Inspiration for Aspiring Woodworkers & Blacksmiths

Inspiration for Aspiring Woodworkers & Blacksmiths

The annual Woodworking and Age of Iron weekend at Hancock Shaker Village provides opportunities to learn about not only woodworking, blacksmithing and sculpture, but also history and photography, through demonstrations.

Blacksmithing has been around for many centuries, dating back to the Iron Age, and is the practice of forging metal for practical or decorative purposes.

Along side carpentry, both artisan skills not only build furniture, but all sorts of artistic and functional works, including instruments.

Thus, an interest in carpentry can intersect with music studies and art. Building your own furniture can also be part of a wider homesteading lifestyle.

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The Art & Science of Fermentation

Lessons in Local Food Preservation

Western Mass really drops an abundance of local food into our laps every summer! It’s an incredible bounty that brings with it a possibility of some waste, as storage can prove difficult. Enter Fermentation…a healthy and educational technique to repurpose delicious & healthy food into… delicious & healthy food! Did we mention fermentation is also educational? Involve your kids and they’ll get some experience with cellular biology & chemistry. Read on for some excellent insights in our post, Learn About Local Food & Chemistry through Fermentation.

[Photo credit: (cc) feministjulie]

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Summer Opportunities to Connect People to Place through Wild and Cultivated Food

Summer Opportunities to Connect People to Place through Wild and Cultivated Food

Summer offers learning opportunities that integrate culinary arts with botany and agriculture. In addition to many, year-round offerings of culinary workshops and resources in Western Massachusetts, seasonal events such as guided wild plant walks can open up new doorways of interests and add local, fresh ingredients to your cooking practice.

Whether you are interested in wild plant walks, gardening, farming, or cooking, there are ample opportunities for you and your family to connect with your community through food and plants. Here are several community-based educational resources and events to support your interests while engaging in your community this summer: Read the rest of this entry »

History Through the Lens of “What If?”

AlternateHistoryHub Promotes Consideration of Context in Studies of Human History

Every event in our own lives directly influences the next – and similarly, everything that we do as a country, a culture, and as humans influences all that comes after. Every major historical event – from battles and assassinations to natural disasters and deadly diseases – has shaped the events that follow it, making our timeline of human history not just a series of events, but a gradual and (so far) endless chain reaction of events.

So what if some of the major events that are part of our human timeline had never happened, or had happened differently?

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Off the Mat: Meditating and Parenting

Peace, Happiness and Fried Eggs

The object of my meditation.

Fried egg. Toast.

Brown flecks on pure white. Whiter than my t-shirt. I need a new white t-shirt. This one probably isn’t nice enough for work. What’s that stain? Marker? Blueberry? Can I tuck it in or do I need to change before my 1:15? What else is clean? I wonder if the washer is done.

Oh. The egg. The toast. Sunflower yellow yolk. Sunflowers didn’t grow this year. Too dry? Chipmunks eating the sprouts? Chipmunk darting through the garden now. Naturally still one moment and then scurrying someplace new.

Like my mind.

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Learning Ahead: August 1-5, 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.

This summer, 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!

HFVS Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops

Kevin and Casey of The Whizpops have put together a fun educational show about wildlife and imagination seamlessly weaving songs about animals both real and make-believe. Join them on a musical journey through endangered species, mustaches, and even unicorns! — www.thewhizpops.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 30th & 31st, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Black Footed Ferret by The Whizpops!


