Winter Festivals: Living Seasonally through History, Culture & Art

Winter Festivals: Living Seasonally through History, Culture & Art

In 19th century New England, the winter season was a time for gathering and socializing with family, friends, and neighbors. As the fields lay dormant in anticipation off the agricultural season, rural New Englanders used the cold season as a time for meeting friends, having conversations, and visiting with one another. Before the telephone or telegraph, visiting a friend’s home was a way to share news, gossip, and stories.

Besides visiting a friend’s home, other common gathering places were the general store, taverns, and town meetings. Home visits, encounters with neighbors and local businesses allowed New Englanders to strengthen their community ties and reconnect during a time of year that was generally quiet.

Read the rest of this entry »

6 Winter Festivals in Western MA

Northampton Ice Arts Festival

This annual festival has brought temporary ice sculptures to the streets of  Northampton since 2010. Offered as a part of the Northampton Center for the Arts’  February installment of Arts Night Out, the Ice Arts Festival offers the chance to  explore the art of ice carving. Artists work away while passersby can check out the different techniques and tools of the trade. Spectators can watch the participants throughout the day and then enjoy the glistening sculptures at night Visit nohoarts.org to find out this year’s date, time and  sculpture locations.

Easthampton WinterFest

Since 2013, Easthampton has been bringing together wintry celebrations that explore local history and the local landscape such as ice harvesting on Nashawannuck Pond, nature walks with community partners, wildlife talks and demonstrations, and other festivities such as dance parties, horse-drawn wagon rides and more!  To learn about the latest program information for this year, check out:  www.nashawannuckpond.org/winterfest.

Holyoke Canal District Winter Festival

Holyoke’s Canal District Winter Festival offers a weekend of activities to bring to life the city’s historic Canal District neighborhood.  Visitors can explore this interesting part of the city where the canals are evidence of Holyoke’s once thriving industry. Usually in collaboration with Gateway City Arts, past activities have included a Luminaria Parade, dog show, artisan market, musical performances and the annual firefighters vs. police officers rivalry hockey game! www.gatewaycityarts.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Winter Social Calls

Think about this:

What are the tools used in sculpting ice? What are the challenges ice sculptors face that other sculptors of different media don’t?

How would families and neighbors gather in the winter before the invention of automobiles and highways? How did the inability to travel far distances impact communities and relationships?

How do winter festivals gather communities together? What types of activities do they host in order to foster connection and togetherness during the colder months?


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

9th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

It’s that time of the year again! For the past nine years, Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. Click here to sign up! It’s FREE to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, February 1st.

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

Truth Through Action:  Seeing Beyond the Chaff

We learned the basics of living a thoughtful life in Mrs. Hansen’s kindergarten class in 1974. She taught us to listen when someone else was speaking. She impressed kindness on us and admonished us not to call anyone a nasty name. She urged us to work together by taking turns and sharing what we had. She warned us sternly to keep our hands to ourselves. She told us to tell the truth. Kids needed to be reminded of those basics in order to grow up to be thoughtful adults. Some adults never learned. It is the action we take that speaks volumes, and informs others who we really are. Poet Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”   Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: January 30 – February 2, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
January 30 – February 2, 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 “Yes I Can!” Little Miss Ann Guest DJ Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

“Yes I Can!”
Little Miss Ann Guest DJ Show

This week, Little Miss Ann, a former Chicago School Teacher, first generation Filipina American, and decade long kids musician, has created a playlist with the theme “Yes I Can!” She chose songs to inspire and empower kids to recognize their strengths, be themselves, and try new things. This special playlist includes artists like Cat Stevens, Charlie Hope, Dean Jones, and Frances England. – www.littlemissann.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Jan 28th & 29th 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

