Learning Ahead: National Poetry Month

Poetry & Place: Celebrating Poetry Month Locally

Western Massachusetts has been home to many poets and writers who were inspired by this region’s remarkable landscape. April is National Poetry Month. As nature begins to come to life in blossoms and buds, National Poetry Month is the perfect catalyst for exploring the outdoor spaces and places that inspired great writers of the past and present through some of the many local trails found in the region.

The Rivulet Trail at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead is a hiking trail accessible to the public in Cummington, MA. The path along the rivulet is the same trail that once inspired Bryant to write The Rivulet.  You can still hike this trail at The Trustees’ property and encounter the poem posted along the trail to read and reflect on this beautiful place that features old growth forest and some of the tallest stands of White Pine in the Northeast.  It’s a sacred space that may compel you to write a few verses of your own!  Read Bryant’s poem ahead of time, then read it again while hiking the trail. How does the integration of language arts and nature influence your connection to place and poetry?

The Robert Frost Trail is named after poet Robert Frost. It’s a 47-mile trail in the Pioneer Valley that passes through ten towns along the Connecticut River. Read the rest of this entry »

Carry Western MA Poets in Your Pocket During Poem in Your Pocket Day

Celebrating National Poetry Month:
Poem in Your Pocket Day

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day is an annual day for people to celebrate the inspiring nature of poetry by selecting a poem and carrying it in their pocket for sharing with others throughout the day. Originally started in 2002, this annual day is a way for folks to share a common love for written word in the poetic verse.

To discover poetry by writers from the region, consider carrying a poem written by a local poet from Western Massachusetts.  Here are a few poets that inspire our region with their words:  Read the rest of this entry »

Off the Mat: Down the Drain

Down the Drain

Fascination with drains.

My two-year-old son and I sit beside the water in the Boston Public Garden. Picturesque landscaping, iconic swans, a steady stream of smiling passersby – business people, kids with caregivers, tourists of all ages. If it were duckling season, we’d be in a McCloskey picture book. Morning errands accomplished, there’s nothing to stop us from enjoying this beautiful sunny morning in one of the city’s finest spots.

Separation anxieties run high at the moment. It takes extensive coaxing for him to walk away from the water’s edge, across the foot path, and 2 feet into the lawn to throw away a wrapper in the nearest garbage can. When he finally accomplishes this Herculean feat, 3 onlookers (no joke!) applaud his success.

One, a police officer, rewards his bravery with a sticker badge. It’s even yellow, his favorite.  I’m telling you, it’s a picture book day.

Sticker comes on and off. On and off. Less sticky. More rumpled. Barely recognizable. Still the object of great fascination. So it’s only natural it would come into contact with another item of fascination. A drain.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: April 3 – 7, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
April 3 – 7, 2017

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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

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HFVS Twofers & Threefers Episode with Guest DJ, Randy Kaplan

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Twofers & Threefers Episode
with Guest DJ, Randy Kaplan

Randy returns to the Hilltown airwaves with a set of twofers and threefers: short mini-segments of two or three related songs——songs by the same group, in the same style, or whose themes or subject matter connect in some way. You’ll hear blues, folk, country, calypso, a few off-the-beaten-path numbers, and even a show tune lullaby sung by Randy’s wife, Julie May Kaplan…and, of course, a few trademark Randy songs as well.  — www.randykaplan.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
April 1st & 2nd, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:  “Crew Cut” from Jam on Rye:


