Gorge Aprés Gorge: Thanksgiving Weekend Tradition Supports Nature-Based & Intergenerational Engagement

Gorge Aprés Gorge: Best Little Walk/Run in the Hilltowns

The Sunday morning following your Thanksgiving dinner gorge, rise and shine to join friends and neighbors for the 13th annual Gorge Aprés Gorge run/walk at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield, MA. Community members are invited to embrace winter by being outside with friends and neighbors in a three mile out and back run/walk/bike/snowshoe/ski along the beautiful Westfield River. It’s a free event and all are welcomed! It’s a family affair. 5K at 9:30am. Family walk at 11am.

For the past 13 years, families have gathered together at the Chesterfield Gorge on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to walk, run, and socialize at a community potluck. The Gorge après Gorge Family Fun Walk and 5k run was started by organizers Leslie Charles and Tanya Rapinchuk, as a way to escape from the stress that can accompany the holidays and to get outside and appreciate nature with your friends, family, and neighbors. Charles explains, “I believe community and getting to know each other is the best way forward for humanity. It’s a homegrown event to really benefit everybody. It invites anyone and everyone to join in for a walk or run. It’s a total labor of love inspired by the desire to share the outdoors with our community, make new friends, and gather together.”

It began with just a few dozen people, and has grown over the years as word has spread about this wonderful family-oriented event.

“I have attended every Gorge Aprés Gorge these past 13 years,” says Hilltown Families Founder and West Chesterfield resident, Sienna Wildfield. “The Chesterfield Gorge, the Westfield River, and families from around the region make this event as special part of our community tradition. It offer a way we can support a sense of place through engagement with these amazing community treasures!”

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Weekdays in Western MA: November 21 – November 25, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 21 – November 25, 2016

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.

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

Listen to Podcast:

Thanksgiving Episode
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

This special Thanksgiving episode from Charity and the JAMband explores, through music and story, some of the many, many things we have to be grateful for in our lives — like the sun, rain, friends and family – – culminating in a vision for world peace where everyone finally has enough food, shelter, community and love. Incorporating songs by Snatam Kaur, Los Lobos, the Moody Blues, the Rolling Stones, and Nat King Cole, among others, the music and commentary weave a gentle yet thought-provoking meditation on gratitude, generosity, love and compassion to inspire folks of all ages this holiday season.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Nov 19th & 20th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Charity has a great song, “Loving Kindness.” She writes, “Love shouldn’t cost anything. This song emanated from the Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness (also called Metta), whereby you send wishes of health, happiness, safety and peace of mind to yourself and others.”  In this video she shows you the movements to the song so you can show your preK kids how to dance along! – www.jamjamjam.com


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” [Let It Bleed]
  • Beatles “Dear Prudence” [White Album]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Grateful” [Family Values]
  • Snatam Kaur – “Long Time Sun” [Sacred Chants for Healing]
  • Gene Kelley – “Singing in the Rain” [Best of Gene Kelley]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Green Beans Everywhere” [Family Values]
  • Nat King Cole – “Frim Fram Sauce” [The King Cole Trio]
  • William Steig – Sylvester and the Magic Pebble [Read by Charity Kahn]
  • Moody Blues – “Lovely To See You” [On the Threshold of a Dream]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Love Is Herel” [Family Values]
  • Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now” [single]
  • Los Lobos – “Peace” [Kiko]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “We Are the Ones” [Family Values]

Originally aired on November 21 & 22, 2012 on WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 19 – 20, 2016

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

MAP

Peruse our list of suggested events 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 20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Photography to Food Studies. Non-Commercial to Collaborative Consumption, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

November 19 – 25, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Black Friday  ♦ Community Meals  ♦ Computer ProgrammingNative American StudiesCollaborative ConsumptionGardeningBiologyActivismSustainabilityMYO GiftsSTEM  ♦ Culinary ArtsSeed SavingThanksgiving DinnerPhysics Art StudiesLanguage StudiesGuided WalksMusic StudiesPhotographyImmigrationFood Studies

Family Volunteer Days

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20 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Photography to Food Studies. Non-Commercial to Collaborative Consumption.

How did the small wild cranberry, known as sasumuneash by the Wampanoag People, become the the plump berry we serve up every Thanksgiving? Get curious about the origin of the foods served during Thanksgiving and the traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. Use your Thanksgiving meal as a catalyst for learning about agriculture, culinary arts, history and culture!