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)” [The Lion Sleeps Tonight]
  • The Pop Ups – “The Bat” [Radio Jungle]
  • The Whizpops – “Monarch” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • Caspar Babypants – “Butterfly Driving A Truck” [Sing Along!]
  • The Whizpops – “Pika” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • The Big Wu – “Kangaroo” [Tracking Buffalo Through The Bathroom]
  • The Pop Ups – “Elephant” [Radio Jungle]
  • The Whizpops – “Everything’s Better With A Mustache (Walrus Song)” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • FunkeyMonkeys – “Mustache” [[Mustache]
  • The Salamanders – “Please Don’t Eat My Guitar” [[The Salamanders]
  • Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” [The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) – Single]
  • The Whizpops – “Swift Fox” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • Blitzen Trapper – “Furr” [Furr]
  • Sallie Ford and the Outside Sound – “Not an Animal” [Dirty Radio]
  • Brent Holmes – “I Can’t Wait To Hibernate” [Bear Tunes for Kids]
  • Recess Monkey – “Lovestruck Unicorn” [Novelties]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 30th-31st, 2016

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

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 30th-August 5th 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 37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

July 30-August 5, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

ZoologyChiropterologyGuided Nature WalkArt StudiesEarth ScienceOceanographyCircus Arts ♦ UpcyclingMusic StudiesHistoryWitchcraft ♦ SportsLiteracyCreative Free PlaySustainabilityDance Studies

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. The Good Life: Summertime Downtime
  2. Soup’s On: Picky Eaters, Part 2
  3. When Dinosaurs Walked…Western Mass
  4. Journal-Making: Creative Outlet for Bringing Family Together
  5. Monarch Butterflies: The Life & Science

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History.

Mr. Vinny: The Bubble Guy will be at the Springfield Museums with his gigantic bubble wants and jokes. This program is free with museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History. Sustainability to Music Studies. 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: People of all ages are invited to Wild Woods Walk at Mount Holyoke Range State Park on Sunday, July 31, 2pm-3pm. A park interpreter will teach you about the plants and animals that call the park home. You will learn how to recognize some of them by sight and sound. Meet at the Notch Visitors Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


ZoologyChiropterologyGuided Nature WalkArt StudiesEarth ScienceOceanographyCircus ArtsUpcyclingMusic StudiesHistoryWitchcraftSportsLiteracyCreative Free PlaySustainabilityDance Studies


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


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Suggested Events for July 30th – Aug 5th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a fantastic resource for all local events and happenings for children of all ages. It is my go to source for entertainment and educational happenings along with ways to be involved in the community.” – Chris Curtis (South Hadley, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Jul 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Mon, Tues, & Thurs in Aug

Learn in Motion believes that physical activity plays the most important role in a child’s academic success, offering a variety of fun and educational sports classes for children ages 3-5! They provide an innovative, comfortable and engaging environment where kids can explore movement and be stimulated intellectually and socially. Register For Classes: Thursday’s (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1) from 4:30-5:30pm & 5:30-6:30pm at Look Park in Florence; Monday’s (8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29) or Tuesday’s (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30) from 5:30-6:30pm at Wilbraham Middle School. They also offer birthday parties, school and after-school programming and more! Visit www.learninmotionma.com to sign up and to find out more! Contact chrisgibaldi@gmail.com

Weds in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-Op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon from different local organizations and performers, including: Bugs, Birds & Beasts with musician and storyteller Tim Van Egmond on Aug 3; Cats & Dogs: Sing-Along Songs & Stories with puppeteer Anna Sobel from Talking Hands Theatre on Aug 10; Live animals on Aug 17 with Kelly More from North King Animal Clinic, Aug 24 with Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, and Aug 31 with Northampton Animal Control Officer, Shayla Howe. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history or nature. 330 North King Street.

Starting at 18 months at the Montessori School of Northampton: The Montessori School of Northampton is pleased to announce that it is now enrolling toddlers beginning at 18 months of age for fall 2016. The school offers full or half day programs with schedules available for as little as two or as many as five days per week. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher, and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect place for your toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

Aug 2

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 2nd at 3pm: Decorate Your Own Name Bunting! Campers will make and decorate their own name banners. With a flag for each letter of their name, campers will get to go home with the perfect banner for bedroom doors or above the bed! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 3 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Aug 5-7

