HFVS Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants

LISTEN TO PODCAST:  

Danny Weinkauf guest DJs this week, demonstrating though song examples and commentary his love of science and education, and how it has influenced his favorite songs and personal writing style. − www.dannyweinkauf.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
 May 14th & 15, 2016
Original broadcast: May 10th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:   “I am a Paleontologist” from They Might Be Giants album Here Comes Science.


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PLAYLIST

  • The Beatles – “Help!” (Help!)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Archaeology” (No School Today)
  • Fountains of Wayne – “Hat and feet” (Fountains of Wayne)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Meet the Elements” (Here Comes Science)
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Haul Away Joe” (A Mississippi River Adventure Album)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Champion of the Spelling Bee” (No School Today)
  • Queen – “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” (A Night at the Opera)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “ice Cream” (No School Today)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Alphabet Lost and Found” (Here Come the ABCs)
  • Justin Roberts – “Recess” (Recess)
  • The White Stripes – “My Doorbell” (Get Behind Me Satan)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Electric Car” (Here Comes Science)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Marsupial” (No School Today)
  • Caspar Babypants – “Kangaroo” (I Found You)
  • Laurie Berkner – “Fireflies” (Laurie Berkner Lullabies)
  • Lincoln “To Build a House” (Lincoln)
  • The Ramones ” I Want to be Sedated” (Road to Ruin)
  • They Might Be Giants – “I am a Paleontologist” (Here Comes Science)

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 14th-15th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 65 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 14th-20th, 2106 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 57 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Engineering to Bicycling. Food Security to Fire-building, our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 14-20, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Ornithology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Community Meal ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Botany ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Local History ♦ STEAM ♦ Makerspace♦ Architecture ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Woodworking ♦ Shakespeare ♦ Language Arts ♦ Quilting ♦ Visual Arts♦ Youth Theater ♦ Music Studies ♦ Film Studies ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. How Does Your Sunscreen Rate?  
  2. Play Spring Walk Bingo!  
  3. Little Homes for Little Folks: Make Your Own Gnome Home
  4. DIY: Social Platform for Kids Aims to Build Confidence in Creativity
  5. 18 Story Books on Weather for Kids

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57 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Engineering to Bicycling. Food Security to Fire-building.

Yo-yos have been around for a long time, and their use is documented in many cultures, perhaps as far back as ancient Greece! These toys, along with jump ropes, hula hoops, and others, make up a subset of toys called “skill toys.” Experts, novices, and anyone else interested in this type of toy can participate in a fun skillsharing event this week!

Engineering to bicycling. Food security to fire-building. Canines to quilts. 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 recent transit of Mercury may have piqued your and your family’s interest about astronomical events! How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with such accuracy? In short, they use mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of physics, and use algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, the speeds at which they are traveling, and other factors, and then develop predictions of various arrangements of celestial bodies with respect to Earth. You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. Come to the Springfield Museums on Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14th, from 12pm-4pm, to engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a space sensory bin for kids. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Under 3 and museum members FREE)


OrnithologyCitizen ScienceCommunity MealService-based LearningBotanyCollaborative ConsumptionLocal HistorySTEAMMakerspaceArchitectureSkillsharingWoodworkingShakespeareLanguage ArtsQuiltingVisual ArtsYouth TheaterMusic StudiesFilm StudiesCultural Studies ♦ Parenting


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Suggested Events for May 14th-20th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has greatly helped us learn about resources and activities around the Pioneer Valley and ways to get involved in the local community. I look forward to receiving the newsletter each week in order to see what’s coming up that we can participate in! Many things that we do and try out have been because of Hilltown Families – it’s an invaluable resource for people new to the area! Thank you so much!” Lexie Mullins (Hadley, MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

OVER 60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Home School

Learn Organically with Oak Meadow and Save Mother’s Day to Memorial Day! From May 8–30, take 15% off their flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. The nature-based curriculum fosters critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

May 15

Join Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, and Cece Bell, author of the 2015 Newbery Honor Book El Deafo, this Sunday, May 15 at 1pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, as they talk about their books, discuss their writing and illustration process, and answer questions. Book signing to follow program. Free with Museum Admission. For more information, contact The Carle at 413-559- 6300 or email info@carlemuseum.org. 125 W. Bay Road. www.carlemuseum.org