Hydrology to Tortellini. Photography to Food Studies. Non-Commercial to Collaborative Consumption. 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 highlights this week:   “Chrysanthemum” is a beautiful word for an equally beautiful family of flowers. The word is derived from the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower), though it refers to many different types of flowers in a range of colors and appearances. Families can explore various chrysanthemums at The Botanic Garden of Smith College’s Fall Chrysanthemum Show. The Fall Mum Show has been a popular college and community tradition since the early 1900s and showcases the hybridizing experiments of the horticulture class. This weekend is the last of this amazing flower show!  The conservatory will be open 10am-4pm daily and have extended hours 10am-8pm on Fridays. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Black Friday  ♦ Community Meals  ♦ Computer ProgrammingNative American StudiesCollaborative ConsumptionGardeningBiologyActivismSustainabilityMYO GiftsSTEM  ♦ Culinary ArtsSeed SavingThanksgiving DinnerPhysics Art StudiesLanguage StudiesGuided WalksMusic StudiesPhotographyImmigrationFood Studies


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Suggested Events for November 19th-25th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

weekly-suggested-events-16-11-17

“Every Thursday night after my son goes to sleep I take some time to read the Hilltown Families weekly email – there is always at least 2 events I want to go to and reading what other community members write and share is always fascinating. I appreciate this resource so much!” -Jackie MacNeish (Ashfield, 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

The Nields, Pioneer Valley folk and rock favorites, will perform a special show for all ages at a Saturday Morning Music Party fundraiser for Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective on Saturday, November 19, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel (43 Main St.) in Easthampton, MA. Doors open at 10am with a free pancake breakfast, followed by a family performance by The Nields from 11am-12noon. Admission is $12/Adult; $6/Kids ages 3-6; $35/Families of 4 or more. Infants-2: Free.) All proceeds benefit Hilltown Families and Flywheel, two Western Massachusetts nonprofits.

Bulletin Board

Nov 18

Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, November 18, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include circle time with song, movement and story; activity time with Montessori materials; and time for questions, more music and play. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Nov 19

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 19 in Hadley, MA! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 19. 10am-3pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov 19

Art Supporting Music – The annual Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School (82 Industrial Blvd) in Turners Falls on Saturday, November 19th from 9am-3:30pm. This juried craft fair features over 65 artists & craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. All proceeds benefit the FCTS Music Department and award-winning FCTS Renegades Drumline. Support the annual FCTS food drive with 2 canned goods to donate to the drive, and receive a ticket to a special raffle drawing. Help make this the most successful food drive ever! Admission is free, free parking and completely ADA accessible. Lunch and baked goods available, prepared by FCTS culinary students.

Nov 20

Everyone Has a Voice concert, Northampton – Enjoy an afternoon of song as Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus teams up with Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion to perform songs by Sarah Lee’s grandfather, Woody Guthrie, and other folk legends! The Everyone Has a Voice concert takes place on Sunday, November 20, 3pm, at First Churches of Northampton. The concert unites singers with and without disabilities to work toward the common goal of performing in concert. Whole Children is a Pathlight program and provides social and recreation programs for kids and teens of all abilities, particularly those with special needs. The concert is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.wholechildren.org for tickets.

Nov 25

Holiday Happenings: Friday, November 25 from 10-5pm at the Springfield Museums. The Springfield Museums’ annual GingerbreadExhibit is one of the region’s best-loved traditions! This year’s theme is “HolidayMagic,” with gingerbread creations inspired by everyone’s favorite boy wizard. The exhibit’s will open on Friday, November 25th with a special “Holiday Happenings,” featuring a full day of family activities, performances, appearances by The Grinch, and the Lighting of the Quadrangle at 5pm. For information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Nov 25

CT Trolley Museum presents Winterfest 2016 and “The Tunnel of Lights” beginning Friday, November 25. Whether you ride a closed car or brave the cold to ride the open “electric sleigh,” they promise you a good time and one that you’ll remember for years. Join your motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols as the trolley makes its way through the “Tunnel of Lights.” When you return, head inside the Visitors Center which has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland complete with model trains, decorations galore and you can even buy a delicious cup of hot cocoa to sip as you enjoy the entertainment. Additionally, meet and pose for a picture with Santa and he will also have a gift for each child.

