Learn Local. Play Local.: Starfish to Glass Art. Social Movements to Rural Heritage.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsRural HeritageNew England HeritageAgricultural HistoryTextilesAgricultural Fair4-HSustainable LivingArt StudiesTeen ArtInstallation ArtVan GoghSocial MovementsPicture Book ArtGlass ArtMusic StudiesShape Note SingingSymphonyA CappellaClassical MusicCommunity ConcertLawn ConcertDance StudiesContemporary DanceFolkloreTheater StudiesShakespeareOutdoor PerformanceFairiesStarfishRabbitsBeaversAmphibiansGeologyAstronomySTEMComputer CodingArchitectureEconomicsCulinary DesignCommunity MealTea TimeBlueberriesPeachesHarvest SupperCreative Free-PlayParanormalRoller DerbyTai Chi & Aikido

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 17-23, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Chinese Painting to Bike Repair. Meteor Showers to Sturgeon Moon.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

New England HeritageAgriculture HistoryAgricultural FairsRural HeritageFarmers’MarketCountry FairApple OrchardBook SaleDowntown CelebrationLawn ConcertZoologyMammalsBatsBeaversReligious StudiesKirtanFolk TraditionsBike RepairTheaterShakespeareHansel & GretelMother GooseArt StudiesChinese PaintingVan GoghPicture Book ArtSocial MovementsReading To DogsLiteracyLiterary StudiesMusic StudiesMusic FestivalSymphonyClassicalContemporary DancePlacemakingCollaborative ConsumptionSustainabilitySkillshareCreative Free-PlayCommerceArchitectureAviationSTEMPhysicsYo-YoNatural HistoryAstronomyPlanetariumMeteor ShowerConstellationsSturgeon Moon

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 10-16, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Fairy Tale to Folk Stories. Cider Pairing to Agricultural History.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Revolutionary WarAgricultural HistoryNative American HeritageShaker FoodwaysBritish CultureBlacksmithingQi GongContemporary DanceMusic StudiesMusical InstrumentsMusic PerformanceClassical MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmTheater StudiesImmersive TheaterFairy TaleFolk StoriesLiterature in TranslationNutritional AnthropologyCider PairingTea TimeLobsterMarine BiologyBeaversOwlsNative SpeciesAstronomyEconomicsUrban EcologyRowingHelicopterBike RepairMagicParanormalRenaissance FairNative American FestivalSkillsharingFolk TraditionsCommunity MealIntergenerationalCreative Free-PlayPlacemakingCommercial Free

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 3-9, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Motorcycles to Skateboarding. Youth Theater to Family Concert.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsSkillsharingPreserving FruitPotteryFarmingTextile ArtsAgricultural HistoryLocal HistoryTransportation HistoryAviationBucklandDeerfieldSpringfieldMiddle AgesRenaissance FairGather In FestivalBlock PartyArt WalkMusic FestivalFamily Outdoor ConcertLawn ConcertJazzKlezmer MusicMusical InstrumentsBotanyEcologyFernsBirdsNative SpeciesStargazingSolar SystemTheater StudiesAutobiographicalMusicalYouth TheaterClowningPuppet TheaterMarionettesGhostsLiterature in TranslationContemporary DanceReading to DogsCanoeingLabyrinthSkateboardingBaseballMotorcyclesJetsChessKnitting

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 27-Aug 2, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Blueberry Pie to Tea Party. Nature-Based Learning to Placemaking.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Outdoor AdventuresWaterwaysCanoeingStargazingMountain HikeBoat CruiseBaseballCultural StudiesScottishShakerRural LivingIndigenous Heritage60s Pop CultureFolk TraditionsCanningEmily DickinsonEdith WhartonMary PoppinsStorytellingIce Cream SocialTea PartyBlueberry PieLocal HistoryColonial HistoryLiving HistoryAgricultureCanalsAstronomyAviationJetsPollinatorsMothsNative SpeciesWildlifeBeaversStarsOrnithologyEcologyMarine BiologyZoologyEntomologyRiversFamily PerformanceTheater StudiesExperiential TheaterFamily TheaterYouth TheaterMusicalImprovShakespeareContemporary DanceMusic StudiesLawn ConcertKlezmer