May 14

On Saturday, May 14, the Pride continues, as the Montessori School of Northampton will host a family-friendly party on its playground at 51 Bates Street. The party, delayed due to rain, will feature free snacks and soft drinks, games and crafts, and kid-friendly dance music. All families with children are welcome. “MSN has LGBT families in every class,” explains parent and board member Sue Ashman. “And the school is wonderfully inclusive of queer parents and gender-nonconforming kids. So it only made sense for us to celebrate that in our Montessori home, and invite all families to join us.” The party will run from 10am-1pm, and the school will be open for tours to interested families as well. 413-586-4538. northamptonmontessori.org

May 16

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Monday, May 16th, at 5:00 PM for a discussion of Springtime Adventures in fiction for middle grade readers (ages 8-12) with National Book Award-winning author Jeanne Birdsall and Bank Street Best Book Award-winning Susan Hill Long. They’ll have spring themed treats and activities, and the two authors will talk about their latest books, The Magic Mirror and The Penderwicks in Spring. Both books show their protagonists dealing with surprises, welcome and unwelcome, secrets, and all sorts of shenanigans, and both books are a riot of good fun, just in time for the spring season! This event is FREE and family-friendly!

May 22

Fast, Slow, Young, Old… Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park, on Sunday, May 22, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages. There will be race events, including chip-timed 5K and 1.2 mile races, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring a free photo booth, balloon sculptures, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and live performances, food and drink, face painting, games, and prizes. The first 600 registered goose chasers will receive a free water bottle and Bueno Y Sano coupon. All kids’ race participants will receive medals. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!


Child care available for Two year olds and Under-Twos! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children who will be 15 months – 2+ years by September. Open from 7:30am-5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Nonotuck emphasizes community, emotional intelligence and resilience, and provides ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: Leslie@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or visit www.nonotuck.org.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 14-20, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Supporting Spanish-Language Learners

Spanish Playground Shares Resources for Supporting Spanish-Language Learners

As the second most widely spoken language in the world, Spanish is certainly a worthy second language. Learning to speak Spanish can open doors both big and small, connecting non-native speakers to cultures and communities worldwide – including right here at home in western Massachusetts. Whether language studies are done formally or informally, second language acquisition requires lots of exposure and practice.  Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring the History of Fashion through Bicycling

Tweed Run Helps Support A Thriving Community of Cyclists

Local bike ride modeled after rides across the pond, bring placemaking to the streets while raising funds and learning through the lens of history!

Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves flexible athletic clothing and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their typical, everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. In fact, women’s fashion of the time was a hindrance to their ability to ride, and this was a catalyst for change in women’s style of dress and in the design of the bicycle as manufactures began marketing towards women.  Read the rest of this entry »

In Appreciation: Gratitude Discussions Inspired Joyous Living

An Exercise in Discussing Gratitude

Gratitude discussions are one way to reflect on an event and see the often invisible work that went into making that event special for you and your child.

As spring kicks into high gear, and my husband and I begin our warm weather ritual of shuttling our family around on weekends to outdoor events and festivals, I really want to teach them, and remind myself, of the gift we are being given by others. From a school carnival to a community music festival, there are no small parts when it comes to making an activity or event come together. However, sometimes when in the midst of experiencing these moments, we can get stuck in focusing on whatever doesn’t work perfectly, especially nowadays when we can so easily use social media to amplify our annoyances and get a lot of blue thumbs in agreement.

Fostering something called “gratitude discussions” with our children is one way to keep the emphasis on being appreciative of the work that went into any event or experience, and away from the small guffaws or moments that didn’t go perfectly.  Read the rest of this entry »

Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum Opens Doors on 3 Centuries of Rural Living

Community-Based Education Opportunity in an Idyllic Setting

A beloved Western Mass historical institution opens its door for its 67th season when Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum takes us on a tour of 3 centuries worth of rural life. A gorgeous setting on the Connecticut River, the Museum hosts many interesting programs including the family friendly music series- ideal for a summer picnic.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, Massachusetts, opens Sunday, May 15, 2016 for its 67th season. Guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday from 1-4:30pm, closed Thursdays and Fridays.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today showcases life in rural New England over three centuries.  Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants and slaves made “Forty Acres” an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. During the 19th century the estate evolved into a rural retreat for the family. In the 20th century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family. Read the rest of this entry »

Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary Sparks Learning through Art, Film & Poetry

Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary Sparks Learning through Art, Film & Poetry

Shakespeare’s lasting popularity over hundreds of years may stem from his command of the English language, and the universal themes explored in his plays and poetry. Shakespeare used a great deal of creativity with words. He combined short, familiar words into compound words, and sometimes changed verbs into nouns and vice versa. This is how he invented hundreds of words still used every day.