Open House: Dec 3

Saturday, Dec. 3rd: The Center School Admissions Open House, 10am-2pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire & Franklin counties. Please come explore the school on Saturday, Dec. 3rd for an Admissions Open House. Classrooms will be open and staff will be on hand with innovative projects planned for kids of all ages. Current parents and students will be in attendance to answer questions and share about the school. Light refreshments will be available for purchase. 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

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 Eventsand 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.

Featured Fall Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2016 Fall Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 19th – 25th, 2016

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 »

Saturday Morning Music Party: The Nields Perform to Benefit Hilltown Families & Flywheel

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with Pioneer Valley folk and rock favorites, The Nields!

The Nields will perform a special show for all ages at a fundraiser for Hilltown Families and Flywheel on Saturday, November 19, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective (43 Main Street) in Easthampton, MA.

Doors open at 10am with a free pancake breakfast, followed by a family performance by The Nields from 11am-12noon with alt-rock legends who in recent years have begun performing and recording music for families.

Admission is $12/Adult; $6/Kids ages 3-6; $35/Families of 4 or more, with proceeds benefit Hilltown Families and Flywheel, two Western Massachusetts non-profits. (Infants-2: Free.)

This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Living History Museums Bring the Holiday Season Alive!

Living History Museums Bring the Holiday Season Alive!

Step back in time to a simpler day when holiday celebrations involved cooking over an open fire and illuminating homes with candlelight – the holiday season offers opportunities to experience celebrations of the past at three different living history museums! Families can explore, watch demonstrations, and engage in hands-on activities in order to learn about the ways in which the holiday season was honored in early New England.

Modern technology has certainly had an impact on the ways we decorate for and celebrate the winter holidays – early winter in New England now involves strings of lights and blow-up snowmen rather than windows lit by candles and evergreens adorned with cranberry strings.

This holiday season, families can take a step back into the past, to a simpler time when holiday celebrations involved candles and open hearth cooking. By taking advantage of upcoming holiday-themed living history events, families can dive into the history and culture of western Massachusetts’ holidays past while adding a new tradition to their own celebrations! Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving: Through the Lens of Poetry, Art & Literature

Thanksgiving: Through the Lens of Poetry, Art & Literature

As mentioned in the Sept/Oct 2016 edition of Learning Ahead, food connects us. The gathering of community, family, and friends around the table for a shared meal is a meaningful way to spend time together in the spirit of sharing and collaboration through food. The Thanksgiving season is one that inspires us to reflect on the people and places for which we are thankful. It’s an opportunity to express gratitude collectively.

Today, the traditional Thanksgiving meal is a celebration of the harvest season. The dinner table features the autumn bounty produced by local farms. Customary foods often included in Thanksgiving meals include corn, turkey, cranberry sauce, and fall vegetables such as squash and pumpkin pie. In fact, the traditional New England dishes often included at the Thanksgiving table have even inspired poets in their literary musings.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner: Tips & Recipes

Dinner on Thanksgiving Day

Dinner on Thanksgiving Day is a meal when extended family and friends come together to celebrate and share the harvest.  It’s a holiday when we talk a lot about food, sharing cooking tips and family recipes.

In year’s past we ask our readers to share what they serve for their Thanksgiving Dinner and to offer cooking tips, starting with kitchen tips on how to cook a turkey, followed by a request for favorite vegetarian dishes to cook up too… Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Barbara Cohen’s “Molly’s Pilgrim”

Literary Guide for Barbara Cohen’s “Molly’s Pilgrim”

Download literary guide for Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen.

Set in the early 20th century, Molly’s Pilgrim illuminates the multiple meanings and cultural roots of the word pilgrim. The story features a Jewish family who immigrated to the United States from Russia, likely to flee the pogroms.

Molly, the title character, has just moved with her parents to a small and culturally homogenous community. She doesn’t yet speak English fluently, and her parents are even less fluent than she is. Molly’s biggest challenge is fitting in at school. As the only Jewish student, she is teased and taunted for her difference in appearance, her accent, and her lack of knowledge about American cultural traditions – especially Thanksgiving.  Read the rest of this entry »

Spread Kindness and Explore World Cultures Through Holiday Baking

Spread Kindness and Explore World Cultures Through Holiday Baking

‘Tis becoming to season to pay special attention to spreading kindness to those around us! Families can spread kindness by sharing homemade foods with neighbors, and can expand this activity to include studies of world cultures by baking foods enjoyed internationally!