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 20-26, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Canoeing to Folk Traditions. Waterways to Shakers.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsFruit PreservesShaker GardeningMasonryMusic FestivalTown FairBeach PartyCommunity PicnicOutdoor FilmNature-Based LearningZoologyEntomologyOrnithologyEcologyGeologyCosmologyDaytime CanoeingEvening PaddleMoonlight Canoeing Guided HikingBeaversDragonfliesNative SpeciesWetlandsWaterwaysAviationLunar LandingSolar SystemTheater StudiesMusicalBiographical TheaterImmersive TheaterDance StudiesContemporary DanceMusic StudiesSwing MusicLawn ConcertDrummingKirtanReligious StudiesShakerLocal HistoryAgriculture4-HLiterary StudiesStorytellingReading to DogsSummer PlaygroupBaseballPostcardsMagic

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 13-19, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Beekeeping to Bird Watching. Natural History to Social Issues.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Literature In TranslationLiterary StudiesStorytimeButterfliesBeekeepingBird WatchingGeologyNatural HistoryMarine BiologyBiodiversityPond EcologyZoologyOrnithologyMycologyEcologyInvasive SpeciesApiculturistsService-Based LearningWild EdiblesGardeningCanoeingEvening PaddleGuided HikeAerodynamicsAviation HistoryLocal HistoryFrederick DouglassShakersDance StudiesReligion StudiesNutritional AnthropologyIce CreamTea TimePicnicSocial IssuesLawn ConcertOutdoor Film
Music FestivalFolk SongsMusicalFairy TaleBlack ComedyFamily ComedyCircus ArtsContemporary DanceAquariumMuseum AdventuresLibraryWatershed

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 6-12, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Independence Day to Summer Concerts. Geology to Zoology.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer ReadingLiterary StudiesLiterature In TranslationReading To DogsFarm AnimalsNative SpeciesWatershedOrnithologyNature-Based LearningLavender FestivalGarden TourManufacturing HistoryTextile HistoryLiving HistoryNew England HistoryAviation HistorySolar SystemStar GazingDinner TheaterMusicalPlayFairy TaleMary PoppinsInto The WoodsGuided HikeZoologyFamily ConcertCreative Free-PlayPlaygroupBaseballFireworks4th of JulyParadesFood Justice

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 29-July 5, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

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Learn Local. Play Local.: Strawberries to Salsa Dancing. Lavender to Labyrinths.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Wild FoodsAstronomyAviationTransportationSTEMCollaborative ConsumptionOpen Studio TourState ParksCommunity PicnicLavender FestivalLabyrinthNaturalist ProgramCivic OrganizationsLocal HistoryColonial HistoryNautical HistorySummitsZinesPicture Book ArtsLiterary StudiesArt SuppliesFireworksBaseballTheater StudiesPodcastingMusicalLiterature In TranslationLawn ConcertGeologyInterpretive WalkOrnithologyEntomologySpidersFirefliesGoatsPigsCowsBeaversMagic

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 22-28, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

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Learn Local. Play Local.: Strawberries to Summer Solstice. Father’s Day to Community Celebrations.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Town CelebrationCommunity DayRiver CelebrationFaerie FestivalPride FestivalFather’s DayBaseballSummer SolsticeCommunity MealSkillsharingSustainabilityMedieval StudiesWorld StudiesMusic StudiesFolk MusicFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmFilm StudiesLiving HistoryExperiential LearningWalking TourArchitectureCulinary ArtsWild FoodStrawberriesFarmers’ MarketTheater StudiesImprovMusicalGeologyEgyptTransportationAviationHelicoptersTrolleysBeaversPigsDogsNaturalistPoetryMuseumsPlasticLeonardo da VinciPaleontologySolar EnergyService-Based LearningExperiential LearningSewingSummer Camp

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 15-21, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

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Learn Local. Play Local.: Music Studies to Geology. Creative Free Play to Early Childhood Education.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

PlacemakingCreative Free PlayCommunity MealsCommunity DayCanalsDamsMuralsCemeteryHydroelectricityTransportationFish MigrationLanguage DevelopmentEarly Childhood EducationContemporary ArtChinese Brush PaintingHerbalismWild EdiblesGarden TourFarmers’ MarketRhubarbBeekeepingVeterinary ScienceDogsPigsGoat CareReading to GoatsZinesStorywalkInterpretive WalkHistoric Walking ToursGuided ToursSocial TheaterMusic StudiesJewish/Jazz Music ♦ Jewish/African MusicBarbershop QuartetJazzFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmPhysics ♦ GeologyArchitectureNaturalistBaseball


These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 8-15, 2019. Click through, peruse our list below, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe! Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Migration to Reconciliation Ecology. Duct Tape to Michelangelo.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Hamantaschen to Butter. Neon to Book History.