“Yes I Can!” Little Miss Ann Guest DJ Show

  • Little Miss Ann and Amy D – “Shake and Sing” (Keep On Keepin’ On)
  • The New Seekers – “Free to be You and Me” (Free to be You and Me)
  • Cat Stevens – “Don’t be Shy” (Footsteps in the Dark)
  • Dean Jones – “People Watching” (In My Dreams)
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – “Arm in Arm” (Blue Clouds)
  • Charlie Hope – “I’m Me” (I’m Me! A Collection of Songs for Children)
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Back Home” (Make Believers)
  • Little Miss Ann and Amy D – “Keep On” (Keep On Keepin’ On)
  • Suzi Shelton – “Lift Me Up” (No Ordinary Day)
  • Dixie Chicks – “Landslide” (Home)
  • 123 Andres – “Salta, Salta” (Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres!)
  • Ratboy Jr. – “Try” (Hamster Pants)
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Hard Road to Travel” (Saddle Up)
  • Little Miss Ann and Amy D – “Tiptoe Through Tulips” (Keep On Keepin’ On)
  • Vered – “This Little Light” (Hello My Baby)
  • Mr Dave – “Song in All of Us” (Feeling Good)
  • Frances England – “Ballad for a Beatboxer” (Explorer of the World)
  • Little Miss Ann “Stand Up”

Save

Save

Save

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 28 & 29, 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 January 28 – February 3, 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 monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, our featured post of Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA, our Parents’ Night Out: Valentine’s Day Promotion and our  9th annual Handmade Valentine Swap for families throughout the four counties of Western MA! And if that weren’t enough, we also have our next Saturday Morning Dance Party coming up on February 4, 2017 at the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton from 10am-12pm!

January 28 – February 3, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

  


RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Open Sesame: Snowmen in Story Come Alive
  2. Explorations of Number Systems Support Strong Mathematical Skills
  3. Resources for Learning About the Experiences of People With Disabilities
  4. Soup’s On: How Cooking Shows Teach
  5. HFVS Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 28 – February 3, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“[Last year] was the first year my three year old participated in the Valentine’s Day swap & we had a blast making and receiving our cards in the mail. This site truly enhances what western Massachusetts is all about community and our great state!” – Summer Mikaitis (Pittsfield, 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 Events

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again! Deadline to sign-up is Wed. Feb 1st!

Saturday, February 4, 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! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. 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. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Open House:Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education – Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon in Amherst. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

Open House: Feb 4

The Campus School at Smith College. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 4, from 9:30am-11:30 am at the school on Prospect Street. Tour the school. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

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 us at info@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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 28 – February 3, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an EventCultural 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 »

Parents’ Night Out: Valentine’s Day Promotion

Love is in the air! But what does that mean? Valentine’s Day is a special opportunity for parents to support local culture and express kindness to each other by shopping at a local business, buying flowers from an artisan florist, take museum trips, volunteer your time for others, or relax amongst fellow adults while the sitter takes over for the evening. But it isn’t just about hearts and chocolates!

Featured here are three evening community events parents can engage in for a special Parents’ Night Out in celebration of Valentine’s Day, including a ticket giveaway for two pair of tickets to see a show at the Calvin Theater!  Read the rest of this entry »

Using Valentine’s Day to Promote Social and Emotional Growth

Exploring Empathy at Valentine’s Day

Nobody is entirely sure who the real St. Valentine was – we can say with certainty that he lived in Rome at a time that’s a few centuries shy of being two millennia ago. With an existence that’s now so long ago and far away, it’s no wonder that the true story of St. Valentine has gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere. Whatever the origins of our modern love-centric Valentine’s Day are, the holiday brings about the opportunity for a mid-winter outpouring of love, friendship and appreciation toward those around us. While the early winter holiday season is a time for sharing and caring, Valentine’s Day allows us to emerge from the doldrums of winter ready to consider others in a new light: looking upon those around us with empathy and offering them support – or at the very least, learning to do so.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Voice: Celebrating African American History

Celebrating African American History through Poetry

“Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre Lorde

February is National African American History Month in the United States. It is a time to honor the work, achievements and contributions of African Americans. It is also a time to remember the struggle for civil rights and the importance of equality, civic action, social justice and solidarity.