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PLAYLIST

  • Dave Van Ronk – “Did You Hear John Hurt?” […And The Tin Pan Bended, And The Story Ended… {Live}]
  • Mississippi John Hurt – “My Creole Belle” [Satisfied…..{Live}]
  • Doc Watson – “Curly Headed Baby” [Memories]
  • Randy Kaplan – “Crew Cut” [Jam on Rye]
  • Dan Bern – “My Frigerator Broke” [Three Feet Tall]
  • The Clash – “Lost in the Supermarket” [London Calling]
  • Randy Kaplan – “So Funny I Forgot to Laugh” [Jam on Rye]
  • Pete Townsend – “Sleeping Dog” [Who Came First {Bonus Track}]
  • Randy Kaplan – “Virginia, Vega, and I” [Jam on Rye]
  • Truckstop Honeymoon – “Home Is Not a Hotel” [The Madness of Happiness]
  • Truckstop Honeymoon – “Couch Surfing with a Family of Six”[The Madness of Happiness]
  • Sam Manning’s Orchestra – “Back to my West India Home” [Calypso Calaloo]
  • Charlie Binger & His Quartet – “Jamaica Is the Place to Go” [Trojan CALYPSO Box Set (Disc 1)]
  • Dan Bern – “Cheetah” [Three Feet Tall]
  • Randy Kaplan “Slow Motion Mom” [Jam on Rye]
  • Julie May Kaplan – “Goodnight, My Someone” [Jam on Rye]

[Original broadcast:  3/28/15]


 

Related Post: Jul 21/22, 2012 — Guest DJ, Randy Kaplan — Playlist/Video ♦ Podcast

 

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 1st & 2nd, 2017

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 1st-7th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 31 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Reasoning to Education. Fashion History to Sewing., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

April 1st-7th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

ReasoningAstronomyScavengersEducationFashion HistorySewingPhilosophyAerospaceAnimal StudiesWhalesWomen’s StudiesCivic EngagementArt StudiesFiber ArtsDance StudiesEcologyVernal PoolsLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesImmigration StudiesHistoryLiterature in TranslationOrnithologyCreative-Free PlayBotanySeed Saving

  

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Interconnections Between the Birds & the Bees
  2. HFVS Musical Diversity Episode with Guest DJ, Liz DeRoche (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. Let’s Play: Creative-Free Play in the Spring
  4. 6 Remedies to the Pre-Dinner Snack Dilemma
  5. A Flock of New Bird Books Take Flight

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31 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Reasoning to Education. Fashion History to Sewing.

Wordplay requires intelligence and creativity. To tell or even merely to understand a pun requires communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain (Scientific American). The 2017 Lenox Peeps Show invites people of all ages to create a diorama combines humor (in the form of puns), literacy, and visual creativity on Wednesday, April 5, 10am-3pm. This year participants will be creating dioramas using peeps to depict their favorite story or book, with extra credit given to those who use puns in their concept or title. All entries must be delivered to Ventfort Hall before 3:00pm on Wednesday, April 5th. Visit the Ventfort Hall website for full details. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Reasoning to Astronomy. Scavengers to Education. Fashion History to Sewing. 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: Vernal pools, by definition a temporary habitat, provide the perfect breeding ground for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, tiny mussels, fairy shrimp, and many other creatures. Families can learn more about vernal pools and their inhabitants through humorous skits at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s “Big Night” on Saturday, April 1, 5:30pm-9pm. Guided tours will leave the nature center every 15-minutes to travel a 45-minute forest trail where you will meet costumed characters. There will also be games and presentations. This event is best suited for youth ages 4 through 16 and their caregivers. Call 413-584-3009 to register. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)


PhilosophyAerospaceAnimal StudiesWhalesWomen’s StudiesCivic EngagementArt StudiesFiber ArtsDance StudiesEcologyVernal PoolsLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesImmigration StudiesHistoryLiterature in TranslationOrnithologyCreative-Free PlayBotanySeed Saving


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Suggested Events for April 1st-7th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I SO appreciate being able to go through your eNewsletter each Thursday evening to find the kinds of events & activities that appeal to me & my family! The format allows me to first scan the outdoor, educational and/or service opportunities, and then fine-tooth search through the day-by-day ‘suggested events.’ I usually check out at least a post or two as well – and I often email a link to the eNewsletter to a friend whom I think will be interested. I rely on Hilltown Families more & more as my son gets older – especially since we started home-schooling. Thanks very much for your excellent work, folks!” Susan M. (Amherst, MA)