Peter Pan! How, you may ask, how is everyone going to fly? Have no fear! This is PaintBox Theatre, where imaginations thrive. In fact, in our version the entire audience gets to fly. PaintBox favorite Troy Mercier (Zorro, Tarzan, and Roscoe, the dog) IS Peter Pan and Connor Paradis (last season’s Jim Hawkins) has reluctantly agreed to play Tiger Lily. This is going to be a rollicking good time. Performances are Fri. August 5, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. August 6 and 7, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 30-August 5, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: August 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
August 2016

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

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

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


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

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

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Visual Art in Western MA: August Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

Visual Art in Western MA:
August Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

Explore Western MA through the lens of visual art! Featured here are August art openings, closings & call for art at galleries, museums and public meeting places across the region, including: Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Mill Arts Project in Easthampton, Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, The Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, and the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield. Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Grow: Art Abandonment Supports Acts of Kindness Through Creative-Free Play

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Abandoned Art

Recently my brother got into painting rocks and leaving them for strangers to find. Art abandonment he calls it. I hadn’t heard of it, but now that I have, I thought this is a perfect way for a toddler to spread love, gain empathy and become more generous.  Not to mention a great way to brighten up the landscapes around town.

Toddlers have very little sense that they do not own the world; that every does NOT belong to them. Preschoolers are relinquishing this concept, but it’s never too early to start giving.  The concept is simple; paint rocks and leave them in areas where you know members of your child’s community can find them.  You can attach a little note or write on the back:

  • “You found free art, share it”
  • “Love is colorful”
  • “Generosity is learned”
  • “Share”
  • “Spread art, spread joy”

Or just put them out there as is. My brother chooses the dot pointillism approach. This is a great technique for the older toddler or preschooler to learn. By adding a single-color at a time in the form of a single dot can help a child experience art with extreme intention. They can focus on one color or a series of colors.

One child will group like colors together and others may create an image from multiple colors.  Some may choose to paint the rocks a solid color and that’s fine. You don’t have to restrict your child into a particular technique, instead encourage them to be as creative as they would like. Offer several different colors of paint and a bunch of different shape and size of rocks.

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Community-Based Nature Writing Opportunities this Summer

Intergenerational Nature Writing This Summer

Writing intersects with the natural world in many ways. Genres of nature writing include science writing, environmentally inspired literature, and works of environmental advocacy. Walks and hikes through the woods and mountains, journeys through rivers and streams, can inspire all types of artwork from poetry about the beauty of the natural world to imploring essays on our responsibility to preserve it.

And because of the natural beauty of our region, Western Massachusetts has a rich literary history. Famous authors such as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes all share ties to the Berkshire area. In addition, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, William Cullen Bryant, W.E.B. Du Bois- all hold historic ties to Western Massachusetts.

Those interested in learning about literary history should check out our post: 10 Resources for Literary Learning in Western MA. Others may want to follow in the footsteps of these authors, many of whom drew upon the natural surroundings of the Pioneer Valley in their writing.

Here are several upcoming community-based opportunities that support your interests:  Read the rest of this entry »

Open Sesame: Must-Read YA Summer Novel

Open Sesame: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

Raymie Nightingale: A Must-Read Summer Novel

The new middle-grade novel by beloved author, Kate DiCamillo, is the must-read novel of the summer. Creator of some of the best stories for children including, Because of Winn-Dixie (Candlewick, 2000), The Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick, 2003), and Flora & Ulysses (Candlewick, 2013), she is also a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and two-time winner of the Newberry Medal. With her newest work, Raymie Nightingale, DiCamillo gives the world a radiant story with quirky, lovable characters that will make your heart sing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Handbill & Callboard: Theater Studies Through Engagement in Western MA for August

Handbill & Callboard:
August Theater Productions and Call for Auditions in Western MA

Support a love for theater with these featured August theater productions in Western MA! A great way to engage in your community while supporting an interest in theater studies.