Shakespeare’s plays allow us to explore relatable ideas by reading, performing, and witnessing performances of his words. The classic play Romeo and Juliet is well-known enough that lines from it are often quoted or referenced in media. This play’s themes of love, fate, chance, and rivalry speak to audiences struggling with these ideas in a modern context. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows

The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows
Historic Northampton
May 13, 2016 through June 5, 2016

Once the heart of agricultural settlement in Northampton, today the Meadows is a wild space of parties and encampments, a wasteland where the bomb squad detonates suspicious packages, a nature preserve where birds migrate and birdsong predominates, and a vast farmland where corn is cultivated as it has been for hundreds of years.

The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows at Historic Northampton features the work of three local artists as they represent their unique artistic perspective on the Meadows and its many facets.

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Clouds Connect Learners to the Local Environment & Nature Studies

Looking Up: Cloud Studies Connect to Citizen Science, Language Learning, and Weather Studies

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 5.07.40 PMConnecting easily to language skills, literacy, sense of place, and, of course, all manner of science, clouds offer themselves as rich and vaporous objects of study. Cloud watchers of all ages can learn about everything from descriptive language and cloud types to global weather patterns and satellite imaging just by paying close attention to the sky. Through citizen science projects, fiction and nonfiction literature, and web-based resources, families with scientists of any age can use cloud studies as an entry point for examining a variety of topics and practicing a multitude of skills.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Landscapes: Re-Framing Creativity

Re-Framing Creativity

For a long time psychologists, educators and parents alike have assumed that imaginative play was most useful for learning when set in as realistic a situation as possible. However, is “real” always better than “imaginative” when it comes to the learning landscape?

Many have a fear that learning about, or at the very least not clearly distinguishing between, fantasy and reality can lead to misunderstandings and misconceptions. This assumption underestimates the importance and value of the childhood and nature design principle of “Imagination and Fantasy” as termed by David Sobel, director of Teacher Certification Programs in the Department of Education and director of the Center for Place-based Education at Antioch University New England.  Read the rest of this entry »

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

3rd Annual Demo Show at the UMass Amherst Chemistry Department

People often talk about “chemicals” in our food, water, or hygiene products in reference to possibly toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. Some chemicals certainly are dangerous to humans, but EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals! But what is the exact definition of a chemical, anyway? The Merriam-Webster definition of “chemical,” reads: A substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect. And chemistry is the study of how chemicals interact and react with one another.

Here Hank Green gives us a “crash course” in chemistry with a series of fast pace, educational videos:

Cooking is often used as an example of an everyday activity which involves chemistry. When you apply heat to a piece of steak in a pan, water content leaves the muscle fibers. This is why the fillet is smaller after it has been cooked. Think about some other interesting reactions which occur in the kitchen. Why does corn pop? Another way to ask this question would be, why don’t other grains pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding.

What do these reactions look like close up? The web site, www.beautifulchemistry.net has amazing videos of reactions, like this one:  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 9th-13th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 26 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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HFVS Elements of Hip Hop Episode with Guest DJ, Alphabet Rockers (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Elements of Hip Hop Episode
with Guest DJ, Alphabet Rockers

Elements of Hip Hop Episode with Guest DJ, Alphabet Rockers tells a story of the beginning of hip hop music, and features songs from pioneers and kid-hop artists alike. Hip Hop reflects the creativity of individuals who come together to make change in the world. Join in – celebrate who you are, write new rhymes, beatbox and dance with us. Alphabet Rockers makes learning come alive through the beats, rhymes and moves of hip hop for ages 3-9. — www.alphabetrockers.com