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

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

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to 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

Apr 1

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the classic, Cinderella! Join Cinderella as she struggles with her evil family for independence, and travel through the enchanted forest as she is magically changed to appear at the masquerade ball where she meets her prince. Featuring guest artists from The North Atlantic Ballet and Ballet X. Live on stage April 1, 2017, at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.ticketlfy.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Apr 8

Immerse yourself in the world of Ancient Rome, at the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Community Day, inspired by the exhibition Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, Saturday, April 8, from 11:30 am–3:30 pm. All ages welcome! The day’s events include: Story time with Forbes Library; fresco painting with Associate Director for Museum Services David Dempsey; a collaborative performance with Enchanted Circle Theater and the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts middle school; olive oil tasting by Ellie’s Oils; exploration of volcanic rocks with Smith College geoscientists, jewelry-making, and more! Also, visit the Great Garbanzo food truck outside the museum!

Apr 8-15

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold Easter Bunny Fun Days on April 8th, 9th, 14th & 15th. The Easter Bunny will be roaming the grounds and posing for pictures from 11am-3pm. Each child will receive an Easter egg with a surprise inside when they complete an Easter Scavenger Hunt. Additionally, there will be face painting from 11am-3pm and a Make & Take art craft. Take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. Inside the Visitor Center, you will find more static trolley cars and artifacts, a theater showing a short film about trolleys and a gift shop to buy that ‘special’ souvenir. Entrance into the Connecticut Fire Museum complete with antique fire trucks and apparatus is included with admission price. www.ct-trolley.org.

Apr 9

On April 9th, American Liberty Ballet presents “Sylvia ou la Nymphe de Diane,” an original 3 act ballet choreographed by Valerie Mae Browne. Since 1876 only 12 choreographers have ever tackled this difficult ballet: taking the stage at the Academy of Music. Set to the romantic score of Léo Delibes, Sylvia is a classical ballet set in an Arcadian forest, where a shepherd boy falls in love with a huntress nymph loyal to the goddess Diana. When arrows and hearts go awry, deities intervene to save Sylvia, in this captivating mythological love story. Sylvia is played by Bolshoi trained ballerina Natasha Sheptalova. American Liberty Ballet is comprised of 15 highly skilled classically trained dancers from all over the world. For tickets: americanlibertyballet.com.

Spring

Enrolling now! At The Center, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Collaborative dance-making creates community, fosters respectful, constructive communication, builds compassion, effects a recognition of shared humanity and promotes dialogue and connection across difference. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

July 17-28

Hampshire College Summer Academic Programs is accepting applications for summer 2017. Students who will be high school juniors and seniors in fall 2017 are encouraged to apply and experience Hampshire College, located in Amherst, while still in high school. Get a sense of Hampshire’s innovative approach to learning and what life is like on Hampshire’s campus and in the classroom during the two-week precollege programs. This summer’s precollege program offerings are: Inside the Cell: Immersion into the Biology Laboratory, Meet the World of Metalworking, Young Feminist Collaborative, Citizens United. Apply by Friday, April 14, 2017, to receive a 10% tuition discount! Learn more and apply at precollege.hampshire.edu or email summer@hampshire.edu.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 1st-7th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: April 2017

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 2017

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of April. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, story hours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

 

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale-Peru, Pittsfield, Sandisfield, Windsor, Washington, and Mt. Washington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Learning Ahead: Spring Birds

Sense of Place: A Birds Eye View

Springtime is filled with sightings of all kinds of exciting natural wonders. The season’s outdoor appeal makes it a perfect time of year not only for enjoying our natural surroundings, but for learning about conservation and species preservation, too!