25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pablo Picasso to Emily Dickinson. Community Meals to Winter Festivals.

Pablo Picasso to Leonardo da Vinci. Anatomy and physiology to zymology. Agriculture to wildlife. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week. Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

Think about this … How would families and neighbors gather in the winter before the invention of automobiles and highways? How did the inability to travel far distances impact communities and relationships? How do winter festivals gather communities together? What types of activities do they host to foster connection and togetherness during the colder months? Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts, like our winter festivals!

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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Forensics to Cosmology. Fiber Arts to Local Museums.

Paleontology to Contemporary Art. Forensics to Cosmology. Literature in Translation to Robotics. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week. Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

Historically, living without refrigerators in New England required strategies for prolonged food storage and preservation. Early New Englanders didn’t have the luxury of refrigerators, but they did harvest ice from frozen lakes and ponds to keep food stored without spoiling. The frozen chunks of ice harvested were kept insulated by materials such as sawdust in a dark, cool place so that the ice would last beyond the winter months. Throughout the winter, check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for community events and demonstrations of ice harvesting. Here are three featured resources in Western MA to add to your itinerary: Ice Harvesting: Community Events & Resource. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Counting Birds to Caroling. Birthdays to Holidays.

Ornithology to Language Arts. Citizen Science to Placemaking. Dickinson to Dickens. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week. Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

A fun holiday tradition, caroling events are wonderful intergenerational events that explore choral music with your family and friends. With many songs sung during the holiday seasons rich in history, there is much to learn, plus it’s good for your health and wellness! Download our Nov/Dec issue of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts to discover more about these annual events listed below. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Language Arts to Technology. MYO Gifts to Pastry Gifts.

Zines to 3D Printers. Cookies to Hand-Knitted Scaves. Current Affairs to Placemaking. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week. Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

During the holiday season, gift-giving is considered a traditional aspect of our seasonal celebrations.  Instead of purchasing a gift, gift givers can also look to the domestic arts, crafts, and visual arts for inspiration in making handmade gifts that encourage originality and thought. There are ways to give gifts that are value-base (non-commerical & creative-free play), support learning, and are accessible through community-based events, resources and opportunities! Resources include Craft Fairs & Open Studios, Makerspaces and Bakeries.  Interests include Language Arts, STE(A)M, Fiber Arts, Math, Mindfulness, and Pastry & Culinary Arts. And opportunities include Glassblowing, Zines, Journal Making, and Knitting.

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Candy Science. Creative-Free Play to Service-Based Learning.

Glassblowing to Mooncakes. Quakers to Ecosystems. Creative-Free Play to Nature-Based Learning. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week. Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

Veterans Day, a U.S. national holiday originally known as Armistice Day, provides communities with the opportunity to honor and learn about the service provided by former military members. Chances for community service to support and honor veterans are available right here in our own community, and families can also learn about military history on Veterans Day by engaging in living history demonstrations and activities. Read more in our post, Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA.

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pumpkins to Sauerkraut. Social Studies to Literature.

Herbariums to Fermentation. Indian Dance to Jane Austen. Immigration to Botany These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

There are so many different uses for pumpkins!  One of America’s oldest native crops, modern day uses include carving as ornaments for Halloween, prepared as pies, and highlighted as the main attraction in agricultural fairs (largest pumpkin contests) and fall festivals (pumpkin roll & pumpkin games).  Needless to say, pumpkins are an integrated part of our fall traditions in Western MA. Find out how pumpkin can support an interest in pastry arts and Colonial History through seasonal pies in our post, How Pumpkin Pies Support Interests & Education.

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11 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Fall Festivals to Community Meals. Textile Arts to Classical Music.

Inspired by the town’s 1915 celebration, “Pageant of Patriotism in honor of Independence Day,” Conway Festival of the Hills took form in 1967 as an annual event, celebrating local talent and culture. Every year, families come to witness a Conway tradition: the skillet toss! Along with the skillet toss there are many activities to behold: a log splitting contest, live music, handmade crafts, parade, pancake breakfast, community dinner, and their most popular event, a book signing with local authors. This year the festival happens on Saturday, Sept 29 & Sunday, Sept 30.

