physics. Close observations will reveal geometric patterns that can lead a curious mind to identify spiraling patterns known as the Fibonacci sequence. Looking closely and learning how the Fibonacci sequence and Golden Ratio are closely tied can spotlight a mathematical foundation found throughout nature. Learn the sequence and see where you can find it in other places, including pinecones, the shell of a snail, sunflowers, and of course, dandelion flowers and seed heads. The sequence order is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 and on to infinity.

Pick a dandelion with a full seed head and give it a puff. Notice how each seed and it’s attached pappus release and take flight. How is that dandelion seed carried through the air, floating across great distances over meadows and river beds? The answer is rooted in physics. In 2018, scientists from the University of Edinburgh discovered a traveling dandelion seed creates a vortex of air, which aids in its propulsion, a concept worthy of biomimicry in aerodynamic techniques. Learn about this discovery in this video and see if you can identify ways human innovation has been inspired by nature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dent de Lion on the Dinner Plate

Baking & Brewing with Dandelions

For as long as human history has been recorded, the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has been used as food and medicine across the globe. While not native to this continent, this nutritious golden flowering plant arrived with the European colonization of the 1600’s and is now commonplace in lawns and meadows across North America. In the spring, the dandelion is one of several common wild edibles foragers look for to supplement their dinner plates. Grow Forage Cook Ferment has a helpful list, which includes, of course, DANDELIONS!

Looking through the lens of dandelions, interests in culinary arts, pastry arts, baking, and even home brewing can be supported. Within these interests, lessons in chemistry and math are implicit, while the art of taste and texture is an explicit driving force as highlighted in this video.

Learn how to identify and properly harvest dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots this year, and give them a go in your own kitchen too. Try a recipe for Dandelion Lemon Cupcakes to support an interest in pastry arts, or if you prefer baking, check out this recipe for Dandelion Leaf Bread. Or put on your chef hat and pair Dandelion Fritters with a Dandelion Leaf Salad to experiment with the textures and flavors found within the culinary arts.

If you’re interested in beverages, this Dandelion Root Coffee Recipe can set you up with a warm brew, or learn about the art of fermentation by making Dandelion Mead or Dandelion Fennel Kombucha! Read the rest of this entry »

Dandelion’s Place in History

World History and the Dandelion

Once respected around the world for its nutritional value and medicinal properties, today, the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is seen by many as a noxious weed. Why? We have the rise of “lawn culture” to thank whose origin stems back to 17th century England where lawns were a status of wealth. Before this landscaping trend took root in the U.S., we might have seen dandelion varieties in seed catalogs and homegrown samples entered in the county fair during the 1800s.

But here we are 200 years later, and this delightful and tenacious little flower has been hexed by many as undesirable. And to add insult to injury, the cost of herbicides spent each year to kill this gift from nature is in the millions, impacting far more than just the dandelion.

Learning about history through the lens of the common dandelion can help us understand how our culture has gone from loving to hating (and hopefully back to loving) this flowering herbaceous perennial plant. This approach to history might tap into established or budding interests in nutrition, medicine, culinary arts, agriculture, social studies, ecology, and even mythology. Start your history lesson with this short video “Dandelions and Civilization: A Forgotten History” by The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered. Read the rest of this entry »

May 9-22, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 9-22, 2020

Saturday, May 9Sunday, May 10
Monday, May 11Tuesday, May 12Wednesday, May 13
Thursday, May 14Friday, May 15

Saturday, May 16Sunday, May 17
Monday, May 18Tuesday, May 19Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 21Friday, May 22


NATURE-BASED LEARNING:
Nature-Based LearningMindfulnessBiomimicryPhenologyGeologyMineralsBiospheresWeather & ErosionMeteorologyGalaxiesWild EdiblesForestsForest EcologySky

LOCAL RESOURCES:
Curly WillowOak MeadowNolumbeka ProjectWalking ToursBecket Land TrustOld Sturbridge VillageBerkshire MuseumCommunity ExpertsSmall BusinessesNortheast Organic Farming Association of MassachusettsFood Bank of Western MASpringfield Symphony OrchestraEmily Dickinson MuseumNorman Rockwell MuseumThe TrusteesNew England Air MuseumVentfort HallHistoric NorthamptonNaumkeagRegreen SpringfieldHitchcock CenterGreat Barrington Land ConservancyJacob’s PillowSmith College Museum of ArtHampden GalleryThe ClarkIS183 Art School of the BerkshiresSpringfield MuseumsCooley Dickinson HospitalMass AudubonBest BuddiesCommon GoodVeteransRiver Valley Co-OpBare Roots FarmHistoric Deerfield

FOOD & FARMING:
Virtual Farm StoreCulinary ArtsEarly American CuisinePie CrustSconesFermented FoodsBackyard ChickensPlant SaleOrganic GardeningFruit TreesAgriculture

MUSIC, ART, THEATER, DANCE STUDIES:
Film StudiesMusic StudiesWest African MusicChorusSymphonyClassical MusicArt StudiesMuseum ToursArt HistoryColor HistorySculpturePrintmakingDr. SeussTheater StudiesPuppet TheaterShakespeareSword FightingDance StudiesWorld Folk DancesContemporary Dance StudiesCanadian StepdanceRock ClimbingMagic

LANGUAGE ARTS:
Language ArtsLiteratureChildren’s LiteratureVirtual MappingCommunication Skills

HISTORY:
HistoryNative American StudiesU.S. HistoryLocal HistoryFood HistoryGuilded AgeRenaissance HistoryGender StudiesWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryArt HistoryAviation HistoryHistory of Personal HygieneSocial Movements

ANIMALS & INSECTS:
Animal StudiesHerpetologyIchthyologyOrnithologyAmerican WoodcockBobolinkFrogsBird-WatchingPeregrine FalconMarine BiologyOystersRiver HerringMerino SheepEntomologySymbolic RelationshipsBeetlesButterflies

STEM:
ScienceMathKitchen ScienceMolecular GastronomyZymologySTE(A)MAstronomyPsychology

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Acts of KindnessCommunity ServiceVirtual Food DriveHomelessnessSewing MasksCitizen ScienceNature’s NotebookLight Pollution

EARLY CHILDHOOD:
PreKVision BoardsCreative Free-PlayPlay Ideas


SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peak of our newest podcast!