In particular, springtime is the season for bird sightings as Western Massachusetts becomes filled with a variety of migrating bird species in the early spring months. Species to look for in the spring include Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills, American Kestrels, Indigo Buntings, Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, Carolina Wrens, American Goldfinches, Great Blue Herons, Red-winged Blackbirds, and many others! Knowing the names of the birds we share our home with and being able to identify them by their songs and behavior helps us connect to the seasons and strengthens our sense of place.  Read the rest of this entry »

Birding: Musings on Nature through Poetry & Place

Birding: Musings on Nature through Poetry & Place

The bird populations in Western Massachusetts have inspired many poets and writers to pick up their pens and compose verses dedicated to our feathered friends, celebrating nature and the land. Cummington native William Cullen Bryant, and Amherst native Emily Dickinson, both wrote poems about the bobolink. This intriguing species migrates back to New England in the late Spring (mid-late May) where it prefers large grasslands, such as hay fields, where they can build their nests on the ground. They are impressive birds, with a curious and clownish fluttering that is a joy to see in the late spring and early summer. Due to their preference to nest in hay fields often utilized by farmers, The Bobolink Project seeks to work with farmers to delay haying fields in order to protect grassland birds such as bobolinks.

Learn about bobolinks through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website and their educational videos on different bird species.

Read the rest of this entry »

Birds in your Backyard and Environment

Investigating Nature at Home:
Birds in your Backyard and Environment

Land Trust: Supporting Community & Local Wildlife

Nesting boxes for any species of bird can bring them to your backyard for observation and inspiration!

There are many local organizations in Western Massachusetts that support species habitat and nesting opportunities for birds. Kestrel Land Trust, based in Amherst, MA, offers a unique volunteer opportunity to be a Kestrel Nest Box Monitor. Nest Box Monitors visit the Kestrel nest boxes regularly to keep track of their use during the breeding season starting in late March. It’s a chance to learn more about kestrels and their nesting patterns, and to observe these beautiful birds of prey locally in Western MA.

Bird Feeders: Supporting Language Arts

What better way to learn more about birds in early spring than in your own backyard! Like poets William Cullen Bryant and Emily Dickinson, you can observe the birds that frequent your backyard feeder and later reflect on their characteristics to write interesting and poetic descriptions that utilize metaphors and similes to convey the bird’s behavior through creative language. If you don’t yet have a bird feeder, building one can be a self-initiated project that may include a variety of skills including math, architecture, woodworking and the decorative arts. You can continue to use your bird feeder throughout the winter months by keeping it stocked for those birds that don’t migrate.  This will help birds have a source of food during the year’s coldest season. As a result, you can continue to watch birds in your backyard and gain a better sense of Western Massachusetts’ bird populations and the species with whom you share your natural surroundings. Perhaps you’ll begin to feel inspired similarly to Bryant and Dickinson!  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: March 27th – March 31st, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
March 27th – March 31st, 2017

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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Weekdays in Western MA!

 

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HFVS Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Spring Equinox Episode
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 25th & 26th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Wendy Waldman – “Spring is Here” [Wendy Waldman]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Get Your Booty Out of Bed” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]
  • Cat Stevens – “Changes IV” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “We Need Mud” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Arnold Lobel – “The Corner” [Frog and Toad All Year]
  • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
  • Bob Marley – “Sun is Shining” [Trojan Reggae Chill-Out (CD 2)]
  • Justin Roberts – “Taking Off My Training Wheels” [Meltdown!]
  • Cat Stevens – “The Wind” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]
  • Ruth Krauss/Norman Rose – “The Carrot Seed”
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • XTC – “Greenman” [Apple Venus Volume 1]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “The Bird” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]

Find out more about our Guest DJ, Charity Kahn at www.jamjamjam.com.

[Original broadcast: March 26th & 27th, 2011]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 25-26, 2017

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 25th – March 31st, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also, check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Earth Hour to Modern Art. Puppets to Pottery.,   our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp and Preschool directories.