Locavore Dinner to Vegan Picnic. Textile Arts to Classical Music. Garlic to Tofu. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

FALL FESTIVALS
During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with festivals that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. These festivities celebrate not only the harvest season but also the cultural traditions that define Western Massachusetts’ unique identity. Fall festivals are a community space that acts as an intergenerational gathering place for folks to come together in the spirit of the season and share in the harvest and local traditions. Engage your community and attend a fall festival this season!  It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, new friends and contribute to the preservation of this region’s unique character, culture, and history. Check out these featured annual fall festivals that happen in Western MA.

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11 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Apples to Woolley Bears. Agriculture to Folklore.

Can Woolley Bears (Pyrrharctia isabella) offer us an indication as to the severity of the coming winter? Common North American folklore says that a wide brown band calls for a mild winter and a narrow one calls for a severe winter. While there is no scientific evidence for this prediction, looking for these little guys and examining them closely with your kids opens up channels for learning while connecting to the seasons.

Honey to Botany. Thin Places to Developmental Psychology. Interpretive Dance to Bioblitz. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured seasonal highlight this week:

APPLES
Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an essential part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples, and make up over two thirds of the regions apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts, and families can enjoy this year’s fantastic apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check out local orchards and farms in Western MA for Pick Your Own Apples, including Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton), Outlook Farm (Westhampton), Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield), Quonquont Farm (Whately), Clarkdale Fruit Farms (Deerfield), and Bashista Orchards (Southampton).

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Peach Tea to Chicken BBQ. Zen Buddhism to Hindu Traditions.

A few annual community harvest meals to check out this weekend include the Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department and Shelburne Falls Eagles annual chicken BBQ’s this Sunday.

Fireside Poets to Local Peaches. Zen kōans to Holy Tulsi. Monarch Butterflies to Beavers. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:

COMMUNITY MEALS
Intergenerational opportunities to gather around the table for a community meal with friends and neighbors are available at nearly every agricultural fair. From blueberry pancake breakfast to BBQ chicken dinner, there’s something for everyone! Visit fair websites to see what’s being served this year and make plans to sit with your neighbors and start up conversations. Let your children learn about local history through stories your elderly neighbors might share, make new friends, and walk away with new community connections. Read more about community harvest meals and festivals in our Late Summer/Early Autumn Season issue of Learning Ahead.

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11 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service Dogs to Community Meals. Art Studies to Food History.

Summer is camping season! Campgrounds are open, tents are aired out, and the makings for s’mores are ready for starry nights surrounding the campfire telling stories and enjoying each other’s company. The smell of the campfire defines the spirit of summer outdoors in New England. Read more about the season of summer camping and discover local resource in our Summer Season issue of Learning Ahead.

Impressionist Art to Irish Dance. Johnnycakes to Scones. Shelter Animals to Service Dogs. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:

CUMMINGTON FAIR
Agricultural fair season is starting next week, beginning on Thursday, August 23 with the Cummington Fair, a local tradition since 1883 when it began as the Hillside Agricultural Society. At the time, the stated goal of the society was “the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil and the raising of it’s various and useful production as comprehended in The Department Of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Pomology.” Over the last 150 years, the Fair has stayed true to its roots, while adding a wide variety of vendors, music acts, and fun activities for children! The horse and ox pull is a real favorite, and don’t forget to check out the prize-winning livestock. Learn more about how agricultural fairs can support an interest in the humanities by downloading our Seasons issue of Learning Ahead for Sept/Oct for our late summer/early fall learning itinerary. Then head to the Cummington Fair starting on Thursday, August 23 and running through Sunday, August 26.Cummington Fair. 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA ($)

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Endangered Species to Physics. Traditional Crafts to Technology.

Summer is the season for fishing! With all of its many rivers and lakes, Western MA has an abundance of fishing spots that help people connect to the landscape and the rhythms of the season. Support and integrate your interests by downloading our Seasons issue of Learning Ahead for July/August for our summer learning itinerary, take a look at our Literature Guide for Dr. Seuss’ “McElligot’s Pool,” and learn about the history of Gyotaku, the ancient Japanese art of printing fish.

Basket Making to Catapults. Alchemy to Sports. Nature Hikes to Observation Days. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: MUSIC STUDIES
Playing music has immense benefits for your brain, in addition to being a calming and enjoyable activity. You can find out about the benefits of playing music and ways to build a practice habit in our post, How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain!

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Jacobite Risings to Princess History. Paprika to Venus Fly Traps.