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

Featured video: Wiggle Jiggle


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  • Instrumental: Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” [Mecca and the Soul Brother]
  • Alphabet Rockers – “That’s Your Name, Wear it Out” [The Playground Zone]
  • Instrumental: A Tribe Called Quest – “Can I Kick It” [People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm]
  • Double Dee and Steinski – “Lesson 3 — The History of Hip-Hop Mix” [Mastermixes]
  • De La Soul – “Three is the Magic Number” [3 Feet High And Rising]
  • Schoolhouse Rock – “Three is the Magic Number” [Schoolhouse Rock!]
  • Aaron Nigel Smith – “One” [One]
  • Instrumental: Afrika Bambaataa – “Planet Rock” [Planet Rock: The Album]
  • Alphabet Rockers – “Wiggle Jiggle” [The Playground Zone]
  • Yo Gabba Gabba – “I Like to Dance” [Music is Awesome]
  • Jimmy Castor Bunch – “It’s Just Begun” [It’s Just Begun]
  • Instrumental: Biz Markie – “Just a Friend” [The Biz Never Sleeps]
  • Doug E Fresh & Slick Rick – “The Show” [Single]
  • OzoKidz – “Moose on the Loose” [Ozomatli Presents Ozokidz]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Gotta Be Me” [Easy]
  • Mista Cookie Jar – “The Way We Gets Down” [Music is Everywhere]
  • Instrumental: A Tribe Called Quest – “What?” [The Low End]
  • Shine & The Moonbeams – “High 5” [Shine and the Moonbeams]
  • Instrumental: Antique Naked Soul – “Allow Me To Introduce Myself” [Time Travel]
  • Bobby McFerrin – “I’m My Own Walkman” [The Voice]
  • JJ Fad – “Supersonic” [Supersonic]
  • Choo Choo Soul – “One-Two One-Two-Three” [Choo Choo Soul]
  • Instrumental: Method Man & Redman – “Da Rockwilder” [Blackout!]
  • Sesame Street – “The Color of Me” [Season 45, Episode 4503 Proud to Be Me]
  • Genevieve Goings – “Rainbow Colors” [Do You Know?]
  • Alphabet Rockers – “Gimme Some Skin” [The Playground Zone]
  • Instrumental: Luniz – “I Got 5 On It” [Operation Stackola]

Cool links:

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 7th-8th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 7th-13th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mercury’s Transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber Arts to Food Trucks, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 7-13, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Gardening ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Ornithology ♦ Computer Science ♦ Astronomy ♦ Chemistry ♦ Ecology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Performing Arts ♦ Sewing ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Zoology ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Sustainability ♦ Collaborative Consumption♦ Visual Arts ♦ Local History ♦ Folklore ♦ LGBTQ ♦ Community Engagement ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Project 333 Challenges Consumerism While Supporting Style
  3. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  4. Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard
  5. Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mercury’s Transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber Arts to Food Trucks.

Chocolate lovers! Don't miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Chocolate lovers! Don’t miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Mercury’s transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber arts to food trucks. Pride to perennials. 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: Ornithology, the study of birds, encompasses many subtopics. People interested in studying birds may want to learn to identify them by sight or sound, analyze their communication through bird songs and behavior, protect endangered species, or become falconers.You can celebrate the spectrum of bird-related topics at the Valley Bird Festival! The festival begins on Saturday, May 7, with a bird walk at 6:30am, followed by family-friendly activities including a falconry demonstration at 8am. The first half of the festival will take place at Fort River Refuge. For more ornithological activities, head over to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary where the fun continues from 10:30am until 2pm. Play games, visit information tables, and witness live owl demonstrations at 11am and 1pm. For more information, visit the Hitchcock Center for the Environment website. 69 Moody Bridge Road, Hadley, MA, and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


GardeningService-based LearningSkillsharingOrnithology ♦ Computer ScienceAstronomyChemistryEcologyCitizen SciencePerforming ArtsSewingFiber ArtsZoologyCultural StudiesSustainabilityCollaborative ConsumptionVisual ArtsLocal HistoryFolkloreLGBTQCommunity EngagementParenting


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Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for May 7th-13th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families fills a much needed space – connecting families and giving ideas for being out and about. Thank you!” – Amanda Saklad

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

OVER 60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

May 6

Visit CyclePottery during Florence Night Out this Friday, May 6th, from 3-8pm — Rain or Shine! Free Pottery Demonstration. Free Bike Maintenance Clinic (6-7pm). Gallery & Pottery Sale, featuring Andrew Quient (5-6pm). Make a pot on the wheel with Kathryn (3-5pm). Learn about May classes for all ages, summer camp info, and sign-up for a promo deal! For more information on FNO schedule, class & camp info., visit www.CyclePottery.com and CyclePottery on Facebook. Contact Kathryn at kathryn@cyclepottery.com or call 413-219-9594.