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

Want to receive our new Hilltown Families Daily?
Support us on Patreon!

Support us on Patreon!

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: May 9-22, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

Sale May 10 – 25

Need some extra help homeschooling? Oak Meadow is here for you. A trusted homeschooling option since 1975, Oak Meadow is offering 20% off all items in their bookstore, May 10-25. Save on K-12 homeschooling curriculum, which provides inspiring learning experiences for creative, motivated students. Or purchase craft supplies, homeschooling resources, books, and more. Shop Mother’s Day through Memorial Day at oakmeadowbookstore.com.


Virtual Farm Store

This time every year, many families start to think about tending to their gardens, growing their own food, and being able to access locally grown food easily. Gardening connects families with the seasons and is a multidisciplinary activity embedded with learning every step along the way, from botany to soil science to meteorology. At home, gardening can take place in either a garden plot, porch containers, and/or window sills, becoming a learning laboratory for all members of the family. Now is the time to order your plants, and Bare Roots Farm in West Chesterfield is open for pre-orders via their online store. Bare Roots Farm is a locally owned family greenhouse growing useful organic plants. Orders can be picked up at their Farm Stand (329 Ireland Street) beginning the 2nd week of May. Place your order now at Barerootsfarm.com.


May 8-10

Are you planning your garden for this spring? Make sure to plant local, organic, and heirloom varieties! Where to get your plants? River Valley Co-op in Northampton, of course! During their annual Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Plant Sale they will be selling flower, veggie, and herb starts for your home garden from local farms, including Windy Ridge Farm, High Meadows Farm, and Bare Roots Farm. A great selection is available at River Valley Co-op during Mother’s Day weekend: May 8th, 9th, 10th from 10am-7pm. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.


Online Classes

Online Classes. Chad Stewart, former Disney Animator and veteran homeschool Dad, offers Online Animation or Drawing Classes for ages 11-18. Weekly classes are one hour long, and industry professionals complete video reviews of homework as a part of every class they teach. The cost is $350 for the full 12-week session, and the Summer Session begins June 1st. Classes tend to fill up quickly so you can hold your child’s spot with a $50 deposit at the time of registration! Classes are held during Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions, so if you can’t join them now, check back with again! Chad has worked on films such as Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Polar Express, and has much to share with students of his Drawing or Animation Classes. Contact: 661-755-5775. kayla@theanimcourse.com. theanimcourse.com.


Jul 6 – Aug 14

Kamp for Kids. Westfield, MA. Kamp for Kids brings together children with and without disabilities in a unique integrated model that promotes understanding and growth. Kamp activities include a music program, group skits/performances, integrated water activities, expressive arts, outdoor education, and non-competitive sports. As a fully inclusive summer camp, it is our mission to serve a population comprised of both children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. Not only does this philosophy promote understanding and growth, but it also allows families to keep their children together within one day camp. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 14. Age Range of Campers: 3-22yo. Contact: 413-562-5678. anne.benoit@bhninc.org. www.bhninc.org.


PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 9-22, 2020

Saturday, May 9Sunday, May 10
Monday, May 11Tuesday, May 12Wednesday, May 13
Thursday, May 14Friday, May 15

Saturday, May 16Sunday, May 17
Monday, May 18Tuesday, May 19Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 21Friday, May 22

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español

Check out our Summer Directory for nearly
60 summer camps & programs in and around Western MA!


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 2-15, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 2-15, 2020

Saturday, April 25Sunday, April 26
Monday, April 27Tuesday, April 28Wednesday, April 29
Thursday, April 30Friday, May 1

Saturday, May 2Sunday, May 3
Monday, May 4Tuesday, May 5Wednesday, May 6
Thursday, May 7Friday, May 8


FOOD & FARMING:
Virtual Farm StoreCulinary ArtsEarly American CuisinePie CrustSconesFermented FoodsBackyard ChickensPlant SaleOrganic GardeningFruit TreesAgriculture

NATURE-BASED LEARNING:
Nature-Based LearningBiomimicryPhenologyGeologyMineralsBiospheresWeather & ErosionMeteorologyGalaxiesWild EdiblesForestsForest EcologySky

ANIMALS & INSECTS:
Animal StudiesHerpetologyIchthyologyOrnithologyAmerican WoodcockBobolinkFrogsBird-WatchingPeregrine FalconMarine BiologyOystersRiver HerringMerino SheepEntomologySymbolic RelationshipsBeetlesButterflies

STEM:
ScienceMathKitchen ScienceMolecular GastronomyZymologySTE(A)MAstronomyPsychology

MUSIC, ART, THEATER, DANCE STUDIES:
Film StudiesMusic StudiesWest African MusicChorusSymphonyClassical MusicArt StudiesMuseum ToursArt HistoryColor HistorySculpturePrintmakingDr. SeussTheater StudiesPuppet TheaterShakespeareSword FightingDance StudiesWorld Folk DancesContemporary Dance StudiesCanadian StepdanceRock ClimbingMagic