While kindness should be spread all year long, the approaching holiday season presents an opportunity to share kindness more than ever! One way to accomplish this goal is by sharing food, which not only spreads kindness throughout your community but promotes non-commercial celebrations of the holidays and provides families with opportunities for hands-on learning about foods in cultures around the world.

Folks aiming to spread kindness in the form of homemade edibles can certainly choose any easily shared foods, but the best foods for sharing (and easiest to store and transport) are baked goods. In order to make the experience of kindness-sharing truly interdisciplinary, experiment with unfamiliar recipes whose origins lie in foreign cultures. Rather than whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, peruse the pages of an international baking or cookbook for recipes whose roots lie in another part of the world.   Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: November 14 – 18, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 14 – 18, 2016

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 Awaken Joy Episode with Lucy Kalantari (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Awaken Joy Episode with Lucy Kalantari

Awaken Joy Episode with Lucy Kalantari, presenting a collection of songs that are bound to put a skip in your step and a smile on your face. — www.lucykalantari.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 12 & 13, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Jazzy Ash’s Heebie Jeebies


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Cake – “Love You Madly” [Comfort Eagle]

  • Lucy Kalantari – “Pockets Full of Joy” [Pockets Full of Joy]

  • Ella Fitzgerald – “Blue Skies” [Wonderful]

  • Phil Harris – “Bare Necessities” [The Jungle Book Soundtrack]

  • Barry Louise Parker – “All I Want Is You” [My Brother Thinks He’s a Banana and Other Provocative Songs for Children]

  • Wreckless Eric – “Whole Wide World” [Wreckless Eric]

  • The Beatles – “I Feel Fine” – [Beatles ’65]

  • Lisa Brigantino – “I Gotta Find Me Something” [Wonder Wheel]
  • Jazzy Ash – “Heebie Jeebies” [Bon Voyage]

  • Gypsy Moon – “Life’s A Beach” [Single]

  • The Lovin Spoonful – “Daydream” [Daydream]

  • Mister G – “Ratones” [ABC Fiesta]

  • Queen – “Seaside Rendezvous” [A Night at the Opera]

  • Martha Reich – “I’d Rather Be Surprised” [Peace Harvest]

  • Bob Marley – “Three Little Birds” [B s for Bob]

  • Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could – “Tomorrow’s People” [Just Say Hi]

  • Lucy Kalantari – “A Fresh Start” [Pockets Full of Joy]

 
 [Original broadcast: July 18th & 19th, 2015]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary And Family Guide for November 12-13, 2016

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

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for November 12 – 18, 2016 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 32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mindfulness to Natural History. Día de los Muertos to Jake Shimabukuro, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Give a listen to find out what’s happening next weekend… it involves great music, dancing and free pancakes!

November 12th-18th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Mindfulness ♦  YogaNatural History MuseumsCultural StudiesDay of the Dead  SportsIce SkatingTheaterMusic Studies ♦  UkuleleOrnithologyLocal HistoryNatural HistoryComputer ScienceInternetPsychologyArchitectureFood StudiesNutritionDairy Farming ♦  Animal StudiesLiteracyBook Clubs

Family Volunteer Days

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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mindfulness to Natural History. Día de los Muertos to Jake Shimabukuro.

There is more to the phenomenon of bird chirping than simple mating messages. Bird songs evolve socially. Although species sing the same song, individual birds learn songs from their fathers and dialects develop regionally. Bird songs have also had a great impact on human music, and as a result, culture. On Tuesday, November 15 at 3pm, Professor of Biology David Spector will be discussing bird songs and the interplay between birds and human culture, at the Westhampton Public Library. Attendees will also have the change to sing along as the Beautiful Future Band performs new and familiar songs featuring the sounds of birds! Learn about ornithology and conservation efforts. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Community Meals to Community Sing. Guided Walks to Meditation. Contemporary Dance to Chrysantemum. 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 highlights this week: While it is known internationally, the Day of the Dead originated in Mexico, where it is celebrated as a public holiday. Día de los Muertos honors the deceased through the creation of altars and other traditions and ceremonies such as the creation of sugar skulls and catrina dolls. On Saturday, November 12, 10am-7pm, a Day of The Dead celebration will include art, performances, and workshops on how to create sugar skulls and memory boxes. Workshops will be held at the Flywheel Arts Collective. Music and dance performances will take place at the Brookside Cemetery. Bring a candle. 413-529-1440. Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