May 10

Smith College Campus School Spring Open House. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Tuesday, May 10, from 3:30pm-5:30pm, at the school (33 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA). Join them for an interactive afternoon and explore what Campus School students love about school! For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/SCCS

May 16

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Monday, May 16th, at 5:00 PM for a discussion of Springtime Adventures in fiction for middle grade readers (ages 8-12) with National Book Award-winning author Jeanne Birdsall and Bank Street Best Book Award-winning Susan Hill Long. They’ll have spring themed treats and activities, and the two authors will talk about their latest books, The Magic Mirror and The Penderwicks in Spring. Both books show their protagonists dealing with surprises, welcome and unwelcome, secrets, and all sorts of shenanigans, and both books are a riot of good fun, just in time for the spring season! This event is FREE and family-friendly!


Child care available for Two year olds and Under-Twos! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children who will be 15 months – 2+ years by September. Open from 7:30am-5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Nonotuck emphasizes community, emotional intelligence and resilience, and provides ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: Leslie@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or visit www.nonotuck.org.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 7-13, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Thank you for Your Support During Valley Gives

A gigantic, resounding THANK YOU to everyone who made a generous gift to Hilltown Families for ‪Valley Gives‬ Day. Your support is a testament to your belief in our core work- helping ensure members of our community are connecting, collaborating and creating community building events, educational opportunities and service-based learning experiences. And, we are excited to share that we met our $500 match from Northampton Area Pediatrics, so your donations had double the impact!! Together we are building a sustainable and resilient community! ‪#‎WeAreHilltownFamilies‬

THANK YOU Ronna Kullberg, Ann Fisher, Amanda Saklad, Kurt Heidinger, Nina Sitron, Bobbin Young, Alison T Noyes Buchanan, Ginny Hamilton, Barbara Solow, Ellen Doyle, Julie Richburg, Sarah Prince, Melanie Dana, Kristin Famighette, Rick Plaut, Nandini Talwar, Wheatly Gulmi-Landy, Kimberly Schlichting, Lisa Goding, Susan Neal, Jennifer Reese, Kaitlyn Holloway, Adam Cohen, Maureen Turner, and Grendel Books!

Did you miss making your donation? You can do so at any time: www.bit.ly/WeAreHilltownFamilies

Donation Dedications:

  • Ronna Kullberg: “For the many ways Hilltown Families supports and strengthens our communities.”
  • Ann Fisher: “Thank you on behalf of Urban Wildlife Rehabilitation!”
  • Amanda Saklad: “Hilltown Families fills a much needed space – connecting families and giving ideas for being out and about. Thank you!”
  • Kurt Heidinger: “I dedicate this to all the stonefly nymphs Biocitizen has collected with Hilltown Families, that showed us how clean the Westfield River is!”

 

Mobile Art Boxes Support Placemaking in Florence

Florence Night Out Celebrates with Return of Mobile Art Boxes

Mobile Art Boxes will be blooming in Florence again this spring. These wonderful storage containers/pop-up galleries are part of the village-wide festivities that are happening as part of the 5th Florence Night Out, Friday, May 6, 2016. Florence Night out is a fun, free event that celebrates community through creativity. Starting at 3pm Florence will be hopping with art shows and open houses, an outdoor craft market and walking tours, special food and music all over town. Florence Night Out 2016 officially ends at 8pm but music events continue into the night.

Art is a broad term, referring of course to the visual arts but also to music, film, storytelling, theater, and other forms of human expression. The subject of art can be an interesting pathway into philosophical discussions, since opinions on the definition and value of art vary across individuals, Oscar Wilde once said that, “all art is useless,” possibly meaning that the value of art lies in the object itself, not in how it is “used.” The process of making art, however, can have many practical uses. Creating art, whether you are a professional artist or you are just doodling to pass the time, has therapeutic benefits.