March 25-31, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

BotanyPhotographyDendrologyHistoryWorld LanguageEcologyCitizen ScienceBiologyTheaterCriminal JusticeArt StudiesJapanese StudiesPotteryMusic StudiesPaleontologyMindfulnessService-Based LearningCareer DevelopmentSeed SavingSpanishEarth HourModern Art. AstronomyTechnologyNutritional AnthropologyPhilosophy

  

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Locally-Based Citizen Science Connects Families to Place-Based Learning and Scientific Discovery
  2. Literary Guide for The Black Book of Colors
  3. Citizen Scientists Needed to Digitize Scientific Collections!
  4. Let’s Play: Being Creative With Your Old Books
  5. 6 Ways to Mix Service-Based Learning with Nature Studies

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33 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Earth Hour to Modern Art. Puppets to Pottery.

The harp is an ancient stringed instrument which dates back as early as 3500 BC. Harps were popular in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance but fell out of popularity with many types of harps no longer being used. The harp has historically been used across many continents and culture and can be an essential element to certain traditional genres of music. On Saturday, March 25, 7:30pm, James Ruff plays the wire harp in his performances of early opera pieces, contemporary works, as well as early Gaelic and Scottish songs. You can hear the harp live and discover its role in Gaelic and Scottish music by attending his performance at the McCulloch Auditorium. Mount Holyoke College. College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Seed Saving to Spanish. Earth Hour to Modern Art. Astronomy to Technology. Nutritional Anthropology to Philosophy. 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: Kuruma Ningyo or “cart puppets” are a style of Japanese puppetry which draws from classical Japanese literature and religious stories. Unlike many forms of puppetry in the United States, Kuruma Ningyo is entertainment for people of all ages, not associated strongly with children. American puppeteer Tom Lee and Japanese Master Puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V will be performing this style of puppetry in their show Shank’s Mare at UMass Amherst on Thursday, March 30, 7:30 pm. This multi-media performance combines live music and video production with traditional Japanese puppetry for a unique, cross-cultural experience. Bowker Auditorium. 100 Holdsworth Way. Amherst, MA. ($; Five college students and 17 and under <$)


BotanyPhotographyDendrologyHistoryWorld LanguageEcologyCitizen ScienceBiologyTheaterCriminal JusticeArt StudiesJapanese StudiesPotteryMusic StudiesPaleontologyMindfulnessService-Based LearningCareer DevelopmentSeed SavingSpanishEarth HourModern Art. AstronomyTechnologyNutritional AnthropologyPhilosophy


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for March 25th – March 31st, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is an amazing resource. It is my go-to for discovering kid-friendly events each week. This website makes it really easy to find out what’s happening in and around the Valley, as well as provides great information about local resources and ideas of things to do with my child. Thank you!” – Jaime C. (Northampton, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Apr 1

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the classic, Cinderella! Join Cinderella as she struggles with her evil family for independence, and travel through the enchanted forest as she is magically changed to appear at the masquerade ball where she meets her prince. Featuring guest artists from The North Atlantic Ballet and Ballet X. Live on stage April 1, 2017 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.ticketlfy.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Apr 1

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their Opening Day Celebration on April 1st. The celebration includes beer, wine and cocktail sampling from Broad Brook Brewery, Cold Creek Brewery, Lost Acres Vineyard and Joe’s Fine Wine and Spirits from 11am-3pm. “New Earth” and “Just Jeanie” will be performing throughout the day. NY Life will be facilitating their child identification program. Shaker Pines Fire Department will provide Child Safety Passenger Technicians to properly install car seats. Star Wars characters posing for pictures. Additionally, take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. All activities and Fire Truck Museum are included with admission. There will be food on site, have lunch and relax. www.ct-trolley.org.

Spring 2017

Enrolling now! At The Center, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Collaborative dance-making creates community, fosters respectful, constructive communication, builds compassion, effects a recognition of shared humanity and promotes dialogue and connection across difference. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

Fall 2017

Whately Elementary preschool program is now accepting applications for the fall of 2017! They are happy to announce the expansion of their existing program to a full-day, full-week experience for children aged 3-5 years old. Whately offers a small integrated preschool experience serving a mixed age population. They believe in the power of learning through play and their caring and skillful staff are experts in guiding children in their development. Preschoolers enjoy gardening, art, music, literacy, engineering, obstacle courses and so much more. The expanded hours are: Monday-Friday 8:30am-3pm with extended care hours until 5:30pm. For more information, please contact Rhonda at 413-665-1155 ext. 700 or emailing Rhonda.lutenegger@frsu38.org.