Mindfulness ♦  YogaNatural History MuseumsCultural StudiesDay of the Dead  SportsIce SkatingTheaterMusic Studies ♦  UkuleleOrnithologyLocal HistoryNatural HistoryComputer ScienceInternetPsychologyArchitectureFood StudiesNutritionDairy Farming ♦  Animal StudiesLiteracyBook Clubs


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


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Suggested Events for November 12th-18th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a creative mama, Hilltown Families has opened up a whole world of wondrous adventures for our family. Keep up the great work…it is so very appreciated.” – Abbe Laine Schiowitz (Shutesbury, 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

The Nields, Pioneer Valley folk and rock favorites, will perform a special show for all ages at a Saturday Morning Music Party fundraiser for Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective on Saturday, November 19, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel (43 Main St.) in Easthampton, MA. Doors open at 10am with a free pancake breakfast, followed by a family performance by The Nields from 11am-12noon. Admission is $12/Adult; $6/Kids ages 3-6; $35/Families of 4 or more. Infants-2: Free.) All proceeds benefit Hilltown Families and Flywheel, two Western Massachusetts nonprofits.

This event is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Bulletin Board

Nov 12

On Saturday, November 12, the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT, will hold its annual Veterans Day Tribute to Veterans and Active Military from 10am-4pm. Families will have the opportunity to talk with military veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Reps from local veteran organizations will be present, and a collection of personal care items such as disposable razors, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, eye drops, etc., will be received to donate to active military serving overseas. Veterans and active duty military are free and military families will receive 50% off admission. www.neam.org

Turtle Power! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Samurai Heroes at the Springfield Museums through May 14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, meet your samurai ancestors! A unique and imaginative exhibit that brings together original TMNT graphic novel art and the Museums’ own world-famous collection of Japanese artwork, arms and armor. There’s a Saturday morning cartoon area and samurai-inspired activities on assorted weekends, too! While you’re here, see the new Cats in Hats exhibit, with wonderfully whimsical illustrations by our region’s finest illustrators. For information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Nov 11, 21 & 22

Kids have no school on Veterans Day and the week of Thanksgiving? Send them to the CyclePottery studio in Florence where they can create beautiful handmade functional or decorative pottery just in time for the holidays too! For ages 9+. Veterans Day Workshop on Nov. 11 from 9am-3pm: Fee $120. Thanksgiving Vacation Week, Nov. 21st & 22nd, 9am-2pm: Fee $240. In addition to day-of instruction, the workshop fee includes the cost of post-workshop tasks, such as trimming, bisque-firing, glazing, and the final firing of student pieces. Private workshops and lessons available too! For more info or to register contact: kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594; CyclePottery, 225 Nonotuck St. Unit A, Florence, MA 01062

Nov 19

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 19 in Hadley, MA! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 19. 10am-3pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov 20

Everyone Has a Voice concert, Northampton – Enjoy an afternoon of song as Whole Children’s Joyful Chorus teams up with Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion to perform songs by Sarah Lee’s grandfather, Woody Guthrie, and other folk legends! The Everyone Has a Voice concert takes place on Sunday, November 20, 3pm, at First Churches of Northampton. The concert unites singers with and without disabilities to work toward the common goal of performing in concert. Whole Children is a Pathlight program and provides social and recreation programs for kids and teens of all abilities, particularly those with special needs. The concert is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.wholechildren.org for tickets.

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.

Join our team… Hilltown Families is hiring!

Featured Fall Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2016 Fall Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 12 – 18, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

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Saturday Morning Music Party with The Nields

Exploring Military History through Music

Exploring Military History through Music

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in the armed forces is a part of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). It is stationed at Fort Myer, VA. This unique military unit performs in uniforms based on those worn by the musicians of General George Washington’s Continental Army.  Uniforms from this time included black tricorn hats, white wigs, waistcoats, colonial coveralls, and distinct red regimental coats.