In our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts we discussed the power of voice and words as illustrated by Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Continuing this exploration of the inspirational power of words, let’s take a closer look at two poems by African Americans that illustrate the power of voice and words: Langston Hughes and Audre Lorde.  Read the rest of this entry »

African American History in Western Massachusetts

Harriet Tubman & The Underground Railroad

In addition to your literary explorations of African Americans’ creativity and contributions to U.S. literature, explore African American History Month in Western Massachusetts through the different cultural organizations and institutions that educate the public on the history of African Americans in our region.

One of the most significant pieces of New England history is the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes, stops, and places throughout 14 northern states that were established to help escaped slaves to freedom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Art and The Civil Rights Movement

Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With

Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With, painted in 1963, is considered an iconic image of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The painting depicts six year-old Ruby Bridges walking to school accompanied by four U.S. marshals. As part of desegregation, Ruby was the first African American student to attend the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Read the rest of this entry »

Local Learning Resources on The Underground Railroad

Sojourner Truth: Connecting Local Places with National History

The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History & Underground Railroad in Florence, MA, features The Ross Homestead which is on both the National  Register of Historic Places and the National Park Services Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The center offers walking tours of Florence including the African-American history trail, Sojourner Truth’s house, and other abolitionist sites. Additionally, there is a memorial statue of Sojourner Truth in Florence, MA, to honor her life and work. A former slave, abolitionist and social activist, Truth lived in Florence from 1843-1856. The Sojourner Truth Memorial organization offers a free map on their website of a self-guided walking tour of Sojourner’s house and historic sites. Read more in our post, Sojourner Truth Memorial: American and Western MA History. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: The River Knows the Way

Following Water

Part of our local Deerfield River watershed in Western MA

Part of our local Deerfield River watershed in Western MA

Teachers often repeat the same lesson; in fact, they have to because, in the act of renewing civilization, they carry the past into the present and hand it off to the future.

One thing I find myself teaching again and again is: “It is impossible to get lost in the woods—all you have to do to find your way is follow the water.”

Follow the water and you’ll never be lost. That maxim has a zen-ish, new-agey ring to it, even a poetry. But it is based on the hard physical fact that all places on the terrestrial earth are composed of watersheds. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: January 23rd – 27th, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
January 23rd – 27th, 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 Learning Ahead!

Save

Save

HFVS Jazz for Kids Episode with Guest DJ, David Tobocman (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

Jazz for Kids Episode
with Guest DJ, David Tobocman

David Tobocman guest DJs with a Jazz for Kids show this week that features some of his own swingin’ tunes as well as an in-studio performance of his “Lemonade School” story song.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Jan 21st & 22nd, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “Home” by David Tobocman. – www.davidtobocman.com


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Duke Ellington – “The Purple Gazelle” [Afro-Bossa]
  • Louis Jordan – “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” [Jivin’ with Jordan]
  • Shorty Rogers and His Giants – “Martians Go Home” [The Swingin’ Mr. Rogers]
  • Nat “King” Cole – “Three Blind Mice” [King Cole for Kids]
  • David Tobocman – “No Time Like the Present” [Lemonade School]
  • Chris McKhool – “Spider-Man” [FiddleFire!]
  • Ella Fitzgerald – “Old MacDonald” [Whisper Not]
  • Count Basie – “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” [The Complete Basie on Decca]
  • Glenn Miller Orchestra – “(I Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo” [The Essential Glenn Miller]
  • STORY BREAK: David Tobocman – “Lemonade School” (live performance)
  • Count Basie – “Oh, Lady Be Good” [Count Basie and the Kansas City 7]
  • Oran Etkin – “High Low” [Wake Up Clarinet]
  • Lori Henriques – “Happy to Be Me” [Outside My Door]
  • Ahmad Jamal Trio – “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” [Live at the Pershing]
  • Coal Train Railroad – “Snuggling Suits Me Just Fine” [Coal Train Railroad]
  • David Tobocman – “Brush Your Teeth” [Very Helpful Songs]
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet – “When You Wish upon a Star” [Dave Digs Disney]

