Winter Brings Opportunities for Inclusive Recreation

Winter Brings Opportunities for Inclusive Recreation

Making winter recreation accessible to all, local organizations are offering a wide array of opportunities for community members of all abilities to participate in inclusive recreational opportunities. From sled hockey and skiing to basketball and bowling, children and adults of all abilities can find activities to match their interests!

‘Tis the season for winter sports here in western Massachusetts – and thanks to a wide array of local resources, opportunities for recreation are available to all. Taking advantage of community resources and the local landscape, organizations from all across the state have worked to create a large network of recreational opportunities that are truly accessible to all – both indoors and out.

Western MA families can take advantage of opportunities to participate in active recreational activities within groups with diverse abilities, and can learn about and/or utilize adaptive technology through special events held by local organizations and athletic leagues.

Participation in recreational opportunities that are truly inclusive to all is a great way for families to experience diversity and to learn from the skills and life experiences of others; additionally, inclusive recreational environments help to provide opportunities for folks of varying abilities to enjoy recreational activities together.

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Hit a Home Run with Community-Based Learning this Summer through Local Baseball!

Art, History, and Baseball: Learning from a Great American Pastime

Be a part of a great American pastime this summer and head to the ballfield! Families can explore everything from art and design to American history by using baseball as a lens through which to explore local museums, online resources, and fantastic children’s literature.

A springtime standard for many western Massachusetts families, the sport of baseball is certainly one of our country’s favorite pastimes. Certainly the sport has much to offer families in terms of entertainment, but baseball as a topic of study can serve as an entry point into learning about much more than team dynamics and the specifics of the game. Baseball-inspired studies can spark explorations of civil rights, immigration, local and national history, art, design, and more.

While most youth baseball and softball teams play their seasons during the late spring and early summer, baseball as a spectator sport carries on throughout the summer and early fall. Locally, three collegiate summer teams make a summer outing to a baseball game quite accessible for families. The Pittsfield Suns play at Wahconah Park, Holyoke’s Valley Blue Sox‘s home games are at Mackenzie Stadium, and the North Adams SteepleCats play at Joe Wolfe Field.

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Women’s Sports at 13 Western MA Colleges

Women’s Sports in Western MA

(Courtesy Photo: UMass)

Sports of all kinds are an important part of American culture – we rally around favorite teams almost religiously, and fans of all ages adorn themselves to represent their favorite players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB.  We bite nails over the World Series, carefully piece together brackets for NBA Final Four guesses, and Superbowl Sunday might as well be a national holiday… However, many of the most well-known teams and most-watched events feature only male athletes. Women’s sports are still working to reach a comparable level of visibility, despite the existence of hundreds of talented female athletes playing a host of different sports.

Luckily, though, thanks to the plethora of colleges in Western Massachusetts (including multiple women’s colleges), opportunities for families to cheer on dedicated female athletes in action are frequent!  Girls can learn a lot from attending a college-level game, match, or tournament – even if they aren’t athletes themselves. They can learn about sportsmanship, and the importance of hard work and dedication.  Plus, athletic women provide an image of the female body that is a positive and constructive contradiction to the images of women presented in mainstream media, and their strong and powerful bodies can serve as models for the development of positive body image.   Spectating at a women’s sporting event can be a great experience for boys, too, as it can help them develop a less gendered view of athleticism.

Throughout the academic year, women play field hockey, soccer, volleyball, ice hockey, and softball; they run track and cross country; and they participate in synchronized figure skating and leap, flip, and tumble on gymnastics teams – the choices are endless.  Check out each institution’s athletics calendar to choose an event (or two, or three) to attend!

12 Baseball Books for Kids

Oprn Drdsmr: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

Take Me Out To The Ball Game:
New Baseball Books for Kids

In this boy-dominated batch of new baseball books, there are picture books and middle grade novels, action packed stories and baseball history, team spirit and individual courage. So, if your in-house sluggers are baseball crazy, try pitching one of these dozen new books to them. They just might hit a home run.