The corps features two historical music ensembles.  Watch this video and listen to The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps play historical music:

This interesting regiment recalls New England’s historic past through its music. As mentioned earlier, our state and region were a central part of the United States’ early formation. Massachusetts was one of the original colonies and many of the patriots that participated in the Revolutionary War were from Massachusetts. The music that the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps plays is the same music that once inspired the patriots serving in the Revolutionary War. As you participate in Veterans Day ceremonies, take a moment to listen to this early music and remember those who served this nation.

Learn more about this interesting regiment at www.fifeanddrum.army.mil.

[Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield]


Excerpt from Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Nov/Dec), a downloadable bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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Literary Lens: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Literary Lens: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

During the American Civil War, poet Walt Whitman spent time visiting hospitalized soldiers wounded on the battlefield.  He traveled with soldiers from one hospital to another and visited wounded soldiers daily.  As the war continued, Whitman resolved to stay in the Union and serve the wounded as they recovered from their injuries.  It was a critical moment in his life and greatly affected his poetry later.

Lifelong learners and self-directed teens are invited to read Whitman’s The Wound-Dresser along with Bart Wolffe’s reading of the same in this video file:

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Historical Re-Enactments Bring History to Life

Historical Re-Enactments Bring History to Life

Reenactment at Historic Deerfield.

Living history programs and events in Western Massachusetts happen all year round and include local historical re-enactors portraying the life of New Englanders centuries ago at encampments and school programs.  They often showcase the skills and activities of people during war time periods such as the American Revolutionary War or the Civil War.  Participating historians help to preserve the heritage of our region’s past and the study of American history.  In addition to encampments, some units engage in battle reenactments which are rehearsed recreations of actual battles.  Read the rest of this entry »

Featured Events: Veterans Day & Military History

Featured Events: Veterans Day & Military History

November 11th is Veterans Day, a national holiday that honors American veterans of all wars. The original date has great historical significance – the armistice that ended World War I was on November 11th, 1918.

Today, Veterans Day honors all of those who have dedicated themselves to serve our country in the armed forces. Given Massachusetts’ rich history and role in the formation of the United States from colonial and Revolutionary War times to our contemporary society today, this is a day to remember the soldiers from the past as well as those today who serve our nation. As a result, there are many ceremonies and parades that happen on Veterans Day in Western Massachusetts, such as the Springfield Veterans Day Parade as well as parades and ceremonies in Greenfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Pittsfield. The celebration and recognition of Veterans Day is a reminder of our local history, our region’s historic past, and all of the women and men who served and continue to serve our nation.  Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA

Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA

November 11th is the perfect chance to honor our Veterans, and there are many opportunities to do so.

When someone has lots of experience in a profession, we call them a veteran in their field – veteran teachers likely have years and years of experience, and veteran nurses have spent decades in healthcare. When we hear the word “veteran” without the name of a profession attached to it, however, it usually means only one specific thing – military veterans. While the term “veteran” is frequently associated with those former military members who have fought in wars, it actually applies to all honorably or medically discharged former military members who served for at least two years – regardless of whether or not they engaged in combat.

Veterans Day, a national holiday celebrated every year on November 11th, provides communities with the opportunity to learn about and offer appreciation for the service provided by military veterans. While many veterans fought in wars, many others served during times when the United States wasn’t engaged in combat and supported the country by participating in community projects, offering assistance during national disasters, and offering security to important government officials and locations. Regardless of your views regarding US participation in wars, Veterans Day serves as a time to thank those who have dedicated a part of their lives to serving their country.  Read the rest of this entry »

In Appreciation: 3 Ways to Practice Kindness and Teach Gratitude During the Holidays

Three Ways to Teach Gratitude in Time with the Season

With the many weekends of harvest festivals winding down and Thanksgiving right around the corner, the air is thick with the pumpkin spice aroma of, well, everything, and it is hard to miss that another season of thanks is upon us. While every day is an opportunity to be grateful, with children I find this season in particular can offer some prime opportunities to practice gratitude in unique ways. For my family, there are a few variations on familiar themes of gratitude that I have found work to teach both gratitude and interconnectedness, the latter of which helps teach how far our circles of gratitude really can reach.