Mar 24

Open House! The Center Dance Studio in Amherst is excited to introduce its newest program, “Perch & Swoop.” A once-weekly class for toddlers and their caregivers, Perch & Swoop offers the best of The Center’s Pre-K creative movement curriculum, bookended by art activities, a wholesome snack, and play time. Come to a free trial class Friday, March 24th from 9:30am-12pm. Recommended for toddlers 18 months-4 years (siblings under 18 months are welcome to attend). Visit www.centerperch.com for a full description. For more information, email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com or call 413-230-1944. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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

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

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to 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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 25-31, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: Women’s History Month

Local Women & Local History:
Understanding New England Women’s Lives from the Past

Western Massachusetts Changemakers

Juanita Nelson (1923-2015) was an American social activist who made her home in Deerfield, MA.

Western Massachusetts is home to so many women changemakers who have dedicated their lives to enacting social change through the arts, critical inquiry, and learning. Still today, there are many women poets, writers, activists, artists, teachers, educators, and scientists that reside in Western Massachusetts and continue to work towards positive social change that fosters female empowerment, diversity and making women’s voices even louder in our globalized society and economy. Here, only a few women from history will be explored, however note the incredible number of talented women today in Western Massachusetts that continue to demonstrate the importance of women’s rights. March is Women’s History Month, a national observation that honors and pays tributes to those women who dedicated their lives to social justice, the environment, education, and  positive change for society. Their fortitude and perseverance as pioneers is honored during the month of March. Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring Women’s History via Higher Education in Western MA

Exploring Women’s History via Higher Education

Did you know that Western Massachusetts is home to the first women’s college in the United States? In 1837 a female seminary was founded by chemist and educator Mary Lyon. This seminary is now Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. The college was founded at a time when women still did not have the right to vote, yet its founder’s famous words, “Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do,” certainly inspired young women to think beyond social boundaries in order to achieve, inspire and demonstrate the strength and dynamic voice of women.

Mt. Holyoke is the first of the seven sisters, a group of liberal arts colleges in the Northeast that were started as women’s colleges. Some of these schools are still women’s colleges today and two of them are here in Western Massachusetts: Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley) and Smith College (Northampton).  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Women in Art History

Think about this:

  • Throughout history, women have been an integral part of the art world. As patrons, historians, innovators, critics, and creators, their contributions are widespread. Why is it that they are underrepresented in art history?
  • When art history is considered, what media come to mind? How about textile arts? Culinary arts? Decorative arts? Are these considered fine art?
  • How have gender biases influenced our art history narrative?
  • How have women generated social change  throughout history? How do they now use visual art and language art to address contemporary issues?

Khan Academy has a great discussion page that address some of these issues: A Brief History of Women in Art.


Download our March/April 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.

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Nature Table for March: Maple Buds and Bark

Nature Table for March

Every month, Hilltown Families features a new nature table whose contents inspire learning along with a common theme easily spotted in our surroundings that month. A tradition carried out by teachers, environmental educators, and nature-curious families, nature tables bring a little bit of the outdoors inside for inspection, dissection, identification, creative play, art projects, and lots of other educational activities. The idea behind a nature table is to help open up children’s eyes to the unique attributes of each season and to help them learn how to see these things in nature for themselves. A nature table can include a variety of items and is often accompanied by a set of books and/or field guides so that children can take part in further learning at their own will.

The surest sign of spring in western Massachusetts is the appearance of buckets and tubes on trees lining our winding rural roads. Sugar season marks the end of winter’s harshest weather, as the sap begins to flow only when daytime temperatures are above freezing. From living history to delicious meals, there is a multitude of community-based ways to engage with this sweet element of our natural and cultural history, but the naturalist’s way of learning about sugar season is not to simply observe it, but to learn to become a part of it!