Contemporary drama at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, children’s musical at Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Shakeseare at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, youth theater at  The Williston Theater in Easthampton, community theater in the park in Pittsfield, comedic drama at Historic North Hall in Huntington, contemporary musical on the St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, comedic opera  on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, historical drama at the Chester Theatre Company in Chester, children’s theater at Red Door Theatre in Feeding Hills,  indoor-outdoor traveling spectacle at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, musical at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield! Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways to Explore Science with the Summer Sun

Hands-On Sun Science

Summer gives sunshine – so use it for science! Utilizing summer sun can mean making the most of the long days, but the endless rays offered this time of year lend themselves to sunshine-based science projects. Whether studying they physical characteristics of the sun, like it’s core, solar flares or sunspots, orthe relationship between light and heat, examining evaporation, or exploring UV radiation, sun-based science is best when conducted during the sun’s brightest, warmest, and strongest time of year!

ABOUT THE SUN

Take your new found appreciation for our sun and conduct experiments at home that lead towards learning about science through the lens of the summer sun:  Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Lessons of Drought

The Lessons of Drought

In the one hundred and twenty years that flow records have been kept for the Westfield River, never has it been as low as it is today. Drought is a phenomena we are going to experience more now and in the future because our climate is warming. How we learn about and deal with this planetary change will mean everything: the success or failure of our own species’ evolution-by-natural-selection depends on learning lessons that are taught only by our biome, which is to say by the great life our own is nested in.

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Historical Learning through Swordfighting

Swords Opens Up Opportunities for Historical Learning

Are your children or teens interested in history? What about swordfighting? Learning about history can be extra engaging with an intersecting interest, especially one which can be active and participatory. Here are community-based resources to learn about history through an interest in sword-fighting, along with fencing classes, theater and film: Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 25-29, 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.

This summer, 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

HFVS Novelty Music Episode with Guest DJ, Jack Forman from Recess Monkey (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Novelty Music Episode with Guest DJ, Jack Forman from Recess Monkey

Recess Monkey whisks listeners of the Hilltown Family Variety Show off on a trip to the Novelty Shop for a madcap hour of truly strange musical oddities! The band’s bassist frontman Jack Forman guides us through a collection of dust-covered rarities and instant classics, each guaranteed to out-weird the last! — www.recessmonkeytown.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 23rd & 24th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:Recess Monkey’s “Sweaty Yeti” from Novelties


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Tiny Tim – “Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moon Light” [God Bless Tiny Tim]
  • Recess Monkey – “Every Flavor” [Novelties]
  • Barnes & Barnes – “Fish Heads” [Fish Heads – Single]
  • Paul McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” [RAM]
  • Spike Jones & His City Slickers – “Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep” [The Jones Laughing Record]
  • Recess Monkey – “Wind Up Robot” [Novelties]
  • Leonard Nimoy – “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” [Spaced Out – The Best of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner]
  • Mike Phirman – “What Makes the Breakfast?” [Single]
  • Recess Monkey – “Sweaty Yeti” [Novelties]
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic – “Yoda” [Dare to be Stupid]
  • Parry Gripp – “Chimpanzee Riding on a Segway” [Single]
  • Alvin & the Chipmunks – “Witch Doctor” [Greatest Hits: Still Squeaky After All These Years]
  • Flight of the Conchords – “Foux du Fafa” [Flight of the Conchords]
  • Paul McCartney – “Monkberry Moon Delight” [RAM]

 

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 28th & 29th, 2016

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

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 23rd-29th 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 38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Comedy to Pottery. Sun Prints to Paleontology, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

July 23-29, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Outdoor Adventures ♦ Pottery ♦ Comedy ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ History ♦ Music Studies ♦Literacy ♦ Writing ♦ Technology ♦ 3D Printing ♦ Art Studies ♦ Figure Drawing ♦ Culture Studies ♦ Science ♦ Paleontology ♦ Crafts ♦ Sun PrintsBotany

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Shake it! ASL Support & Resources in Western MA
  2. Learn About Local Food & Chemistry through Fermentation
  3. Let’s Play: Supporting Literacy & Creative-Free Play with Sock Puppets!
  4. Fibonacci Sequence & Golden Ratio Drive Nature Based Education
  5. Empowering Our Girls: Inner Strength, Smarts & Resources for Girls

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Comedy to Pottery. Sun Prints to Paleontology.