This first practice is one I only recently learned (with many thanks to my mother-in-law, who introduced it to us during a recent visit). During her trip, I had finally got my Pinterest-deficient self in gear and had purchased some orange and black construction paper so the kids could make festive paper chains to string up in the house as decorations. As they worked on this project with my mother-in-law, she introduced a lovely idea that will heretofore become a ritual in our house. On each strip of cardboard, before you glue it in a ring and add it to the chain, you write something you are grateful for on it.  Read the rest of this entry »

Off the Mat: Election Edition – NO on Fear! YES on Love!

Election Eve: Tools for Hope and Love

Last Sunday found the three of us gluing felt feathers onto felt wings. Smile on my lips. He’s old enough to truly join in making his costume. I’m the jumpy one. Not one to be crafty. Why are you nervous, Mama?

I worry that it won’t look like the picture in your head and you’ll be disappointed. I want you to like it. In this simple case, acknowledging it was enough to dissipate my fear and open room for love.

Too often, fear becomes the guiding force, squeezing out love. Too often, my love for my child leads down the fear path. As if my worry can protect him.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weekdays in Western MA: November 7-11, 2016

Weekdays in Western MA:
November 7-11, 2016

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 Harvest Episode with Guest DJ, Story Laurie (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Harvest Episode with Guest DJ, Story Laurie

Autumn means harvest time in the northeastern United States. But what are people harvesting in other parts of the country, and around the world? Join guest DJ Story Laurie for some lively songs (including two that were written by elementary school kids!); a crazy tale about a girl sailing around the world on a cabbage; and we’ll even check in with some folks in the Philippines, Finland and Korea about what they’re harvesting right now. —  www.storylaurie.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
November 5th & 6th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO:  Story Laurie & Friends – Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Holy Modal Rounders – “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” [The Holy Modal Rounders 1 & 2]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Who Grew My Soup?” [single]
  • Taj Mahal – “Quavi, Quavi” [Shake Sugaree]
  • Palo – “Quimbombo” [This is Afro-Cuban Funk]
  • Harmonica Pocket – “Apple Apple” [Apple Apple]
  • Doug Elliott – “Creasy Greens” [Crawdads, Doodlebugs & Creasy Greens]
  • Dog on Fleas – “Ugly Fruit” [Bestest of the Best]
  • Mike & Peggy Seeger – “Oh, John The Rabbit” [American Folk Songs for Children]
  • Story Laurie – “The Cabbage That Sailed Around The World” [Live in Studio]
  • Field recording of a group of girls from Michoacan, Mexico, recorded by Henrietta Yurchenko – “La Bella Hortelana” [Latin American Children Game Songs]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch” [single]
  • Leadbelly – “Pick a Bale of Cotton” [Leadbelly Sings for Children]
  • Jay Ungar & Molly Mason – “Bound for Another Harvest Home” [Harvest Home]
  • Story Laurie & Friends – “Homegrown Tomatoes” [Groovin’ in the Garden]
  • Taj Mahal – “Annie’s Lover” [Giant Step]

Original broadcast: September 20th & 21st, 2014

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for November 5th & 6th, 2016

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

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for November 5th-11th, 2016 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 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Arrowheads. Evolutionary Biology to Rome., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

November 5-11, 2016

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MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

SustainabilityCollege ResourcesFiber ArtsTechonologyHorticulturePoliticsSeed SavingBotanyNative American HistoryArchitectureMusic StudiesGilded AgeWomen’s SuffrageSTEMLiteracyBiologyNature StudiesCivil WarWorld History

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Community-Based Educational Highlights: Chrysanthemums to Arrowheads. Evolutionary Biology to Rome.

Seed saving is a fantastic way to practice self sufficiency and resilience, and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning – the digging-in-the-dirt kind that leads to some serious discoveries. You can get started and learn about seed saving techniques on Saturday, November 5, 1pm-2:30pm, at Great Falls Discovery Center. You will learn what kind of seeds to buy, how to prevent cross pollination, wet and dry methods of seed saving and proper techniques of drying and storing seeds. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Chrysanthemums to ArrowheadsSusan B Anthony to Thomas Paine. Evolutionary Biology to Rome. 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 highlights this week:  Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory is in bloom this month for the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show!  Visitors to the greenhouses can learn about genetic diversity amongst plants and plant hybridization while viewing the beautiful flowers, which can be up to eight inches across.  Even the most amateur botanists will love the wide variety of color, pattern, shape, and size seen amongst the blooms. Read more in our post, Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Smith Offers Community-Based Learning.


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