Where art is located or performed may influence the way we think about it. Artwork preserved in a temperature-controlled gallery, for example, may affect viewers differently than land art or sculpture. Land art is a medium in which installations are made from natural elements of nature such as soil, rock, leaves, branches, water, etc, and left in that natural environment. As opposed to gallery artwork, land art is meant to be changed over time by weather and environmental events. Land art draws connections between order in nature, and the organization which humans impose upon nature, as these elements blend over time. Gallery art is sought out intentionally, while land art can be stumbled upon by accident.

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Mass Moments Presents a Day-by-Day Calendar of State History

Mass Moments Presents a Day-by-Day Calendar of State History

On this day in a time long ago, something important happened in Massachusetts! A full year’s worth of monumental Massachusetts happenings is offered through Mass Moments, a web-based project made possible by Mass Humanities. Featuring an important moment in history for every day of the year (366 of them, to be exact!), Mass Moments spotlights all facets of the state’s long history. Families can use the program, which updates daily, for a daily dose of state history, and can use the program’s archived moments to dig deep into specific themes, regions, or people of significance.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mythology and Mathematics through Stargazing

Transit of Mercury Inspires Community-Based Learning

Transit of Mercury 2006

The transit of Mercury is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. This event was predicted by Johannes Kepler before it was observed visually. That observation was recorded in 1631. Today, we generally hear about astronomical events before they happen, often camping outside at night to see rare occurrences in the sky. How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with such accuracy? In short, advanced mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of Physics, and use Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, and predictions of when they will appear in various ways from Earth.

You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. For centuries, the night sky remained largely a mystery to humans, and many myths emerged to explain the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Lunar and solar deities emerged in cultures across the world.

Whether you want to learn more about the mathematics of astronomy, write your own mythological explanations, or simply enjoy the beauty of the sky, you can attend various astronomy-themed events at the Springfield Museums this month. On Monday, May 9 from 10am-1pm, museum visitors can witness the first transit of Mercury since 2006. Check the Museums’ Facebook page to make sure the event is happening, as it is weather dependent. On Saturday, May 14 from 12-4pm, visitors can engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a space sensory bin for kids.

May 9th and 14th events are free with museum admission. Planetarium shows are $3 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-17, and free for members. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Want to learn how to view on your own? Lucie Green describes what will happen when Mercury transits the face of the Sun, and how to observe it safely.


Related Posts:

Valley Gives Day: Donate to Hilltown Families TODAY!

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The mission of Hilltown Families is to create resilient and sustainable communities by:

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  • STRENGTHENING A SENSE OF PLACE through community based education and engagement
  • FOSTERING A CULTURE OF INTENTIONAL LEARNING making education inclusive, accessible and intergenerational
  • CONNECTING PEOPLE TO EMBEDDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES by linking families to community-based learning resources that support our core values

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!
NORTHAMPTON AREA PEDIATRICS
IS OFFERING A MATCHING GRANT OF UP TO $500!

Your donation will help us achieve our mission by helping us connect to our local families, create opportunities and collaborate with our community. This includes:

Connect:

  • Our weekly Learn Local. Play Local posts highlight community-based learning opportunities.
  • Our Learning Ahead post highlights embedded learning opportunities for self-directed teens and lifelong learners.

Create:

  • In collaboration with the Flywheel Arts Collective we host an annual weekly Family Music Series to celebrate community.

Collaborate:

Hilltown Families: We Are Non-Commercial

We Are Non-Commercial

So much of our world is cluttered by commercialization. Hilltown Families strives to create more meaning with less. On Valley Gives Day your donation will help families reconnect to our environment while supporting the development of a sense-of-place.

Hilltown Families connects you with non-commercial ways to engage in your community that are based in community values rather than consumption. On Valley Gives Day make an impact by giving where local and non-commercial. www.bit.ly/WeAreHilltownFamilies

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Off the Mat: Water as Self-Care

Prime the Well

We climbed Mt. Tom on a recent Sunday that was hotter than forecast by 10 degrees. No leaves meant no shade. We brought enough snacks, but ran short on water. Thirst, headache, and grumpies served as solid reminders of the importance of hydration. The importance of reserves.

I’m attempting to drink more water lately. When successful, I have fewer aches and more energy. I stop at the sink, fill up a glass and sip and – lo and behold – realize I’m thirsty! Water tastes good. I’m reminded of what I’ve been missing.