LANGUAGE ARTS:
Language ArtsLiteratureNational Poetry MonthEcopoetryPoem in Your Pocket DayChildren’s LiteratureVirtual MappingCommunication Skills

HISTORY:
HistoryNative American StudiesU.S. HistoryLocal HistoryFood HistoryGuilded AgeRenaissance HistoryGender StudiesWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryArt HistoryAviation HistoryHistory of Personal HygieneSocial Movements

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Acts of KindnessCommunity ServiceVirtual Food DriveHomelessnessSewing MasksCitizen ScienceNature’s NotebookLight Pollution

LOCAL RESOURCES:
Nolumbeka ProjectWalking ToursBecket Land TrustOld Sturbridge VillageBerkshire MuseumCommunity ExpertsSmall BusinessesNortheast Organic Farming Association of MassachusettsFood Bank of Western MASpringfield Symphony OrchestraEmily Dickinson MuseumNorman Rockwell MuseumThe TrusteesNew England Air MuseumVentfort HallHistoric NorthamptonNaumkeagRegreen SpringfieldHitchcock CenterGreat Barrington Land ConservancyJacob’s PillowSmith College Museum of ArtHampden GalleryThe ClarkIS183 Art School of the BerkshiresSpringfield MuseumsCooley Dickinson HospitalMass AudubonBest BuddiesCommon GoodVeteransCurly WillowRiver Valley Co-OpBare Roots FarmHistoric Deerfield

EARLY CHILDHOOD:
PreKVision BoardsCreative Free-PlayPlay Ideas

OPPORTUNITIES:
Online TutoringOnline Animation ClassCinco De MayoNational Poetry Month


SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peak of our newest podcast!


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

Want to receive our new Hilltown Families Daily?
Support us on Patreon!

Support us on Patreon!

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: May 2-15, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Bulletin Board

May 5

Diary of a Wombat Reading Live on Facebook: After having to cancel Monkey Baa Theatre’s production of Diary of Wombat, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the UMass Fine Arts Center is hosting a digital pajama party with the company for a live event on the FAC’s Facebook page, Tuesday, May 5 at 7pm. Based in Australia, company Director Eva Di Cesare will share a bedtime reading of Diary of a Wombat and also answer questions. As a bedtime story, children are asked to put on their favorite PJs and join in for a wonderful story about Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. In advance of the reading, the FAC invites young participants to draw a photo of their favorite animal wearing PJs and share it on Facebook during the live event. Those who share will be entered to win a super Wombat prize pack including a copy of the book, stuffed wombat, and swag from our friends at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. For more information, visit www.fineartscenter.com/wombat or the Fine Arts Center’s Facebook page.


Virtual Farm Store

This time every year, many families start to think about tending to their gardens, growing their own food, and being able to access locally grown food easily. Gardening connects families with the seasons and is a multidisciplinary activity embedded with learning every step along the way, from botany to soil science to meteorology. At home, gardening can take place in either a garden plot, porch containers, and/or window sills, becoming a learning laboratory for all members of the family. Now is the time to order your plants, and Bare Roots Farm in West Chesterfield is open for pre-orders via their online store. Bare Roots Farm is a locally owned family greenhouse growing useful organic plants. Orders can be picked up at their Farm Stand (329 Ireland Street) beginning the 2nd week of May. Place your order now at Barerootsfarm.com.


Jul 6-23

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Summer Youth Programs. Northampton, MA. Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School is pleased to announce its 2020 Summer Program offerings for students entering grades 6, 7, and 8. Programs include: Entering the World of Cosmetology; Tour de Cuisine: Cultivating the Young Culinarian; Criminal Justice League; Build Your Own Longboard. Weekly programs from July 6-July 23 half-day runs 8:30am- 12:30pm. Full-day programs run 8:30am – 3:30pm. Students can prepare amazing food, practice beauty techniques, build longboards, or learn about law enforcement. For full course descriptions, including which weeks they will run and to register for a Summer Youth Program, please see their website. Dates: Jul 6-23; Age Range of Participants: 11-14yo. Contact: 413-587-1414 x3406. dcarver@smithtec.org. www.smithtec.org/summer.


May 8-10

Are you planning your garden for this spring? Make sure to plant local, organic, and heirloom varieties! Where to get your plants? River Valley Co-op in Northampton, of course! During their annual Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Plant Sale they will be selling flower, veggie, and herb starts for your home garden from local farms, including Windy Ridge Farm, High Meadows Farm, and Bare Roots Farm. A great selection is available at River Valley Co-op during Mother’s Day weekend: May 8th, 9th, 10th from 10am-7pm. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.


Online Classes

Online Classes. Chad Stewart, former Disney Animator and veteran homeschool Dad, offers Online Animation or Drawing Classes for ages 11-18. Weekly classes are one hour long, and industry professionals complete video reviews of homework as a part of every class they teach. The cost is $350 for the full 12-week session, and the Summer Session begins June 1st. Classes tend to fill up quickly so you can hold your child’s spot with a $50 deposit at the time of registration! Classes are held during Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions, so if you can’t join them now, check back with again! Chad has worked on films such as Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Polar Express, and has much to share with students of his Drawing or Animation Classes. Contact: 661-755-5775. kayla@theanimcourse.com. theanimcourse.com.


PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities! Contact Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
May 2-15, 2020

Saturday, May 2Sunday, May 3
Monday, May 4Tuesday, May 5Wednesday, May 6
Thursday, May 7Friday, May 8

Saturday, May 9Sunday, May 10
Monday, May 11Tuesday, May 12Wednesday, May 13
Thursday, May 14Friday, May 15

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español

Check out our Summer Directory for nearly
60 summer camps & programs in and around Western MA!


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 25 – May 8, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
April 25-May 8, 2020

Saturday, April 25Sunday, April 26
Monday, April 27Tuesday, April 28Wednesday, April 29
Thursday, April 30Friday, May 1

Saturday, May 2Sunday, May 3
Monday, May 4Tuesday, May 5Wednesday, May 6
Thursday, May 7Friday, May 8


FOOD & FARMING:
Culinary ArtsEarly American CuisinePie CrustSconesFermented FoodsBackyard ChickensPlant SaleOrganic GardeningFruit TreesAgriculture

NATURE-BASED LEARNING:
Nature-Based LearningPhenologyGeologyBiospheresWeather & ErosionMeteorologyGalaxiesVernal PoolsForestsForest EcologySky

ANIMALS & INSECTS:
Animal StudiesHerpetologyIchthyologyOrnithologyBobolinkFrogsBird-WatchingPeregrine FalconMarine BiologyOystersRiver HerringMerino SheepEntomologySymbolic RelationshipsBeetlesButterflies

STEM:
ScienceMathKitchen ScienceZymologySTE(A)MAstronomy

MUSIC, ART, THEATER, DANCE STUDIES:
Music StudiesSymphonyClassical MusicArt StudiesMuseum ToursArt HistoryColor HistorySculpturePrintmakingDr. SeussTheater StudiesShakespeareSword FightingDance StudiesWorld Folk DancesContemporary Dance StudiesCanadian Stepdance

LANGUAGE ARTS:
Language ArtsLiteratureNational Poetry MonthEcopoetryPoem in Your Pocket DayChildren’s LiteratureCartographyVirtual MappingCommunication Skills

HISTORY:
HistoryU.S. HistoryLocal HistoryFood HistoryGuilded AgeRenaissance HistoryGender StudiesWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryArt HistoryAviation HistoryHistory of Personal HygieneSocial Movements

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Community ServiceVirtual Food DriveHomelessnessSewing MasksCitizen ScienceNature’s NotebookLight Pollution

LOCAL RESOURCES:
Walking ToursBecket Land TrustKestrel Land TrustThe TrusteesOld Sturbridge VillageBerkshire MuseumCommunity ExpertsSmall BusinessesNortheast Organic Farming Association of MassachusettsFood Bank of Western MASpringfield Symphony OrchestraEmily Dickinson MuseumNorman Rockwell MuseumThe TrusteesNew England Air MuseumVentfort HallHistoric NorthamptonNaumkeagRegreen SpringfieldHitchcock CenterGreat Barrington Land ConservancyJacob’s PillowSmith College Museum of ArtHampden GalleryThe ClarkIS183 Art School of the BerkshiresSpringfield MuseumsCooley Dickinson HospitalMass AudubonBest BuddiesCommon GoodVeteransCurly WillowRiver Valley Co-Op

EARLY CHILDHOOD:
PreKVision BoardsCreative Free-PlayPlay Ideas

OPPORTUNITIES:
Online TutoringOnline Animation ClassCinco De MayoNational Poetry MonthEarth Day

 


SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peak of our newest podcast!


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

Want to receive our new Hilltown Families Daily?
Support us on Patreon!

Support us on Patreon!

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: April 25-May 8, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Featured Online Learning Resources

Mention Hilltown Families and receive 20% discount.

ReddPrep online tutoring: Northampton, MA. For more than fifteen years, ReddPrep has been preparing students to excel in school and maximize their scores on standardized tests. They offer a wide range of small classes and individual tutoring programs online for middle and high school students, specializing in standardized test preparation and college admissions counseling. Whether your student needs a little academic support or a full-time college admissions coach, ReddPrep is ready to help. Contact ReddPrep today for a free consultation and to craft an online study plan for your student. Mention Hilltown Families and receive a 20% discount on online tutoring. risher@reddprep.com. www.reddprep.com.


Online Classes

Online Classes. Chad Stewart, former Disney Animator and veteran homeschool Dad, offers Online Animation or Drawing Classes for ages 11-18. Weekly classes are one hour long, and industry professionals complete video reviews of homework as a part of every class they teach. The cost is $350 for the full 12-week session, and the Summer Session begins June 1st. Classes tend to fill up quickly so you can hold your child’s spot with a $50 deposit at the time of registration! Classes are held during Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions, so if you can’t join them now, check back with again! Chad has worked on films such as Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Polar Express, and has much to share with students of his Drawing or Animation Classes. Contact: 661-755-5775. kayla@theanimcourse.com. theanimcourse.com.


May 8-10

Are you planning your garden for this spring? Make sure to plant local, organic, and heirloom varieties! Where to get your plants? River Valley Co-op in Northampton, of course! During their annual Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Plant Sale they will be selling flower, veggie, and herb starts for your home garden from local farms, including Windy Ridge Farm, High Meadows Farm, and Bare Roots Farm. A great selection is available at River Valley Co-op during Mother’s Day weekend: May 8th, 9th, 10th from 10am-7pm. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.


PARTNER WITH HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities!

Check out our Summer Directory for nearly
60 summer camps & programs in and around Western MA!