Comedy to Pottery. Sun Prints to Paleontology. Writing to 3D Printing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

The 10th annual Hilltown Six Pottery Tour offers families the opportunity to visit potters’ studios, see their work, learn about the process of creating pottery, and ask questions. Visit nine studios across Western Massachusetts on Saturday, July 23, 10am-5pm and Sunday, July 23, 10am-5pm. Go to the website for a map and full schedule of events on this self-guided tour. Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire county, MA. (FREE)

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

Featured community highlight this week: Celebrate African American culture at the 43rd annual “Gather-In,” in Durant Park on Saturday, July 23, 12pm-6pm, a free neighborhood festival. Organized by the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP, this free, fun-filled community event for all ages celebrates the rich cultural traditions and deep roots of the African-American community in Berkshire County and is open to everyone. There will be games, activities, music, food, and a free children’s raffle for bikes. The second annual Jahda Classic Basketball Tournament will be held during the Gather-In. For more information call 413-464-9060. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE admission. MARKET/SALE)


Outdoor Adventures ♦ Pottery ♦ Comedy ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ History ♦ Music Studies ♦ Literacy ♦ Writing ♦ Technology ♦ 3D Printing ♦ Art Studies ♦ Figure Drawing ♦ Culture Studies ♦ Science ♦ Paleontology ♦ Crafts ♦ Sun PrintsBotany


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Suggested Events for July 23rd-29th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As someone new to the area, Hilltown Families has been a great source of information…I appreciate the balance of fun, community-service, and educational events discussed and promoted on the site. It is great to have a one-stop shop for this information!” – Laura Draucker (Amherst, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Fridays Jul 15 – Aug 16

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10 am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Tour the farm, sample what’s in season, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10 am until the end of August. First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group.

Jul 23 & 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 23rd and Saturday July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

July 26

Meet The Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2 at the Springfield Museums’ “Celebrate Seuss Day” on Tuesday July 26 (10am-2pm)! The many FREE activities scheduled that day include balloon sculpting, face painting, plus performances by the Boston Circus Guild. The Cat is coming to make a major announcement at 10am that Seuss fans won’t want to miss! It’s all part of the Summer Spectacular Family Series, with great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday through August 12th. For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jul 30

The Fab Faux returns to The Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington on Saturday, July 30 at 8pm! With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of Beatles`classics, The Fab Faux are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs – with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles. Imagine hearing complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Nowhere Man”, and “Paperback Writer”, reproduced only note-for-note! For tickets, call the box office at 413-528-0100 or go online at www.mahaiwe.org/TheFabFaux.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 22-24 & 29-30

It’s the greatest sports story of all time! Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise—PaintBox Theatre newcomer Michael King vs. The Hare—PaintBox favorite and Valley icon Kelsey Flynn. Yes, Kelsey’s coming out of retirement! She is dusting off her rabbit ears and hopping into the race. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory. Performances are Fri. July 22, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 23 and 24, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 29, 7pm, Sat. July 30, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 26

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 26th at 3pm: Improv Workshop with Lisa Papademetriou, Molly B. Burnham, and Heidi Hass. For lots of laughs and plenty of fun, join local authors Lisa Papademetriou and Molly B. Burnham and improv extraordinaire Heidi Hass for a workshop that will make you a master of improv! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 6 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 23-29, 2016

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

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Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club

Web-Based Space Explorations Blast Off Through NASA Kids’ Club

Offering a wealth of space-based information presented in a playful way, NASA’s online Kids’ Club presents opportunities for studies of a fascinating yet largely inaccessible realm. Relevant for most ages and easy to use, the Kids’ Club can be a great resource for space enthusiasts!