The specifics of sugaring are basic enough, so long as you have sufficient trees to make the time spent worthwhile – which is where the first challenge of sugaring lies! There are thousands of species of maple trees in the world, and at least 13 of these are native to the United States. Of these native to our country, at least 7 different native maple species can be found here in western MA. When leaves are in season, it’s easy enough to distinguish sugar maples from non-sugar maples. In the absence of leaves, however, sugar maples are much more difficult to spot!  Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Anatomy Canvas for Preschoolers

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Our Paintable Body

Kids especially toddlers like repetition.  They like knowing the outcome, they like knowing the answer.  Most toddlers I know love themed based curriculums because it allows them to master a topic. It seems that every week there is a new theme in my life. Not a theme I would personally choose to embrace like types of orchids or sheet composting. Things the children in my life are interested in learning are less complicated and blatantly much more fun.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: March 20th-24th, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
March 20th-24th, 2017

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

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

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

HFVS You, Me and Our Community Episode with Guest DJ, Lucy Kalantari (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

You, Me and Our Community Episode
with Guest DJ, Lucy Kalantari

Sing and dance to the beauty of community with guest DJ Lucy Kalantari. Featuring songs by Moona Luna, Louis Prima, Alastair Moock, and much more. — www.lucykalantari.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 18th & 19th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Alastair Moock – It Takes All Kinds


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could – “Just Say Hi” [Just Say Hi]
  • Kevin Kammeraad and Friends – “Game (Boo Lou and Boo Lou)” [Spinach Dip Pancakes]
  • Moona Luna – “Together” [Single]
  • Sugar Free Allstars – “If I Didn’t Have You” [Sugar Free Allstars]
  • The Deedle Deedle Dees + friends – “When We Sing Together” [Single]
  • Red Yarn – “Clap Your Hands Together” [Wake Up & Sing]
  • Louis Prima – “Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing)” [Capitol Collectors Series]
  • Mo Phillips – “Talking About Team Work” [Occasional Yogurt]
  • Dan Zanes – “Welcome Table” [The Welcome Table: Songs of Inspiration, Mystery & Good Times]
  • Joanie Leeds – “Love is Love” [Live at KUTX Studio 1A]
  • Alastair Moock – “It Takes All Kinds” [All Kinds of You and Me]
  • Mr. Ray – “The Rainbow World” [No Room For Bullies]
  • Vivi Melody & Family – “We Can Still Be Friends” [More Love]
  • Chibi Kodama – “I’m Always Right” [We’re Not Going Crazy]
  • Karen K & Mista Cookie Jar – “Rainbow” [Single]
  • Louie Armstrong – “What A Wonderful World” [What A Wonderful World]
  • Lucy Kalantari – “Song For My Son” [Big Things]

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 18th & 19th

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 18th – March 24th, 2017 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 16 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Dance Party to Italian Cuisine. Hubble Telescope to Spring Equinox., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our Summer Camp, Preschool, and Spring Class directories.

March 18th – 24th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Maker SpacesItalian CuisineBike RepairHubble TelescopeSpring EquinoxSaturday Morning Music PartySTE(A)MNative American History ♦  Music StudiesWomen’s HistoryTheaterCulinary ArtsMechanicsWorld LanguagesPoetryUnderground RailroadRoboticsMaple SyrupU.S. HistoryAstronomy  ♦ OperaSeasons

  

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

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16 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Dance Party to Italian Cuisine. Hubble Telescope to Spring Equinox

Is it true a raw egg can only be balanced on end during the equinox? Where did this theory come from and is it fact or fiction? Find out!