Featured Summer Programs & Camps

Jul 6-23

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Summer Youth Programs. Northampton, MA. Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School is pleased to announce its 2020 Summer Program offerings for students entering grades 6, 7, and 8. Programs include: Entering the World of Cosmetology; Tour de Cuisine: Cultivating the Young Culinarian; Criminal Justice League; Build Your Own Longboard. Weekly programs from July 6-July 23 half-day runs 8:30am- 12:30pm. Full-day programs run 8:30am – 3:30pm. Students can prepare amazing food, practice beauty techniques, build longboards, or learn about law enforcement. For full course descriptions, including which weeks they will run and to register for a Summer Youth Program, please see their website. Dates: Jul 6-23; Age Range of Participants: 11-14yo. Contact: 413-587-1414 x3406. dcarver@smithtec.org. www.smithtec.org/summer.


Jul 6-31

College for Kids. Westfield, MA. College for Kids provides innovative and creative educational programs for kids ages 5-14, promoting and maintaining an enjoyable learning environment. Each week will feature different classes, giving the option for parents to enroll their child in a morning session, afternoon session, or both. College for Kids offers a range of subjects including science, computers, magic, cooking, and the arts. In addition to returning favorites such as Digital Nature Photography, Science Discovery for Curious Kids, Broadway Bound, and The Art of Magic, they are excited to offer brand new classes in 2020 including Pie Making, Charcoal Drawing, Bucket Drumming for Beginners, Biodiversity in the World, and more! Dates: Jul 6-31; Age Range of Participants: 5-14yo. Contact: 413-572-8557. collegeforkids@westfield.ma.edu. westfield.ma.edu/cfk.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
April 25-May 8, 2020

Saturday, April 25Sunday, April 26
Monday, April 27Tuesday, April 28Wednesday, April 29
Thursday, April 30Friday, May 1

Saturday, May 2Sunday, May 3
Monday, May 4Tuesday, May 5Wednesday, May 6
Thursday, May 7Friday, May 8

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 18-24, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

100+ SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
April 18-24, 2020

Saturday, April 18Sunday, April 19
Monday, April 20Tuesday, April 21Wednesday, April 22
Thursday, April 23Friday, April 24

Mark your calendars: Local Virtual Opportunities
Suggest a distant learning event!


LOCAL RESOURCES:
Emily Dickinson MuseumHampden GalleryThe ClarkIS183 Art School of the BerkshiresHancock Shaker VillageNaumkeagSmith College Museum of ArtBike PathsGreat Barrington Land ConservancyRegreen SpringfieldJacob’s PillowHistoric NorthamptonHitchcock CenterCooley Dickinson HospitalVentfort HallSpringfield Symphony OrchestraSpringfield MuseumsBerkshire MuseumNew England Air MuseumNorman Rockwell MuseumMass AudubonThe TrusteesGrow Food NorthamptonScience CafesBest BuddiesGirl ScoutsCurly Willow

MUSIC, DANCE, ART, LANGUAGE:
SculpturePrintmakingFolk ArtVisible MendingMusic StudiesHistoric Blues & Folk MusicContemporary Dance StudiesWorld Folk DancesSymphonyClassical MusicMuseum ToursArt HistoryLanguage ArtPoetryLiteratureCommunication SkillsNational Poetry MonthVirtual MappingCartography

HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES:
Walking Tours ♦ Gender StudiesMassachusetts HistoryFashion HistoryGuilded AgeWomen’s HistoryAviation HistoryArt HistoryEarly American CuisineRenaissance HistorySocial MovementsSocial StudiesCultural HistoryHistory of Toilet Paper

FOOD & FOOD SYSTEMS:
Learning in the KitchenInternational FoodsLocal RecipesInternational Rice DishesHoe CakesSconesAgricultureCommunity Sustainable Agriculture

SCIENCES & NATURE-BASED LEARNING:
Dental HygieneStaying HealthySTE(A)MMathematical ReasoningFibonacciMaillard ReactionZymologyMeteorologyAstronomyNASAAeronauticsSundialsSolar FlaresGalaxiesBlack HolesPhenologyBiospheresVernal PoolsForest EcologyWatershed EcologyZoologyOrnithologyIchthyologyHerpetologyEntomologyMarine BiologyBird-WatchingPeregrine FalconBobolinkRiver HerringFrogsButterfliesBeetles

CITIZEN SCIENCE:
Nature’s NotebookSolar Storm WatchGalaxy ZooCoCoRaHSLoss of NightVernal Pools

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Virtual Food DriveSewing MasksHomelessness

PEOPLE:
Walter CudnohufskySafia ElhilloRobert FrostRobert Strong WoodwardJane AustenShakespeareDr. SeussVeterans


SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peak of our newest podcast!


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

Want to receive our new Hilltown Families Daily?
Support us on Patreon!

Support us on Patreon!

HFVS Earth Day Episode with Guest DJs Katherine Dines and James Coffey. (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Earth Day Episode with Guest DJs Katherine Dines and James Coffey.

Katherine Dines (Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music) and James Coffey (Bluevision Music) have been working together for several years. The two guest DJ’s decided on an Earth Day theme and hope it will be a good fit for listeners during the current global pandemic and far into the future. The songs they collected encourage everyone to continue making positive changes and to spread happiness, harmony, love, peace, hope, and strength around the world. – hunktabunkta.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
April 18 & 19, 2020
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: A full-length single song video with some animation by Robert Gillihan performed by Katherine Dines. From the album, Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta BOO-2.