PICTURE BOOKS

F is for Fenway: America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark written by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by John S. Dykes
In celebration of Fenway Park’s 100-year anniversary, this A-Z picture book introduces historic and nostalgic facts about America’s oldest major league ballpark. Readers can learn about the green monster, Peskys Pole, the lone red seat, and the long-standing Yankees rivalry. Red Sox fans will want this one in their collection.
Published by Sleeping Bear Press, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012. ISBN 978-1-58536-788-7

Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings written and illustrated by Douglas Florian
A collection of poems that takes ball lovers through the game and introduces them to the players on the field. From “Warm Up” to “The Season Is Over,” Florian pitches perfect in his newest book of poetry.
Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, New York, 2012. ISBN 978-0-547-68838-1

Brothers at Bat written by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Steven Salerno
The amazing true story of the Acerra family, who had sixteen children, twelve of them boys who all played baseball and who made up their very own baseball team. Set in New Jersey, from the 1920s through the 1950s, this picture book follows the brothers from boys playing ball after school to serious players forming their own semi-pro team to soldiers in World War II to their induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Their story exemplifies true team spirit.
Published by Clarion Books, New York, 2012. ISBN 978-0-547-38557-0

Lucky Luis written by Gary Soto, illustrated by Rhode Montijo
Luis, a baseball loving and somewhat superstitious rabbit, believes the free food samples he tries at the market gives him good luck in his games. But when the food samples run out, so does his luck on the baseball field. In the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, Luis is up to bat. Will he let go of his superstitions and remember what his coach taught him before he strikes out?
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2012. ISBN 978-0-399-24504-6

Homer written by Diane deGroat, illustrated by Shelley Rotner
In this picture book by local children’s book greats, Diane deGroat and Shelley Rotner, it’s the neighborhood dogs who take to the field. While the humans sleep, the Doggers take on the Hounds for the championship. Can Homer hit it out of the ballpark to lead the Doggers to victory? Short, simple text and photographic images that put an array of canines in uniform will have young sluggers cheering.
Published by Orchard Books, New York, 2012. ISBN 978-0-545-33272-9

Just As Good: How Larry Doby Changed America’s Game written by Chris Crowe, illustrated by Mike Benny
It’s 1948, in Cleveland, Ohio, and Homer and his father are buzzing with excitement. Their team, the Cleveland Indians, has made it to the World Series, and they’re rooting for Larry Doby, the first African-American player in the American League. In this exciting game, Doby not only helps the Indians win their first World Series in 28 years, but breaks the color barrier in baseball and helps lay the foundation for the civil rights movement.
Published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7636-5026-1

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4 Western MA College’s Host National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Four Western MA College’s Host
National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Girls try out lacrosse, squash, softball, golf and many other sports during National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Title IX, the law that made sex-based discrimination in school sports illegal, turns 40 this year!  Young women can celebrate their equality by participating in National Girls and Women in Sports Day at a local Western MA college campus!  The national event takes place on February 1st, but local colleges are hosting their own special days in the weeks before and after the day.

Smith College’s event will take place on Sunday, January 29th from 12:30-4pm in Northampton, MA.  Girls in grades 3-5 are invited to the campus to take part in workshops on sports like rowing, tennis, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, and rock climbing.  Girls will get to choose which sports they learn about- it’s a great opportunity to try out something new, or to learn about a sport that has not traditionally been a women’s sport.  To register, visit www.smithpioneers.com.

Williams College will host their National Girls and Women in Sports celebration on Saturday, February 4th in Williamstown, MA.  Taking place from 10:30am-1:30pm, the event is similar to Smith’s in that it features workshops with student athletes on a variety of sports!  Girls who take part in the event can also take a yoga class or try out rowing!  The event is followed by a women’s basketball game against Bowdoin College, and girls who participated in the event can attend for free.  Girls in grades K-6 can attend.  To register, e-mail erd1@williams.edu.

Springfield College celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday, February 11th from 9am-2pm.  Girls in grades K-6 can visit the school and take part in sports and exercise workshops, and they’ll get to meet the Springfield College women’s basketball team, too (There’s an opportunity to see a game after the event as well.)!  National Girls and Women in Sports Day is not only a way for girls to learn more about sports, it’s a way for kids to learn new and exciting ways to get active and an opportunity for them to see real life examples of successful female athletes.  Registration requested by calling 413-748-3756.

UMass’ celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day takes place on Sunday, February 19th from 12noon-1:15pm in Amherst, MA.  Girls can learn about and try out sports like lacrosse, field hockey, cheer leading, rowing, soccer, and more!  The event also includes a ticket to a women’s basketball game at the Mullins Center at 2pm.  Registration required by calling 413-577-7252.

Taking part in one of the events or just learning about the day can be an empowering experience for young female athletes.  Learning from women who have mastered a sport will show girls an attainable level of skill in a sport, and will provide a realistic picture of where playing a sport can get them in life.