During July and August, blueberries become ready for picking. There are many farms in Western MA where you can pick your own berries, or farm stands and markets to purchase local berries to enjoy at home. Read more about the season of berries in our Summer Season issue of Learning Ahead.

Vincent van Gogh to Miriam Makeba. Knitting Circles to Shaker History. Spices to Royalty. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:

BRYANT DAY
Come celebrate Bryant Day with an afternoon of history and literature at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead on Saturday, July 21, 12-4pm! Learn all about 19th-century history with lectures, guided tours of the Homestead, and a special performance of Civil War-era ballroom dancing by the Small Planet Dancers. If you are a dancer or a dancing enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to experience traditional 19th-century dances. There will also be a wide variety of food and craft vendors. For more information and a complete list of activities, please visit Bryant Day. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA ($)

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11 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Singularity to Anthropocene. Puppets to Drums…

Owls are featured heavily in mythology and folklore from around the world. Ancient peoples had many, often contradictory, views on these mysterious creatures.

Literature in translation to Rube Goldberg Machines. Singularity to Anthropocene. Puppets to drums. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:

THE WORLD OF OWLS
In ancient Greece, the owl was sacred to the goddess of wisdom Athene, who favored the bird after it chased away the mischievous crow. Among the ancient Celtic people of the British Isles, the owl was known as “cailleach,” or “old woman.” Associated with the Crone figure from the Celtic Triple Goddess, the owl was seen as a psychopomp, or guide to the land of the dead. In “The World of Owls,” on Monday, July 9, 6:30-7:30pm, learn all about the natural and cultural history of the owl, including some of the ways that this bird has been misunderstood. This presentation is appropriate for children ages 6 and above. Westhampton Public Library. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA (FREE)

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10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Moon Phases to Goat Yoga. Bubbles to Fireflies.

This summer, engage and learn with your kids through bubble blowing!

This week, we have two words for you: Goat Yoga. Need we say more? Well, just in case stretching with Capra aegagrus hircus isn’t your thing, you could explore the phases of the moon, learn how to use regular household items to conduct kitchen science experiments, take part in an artistic interpretation of the game “telephone” with James Taylor’s daughter, Sally, learn about fireflies and run through a field reveling in their luminescence, or enjoy early 4th of July fireworks displays.

Whatever your interests, Western MA has learning opportunities for you. Check out our list of Weekly Suggested Events and let Hilltown Families show you what’s out there and how to make the most of it. We’re the place where you and your family’s interests and values intersect with the adundant resources in Western MA. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pickleball to Rhubarb. Cake History to Garden Tours.

What do Chiffon, Tunnel of Fudge, Sock-it-to-me, Watergate, Jell-O Poke, Hummingbird, Funfetti, Chocolate Lava, Viennetta, Red Velvet, Bacon, and Pops have in common? They are all popular cakes!

Fiddle Music to Senegalese Music. Pickleball to Kusudama. Plastic to Cake History. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:

RHUBARB FESTIVAL: This time of year farm stands all over the area are selling rhubarb. A local delicacy, rhubarb has been enjoyed all over the world for thousands of years in both sweet and savory dishes. In China, rhubarb has also been prized for its medicinal properties. For most people, the most common application of rhubarb is paired with strawberries in crumbles or pies. Many 19th century cookbooks even refer to rhubarb as the ‘pie plant.’ Come learn all about things you can do with rhubarb and taste some delicious sweet and savory rhubarb dishes at the 5th Annual Lenox Rhubarb Festival on Saturday, June 9, 10am. Plants and cookbooks will also be available for sale. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA (<$)

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14 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Woolcraft to Pottery. Falcons to Food Trucks.

Community events to choose from this week will connect those of us who feel at home in a crowd of fellow enthusiasts, as well as those of us who prefer a more intimate gathering, with our local resources and opportunities. Engage with others interested in woolcraft, arts, and pop-up food culture at weekend festivals happening throughout the region. Then feed your quieter side with a poetry reading for life-long learners, an intergenerational wildflower hike through a wildlife sanctuary, or have a once in a lifetime opportunity experiencing a falcon return to your gloved hand after a local ornithology talk.

Whatever your interests, Western MA has learning opportunities for you. Check out our list of Weekly Suggested Events and let Hilltown Families show you what’s out there and how to make the most of it. We’re the place where you and your family’s interests and values intersect with the bountiful resources in Western MA. Read the rest of this entry »

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