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

1. Katherine Dines – All the Way Around the World [Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta BOO-2]

2. Two of a Kind – We’re All in This Together [We’re All in This Together]

3. Fausto Uquillas and the Hipwaders Gaia She Knows [Single]

4. James Coffey I’m a Little Seed [Single]

5. Katherine Dines Thanks to the Sun [Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Songs and Stories that Celebrate Global Light]

6. Earth Mama (AKA Joyce Rouse) Every Day is Earth Day [Around the World with Earth Mama]

7. Greg Cooney So Many Things to See [Won’tcha Get Off the Couch?]

8. Joanie Calem Every Day is Earth Day [Single]

9. Liz Buchanan This Fragile Earth [Singing All the Way Home]

10. Dave Orleans Save Some Trees [Single]

11. MMM (AKA Music Movement and Magination) That’s the Earth [It All Adds Up]

12. Marsha Goodman-Wood (AKA Marsha and the Positrons) A Better Way [Marsha and the Positrons]

13. Dave Kinnoin Walk Gently on the Earth [The Earth’s Birthday]

14. James Coffey Use it Again [Single]

15. Pam Donkin Let the World Be Well [Single]

16. Kelli Welli Springtime Dance [Single]

17. Patricia Shih Small Blue Marble [Leap of Faith]

18. Katherine Dines The Sun Will Rise [Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta HOLIDAYS: Songs and Stories that Celebrate Global Light]

19. Ruth and Emilia Repair the World [The Spaceship that Fell in My Backyard]

Read the rest of this entry »

100+ Ideas, Resources, & Virtual Events for Learning at Home in Western MA: April 18-24, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With nearly 10,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational opportunities to explore at home this weekend and next week.

SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peaks of our newest podcast.


Stay Connected with Hilltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families

50% or more off of our regular prices for advertisers, directory listings, and sponsorships.

SALE: 50% OR MORE OFF! Are you offering virtual classes or lessons? Are you facilitating online social, learning, or entertainment opportunities? Is your local business offering new ways for customer engagement, gift certificates, or curb side delivery? Partner with Hilltown Families in your online outreach, delivering your message to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers. Offering 50% or more off of our regular advertising options, Hilltown Families is committed to our community and supporting one another in times of need. Our sponsors and advertising partners allow us to keep delivering this community-based educational resource to our readers for free (since 2005!). Local and online businesses, virtual and local service providers, non-profit organizations, and individuals are encouraged to reach out to find out about our new and exciting opportunities!

Featured Online Learning Resources

Mention Hilltown Families and receive 20% discount.

ReddPrep online tutoring: Northampton, MA. For more than fifteen years, ReddPrep has been preparing students to excel in school and maximize their scores on standardized tests. They offer a wide range of small classes and individual tutoring programs online for middle and high school students, specializing in standardized test preparation and college admissions counseling. Whether your student needs a little academic support or a full-time college admissions coach, ReddPrep is ready to help. Contact ReddPrep today for a free consultation and to craft an online study plan for your student. Mention Hilltown Families and receive a 20% discount on online tutoring. risher@reddprep.com. www.reddprep.com.

Online Classes

Online Classes. Chad Stewart, former Disney Animator and veteran homeschool Dad, offers Online Animation or Drawing Classes for ages 11-18. Weekly classes are one hour long, and industry professionals complete video reviews of homework as a part of every class they teach. The cost is $350 for the full 12-week session, and the Summer Session begins June 1st. Classes tend to fill up quickly so you can hold your child’s spot with a $50 deposit at the time of registration! Classes are held during Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions, so if you can’t join them now, check back with again! Chad has worked on films such as Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Polar Express, and has much to share with students of his Drawing or Animation Classes. Contact: 661-755-5775. kayla@theanimcourse.com. theanimcourse.com.

May 8-10

Are you planning your garden for this spring? Make sure to plant local, organic, and heirloom varieties! Where to get your plants? River Valley Co-op in Northampton, of course! During their annual Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Plant Sale they will be selling flower, veggie, and herb starts for your home garden from local farms, including Windy Ridge Farm, High Meadows Farm, and Bare Roots Farm. A great selection is available at River Valley Co-op during Mother’s Day weekend: May 8th, 9th, 10th from 10am-7pm. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.

Check out our Summer Directory for nearly
60 summer camps & programs in and around Western MA!

Featured Summer Programs & Camps

Jul 6-23

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Summer Youth Programs. Northampton, MA. Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School is pleased to announce its 2020 Summer Program offerings for students entering grades 6, 7, and 8. Programs include: Entering the World of Cosmetology; Tour de Cuisine: Cultivating the Young Culinarian; Criminal Justice League; Build Your Own Longboard. Weekly programs from July 6-July 23 half-day runs 8:30am- 12:30pm. Full-day programs run 8:30am – 3:30pm. Students can prepare amazing food, practice beauty techniques, build longboards, or learn about law enforcement. For full course descriptions, including which weeks they will run and to register for a Summer Youth Program, please see their website. Dates: Jul 6-23; Age Range of Participants: 11-14yo. Contact: 413-587-1414 x3406. dcarver@smithtec.org. www.smithtec.org/summer.

Jun 29 – Aug 21

Roots Youth Summer Programs. Westfield, MA. Roots Summer Vacation Programs offer full-day activities for ages 5-12 years old. Regular hours are from 9am-4pm. All summer program attendees will participate in activities at the three major facilities on the Roots campus: 1) Roots Gymnastics Center, 2) Roots Aquatics Center, and 3) Roots Athletics Center. Attendees will rotate between the three facilities each day participating in activities such as gymnastics, swim, soccer and other turf sports, S.T.E.M., crafts, games, water slide, and so much more! Early Drop Off is available at 7:30am, and Late Pick-Up ends at 5pm. Dates: Jun 29-Aug 21; Age Range of Participants: 5-12yo. Contact: 413-562-2333 & 413-568-2782. rootssummer@gmail.com. rootsvacation.com. rootscamp.campbrainregistration.com.