Suggested Events 09/04/10-09/10/10

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Lucky Duck, one of the many games for kids at the Cummington Fair this past weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

BEST BET

Saturday: Arunah Hill Days from 7am-11pm at The Arunah Hill Natural Science Center (218 Trouble St.) in Cummington. A family-oriented weekend of astronomy, star gazing, nature walks, and science education. Several large telescopes will be available for nightly viewing of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, galaxies, star clusters, and other wonders of the Summer Milky Way. Experienced amateur astronomers will conduct nightly constellation orientation talks. Specially filtered solar telescopes will also be used during daylight hours to reveal sunspots and solar prominences. 569.6336 www.arunah.org (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Saturday, September 11th from 12Noon-11pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Glendi Greek Festival at the Greek Cultural Center (22 St. George Rd.), the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality – activities for children including games and a bounce house, a Greek cultural and art exhibit. 737-1496 www.stgeorgecath.org Springfield, MA (>$)

Sunday, September 12th from 2:30-4:30pm – KIDS CONCERT: Primate Fiasco will be playing music from their “adult strength kids CD”, Wheels on the Bus at First Churches (Main Street). Circus and puppets before show. Northampton, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. —  Help us help you!

PARENTING WORKSHOP: Shana Hiranandani, M.A. will be offering a series of three group workshops for Parents and Caregivers titled “Put the Oxygen Mask On Yourself First!” *Create a life that nourishes your own needs as Parents. Discover useful tools and new ideas to create balance, enjoyment and meaning in our roles as Parents.* The cost of the series is $75 for all three meetings and will be offered in Easthampton on Wednesdays, September 22nd, 29th, and October 6th from 12Noon-1:30pm OR 5:30-7pm. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information visit online at www.UniquePeople.net or call (413) 341-3158. Shana is a Personal Life and Career Coach and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Marie Westburg of Williamsburg, MA writes: Transition Williamsburg is sponsoring a Community Work Day at the Williamsburg Grange Monday, September 6th from 2-5pm. Help fix up the Grange! We will paint and spruce up the front garden. Bring a paint brush and your community spirit! For more information call Marie Westburg at 268-7899 or amwestburg@verizon.net.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Andrew Baker of Shelburne Falls, MA writes: Families at the Solar Circle affordable condominium community in Haydenville are hosting a “Vote NO on 2” potluck picnic on Sunday, September 19th from 12:30-3:30pm to showcase their affordable housing community in order to highlight the importance of voting no on Question #2 on the ballot in November. The event is open to the public. Solar Circle is a housing development for first time home buyers built using the affordable housing law, otherwise known as Chapter 40B. This November, Massachusetts voters will weigh in on Question 2, which asks voters to repeal Chapter 40B, a law that has created 80% of the affordable housing built in Massachusetts, outside of the major cities, over the last decade. More info on this topic HERE.

HOMESCHOOL OPPORTUNITY: The Springfield Museum will be offering à la Carte Programs on Thursdays at 12:15pm. Programs may be suitable for older homeschool students. Programs include: Springfield: A Life in Postcards (Sept. 9th); A Hungry Hill Trinity: Life and Times of Three Generations (Sept 16th); A Window to the World of Honey Bees: Beekeeping at the Springfield Science Museum (Sept 23rd); and How Art Made the World, Part Five: To Death and Back (Sept 30th). The programs are held in the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards St. in downtown Springfield. Parking is free. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413-263-6800, ext. 488. (>$)

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS: First-Time Homebuyer Workshop at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg. Offering three times: Sept 18, 25, and Oct 2. 9 – 12:30pm. Buying a home is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. The first step of the process is to look at the picture as a whole, then work with the individual puzzle pieces. If you want to buy your first home, but are a bit leery of the process, and are afraid of taking on the financial responsibility of owning a home, then educating yourself is the thing to do! The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be and the more successful you will be in your homeownership. Registration required. Contact Bea at Hilltown CDC. 296-4536, ext 115 or beavh@hilltowncdc.org

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS is our BACK TO SCHOOL episode. Our playlist includes new music by Imagination Movers, Clint Holmes, Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, The Sweet Colleens, Lisa Loeb, Tom Paxton, Ellis Paul, The Not-Its!, Chuck Berry, and many others!

Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 9/4

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

    7am-11pm – ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES: The Arunah Hill Natural Science Center (218 Trouble St.) will host Arunah Hill Days, a family-oriented weekend of astronomy, star gazing, nature walks, and science education. Several large telescopes will be available for nightly viewing of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, galaxies, star clusters, and other wonders of the Summer Milky Way. Experienced amateur astronomers will conduct nightly constellation orientation talks. Specially filtered solar telescopes will also be used during daylight hours to reveal sunspots and solar prominences. 569.6336 www.arunah.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    8am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Youth Day at the 143rd Blandford Fair (10 North Street). 848-0995 www.blanfordfair.com Blandford, MA ($)

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: 193rd Three County Fair (54 Fair St.) 584-2237 www.3countyfair.com Northampton, MA ($)

    MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free Admission to the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield) and the BasketBall Hall of Fame (Springfield) today, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation. www.highlandstreet.org (FREE)

    9:30am-5pm- FAMILY DAY: Family Fun Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Pay base ball the way early New Englanders did, make a craft, join a game of French & English (left), meet the young oxen in training, try your hand at marbling paper, watch a toy fire-balloon flight, visit the Freeman Farm, stop and see craftsmen at work, and much more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free day at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

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

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

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

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

    3pm – ASTRONOMY: Observe the sun with Northampton Solar at A2Z Science and Learning Center. See Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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

    6:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library will host a family movie night at the Town Hall: showing Star Wars, episode 4, A New Hope. Shutesbury, MA(Donation >$)

    8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater call or visit online for Films. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    9pm – ASTRONOMY: View the Moon, Planets, Satellites, Multiple Stars, Star Clusters, Galaxies, Nebulas and more through the 6 ton, 25 foot long, 18 inch F/17, World Class Clark Refractor at the Wilder Observatory at the Amherst College. Set up a telescope on the lawn, view through public use telescopes. www.amherstastronomy.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

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    Highland Unusual Games Triathlon at the Hilltown Spring Festival

    Hosts Needed for the Highland Unusual Games Triathlon
    at the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 15th, 2010

    For the past two years, competitors from across the Hilltowns – ranging in age thus far from two to seventy-two – have flocked to the Hilltown Spring Festival for the annual “Highland Unusual Games Triathlon.” The Triathlon is a grueling test of accuracy, balance and speed (strength and endurance are not required) featuring a 40-yard egg race, horseshoes and a scaled down version of frisbee golf. Teams of two, three and four persons have competed successfully for various and sundry special prizes.

    According to Triathlon organizer, Andrew Baker, who serves as Executive Director of the Hilltown CDC (creator of the Hilltown Spring Festival) during the few moments when he is not entirely dedicated to planning the next annual Triathlon, “We are always on the lookout people to help host the Triathlon and to suggest new games, provided they are willing to host them on Festival day for a few hours and teach them to eager young competitors. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Triathlon grow into a Quad or Quintathlon this year!”

    Key criteria for successful festival games are their ability to be learned quickly and played by contestants of all ages. They should require minimal equipment (supplied by the host) and be able to be played in a fairly small area. And they need hosts!

    Baker concludes, “I’ve just thought of a new one! I’m calling it ‘Croak-aye.’ It’s a cousin of shuffleboard played on grass with croquet balls hit into a hole in the ground. Come try it out.”

    If you would like to suggest/host a new game for the Hilltown Spring Festival, volunteer to help host the Triathlon, and/or donate an unusual winner’s prize, contact Andrew at the Hilltown CDC: andrewb@hilltowncdc.org or 413-296-4536 ext. 118. See you at the Triathlon!

    Photo credit: (ccl) Jason Stare

    Tips for Dads to Promote Girls’ Sports

    Tips for Dads to Promote Girls’ Sports

    Soccer Camps

    Co-ed soccer in Williamsburg, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Why should your daughter or stepdaughter participate in sports? To be more healthy (in mind and body), feel better about herself, learn new skills, stay off alcohol and drugs, defer sexual activity, and, oh yeah, TO HAVE FUN! Sadly, some people worry that girls are too delicate, unskilled, or inadequate to play sports. To which the smart father and stepfather reply: “Baloney.” Here are some tips to help you provide the kind of support your girl needs.

    1. MAKE SPORTS FUN FROM AN EARLY AGE. Keep a relaxed approach when she’s young. For example, have athletic-theme parties, like pizza and kickball.
    2. DEMONSTRATE INTEREST IN HER ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES. Attend her games and other extracurricular activities. If you live away from your daughter, be sure to talk with her after every game to hear how it went.
    3. GO TO THE GAMES TO CHEER. You can cheer hard for your girl, and then cheer for everyone who is playing. Every kid (and parent) should remember why they call it “playing” a “game.”
    4. LEAVE COACHING TO THE COACHES. Tina Syer of the Positive Coaching Alliance says, “You’re there to fill the kids’ emotional tanks and make sure they bounce back from mistakes, not to tweak their throwing motion or tell them where to be on the field.” Be smart about choosing coaches tuned in to her age and skill level. If there’s a lack of adequate coaches, sign up to volunteer!
    5. BE A MODEL FAN. Think about what you would look like on the sidelines if someone were videotaping you instead of the game. Be sure you (and your daughter) would be proud of what you’d see.
    6. ASK, “WHAT DO WE EACH HOPE TO GET FROM THE EXPERIENCE?” Then tell her what you hope she gets. If you don’t talk (and listen), she may assume all you care about is a winning record or how good her stats are. Make sure she knows you want sports to be a fun way to make friends, test herself, be healthy, and feel good about herself.
    7. LET HER PLAY WITH BOYS. In Raising Our Athletic Daughters: How Sports Can Build Self-Esteem And Save Girls’ Lives, authors Jean Zimmerman and Gil Reavill suggest utilizing coed or single-sex programs according to your daughter’s comfort level and what will contribute most to her learning and growth.
    8. HELP HER USE “MISTAKES” PRODUCTIVELY. When she messes up, she’ll look to you first. So illustrate how to put mistakes in perspective by 1) showing her how to let go of them & 2) encouraging (not demanding or requiring) her to use mistakes as motivation to improve her skills.
    9. MAKE SURE GIRLS & BOYS HAVE EQUAL SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES. Support Title IX and encourage school and other sports programs to be aware of and promptly address inequities in opportunities and resources.
    10. KEEP A RELAXED, FUN APPROACH. Team sports teach girls how to be self-reliant while also working collaboratively to be competitive. If she loses interest in sports, you and she can still be physically active together–and there are plenty of other ways to relate and have fun as a Dad-Daughter team.

    Learn more about healthy fathering at www.TheDadMan.com.

    Tips for Dads and Kids Watching the Super Bowl Together

    Tips for Dads & Kids Watching the Super Bowl Together

    One of a Dad’s simple pleasures is watching TV sports together with his kids and/or stepkids. But what about those moments (like during some commercials) when you want to cover your child’s eyes with your hands?

    Here are a few simple tips from The Dad Man to help fathers and stepfathers get more out of watching the Super Bowl (and other TV sportscasts) with their daughters and sons.

    1. Spend part of Sunday afternoon tossing the ball around with your kids.
      Dads who are physically active with their daughters and sons increase the odds that they’ll grow up healthy and strong.
    2. If she doesn’t like to play catch, take a walk or bike ride together.
      Let your child know that you enjoy being with her. The time together may give her an opportunity to share what is going on in her life. Kids may see our enthusiasm for sports and think we’re more interested in our favorite team than in them. Making time for them on Super Bowl Sunday (and every other day) can counter that perception.
    3. Try to watch the broadcast through your child’s eyes.
      Would any images, commercials, or events look or feel different if it was your kid on the screen? What does he think about all the hype about commercials during the game? Share your perceptions with him and ask him what he thinks.
    4. When watching the game, be aware that the things your child or stepchild sees may be entirely different from what you see.
      For example, instead of enjoying the game, is your daughter feeling inadequate while comparing her body to the “perfect” cheerleaders? What misconceptions might the commercials give your son about what it means to be a “real” man?
    5. Use the remote!
      If you see disrespectful or objectifying ads and images, change the channel so you, your kids, and your family don’t have those images in your home. Let your kids know why you decided to flip and ask for their feedback.
    6. Compare the number of female sports announcers (many fewer) and their roles (usually on the sidelines) to the number and role of the male announcers.
      Tell your kids what you think about those numbers. Do they mean that your daughter can’t be as big a fan as you or your son? Do you want your children or stepchildren to have their career aspirations curtailed by their gender?
    7. Ask your kids which players and coaches they admire or see as heroes.
      Tell them which ones you admire, and then share your reasons with each other.
    8. After the game, debate your opinions on the crucial plays and most exciting moments.
      Then invite your children or stepchildren to do something special together next Sunday to keep these conversations rolling and to convince them that the most important man in their lives takes them seriously-and enjoys being with them!
    9. Use the Super Bowl to become more media-literate and sensitive to your children’s experience.
      Pay more attention to how media portray boys, girls, women and men. When you see an advertisement or program, ask “What if it was my child in that picture?”, and then reassess your reaction to it.

    Get more fathering resources at www.TheDadMan.com.