[Rebroadcast. Original air date: Nov 10th & 11th, 2012]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 21-22, 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 January 21-27, 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 27 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Peace Movements to Microbiology. Service-Learning to Ecology., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational, cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and our featured post of Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA.

Plus, check out our 9th annual Handmade Valentine Swap for families throughout the four counties of Western MA! And if that weren’t enough, we also have our next Saturday Morning Dance Party coming up on February 4, 2017 at the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton from 10am-12pm!

And finally, check out Hilltown Families’ new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event is happening TODAY, Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm. Come craft with us and hand-make some Valentine’s Day cards for members of the Amherst Senior Center.

January 21-27, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

KindnessVolunteeringOrnithologyGuided HikesFilm StudiesMuseum AdventuresSTEMMakerspaceCultural StudiesConstitutional LawCivic EngagementHerpetologyTextilesGamesIntergenerationalMeteorologyDance StudiesNew England HistoryPolitical ScienceLiteracyCommunity MealsArt StudiesArchitecture

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

See your banner here! Sponsor Recap Map!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

27 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Peace Movements to Microbiology. Service-Learning to Ecology.

Winter is a great time to learn new recipes, and cook warm comfort foods for friends and family. Bring your favorite soup to the Buckland Public Library for Winter Soup night on Tuesday, January 24, 5:30pm-7pm! Guests may bring bread, cheese and other tidbits. All are welcome. 413-625-8541. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Celtic Mythology to Microbiology. Sound Waves to Chinese New Year. Peace Movements to Fiber Arts. Tracking to Townshend Acts. 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:  Hilltown Families will be hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter, beginning on Saturday, January 21, 10am – 2pm! This series is modeled after our larger community-service events, with a shift towards smaller micro-volunteer opportunities through the spring at community events, including winter farmers’ markets, in the hopes that these smaller volunteer opportunities will allow us to engage new audiences with service-learning opportunities! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market in the Amherst Regional Middle School. Families will have an opportunity to stop by a pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community. 170 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA. (VOLUNTEER)


KindnessVolunteeringOrnithologyGuided HikesFilm StudiesMuseum AdventuresSTEMMakerspaceCultural StudiesConstitutional LawCivic EngagementHerpetologyTextilesGamesIntergenerationalMeteorologyDance StudiesNew England HistoryPolitical ScienceLiteracyCommunity MealsArt StudiesArchitecture


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 21-27, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has provided us with a place to find events, read thought provoking articles, and linked us to local resources. I love this website! Thanks so much!” – Melissa Power-Greene (Northampton, MA)

“Hilltown Families has provided us with a place to find events, read thought provoking articles, and linked us to local resources. I love this website! Thanks so much!” – Melissa Power-Greene (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 Events

Hilltown Families is hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market (Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street). Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)!

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again! Deadline to sign-up is Wed. Feb 1st!

Saturday, February 4, 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! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. 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. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Jan & Feb

Start the weekend off right with Amherst Cinema’s $5 Family Films Series on Saturday mornings in January and February! The diverse lineup—including animated, live action, documentary, musical, and foreign films—is sure to delight kids big and small. Travel to Neverland with Hook, visit an enchanted forest in The Secret of Kells, escape vicious farmers with Fantastic Mr. Fox, and make new friends with My Neighbor Totoro. Go on an adventure with Buttercup and Westly in The Princess Bride, laugh along with Buster Keaton in The General, and meet classic cartoon characters in The Looney Tunes Revue. Take flight with Winged Migration and sing from the mountaintops with The Sound of Music. For more information, visit www.amherstcinema.org/family.