Maker Spaces to Italian Cuisine. Bike Repair to Hubble Telescope. Spring Equinox to Saturday Morning Music Party. 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:  Join us, Hilltown Families, in person for a morning of music, dance, and pancakes on Saturday, March 18, 10am-12pm! This Saturday Morning Music Party, co-hosted with Flywheel Arts Collective, is great for both kids and parents who love to dance. In addition to music and food, there will be a performance by The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! All events in this Morning Music Party series are a fundraiser for both Flywheel and Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. Flywheel Arts Collective, 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)


STE(A)M ♦  Music StudiesWomen’s HistoryTheaterCulinary ArtsMechanicsWorld LanguagesPoetryUnderground RailroadRoboticsU.S. HistoryAstronomy  ♦ OperaSeasons


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for March 18th – March 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many and learned about so many others… This is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities. Thank you!” Toni H. (Northampton, MA)

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

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

Hilltown Families Event

Saturday, March 18, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! After a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family!

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to 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

Mar 19

Celebrate spring with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Sunday, March 19 from 12noon-4pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Enjoy a Wiggle Jiggle Dance Party down the Great Hall with the beloved Caterpillar, a special studio art project, storytimes and films, and search for the Caterpillar’s favorite foods in a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Plus, see Brown Bear Turns 50 before it closes! For more information and a schedule of activities, please visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-559-6300. All activities are free with Museum Admission.

Fall 2017

Whately Elementary preschool program is now accepting applications for the fall of 2017! They are happy to announce the expansion of their existing program to a full-day, full-week experience for children aged 3-5 years old. Whately offers a small integrated preschool experience serving a mixed age population. They believe in the power of learning through play and their caring and skillful staff are experts in guiding children in their development. Preschoolers enjoy gardening, art, music, literacy, engineering, obstacle courses and so much more. The expanded hours are: Monday-Friday 8:30am-3pm with extended care hours until 5:30pm. For more information, please contact Rhonda at 413-665-1155 ext. 700 or emailing Rhonda.lutenegger@frsu38.org.

Mar 18

Piti Theatre’s 8th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival celebrates spring, sap and the arts at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, 3/18. Two time Grammy winner Bill Harley headlines the Festival at 4 pm, performing his own set and narrating two stories performed by Piti’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Sammy and the Grand Buffet, a world premiere solo physical comedy performance by Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin taps things off at 2 pm. Plus syrup tasting, complimentary Real Pickles, clowning workshop for children on 3/19 (free), teen/adult clowning workshop and more! Tix: $15/$12 students and seniors, $5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, World Eye Bookshop or www.ptco.org/syrup. 1-800-838-3006. info@ptco.org.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 18th – 24th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! Beginning the series with a New Year’s Day Music Party that was our best party to date, we will be continuing on Saturday, March 18, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall!

As always, we’ll have a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit. After the breakfast, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.

Then the kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and celebrate the coming of Spring with a Morning Music Dance Party!

These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

This event is the final in a series of three this winter, so don’t miss out! Mark your calendars and subscribe to Hilltown Families weekly eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on new and exciting events!

Flywheel Arts Collective is located in the old town hall (43 Main Street) in Easthampton, MA. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Learning Ahead: Spring Landscape & Vernal Pools

Exploring Spring’s Landscape through Vernal Pools & Literature

Similar to fall, the spring season is a time of transition as habitats and animals begin to respond to the change in weather and climate. Phenology-based activities coincide with the natural changing of our seasons (our ultimate accessible community-based educational resource) and are great catalysts for learning through community engagement. Maple syrup season, filled with delicious community activities and opportunities, is our first crop of the year, followed by another  seasonal event as winter transitions into spring…Vernal Pools!
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Local Agriculture: Spring on the Farm

Local Agriculture: Spring on the Farm

Farm life follows the path of the seasons. In March and April, it’s time to start planting leafy greens and root crops as one prepares for the warmer months ahead.  It is also a time of new life on a farm when animals are born.  At living history museums such as Old Sturbridge Village and the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA, folks can visit baby animals each spring such as newborn lambs, calves, and piglets!  Read the rest of this entry »

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