    Kids Basketball Program in Williamsburg

    Tom Adams of Williamsburg, MA writes:

    Hi all,

    My son and I have been going to basketball in Williamsburg on Wednesday nights at 6pm for the past two weeks and there’s no one else there his age (age 6). There are some older kids but no one in 1st-3rd grade. This basketball program is great because there are basketball hoops that are lower and easier to shoot at, but obviously it would be better if there was more than ONE kid playing.

    John O’Sullivan asked me to do a little outreach to see if any other children 1st-3rd grade are available/ interested in playing. We need about 5 or 6 kids to play in a regular league (games on Saturday morning).

    If anyone is interested please let John know (email) and hopefully we’ll see you there next Wednesday?

    How Baseball Can Encourage Information Literacy

    Step Up to the Plate @ Your Library
    Swings into Action!

    The boys of summer are stepping up to the plate, so why not join them? The American Library Association and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are getting into the swing of things by launching the third season of Step Up to the Plate @ Your Library. It could be your chance to win a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame!

    All you have to do is use the resources at your library to answers a series of baseball trivia questions. All of the questions were developed by the library staff at the Baseball Hall of Fame (Click here to read more about information literacy.).

    There are two ways to enter: Read the rest of this entry »

    Dads & Daughters: Women’s Basketball Championship

    Women’s March Madness!
    by Dads & Daughters

    Dads & Daughters (pdf file)10 Tips for Dads & Daughters During the Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship

    1. March Madness gets underway March 22nd for women’s college basketball and March 20th for the men (and the start of the WNBA season isn’t far behind!). This is an exciting time for dads to watch or listen to the women’s game with their daughters and stepdaughters. Here are some tips for fathers and stepfathers during tournament time.
    2. Remember that your daughter or stepdaughter hungers for your attention. Make popcorn and watch the tournament together for a great opportunity to talk about the game, or anything else on her mind! Women’s NCAA Division I games are on ESPN and ESPN2—the Women’s Final Four is April 6 and 8 in Tampa.
    3. Fill out brackets together (find them here.) Dads & Daughters member David Powers shares his story:
      My wife, daughters and I all fill out brackets and have a lot of fun tracking who won, who lost — and we even give prizes (for example, the winner picks where to have dinner next time we dine out). We learn about colleges they may not have known, talk about national (and sometimes international) geography, look at player profiles to see where they were from, what they were studying in school, etc. In short, a very low cost way to connect with your daughter!
    4. Celebrate these powerful women. Compliment a great shot, steal, or smart pass. Our daughters hear so often that men only care about women’s looks. Show your excitement for the game by commenting on players’ skills and physical capabilities. And if commercials objectify women (e.g., scantily clad women in beer commercials), call the station, the product manufacturer, and the NCAA to complain.
    5. Talk about your basketball days, if you played. Talk about how hard it is to master, while still incredibly fun for anyone to play. Ask her opinion on game situations as they arise. Then get interested together in other women’s sports, like golf, soccer and volleyball. Read the rest of this entry »

    Hilltown Girls Offered Free Martial Arts

    Bat Kids at UMass

    Dads, Daughters & Sports

    IT’S BASKETBALL TIME!

    (c) 2007 Steve Harwood - All Rights Reserved.

    With the Women’s Final Four just around the corner, Dads & Daughters offers advice on how to spend time with your daughter during the Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship season.

    March Madness is underway in women’s college basketball (and the start of the WNBA season isn’t far behind!). This is an exciting time for dads to watch or listen to the women’s game with their daughters and stepdaughters. Here are some tips for fathers and stepfathers during tournament time:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Sledding in Worthington

    Dads, Daughters & Sports

    Tips for Dads & Daughters Watching the Super Bowl Together

    Dads & Daughters watching TV sports together–one of life’s pleasures. But what about those moments (like during some commercials) when you want to cover her eyes with your hands?

    Here are a few simple tips from the national nonprofit Dads & Daughters for fathers and stepfathers watching the Super Bowl (and other TV sporting events) with their daughters.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Throw like a girl — Lead like a champion!

    (c) 2007 Steve Harwood - All Rights Reserved.This year’s slogan for the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) is “Throw like a girl – Lead like a champion!” NGWSD is a day that acknowledges the positive influence participation in sports can have in a young girl’s life. It is also a day to honor sports achievements while working towards equality and accessability for women in sports.

    In honor of this national day there are several free clinics being sponsored by area colleges for young girls to participate in and learn more about sports, including Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Smith College.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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