Open House: Jan 21

Open House! Nonotuck Community School. Jan. 21, Sat. 10am-12:30pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months-5 years. Tours for grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. 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. Open 7:30am–5:30pm. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for 40 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Dr., Florence in Northampton. For more information visit www.nonotuck.org or contact them at 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org.

Open House: Jan 21

Open House at the Montessori School of Northampton: On Saturday, January 21, from 10:30am until 12noon, the Montessori School of Northampton will host an open house at their 51 Bates Street location. Families of students seeking admission for September 2017 are invited to attend and find out more about Montessori education and the programs offered. The school enrolls students from 18 months (Toddler) through 14 years (Middle School) and is celebrating its 40th year with the construction of a new Upper School building. Come visit and learn why “Montessori makes the difference!” in a child’s life. Snow date: January 28. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 x103 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

Open House: Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 21

Makerspace at The Hartsbrook School − Learn a new skill or craft! Make a design in 3D software (TinkerCAD) and print your creations, or experiment with Ozobots, Little Bits electronics and Sphero. Create a chain mail craft, learn to knit or take a fine arts class. Children and adults are welcome. This event is also an open house where interested families can learn more about the school, the academics, the practical arts and the land stewardship program. Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on teaching firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. Saturday, January 21st, 10am to 12noon. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908, www.hartsbrook.org

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

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 us at info@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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 21 – 27, 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 »

Hilltown Families’ Service-Learning Micro-Event Series for Families

Hilltown Families will be hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! This series is modeled after our larger community-service events, with a shift towards smaller micro-volunteer opportunities through the spring at community events, including winter farmers’ markets, in the hopes that these smaller volunteer opportunities will allow us to engage new audiences with service-learning opportunities!

The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market from 10am-2pm. Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)!

  • Date: Saturday, January 21st
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  • Event: Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market
  • Location: Amherst Regional Middle School (170 Chestnut Street)
  • How to Volunteer:
    • Option 1) Stop by between 10am-2pm with your families for a kid-friendly activity;
    • Option 2) Sign up to help run the table (60-minute slots available). To sign up, just follow the instructions on the page. It only takes a few seconds to do.

To learn more about the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market, visit them online, or better yet, come on by to support local farming and healthy living!

Learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families here: TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement


Hilltown Families Service-Learning Micro-Event Series is sponsored by Easthampton Savings Bank. Thank you to their support of volunteerism and service-based learning for families in Western MA!

Save

Save

Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!

Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!

This Valentine’s Day, spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by participating in Hilltown Families’ 9th annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Participation is easy – all you have to do is sign up, make ten handmade valentines and drop them in the mail, and you’ll receive ten handmade cards in return. Not only is the event an opportunity for families to connect with others in their community, participation allows families the opportunity to be creative together – an activity that can lead not only to creative-free play, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry and cultural studies!  Read on…

Ice Harvesting: Local History, Literature & Culture

Local Living History & Ice Harvesting

Filling the Ice House (1934) Harry Gottlieb. Oil on canvas, 40 3/8 x 60 3/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor, 1964.1.19

Historically, living without refrigerators in New England required strategies for prolonged food storage and preservation. In the November/December Seasons edition of Learning Ahead, we looked at different forms of food preservation such as curing, salting, and canning. Early New Englanders didn’t have the luxury of refrigerators, but they did harvest ice from frozen lakes and ponds in order to keep food stored without spoiling. The frozen chunks of ice harvested were kept insulated by materials such as sawdust in a dark, cool place so that the ice would last beyond the winter months.  Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Harvesting: Community Events & Resource

Ice Harvesting: Community Events & Resource

Throughout the winter, check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for community events and demonstrations of ice harvesting. Here are three featured resources in Western MA to add to your itinerary:

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge.