Space is a fascinating place, and a big part of its appeal is the fact that it’s just out of reach for most human beings. While curious kids aren’t very likely to be able to visit space anytime soon, NASA offers a kid-friendly online space filled with information about the many different missions, projects, and technologies that the organization is responsible for – allowing aspiring astronauts to learn about the ways in which humans research and explore the vast wilderness that is outer space.

The NASA Kids’ Club is an easy to use portal that connects kids to a wealth of information in many forms. The Kids’ Club offers everything from printable games and coloring pages to detailed descriptions of specific aircraft and their uses. Highlights of the website include a section dedicated to NASA’s current and recent missions and a photo gallery filled with images of the many people involved in NASA’s programs at work on a variety of tasks. Smaller sections within the site offer a look at nutrition and menu planning in space, the locations and inhabitants (both human and nonhuman) of NASA center’s across the country, the reasons behind the exploration that NASA guides, and the difference in time and gravity on each of the planets in our solar system.

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Nature’s Patterns Reveals Mathematical Reasoning

Nature’s Patterns Reveals Mathematical Reasoning

As you gaze into the center of a flower, did you know that you’re regarding an incredible example of mathematical reasoning? Nature’s patterns, as it happens, are deeply rooted in the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio.

It’s the ultimate in a marriage between the aesthetic beauty of nature, and its mathematical base that makes it make sense. Read on to discover what a learning opportunity this is for the family to share! There are many resources on-line, in your community, and of course in your backyard to explore these theories.

Read more and see great videos in our post, Fibonacci Sequence & Golden Ratio Drive Nature Based Education.

[Photo credit: (cc) Steve]

 

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Nature Centers and Events for Multi-Disciplinary Learning

Nature Centers and Events for Multi-Disciplinary Learning

Summer is a great time to get outdoors, and explore deep into the woods. Guided nature walks, and self-directed exploration of nature, can connect to many other interests. Nature centers are an essential resource for outdoor learning. For a list of Western Mass nature centers and their offerings, read our post, Local Nature Centers Connect Families to Nature Through Interpretive Programs. The following upcoming events use a love of nature as a jumping off point to encourage creative free play, environmental stewardship, and even art studies.

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Literary Guide for Molly Bang’s “Nobody Particular: One Woman’s Fight to Save the Bays”

Literary Guide for Molly Bang’s Nobody Particular: One Woman’s Fight to Save the Bays

Diane Wilson was always a strong woman. She made a living as a shrimper while raising five children, and relied on her own resilience and pure grit in order to raise her family. In 1989, shrimp became scarce in the bays of her hometown in Calhoun County, Texas. Diane worried about the size of her catch, and the future of the shrimp population in Texas’ bays. What would happen to the industry if the shrimp died out? How would she support her family?

Diane’s concerns turned into action when she learned about a connection between the lack of shrimp and the monstrous plastics manufacturing plants that dotted the coastline of her home county. At the time (1989), her county was responsible for over half of the state’s pollution – and it wasn’t just killing the shrimp. Diane saw the effects that the plants had all around her – in the local landscape and within the human community, too. And much to her horror, the companies causing environmental destruction and human health problems were not only being allowed to do so, they were about to be allowed to expand without any consideration of the environment impact that expansion would have.

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Support Art Studies this Summer with Community Classes and Art Exhibits

9 Summer Opportunities for Art Studies

To find a gallery exhibition which interests you, check out our post, Visual Art in Western MA: July Openings, Closings & Calls for Art. Glass sculptures, paintings, drawings, and fiber art can all be found throughout the Pioneer Valley this month.

In addition to gallery and museum exhibits for supporting art studies, classes and workshops are being offered this summer at several of our best community resources across the region, including the William Cullen Bryant Homstead in Cummington, Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the Springfield Museums in Springfield and even Eastworks in Easthampton. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 18-22, 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.

This summer, 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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