Jul 6-31

College for Kids. Westfield, MA. College for Kids provides innovative and creative educational programs for kids ages 5-14, promoting and maintaining an enjoyable learning environment. Each week will feature different classes, giving the option for parents to enroll their child in a morning session, afternoon session, or both. College for Kids offers a range of subjects including science, computers, magic, cooking, and the arts. In addition to returning favorites such as Digital Nature Photography, Science Discovery for Curious Kids, Broadway Bound, and The Art of Magic, they are excited to offer brand new classes in 2020 including Pie Making, Charcoal Drawing, Bucket Drumming for Beginners, Biodiversity in the World, and more! Dates: Jul 6-31; Age Range of Participants: 5-14yo. Contact: 413-572-8557. collegeforkids@westfield.ma.edu. westfield.ma.edu/cfk.

Jun 8 – Aug 7

Amherst Montessori School Summer Discovery. Amherst, MA. Amherst Montessori’s Summer Discovery offers playful adventures tailored to children ages 12 months to 12 years. Preschool/kindergarten children will have so much fun jumping through sprinklers, playing outside, and exploring weekly themes, including Geology, Insects, Building, and more. Infants/toddlers ages three and below will love AMS’s nurturing environment with outdoor play, songs & movement, water play, and sensory exploration, all with emphasis on building independence. The amazing Michelle Risch leads three weeks of Lego building and creativity with millions of Legos for Elementary children to build wherever their imagination takes them. Varying schedules with extended hours. Dates: Jun 8-Aug 7; Age Range of Participants: 15mos-12yo. Contact: 413-253-3101. sthompson@amherstmontessori.org. amherstmontessori.org.

Jun 26 – Aug 18

Rockin’ the Summer. Goshen, MA. IMA’s residential music programs give girls access to top-notch facilities & instruments, to veteran professional musicians & teachers, and musical exploration & collaboration. Explore Rock ‘n Roll (Jun 24–28; Aug 19-23) offers girls 9-12 opportunity to explore instruments, to begin writing songs, and to participate in a concert. Rock ‘n Roll Performance (Jul 10-19; Jul 24-Aug 2) offers girls 13-19 an opportunity to speak their truth through the medium of rock ‘n roll, gain confidence in performance abilities, improve musicianship, and develop collaborative leadership skills. Studio Recording & Production (Aug 6-16) offers hands-on studio recording seminar for women 16-22 who are ready to record their work and/or interested in engineering and producing. Dates: Jun 26-Aug 18; Age Range of Participants: Girls/Young Women 9-22yo. Contact: 413-268-3074. info@ima.org. www.ima.org.

Jun 29 – Aug 21

Summer at The Academy at Charlemont in Charlemont, MA. The Academy at Charlemont Summer Programs. Multiple programs for grades 3-12 running from late June to late August. Week of June 29-July 3 – Arts and Crafts for grades 3-6, 9am-3pm. Week of July 6-July 10 – Maker’s Camp 8:30am-11:30am and Ultimate Frisbee 12:30pm-3:30pm, grades 7-12. Week of August 3-7 – Music Camp 9am-12pm. Week of August 17-21 – Arts and Crafts for grades 7-12, 9am-12pm. Financial aid is available. Participants are asked to bring water bottles, snacks and/or lunch.Dates: Jun 29-Aug 21; Age Range of Participants: 8-18yo. Contact: 413-339-4912. jmitchell@charlemont.org. www.charlemont.org

Jul 6 – Aug 21

Riotous Youth. Lenox, MA. These fun and inspiring 2-week summer theatre programs introduce students ages 7-17 to Shakespeare’s language, his stories, characters, and themes using imaginative and playful methods. Each session ends with a performance piece based on the kids’ experience of the play, which they share with family, friends, and Company members on the final day of the session. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 21; Age Range of Participants: 7-17yo. Contact: 413-637-1199 x172. mmarchione@shakespeare.org. www.shakespeare.org

Jul 6 – Aug 28

Claws, based out of Northampton, MA.Claws camping trips take students 11-17 into wild places. They climb mountains, ford rivers and sea kayak. Students test their edges and boundaries as they learn skills needed to overcome challenges. They move through fascinating terrain and waters, having fun while practicing mindfulness. They gain the ability to control their thoughts and movements, like seal, fish, and birds, bears, and bobcats do. They learn to read the great patterns of biomes, of weather, witnessing grand forces and elements expressing themselves. Claws go into the wild because the wild is where they can grow—where they can grasp life, grip it tight and carry it aloft. This year they’re going to the White Mountains and Casco Bay in Maine. There are trips to the Sierras, too. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 28; Age Range of Participants: 11-17yo. Contact: 413-320-0522. info@biocitizen.org. ma.biocitizen.org.

Jun 29 – Jul 2

“Brave” Dance Camp with Celtic Heels & Devine Dance in Greenfield, MA. Experience the joy of dance at the “Brave” themed dance camp. Celtic Heels & Devine Dance are offering students the opportunity to attend a four-day workshop incorporating Irish Step, Tap, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and more. In addition to dance classes, students will create craft projects, learn new rhythms and cadences and improve their balance, posture, and flexibility. With such a variety of styles, there is something for everyone, and a summer workshop is a great way to experience their individually tailored lesson plans as well as the inclusive atmosphere they create with and for their students. Dates: Jun 29-Jul 2; Age Range of Campers: 7-12yo. Contact: 413-475-4726. celticheels@gmail.com. www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Jun 17 – Aug 9

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. Digging into Nature at Pine Hill provides outdoor education for ages 5-12. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include cooking, movie-making, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 17 to August 9.


SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
April 18-24, 2020

Saturday, April 18Sunday, April 19
Monday, April 20Tuesday, April 21Wednesday, April 22
Thursday, April 23Friday, April 24

Mark your calendars: Local Virtual Opportunities
Suggest a distant learning event!

Subscribe to Our Weekly eNewsletterAdvertising & Partnership Opportunities
Class DirectoryPreschool DirectoryBirthday Party Venue Directory
Cultural Itinerariesen Español


Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families Printables: Where is it? What is it? Word Scramble for April.

What is it? Where is it?

Allow this free word scramble printable to lead curiosity during April! Support language arts by unscrambling the letters to identify what’s in each picture. In early Spring, look for these treasures in nature throughout the Hilltowns of western Massachusetts and around New England.

Use this printable to encourage local engagement in the natural world by searching for native and invasive species, identifying seeds from different trees, and supporting interests in ornithology, botany, and mycology.

Engaging in the natural world, a community-based educational resource available to everyone, supports a sense of place. Make learning relevant to where you live!

Click here to download.


Hilltown Families Printables is sponsored by Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

Hilltown Families Presents: The Tom Knight Show, “Alligator Jump”

The Tom Knight Show: “Alligator Jump”

Hilltown Families and western Massachusetts musician/artist, Tom Knight, have partnered up to offer a series of singing puppet shows for families at home. In this series premiere episode, “Alligator Jump,” viewers of all ages can find themselves laughing out loud at the banter between Allie and Tom, and joining in their singing, dancing, grunting, and wiggling.

 


ABOUT TOM KNIGHT

Tom Knight is a multimedia artist, based in Haydenville, MA.  He has been delighting children and their grown-ups with his original, interactive, musical puppet show since 1988 with a unique blend of musicianship and puppetry shows. With his release of five CD’s for children and over 900 performances at festivals, museums, and libraries across the country, Tom Knight’s show are always lively and engaging for an intergenerational audience.

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES PRESENTS

Hilltown Families presents is a program of Hilltown Families, a community-based education network serving all of western Massachusetts, partnering with local artists, performers, individuals, organizations, and small businesses in the delivery of educational and entertaining video content for families at home. Interested in participating? Send your proposal to swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org.

April 11-17, 2020: What do you want to learn today?

100+ SUGGESTED RESOURCES &
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
April 11-17, 2020

Saturday, April 11Sunday, April 12
Monday, April 13Tuesday, April 14Wednesday, April 15
Thursday, April 16Friday, April 17

Mark your calendars: Local Virtual Opportunities
Suggest a distant learning event!


LOCAL RESOURCES
Smith College Museum of ArtBike PathsGreat Barrington Land ConservancyRegreen SpringfieldJacob’s PillowHistoric NorthamptonHitchcock CenterCooley Dickinson HospitalVentfort HallSpringfield Symphony OrchestraSpringfield MuseumsBerkshire MuseumNew England Air MuseumNorman Rockwell MuseumMass AudubonThe TrusteesGrow Food NorthamptonScience CafesBest Buddies

MUSIC, DANCE, ART, LANGUAGE
Folk ArtVisible MendingEaster Eggs ♦  Music StudiesHistoric Blues & Folk MusicContemporary Dance StudiesWorld Folk DancesSymphonyBrahmsMuseum ToursArt StudiesArt HistoryImpressionismSymbolismLanguage ArtPoetryLiteratureCommunication SkillsNational Poetry MonthVirtual MappingCartography

FOOD & FOOD SYSTEMS
Learning in the KitchenInternational FoodsLocal RecipesPancakes Around the WorldInternational Rice DishesChicken Tikka MasalaFermented FoodsKombuchaWaffles HistoryPancake RecipesHoe CakesSconesSolar OvensAgricultureCommunity Sustainable Agriculture

HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES
Gender StudiesMassachusetts HistoryFashion HistoryGuilded AgeWomen’s HistoryAviation HistoryFood HistoryArt HistoryEarly American CuisineRenaissance HistorySocial MovementsSocial StudiesCultural HistoryHistory of Toilet PaperSword Fighting

SCIENCES
Dental HygieneStaying HealthySTE(A)MMathematical ReasoningFibonacciMaillard ReactionZymologyMeteorologyAstronomyNASAAeronauticsSolar EnergySundialsSolar FlaresGalaxiesBlack HolesPhenologyBiospheresVernal PoolsForest EcologyWatershed EcologyZoologyOrnithologyIchthyologyHerpetologyEntomologyMarine BiologyBird-WatchingPeregrine FalconBobolinkRiver HerringFrogsButterflies

CITIZEN SCIENCE
Nature’s NotebookSolar Storm WatchGalaxy ZooCoCoRaHSLoss of NightVernal Pools

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Virtual Food DriveSewing MasksHomelessness

PEOPLE
Walter CudnohufskySafia ElhilloRobert FrostRobert Strong WoodwardGustav KlimtJane AustenShakespeareDr. SeussVeterans

 


SUBSCRIBE to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date!
Sneak peak of our newest podcast!


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

Want to receive our new Hilltown Families Daily?
Support us on Patreon!

Support us on Patreon!

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