“How much am I supposed to drink?” clients commonly ask as I make the link between pain relief and hydration. Online medical consensus now gives a formula to replace the old “8 glasses a day” advice from last century: Take your body weight in pounds, divide in half and drink that number of ounces each day.  I’m not sure who first proffered this formula, but mainline medical, fitness, and alternate health sites use it.

What to drink? That’s where the disagreements begin. Recommendations vary widely from “food counts as water” to “any drink counts” to “no caffeine or sugar” to “only unadulterated water – not even herbal tea.”

Then comes conflicting advice on how to drink. One liter before noon. Nope, mostly at night. With meals but not after meals. Only hot. Actually, cold is ok. Sip, don’t gulp. Filtered water. Bottled water. Enhanced water. We’ve taken one of the most basic elements of life on earth and made it complex, even controversial.  Read the rest of this entry »

Playing with a Purpose: Gardening with your Children

Gardening and Nutrition Workshops at New Lands Farm

Using the seasons as a catalyst for learning can help connect kids to their environment and the seasonal cycles of their community. Garden-based learning is just one activity that is on many minds every spring. Stop and think what else cycles around each year and how you can use it as a point of entry to community-based education. Then take advantage of your local resources, following your interests and education through community engagement.

Gardening is a multidisciplinary activity embedded with learning every step along the way, from botany to soil science to meteorology.  Gardening with children encourages their natural inquisitiveness and experimentation. Plus, most kids love to get dirty! If your child loves being outside, gardening together will give you both a productive reason to spend more time in nature.

Garden-based learning is a fun and productive activity to try with your children. After you have planted your foods or flowers, your child can nurture them and watch them grow. As children nurture plants and watch them change, they learn about scientific concepts such as habitat and life cycle. On an even more basic level, they learn the logic of cause and effect relationships, for example, if a plant does not get water it will wither. Waiting for a bulb to flower or fruits to grow can teach patience, while plants that require a lot of watering can start discussions about responsibility.

Combining gardening with cooking can have a great impact on your child’s nutrition. Getting children involved in growing and preparing the foods they eat can have a positive impact on dietary choices. Incorporating whatever foods are ready to be eaten into your dinner can teach you to be creative and add variety to your meals. Plus, harvesting the result of your effort and enjoying it in a meal can teach your children about long-term rewards. Gardening and farming make vegetables fun, and instill in children the importance of understanding where food comes from.

If you don’t know anything about gardening, you can learn alongside your child, encouraging each other in a new activity. Families with children ages 5-12 are invited to attend a series of workshops on gardening and nutrition at New Lands Farm. The first workshop will meet on Tuesday, May 3 from 4pm-5pm. Each week will cover a different topic, and participants will get to work in a community garden plot. Call 413-787-0725 x422 for more information. 334 Birnie Avenue, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Hilltown Families: We Are Community Service

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Looking for ways your family can act locally? Hilltown Families has a 10-year track record of partnering with community organizations on service learning events and volunteer activities throughout the region. On Valley Gives Day, your donation will help us help more people engage in their communities.

From food drives to field trips to youth volunteering, our network offers new ideas for ways families make a difference in their communities. On Valley Gives Day, your donation will help us help more people engage in their communities. www.bit.ly/WeAreHilltownFamilies

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Learning Ahead: May 2nd-6th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 26 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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Hilltown Families: We Are Citizen Scientists

We Are Citizen Science

We have wee little ones but it’s never too early to begin introducing them to STEM learning. We have found Hilltown Families to be a great resource for discovering opportunities for our little guys to learn about the amazing world all around them. It sparks their imagination, their curiosity and their respect for learning.” -Kristin, community member and volunteer.

One of the best ways we can support a young child’s development of science­-based knowledge is through nature­-based creative­-free play. When you donate on Valley Gives Day you support connections to community-based citizen scientist opportunities.  www.bit.ly/WeAreHilltownFamilies

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 30th & May 1st, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 30th-May 6th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Poetry to Potluck. Homesteading to Oceanography, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 30-May 6, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Placemaking ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Community Meal ♦ Homesteading ♦ Gardening ♦ Nutrition ♦ Arts & Crafts ♦ Ornithology ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ STEAM ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Oceanography ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Civil Engineering ♦ Renaissance ♦ Music Studies ♦ Animation ♦ Performing Arts ♦ Storytelling ♦ Pottery ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Message of the Spring Peepers
  2. The Birds are Back!
  3. Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning
  4. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  5. Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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