Fire & Ice Days is an annual celebration with ice harvesting demonstrations showing how 19th century Americans adapted their lifestyles to the cold New England winters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Explorations of Ice Harvesting

Henry David Thoreau & “The Pond in Winter”

Ice harvesting is embedded within the history and cultural traditions of New England. So much so, in fact, that it also influenced the literary reflections of  writers such as Henry David Thoreau who described the harvesting of ice in his chapter, “The Pond in Winter,” from Walden. As you explore ice harvesting through  living history demonstrations and artifacts from the past, read Thoreau’s chapter on  “The Pond in Winter” for historical understanding from a literary perspective.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Ice Harvesting

Think about this:

What were the challenges of ice harvesting that the modern refrigerator eliminates in terms of food preservation and food storage?

How did ice harvesting force New Englanders to think about their daily lives all year round? (Reread Thoreau’s passage for a hint!) How did harvesting ice connect people with the seasons and their natural environments?

Given early New Englanders’ dependency on natural resources, what challenges did New Englanders face that we no longer worry about given our modern technologies? What did they not worry about?


Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

Save

Let Them Grow: Ice Transforms the World Around Us!

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Amazing Ice

It’s snowing here as I write this, and it maybe snowing where you are as you read this. It is winter in the Valley and the Hilltowns are beautiful, the river still flowing, glazed like pottery with ice. My toddler watches hypnotically as the water runs in and under and around. Clear blue water meets white ice; it’s fascinating. Getting too close to ice and water in the winter does not sound like fun with a toddler.  So I decided to come up with some creative ways to experiment with ice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: January 16 – 20, 2017

Weekdays in Western MA:
January 16 – 20, 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 Learning Ahead!

Save

Save

HFVS Children’s Songs from Around the World Episode, with Guest DJ Priscilla Ahn (Podcast/Radio Show)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Children’s Songs from Around the World Episode
Guest DJ, Priscilla Ahn

This week, The Hilltown Family Variety Show brings you Children’s Songs from Around the World, with Guest DJ, Priscilla Ahn! Priscilla is a singer-songwriter who recently debuted her first album for children and their parents.  In this episode, she shares some of her favorite songs from places around the world (real and imaginary).  No matter the language or culture, Priscilla believes we can all connect through enjoying good music together. – www.priscillaahn.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Jan 14th & 15th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Charity Kahn – “The Lovingkindness Song”


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

Children’s Songs From Around the World with Guest DJ, Priscilla!

  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • Priscilla Ahn – “Body Sounds” [LA LA LA]
  • Hikaru Utada – “Boku Wa Kuma” [こころに響く NHK みんなのうた ベスト <KING SUPER TWIN SERIES> ]
  • Caetano Veloso – “O Leaozinho” [Caetano Veloso]
  • African Moonlight Stories Voices – “Babalawo Mo Wa Bebe” [African Moonlight Stories Folksongs – EP]
  • Kishore Kumar – “Ina Mina Dika” [Bollywood Productions Present – The Glory Days, Vol. 32]
  • Neil Young – “Sugar Mountain [Live]” [Sugar Mountain Live At Canterbury House 1968]
  • Grethe Agatz – “Ekkoleg” [Viva La Muerte Soundtrack]
  • Harry Nilsson – “The Town (Narration)” [The Point!]
  • Harry Nilsson – “Me and My Arrow” [The Point!]
  • Mercedes Sosa – “Duerme, Negrito (Album Version)” [30 Años]
  • Deserts Chang – “Bao Bei (in a day)” [My Life Will…]
  • Hui Ohana – “Nanakuli” [Young Hawaii Plays Old Hawaii]
  • Lee Dahyun – “Mother” [Lee Dahyun Piano]
  • Cat Stevens – “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” [Footsteps in the Dark – Greatest Hits, Vol. 2]
  • Priscilla Ahn – “Dream” [A Good Day]

Save

« Older entries Newer entries »

%d bloggers like this: