Community-Based Service Learning Opportunity: Hilltown Holiday Help!

For more than twenty years local families have received help with gifts for their children through a community project called Hilltown Holiday Help. Children of families with low to moderate income in the hilltowns are eligible to receive clothing and toys.

This effort is organized by Hilltown Family Center and Hilltown Social Services programs in conjunction with the National Honor Society at Gateway Regional High School. Wish Lists will be available at Hilltown Community Center from Monday, October 29 through Monday, November 26th. Children who live in Blandford, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Russell, and Worthington, newborn through the age of twelve, may be eligible. Please bring proof of residency and birth certificates or social security cards for children. Gifts will be distributed on Thursday, December 13, 1 – 5pm, at Hilltown Community Center.

Look for the National Honor Society’s Boot Drive and collection on Saturday November 17th in downtown Huntington. Local businesses, schools, churches, organizations and area residents are invited to help with fundraising and shopping to provide gifts. We can help you give a gift to someone in need in our
local communities. Hilltown Holiday Help has also found recipients for holiday meals, cords of wood, help with utility bills, gift cards, gifts for teens and adults, and other items when provided.

If you are interested in donating or have questions, please call Susan at 413-667-2203 x 311 or Kim at 413-667-2203 x 310

Suggested Events for June 16th-22nd, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Father’s Day Weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: JUNE 16th & 17th

8 Featured Music CDs for Your Summer Family Road Trip. Enter to win the entire collection! Deadline to enter to win: Tuesday, June 26th by 7pm (EST).

Saturday, June 16th from 10am through Sunday – FAMILY CAMPING: Camp out at Barton Cove tonight!  Families can learn camping skills and explore the woods and water!  This is a great event for families with little to no camping experience – there will be tents available to borrow if needed, and tons of support with everything from setting up the tent to starting a cook fire, learning to tie knots to catching a fish!  There will also be fun family activities, like scavenger hunts, hiking, and more!  Registration required.  800-859-2960.  Northfield, MA.  ($$)

Saturday, June 16th at 11:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mass MoCA hosts a performance by The Jimmies, a pop-rock indie band for kids! Their music is fun for parents, too, and will likely inspire dancing. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, June 16th from 8-9:30pm – ENTOMOLOGY/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Families with kids ages 6+ can join Earthwork Programs for an interactive night of learning about (and searching for!) fireflies!  Families will also learn about how they can spend their summer being Citizen Scientists as part of the Museum of Science’s firefly watching program!  BYO flashlight.  Call to register.  413-522-0338.  Ashfield, MA.  ($$)

Sunday, June 17th from 9:30am-5pm – MUSIC/HISTORY: It’s Music and Art weekend at Old Sturbridge Village! There will be demonstrations of antique musical instruments, performances of 19th century dance and music by OSV’s singing and dancing groups, jaw harp lessons, storytelling, and craft activities. Great for kids interested in art and music history, and an interesting lesson on 19th century culture for all! Dads receive free admission. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 14th & 15th in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th

Saturday, June 23rd from 10am-4pm – HARVEST CELEBRATION: It’s lavender season!  Celebrate at the Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm.  Visitors can tour the farm, check out lavender products from local vendors, learn about uses for lavender by watching demonstrations, and take part in workshops to learn things like wreath making and flower art!  413-625-6439.  51 Hog Hollow Road.  Buckland, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, June 24th from 12noon-8pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Springfield Technical Community College hosts the first ever Springfield Vietnamese Festival!  The event is designed to share with the community information on Vietnamese culture and traditions!  There will be live Vietnamese music, a traditional Dragon Dance, games, activities for kids and a variety of food.  1 Armory Square.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

INNOVATION SCHOOL: Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Innovation School in September. It’s a cutting-edge program that transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413.634.5327 or visit online.

HOST FAMILIES: Joe Bock writes, “Share your summer with a young person from Spain! Homestaysusa offers Spanish children the opportunity to experience American culture by living with a host family for the month of July. We match ages, genders & interests to those of the host family. Students come to the area with a supervisor who is nearby & in contact the entire time. Host families receive $600 stipend, the student pays for extra activities, including camps & excursions. Hosting teens are invited to an exciting 2-day New York trip with the group. More info & testimonials at homestaysusa.org. Personal references available upon request. Become a host family & represent the Hilltown community to students from abroad. A summer you will always remember. joe@homestaysusa.org.”

PLANT STUDIES: Summer Intensives at Goldthread Organic Herb Farm. Let the aromatic air of the farm restore harmony and revive your senses while enjoying two hands-on, capacity building botanical medicine intensives at Goldthread this summer. In July join them for a multi-dimensional week long immersion into the aesthetics, qualities & manifestations of the Ayurvedic 5 elements that will give participants both a scholastic and deeply felt understanding of botanical medicine. In Sept, propagate, harvest, process, and study the botanical characteristics, medicinal properties and therapeutic uses of 25-30 major herbs grown at the farm during the Farm to Pharmacy Intensive with David Crow and William Siff. Dates, tuition and full details are on their website.

Valerie Casterline writes, “Are you a parent looking for a summer camp option that will keep your child stimulated and allow for lots of outside, nature based activities?  If yes, then RH Conwell Summer Camp is the right place for your family.  We have openings in our program that runs starting with the week of July 9th through the week of August 16th.  Our day runs from 8am to 4pm, accepting the age ranges of 4-12 years old.  Activities and projects will be planned with the input of the interests of the attending children. There will be the option of swimming at a life-guarded pool in the afternoons and weekly trips to the Worthington Library as part of our program.  For further information please contact Susan Warner at swarner@rhccec.org or call 413-238-5856.”

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

PARENT AIDE VOLUNTEER EFFORT: Become a Parent Aide! For over 31 years, the PAVE program has been providing home-based support to Hampshire Co. parents who are stressed & often isolated from a supportive community. The program’s goal is to strengthen & empower parents by giving them new tools to help them in their parenting journey. Compassion, common sense & the ability to listen to a parent are required. Berkshire Children & Families will provide the training & supervision. Volunteer 3-5 hours per week. Summer training now forming. No commitment required until training is completed. For more information, call Berkshire Children & Families 413-584-5690 x114 for Gail Fries, or x102 for Marylou Spaulding. Email gfries@bcfcma.org or mspaulding@bcfcma.org.

Francia Vieda Wisnewski writes, “”Each year on June 21st, United Way invites all citizens to “Live United” and take action in their communities. This year, United Way of Franklin County, in collaboration with Western Massachusetts Electric Company, will kick off their “Read.Learn.Succeed.” program on [June 21st] by holding a Summer Reading bag event on the Greenfield Town Common. Volunteers and staff will collect new and gently-used books for children aged pre-school through Grade 4 and stuff more than 1,000 bags for distribution. Contact the United Way of Franklin County (413-772-2168 or info@uw-fc.org) to learn how you can help.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
June 16th-22nd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ MarketsSummer Playgroups
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 9th-15th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Families can participate as citizen scientists this Saturday in Franklin County at the Northfield Town Forest BioBlitz. Volunteer to help identify the many different species of living things that are present in and around the forest with local experts. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: JUNE 9th & 10th

The 1st Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival will take place at the 3 Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen this Sunday, June 10 from 2-7pm… and Hilltown Families has a 4-pack of ticket to giveaway to one lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 06/08/12 @ 7pm (EST).

 Saturday, June 9th from 10am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the Deerfield River and its role within the community at Riverfest!  The event includes a parade (with mask-making for those who would like to participate beforehand), live music, an opportunity to learn about fly-tying, performances, and more!  Riverfest also brings Nickel Days – a celebration of the days when ice cream cost just a nickel!  Families can buy ice cream from the Snows NIce Cream truck for a nickel, then visit the trolley museum!  413-625-6628.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, June 9th from 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Eric Carle Museum is hosting the Children’s Book Festival Baseball Bonanza, a festival celebrating children’s books about baseball in conjunction with the exhibit “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.”  There will be a special presentation from members of the Negro League Baseball Players Association, as well as tons of activities for kids centered around the theme of baseball and baseball books!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

Saturday, June 9th from 1-5pm – CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: The second part of the Northfield Town Forest BioBlitz takes place Saturday afternoon!  Volunteer to help identify the many different species of living things that are present in the forest.  No experience is necessary – there will be tons of resources available to help with identification.  There will be lots of kids’ activities, too – kiddos can illustrate what they’ve found, and will get to learn how to identify trees, flowers, etc.  978-248-2055 ex 14.  Gulf Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, June 9th from 2-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s annual Bear Fest begins today!  The event is a celebration of local art, and the highlight is gigantic bears, artistically decorated by local artists, that will be on display around town through the summer.  Today’s kickoff event includes tons of fun activities, including live music, food, games, tastings of the official Bear Fest ice cream flavor, and, of course, the unveiling of the bears!  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, June 10th from 11am-3pm – FAMILY DAY: It’s Family Day at The Mount! Families can visit the historic home to learn about the life of Edith Wharton, its one-time resident. Explore the home and its gorgeous grounds, take part in a scavenger hunt, hear a story, and do other fun family activities. Bring a picnic! 413-551-5110. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

8 Featured Music CDs for Your Summer Family Road Trip. Enter to win the entire collection! Deadline to enter to win: Tuesday, June 26th by 7pm (EST).

Saturday, June 16th at 11:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mass MoCA hosts a performance by The Jimmies, a pop-rock indie band for kids!  Their music is fun for parents, too, and will likely inspire dancing.  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($) – Hilltown Families is giving away a family 4-pack of tickets along with 4 museum passes to one lucky subscriber to our eNewsletter.  Check your eNewsletter this week to find out how you can enter to win.  Not subscribed?  Do so now for free! Hilltown Families Weekly eNewsletter

Sunday, June 17th from 9:30am-5pm – MUSIC/HISTORY: It’s Music and Art weekend at Old Sturbridge Village!  There will be demonstrations of antique musical instruments, performances of 19th century dance and music by OSV’s singing and dancing groups, jaw harp lessons, storytelling, and craft activities.  Great for kids interested in art and music history, and an interesting lesson on 19th century culture for all!  Dads receive free admission.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL: Hit a home run this weekend! Head to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst for the Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, June 9 from 10am-5pm for a Baseball Bonanza. Meet more than a dozen authors and artists of your favorite baseball books and learn about the history of Negro League Baseball from two of the league’s retired players. There’s an incredible line up of art activities, book signings, performances, raffles, and games — plus hot dogs, ice cream and facepainting. For the day’s schedule, visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100

BEAR FEST CELEBRATION: Easthampton Bear Fest Celebration Unveiling begins at 2 p.m. on June 9th. See 40 artist decorated bear sculptures throughout the city of Easthampton with a day of festivities including Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream flavor contest winner announcement and tasting. Dance along to music by the Expandable Brass Ensemble, Flava Evolution and BlueGrass Co-op. Enjoy a performance and Teddy Bear Picnic with Bill Shontz. Taste food by Glory of India and Sugar Bakers–Easthampton’s very own bakery on wheels. Have fun at Bearland—games and family fun. The festivities begin at 2p.m. at the Cottage St. Municipal Lot and continue throughout Easthampton and at the Easthampton Savings Bank Lawn until 8 p.m. Find out more at EasthamptonBearFest.com (Free)

Valerie Casterline writes, “Are you a parent looking for a summer camp option that will keep your child stimulated and allow for lots of outside, nature based activities?  If yes, then RH Conwell Summer Camp is the right place for your family.  We have openings in our program that runs starting with the week of July 9th through the week of August 16th.  Our day runs from 8am to 4pm, accepting the age ranges of 4-12 years old.  Activities and projects will be planned with the input of the interests of the attending children. There will be the option of swimming at a life-guarded pool in the afternoons and weekly trips to the Worthington Library as part of our program.  For further information please contact Susan Warner at swarner@rhccec.org or call 413-238-5856.”

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

PARENT WORKSHOP: On Tuesday, June 12 from 6:30-8:30pm, Talking to Your Kids About Sex. Having trouble finding a comfortable, productive way to talk to your kids about sex?  Hilltown Families is sponsoring a workshop for parents on approaching the subject with their children.  The event takes place at Cup and Top Cafe, and will be facilitated by Brooke Norton, a certified sex educator.  The talk will begin with talking with youngest kids, and progress through teens.  Sexuality, puberty, body image, and sexual identity will also be discussed.  413-585-0445.  1 North Main Street, Suite 2.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
June 9th-15th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 2nd-8th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Have you noticed all the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails fluttering about this spring, puddling in your compost and pollinating your early blooms?  The butterfly garden at the Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, MA is a lovely place to see them while enjoying this eccentric Hilltown landmark.   June 10th will be a great day to visit as it’s the same day the sanctuary will host the 1st Annual Hilltown Bluegrass Festival! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: JUNE 2nd & 3rd

In Franklin Co. on Saturday from 10am-2pm – FISHING: It’s Family Fish Day at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  Kids can learn about fishing – everything from fly tying to types of fish found locally.  No need to bring equipment, everything necessary will be provided!  There will also be art activities and chances to learn about local habitat.  If kids are interested in learning about the sport of fishing or doing some fishing of their own, this event is a way to get them started.  Takes place at Unity Park.  413-863-3221.  Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

In Berkshire Co. on Saturday from 10am-4pm – FAMILY DAY: Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary hosts Family Fun Day with live animal demonstrations, crafts, singing, guided nature walks, and opportunities to learn about honey bees and to participate in a Nature Quest. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA (FREE)

In Hampshire Co. on Saturday from 11am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Williamsburg Historical Society hosts “A Day to Look Back and Remember,” an event featuring many unique opportunities to learn about local history.  There will be a reenactment of a school lesson, a guided informational tour of the Williamsburg Reservoir Dam, historical exhibits, and intergenerational conversations about community events past and present.  413-268-7757.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

In Hampshire Co. on Sunday from 11am-3:30pm – ECOLOGY/HISTORY: Sunday is the 5th annual Fort River Celebration Day! There will be educational activities and displays, all designed to teach the community about the river’s history, the organisms it is home to, and its role within the community. There will also be a rubber ducky race, and a canoe ride from 2-3:30. Takes place at Groff Park. Mill Lane. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

In Hampden Co. on Sunday at 2pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: See Beethoven’s Wig performed live at the Wistariahurst Museum!  Musician Richard Perlmutter has created silly lyrics to accompany well-known classical music as a way to introduce classical music to kids.  Fun and educational!  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, June 9th from 9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help to sustain and maintain an important community resource at Red Gate Farm’s volunteer day!  Families can visit the farm to help out with all kinds of different tasks, from planting and weeding in the garden to preparing the farm’s program building for summer events.  Snacks provided for volunteers.  Helping out at the farm can help kids to appreciate all that is offered there!  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, June 9th from 10am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the Deerfield River and its role within the community at Riverfest!  The event includes a parade (with mask-making for those who would like to participate beforehand), live music, an opportunity to learn about fly-tying, performances, and more!  413-625-6628.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, June 10th from 11am-3pm – FAMILY DAY: It’s Family Day at The Mount!  Families can visit the historic home to learn about the life of Edith Wharton, its one-time resident.  Explore the home and its gorgeous grounds, take part in a scavenger hunt, hear a story, and do other fun family activities.  Bring a picnic!  413-551-5110.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

MotherWoman writes, “Join our “MOMS ARE WORTH A MILLION!” Campaign. When you support a mother, you uplift her family. When you uplift her family, you strengthen their community. When you strengthen their community, you change the world. Want to help us change the world? Help us raise $10,000 towards scholarships for women leaders from low-income communities and professionals working for nonprofits to take the MotherWoman Support Group Facilitator Training. Watch this short video in which four mothers tell you how the Training has changed their lives as they navigated the struggles of motherhood. Each woman shares why she is now giving back to other mothers by leading a MotherWoman Support Group in her community. www.MotherWoman.org.”

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

BOYS TO MEN MENTORING: Boys to Men Mentoring Network. Boys between the ages of 12 and 17 can be matched with a male mentor. The Boys to Men experience gives young men higher self-esteem, empowered sense of self, and a greater capacity for compassion and empathy. Mentors go through a comprehensive training program, pass a background check, and agree to commit for one year. Boys are challenged and supported in new ways, and find their own integrity, courage, respect, passion, and leadership and they discover that they can access these qualities and put them to work. For more information visit www.boystomennewengland.org.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

YOUNG PARENTS: Support for young parents. Healthy Families is a free home-visiting support program for first- time parents, age 20 and under. Home Visitors provide parenting support at participant homes, as well as in groups with other first time pregnant and parenting teens. Activities are geared toward young parents’ interests, whether it be support groups on relationships or making special journals about their child’s first years of life. All services are voluntary and confidential. Spanish speaking home visitors are available. For more information, visit www.communityaction.us.

FRIENDS OF CHILDREN: Friends of Children, Inc. advocates to protect the basic human rights of all children to have a safe, consistent and nurturing environment in which to develop their full potential. Programs include court-appointed special advocates, mentoring to children who age out of the child-welfare system, foster transition support, assistance and guidance to parents in their role of advocate for their children, and community education. For more information, visit www.friendsofchildreninc.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
June 2nd-8th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 26th-June 1st, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair takes place this weekend, May 26th & 27th, 2012 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Enter to win a pairs of tickets to see Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Thursday, May 31st, 2012. Deadline to enter to win is Monday, 05/28/12 @ 7pm (EST).

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th from 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/WOOL: Learn about sheep shearing and sheep farming at Old Sturbridge Village’s Wool Days! Visitors can see sheep getting sheared, then view demonstrations of the entire process of turning the freshly cut wool into yarn, then woolen clothing! There will also be demonstrations of sheep dog herding (and duck and goat herding, too!), and exhibits and demonstrations of other animals farmed for fibers, like angora rabbits. Kids can learn about the history of textiles, as well as 19th century life in general. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th from 9am-5/4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE/STUDIES: The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair takes place this weekend at the Cummington Fairgrounds! The event is a great opportunity to learn about all things sheep-related – there will be tons of sheep around to visit, competitions of all sorts (including sheep dog herding), workshops galore, and fiber arts to view and/or purchase. Combine a trip to the festival with studies of local farming, local ecology and geology (why is our climate good for raising sheep?), and art (try out some fiber art of your own!). Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, May 29th from 7-9pm – COMMUNITY TALK: 93% of the American public wants the American government to require that GMO foods be labeled in grocery stores – however, despite this, it is not required. Learn about the reality of GMO foods on Tuesday, May 29th at the Meekins Library. Hilltown Families is presenting, Safe and Healthy Food Choices: Educating and Empowering Families in an Era of High-Tech Food Production, a community conversation with local food advocates Ed Stockman, Tony(a) Lemos, and Jennifer Hartley. The event will provide attendees with information on identifying GMO foods and making good choices for their families. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, June 2nd from 1-3pm – HISTORY/GAMES: Enjoy an afternoon of Victorian lawn games at the Wistariahurst Museum! Families can play and learn about many different games enjoyed by Victorian children. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, June 3rd from 11am-3:30pm – ECOLOGY/HISTORY: Today is the 5th annual Fort River Celebration Day! There will be educational activities and displays, all designed to teach the community about the river’s history, the organisms it is home to, and its role within the community. There will also be a rubber ducky race, and a canoe ride from 2-3:30. Takes place at Groff Park. Mill Lane. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Katywill Farm Community

FAMILY DAY: Don’t miss Family Day at Katywil Farm Community (katywil.com) in Colrain, MA on May 26 from 10am-1pm. See for yourself why ‘it takes a farm community to raise a child’. Come to info session and Q&A from 10-11. At 11am, Trevor the Games Man will entertain preK-adults, all ability levels, by leading games outdoors, guaranteed to be fun for all! Noon-1pm you will be ready for lunch after an active hour of games! The folks at Katywil will be making fire roasted pizzas in their cob oven (gluten-free pizzas available). If interested, tours available of the beautiful community and homes. Families are discovering why cohousing is a great way to raise a family!

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL: Experience the World on the Amherst Common, Memorial Day Weekend at the Cultural Survival Bazaar. A FREE Admission, International Festival of Native Arts & Culture Featuring artisans, products, & performers from around the world. Shop handmade, fairly traded art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, decor, tribal rugs & more. Enjoy FREE music performances, presentations, Native American storytelling, educational displays, craft-making demos and Tibetan cuisine. Click Here for Preview. Proceeds support Native artisans, fair trade & Cultural Survival’s non-profit work worldwide. For special features, artisan profiles, performance schedule, and other dates & locations visit their website at bazaar.cs.org. Amherst Common on Boltwood Ave. 10am-6pm.

MotherWoman writes, “Join our “MOMS ARE WORTH A MILLION!” Campaign. When you support a mother, you uplift her family. When you uplift her family, you strengthen their community. When you strengthen their community, you change the world. Want to help us change the world? Help us raise $10,000 towards scholarships for women leaders from low-income communities and professionals working for nonprofits to take the MotherWoman Support Group Facilitator Training. Watch this short video in which four mothers tell you how the Training has changed their lives as they navigated the struggles of motherhood. Each woman shares why she is now giving back to other mothers by leading a MotherWoman Support Group in her community. www.MotherWoman.org.”

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SUMMER BOWLING: The Kids Bowl Free Summer Bowling Program: Each child receives 2 FREE games of bowling every day, all summer. To register your family, go to www.KidsBowlFree.com, click on MA (or places you may be traveling to this summer) and then select the bowling centers at which you’d like to participate. There are three centers in Western MA that are participating, including: Canal Bowling Lanes in Southampton, Diamond Junction Bowling Lanes in Palmer, and French King Bowling Center in Erving. Register your kid(s) to receive free bowling passes. You can also sign up the adults and/or your older kids for the optional Family Pass which allows up to 4 adult family members including parents, grandparents, older siblings or an adult babysitter to join in the bowling fun too.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

CYCLING: MASS MoCA has discovered a way to provide environmentally friendly transportation for its visitors to explore North Adams and Williamstown with- bicycles! The museum now has a fleet of easy-to-ride bikes designed specifically for urban environments. There are even a couple kid-sized bikes! Rental is only $3 per hour- helmet included. There are plans in the works for a paved bike trail to Williamstown in the future. Enjoy a lovely morning touring the museum’s galleries, then head out on a bike into North Adams and explore the town! For more information, visit massmoca.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
May 26th-June 1st, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 19th-25th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Bubble play last weekend at the Hilltown Spring Festival. Click on the photo to see more images from an amazing day at the Cummington Fairgrounds with the Hilltown CDC! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

There are several plant sales happening this weekend! Click here to see our complete list for the spring.

Saturday, May 19th from 8am-4pm in Hampshire Co. – SPRING FESTIVAL: Celebrate spring at Laurel Park today!  The annual Spring Festival takes place today, and features a tag sale from 8am-12noon, and an afternoon of picnic-ing followed by Morris dancers, live music, and a maypole!  King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

Saturday, May 19th from 9am-4pm in Hampden Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Pay tribute to the history and cultural significance of railroads in Western MA at Chester on Track, an annual celebration!  The event begins with a parade, and will include live music, food, and chances to visit, explore, and learn about all sorts of trains.  Chester, MA.  (FREE)

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Michael Franti & Spearhead at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton!

Saturday, May 19th from 11am-2pm in Berkshire Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Head to Mass MoCA (with your bike!) for the BIKEfest Family Bike Rodeo!  The event is part of Transition North Berkshire’s month of bike-centric events, and features a bike challenge course, bike and helmet safety checks, a bike-themed storywalk, a bike parade, and more!  Celebrate bike culture and sustainable modes of transportation.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 20th at 10am Hampden Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 33rd annual Long Meddowe Days take place this weekend!  There are tons of fun events and learning opportunities.  Today, attractions include a book sale, live music, Scottish dancers, local vendors, and more!  Sponsored by the town’s historical society, the event celebrates Longmeadow’s history and culture.  Takes place on the town green on both Sat. & Sun. Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 20th at 4pm in Franklin Co – PUPPETS: Puppeteer Anna Sobel, of Talking Hands Puppets, presents “From the Puppet’s Mouth” at the Shutesbury Town Hall!  The show is a collection of songs and stories from her new CD.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th from 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/WOOL: Learn about sheep shearing and sheep farming at Old Sturbridge Village’s Wool Days!  Visitors can see sheep getting sheared, then view demonstrations of the entire process of turning the freshly cut wool into yarn, then woolen clothing!  There will also be demonstrations of sheep dog herding (and duck and goat herding, too!), and exhibits and demonstrations of other animals farmed for fibers, like angora rabbits.  Kids can learn about the history of textiles, as well as 19th century life in general.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th 9am-5/4pm – ANIMAL STUDIES/WOOL: The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair takes place this weekend at the Cummington Fairgrounds!  The event is a great opportunity to learn about all things sheep-related – there will be tons of sheep around to visit, competitions of all sorts (including sheep dog herding), workshops galore, and fiber arts to view and/or purchase.  Combine a trip to the festival with studies of local farming, local ecology and geology (why is our climate good for raising sheep?), and art (try out some fiber art of your own!).  Fairgrounds Road.  Cummington, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Katywill Farm Community

FAMILY DAY: Don’t miss Family Day at Katywil Farm Community (katywil.com) in Colrain, MA on May 26 from 10am-1pm. See for yourself why ‘it takes a farm community to raise a child’. Come to info session and Q&A from 10-11. At 11am, Trevor the Games Man will entertain preK-adults, all ability levels, by leading games outdoors, guaranteed to be fun for all! Noon-1pm you will be ready for lunch after an active hour of games! The folks at Katywil will be making fire roasted pizzas in their cob oven (gluten-free pizzas available). If interested, tours available of the beautiful community and homes. Families are discovering why cohousing is a great way to raise a family!

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALExperience the World on the Amherst Common, Memorial Day Weekend at the Cultural Survival Bazaar. A FREE Admission, International Festival of Native Arts & Culture Featuring artisans, products, & performers from around the world. Shop handmade, fairly traded art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, decor, tribal rugs & more. Enjoy FREE music performances, presentations, Native American storytelling, educational displays, craft-making demos and Tibetan cuisineClick Here for Preview.  Proceeds support Native artisans, fair trade & Cultural Survival’s non-profit work worldwide. For special features, artisan profiles, performance schedule, and other dates & locations visit their website at bazaar.cs.org. Amherst Common on Boltwood Ave. 10am-6pm.

featured serviceHOST FAMILIES: Joe Bock writes, “Share your summer with a young person from Spain! Homestaysusa offers Spanish children the opportunity to experience American culture by living with a host family for the month of July. We match ages, genders & interests to those of the host family. Students come to the area with a supervisor who is nearby & in contact the entire time. Host families receive $600 stipend, the student pays for extra activities, including camps & excursions. Hosting teens are invited to an exciting 2-day New York trip with the group. More info & testimonials at homestaysusa.org. Personal references available upon request. Become a host family & represent the Hilltown community to students from abroad. A summer you will always remember. joe@homestaysusa.org.”

MotherWoman writes, “Join our “MOMS ARE WORTH A MILLION!” Campaign.  When you support a mother, you uplift her family. When you uplift her family, you strengthen their community. When you strengthen their community, you change the world. Want to help us change the world?  Help us raise $10,000 towards scholarships for women leaders from low-income communities and professionals working for nonprofits to take the MotherWoman Support Group Facilitator Training.  Watch this short video in which four mothers tell you how the Training has changed their lives as they navigated the struggles of motherhood. Each woman shares why she is now giving back to other mothers by leading a MotherWoman Support Group in her community. www.MotherWoman.org.”

OPEN HOUSE: The Deerfield Academy Children’s School is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, May 22nd from 6-7 PM. Come see their school, meet their teachers and learn about their nurturing philosophy. Fall slots available for toddlers and preschoolers. Call Elizabeth Bertini-Franseen at 413-774-6626 for more information. 488 Greenfield Rd., Deerfield, MA (RT 5&10 across from Williams Sugar House).

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

Kyla Allon writes, “The Shelburne Falls Farmer’s Market will take place at The Baptist Corner Lot green every Friday from 2-6pm, Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The market is welcoming back many returning vendors as well as some incredible new additions. Expect to find seasonal vegetables, berries, mushrooms, bread, maple syrup, canned goods and specialty crops. Come hungry because there will be wood fired pizza cooked fresh at the market using local ingredients. For snacks, there will be kettle corn, cinnamon buns, maple candies, ice cream and more. We will also have many local crafters and artisans joining us with their handmade soaps, wool, wooden bowls, glass beads and more. Most markets will have music, demonstrations or activities so bring your family, a blanket and an empty basket and spend the evening with us! Looking forward to seeing you at our opening day on Friday, May 25th!”

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Pat Odiorne writes, “The Southwick History Museum, 86-88 College Highway, (Rtes. 10 & 202) will open for the season on Sunday, May 20 and will be open Sundays throughout the warm months.  Hours are 2 to 4. The museum has two buildings: the Moore House built in 1751 and the C.J. Gillett Cigar Factory built in 1872 that are open to the public. Both buildings are furnished with artifacts of the past–domestic, industrial, and agricultural. A library for research about Southwick history and local genealogy is also included.   Groups that would like to have a tour at other times may contact the museum at southwickhistory@yahoo.com or by mail at P.O. Box 323, Southwick, MA 01077 to make an appointment.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
May 19th-25th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 12th-18th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

What says thank you more than flowers? Celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday by taking her to one of the many gorgeous gardens dotted throughout Western Massachusetts. including the Bridge of Flower in Shelburne Falls, one of the Commonwealth’s most unusual and enchanting “gardens” is found in Franklin County. Click on the photo to read recommendations.   (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: 6TH ANNUAL HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL!

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival happens this Saturday, May 12 from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds! Entertainment will include live music, workshops, artists & artisans, local food, family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, Maypole, Morris Dancers, and much more!

Saturday, May 12th from 10am-7pm – SPRING FESTIVAL: Hilltown CDC has a fabulous lineup of local and regional musical favorites to perform again this year at the 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! There will be a family concert with Mister G at 11:15am and Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at 2pm. Also on the stage will be The Primate Fiasco, Misty Blues, The Boxcar Lilies, AstroBeast, Who’da Funkit, Lui Collins and Tony Vacca! There will also be a Maypole dance, Morris Dancers, Pachamama Puppets on the lawn, kids-made craft bazaar, music workshops, family contra dance, local food vendors, artisans and businesses. Proceeds benefit the social service and elder support programs of Hilltown CDC. 413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (>$)

Saturday, May 12th from 1-5pm – MUSIC WORKSHOPS: In addition to a great line up of live music on two stages, the Hilltown Spring Festival will feature four interactive music workshops for all ages. At 1 PM, Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots will lead an intergenerational, interactive Afro-Caribbean song and drum workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. At 2 PM, percussionist Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a “World Music” percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear. At 3 PM, singer and teacher Lui Collins will lead a Family Music Jam! And at 4 PM, in a hands-on workshop, families can make a wooden “harmonica” and a wacky, found-object drum set with percussionist Scott Kessel from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem. 413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (FREE w/festival entrance)

Saturday, May 12th from 5-7pm – FAMILY CONTRA-DANCE: New this year at the Hilltown Spring Festival is a family contra-dance featuring The Gaslight Tinkers, a new group that includes Peter Siegel and Zoe Darrow. They describe their music as “Afrobeat, Caribbean, breakbeat, funk, and Latin grooves meet traditional Northern Fiddle. It’s the future of the music of the past; it’s a live remix; it’ll move your feet and intrigue your mind.” Steve Howland will be the caller. 413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (>$, kids 12yo & under FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, May 19th from 10am-1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s Turtle Day at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary!  Learn all about turtles – kids will get to meet a live turtle, learn about local turtle species, and take a walk along the brook highlighting the area’s natural history.  Call to register.  413-584-3009.  Hampden, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, May 19th at 10am – ARBORICULTURE: Learn about old growth trees at the Bryant Homestead!  The Trustees of Reservations offer a chance for families to learn about Cummington’s white pine trees.  Supports learning about local ecology!  Call to register.  413-628-4485.  207 Bryant Road.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 20th from 2-4pm – HISTORY: Learn how a Victorian lady dressed – there were layers and layers, and piling them all together could get pretty complicated!  Presented by performance artist Kandie Carle, she will model clothes, and there will be a Victorian tea following the performance.  Great introduction to Victorian-era history and culture for kids of most ages.  413-357-8814.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

featured serviceHOST FAMILIES: Joe Bock writes, “Share your summer with a young person from Spain! Homestaysusa offers Spanish children the opportunity to experience American culture by living with a host family for the month of July.  We match ages, genders & interests to those of the host family. Students come to the area with a supervisor who is nearby & in contact the entire time. Host families receive $600 stipend, the student pays for extra activities, including camps & excursions. Hosting teens are invited to an exciting 2-day New York trip with the group. More info & testimonials at homestaysusa.org.  Personal references available upon request. Become a host family & represent the Hilltown community to students from abroad.  A summer you will always remember. joe@homestaysusa.org.”

CELEBRATING MOTHER’S: Arts Night Out: A Mother’s Day Celebration! Music, art & poetry about motherhood at Northampton Arts Night Out in Thornes Marketplace (2nd Level) on Friday, May 11th from 5-8pm. Come join The Nields as they perform songs from their new CD, The Full Catastrophe. Event to include a curated show of local artists (Donna Estabrooks, Robin Freedenfeld, Katy Schneider and others), poets (Amy Dryansky, Liz Friedman and others) and writers (Avi Nathman, Karen Bayne and others) honoring mothers and their contribution to the arts. Food by Paul & Elizabeth’s. Sponsored by Impish and MotherWoman.

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

MUSIC/CRAFTS: Join us on Saturday, May 12th at 10am. This month’s Saturday Morning Music Party at Flywheel Arts Collective isn’t only about music this time – but it does have bears (And pancakes.  So many pancakes.)!  The bears are for Easthampton’s Bear Fest, a celebration of local art.  There will be many bear-themed kids’ activities and crafts, and an episode of Pancake Mountain will be shown, followed by a dance party featuring DJ Beartronix.  Fun, furry, bear-y fun for the whole family.  (Plus sticky pancake fingers.  What more does a Saturday need!)  413-527-9800.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Mayor Alex B. Morse is seeking organizations/groups/individuals to participate in the City  Wide Clean Up scheduled for Saturday, May 19th from 10 – 1 pm. RSVP your organization’s  participation so that we may coordinate our efforts and provide participants with the necessary  equipment needed. Pizza at Heritage State Park to follow!! RSVP to Nilka Ortiz in the Mayor’s  Office at 413-322-5510 or by e-mail at ortizn@ci.holyoke.ma.us.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
May 12th-18th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 5th-11th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Youth artisans can participate in the Kids-Made Crafts Bazaar happening at the Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival next  Saturday, May 12th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. The Kids-Made Craft Bazaar allows children to participate directly in the Festival, rewards them for their creativity, and gives them some real-world experience showing and selling their work. Click on image to find out more!

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Saturday, May 5th from 11am-3pm in Berkshire Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the tradition of sheep shearing and fiber arts at the annual Sheep to Shawl festival, hosted by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation at Sheep Hill.  The event features sheep shearing and herding, and will also include a chance for visitors to learn how wool goes from clippings to clothes.  413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

Saturday, May 5th at 1pm in Hampshire Co. – FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Community Music Center presents Elizabeth Mitchell at the Eric Carle Museum!  A beloved children’s musician, Elizabeth Mitchell plays music that is beautiful, uplifting, and entertaining for the whole family.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

Saturday, May 5th from 1-3pm in Hampden Co.  – HISTORY: Enjoy a traditional Victorian tea and learn about etiquette at the Wistariahurst Museum!  Families can learn proper table manners, how to plan table conversation, and enjoy tea and treats.  413-522-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

Saturday, May 5th from 4-7pm in Franklin Co. – ART WALK: Stroll through downtown Shelburne Falls and see work made by dozens of local artists and artisans, all while enjoying the gorgeous bridge of flowers and views of the potholes!  Art Under the Stars is a unique opportunity to explore and see what’s being created locally.  Follow the shoes to guide you through the art walk, or create your own path.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 6th from 11am-4pm – RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Travel back to medieval times today at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual Renaissance Festival!  There will be fun for the whole family – great food, games, demonstrations, performances, etc.  Learning opportunities abound, too!  Kids can learn about medieval food, dress, traditions, speech, and more.  Takes place at the meadow at UMass.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds! Entertainment will include live music, workshops, artists & artisans, local food, family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, Maypole, Morris Dancers, and much more!

Saturday, May 12th from 10am-7pm – SPRING FESTIVAL:   Hilltown CDC has a fabulous lineup of local and regional musical favorites to perform again this year at the 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival!  There will be a family concert with Mister G at 11:15am and Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at 2pm. Also on the stage will be The Primate Fiasco, Misty Blues, The Boxcar Lilies, AstroBeast, Who’da Funkit, Lui Collins and Tony Vacca! There will also be a Maypole dance, Morris Dancers, Pachamama Puppets on the lawn, kids-made craft bazaar, music workshops, family contra dance, local food vendors, artisans and businesses.  Proceeds benefit the social service and elder support programs of Hilltown CDC. 413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (>$)

Saturday, May 12th from 1-5pm – MUSIC WORKSHOPS: In addition to a great line up of live music on two stages, the Hilltown Spring Festival will feature four interactive music workshops for all ages. At 1 PM, Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots will lead an intergenerational, interactive Afro-Caribbean song and drum workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. At 2 PM, percussionist Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a “World Music” percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear.  At 3 PM, singer and teacher Lui Collins will lead a Family Music Jam!  And at 4 PM, in a hands-on workshop, families can make a wooden “harmonica” and a wacky, found-object drum set with percussionist Scott Kessel from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem.  413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (FREE w/festival entrance)

Saturday, May 12th from 5-7pm – FAMILY CONTRA-DANCE: New this year at the Hilltown Spring Festival is a family contra-dance featuring The Gaslight Tinkers, a new group that includes Peter Siegel and Zoe Darrow. They describe their music as “Afrobeat, Caribbean, breakbeat, funk, and latin grooves meet traditional Northern Fiddle. It’s the future of the music of the past; it’s a live remix; it’ll move your feet and intrigue your mind.” Steve Howland will be the caller. 413-296-4536 x112 Cummington Fairgrounds. 97 Fairgrounds Rd. Cummington, MA (>$, kids 12yo & under FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

CHILD CARE: Jennifer Van Beckum writes, “There is currently an opening in the Waldorf Childcare Program which I offer in my home in Florence on Mon. and Tues., 1/2 or full day.  The program is based on routine and rhythm, which provide the children with a sense of security. During circle time, the children learn songs, rhymes and finger games.  Favorite activities include bread-baking, watercolor painting and gardening. Warm, home-made snack and lunch provided. There is plenty of time for play, indoors and out. I have 20 years of experience working in Waldorf early childhood programs. References available upon request. For more info., contact Jennifer Van Beckum at 413-586-0596 or javanbeckum@iglide.net.”

CELEBRATING MOTHER’S: Arts Night Out: A Mother’s Day Celebration! Music, art & poetry about motherhood at Northampton Arts Night Out in Thornes Marketplace (2nd Level) on Friday, May 11th from 5-8pm. Come join The Nields as they perform songs from their new CD, The Full Catastrophe. Event to include a curated show of local artists (Donna Estabrooks, Robin Freedenfeld, Katy Schneider and others), poets (Amy Dryansky, Liz Friedman and others) and writers (Avi Nathman, Karen Bayne and others) honoring mothers and their contribution to the arts. Food by Paul & Elizabeth’s. Sponsored by Impish and MotherWoman.

FILM FESTIVAL: Out! For Reel LGBT Film Series season Finale, Sat. May 5, 7 pm, presents new comedy “The Perfect Family” (PG) starring Kathleen Turner. Plus inspiration for LGBT youth: “Being Successful AND Being Yourself,” prominent leaders including Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Amherst College Pres. Biddy Martin, will talk about their successful careers and being publicly out as LGBT. Northampton High School, 380 Elm St. After Party follows (21+) at Diva’s, Northampton, catered hors d’oeuvres, dancing. “The Perfect Family“: a devout Catholic mother struggles with homophobia: her daughter is lesbian and about to marry her partner. Very funny, heartfelt story about love and acceptance healing a family. A film everyone can enjoy. Tickets/Trailer: OutForReel.org

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

RECYCLED RHYTHMS WORKSHOP: A Recycled Rhythms Workshop with percussionist Scott Kessel from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will take place at 4pm as part of the Hilltown Spring Festival next Sat., May 12th. Some supplies are needed for this workshop, and you can help. Supplies include any recycled item that is not sharp or dirty, such as tin cans, plastic jugs, yogurt cups, spring water bottles, small cardboard boxes.  Instead of taking your recycling to the transfer station, save your washed recyclable cans, jugs, bottles and boxes and bring them to Hilltown CDC or to the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12. In this hands-on workshop kids will recycle rhythms from around the world into beats of our own into a recycled band!  This workshop is ideal for 7-11yo kids. Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (FREE w/entrance)

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

USED CLOTHING SALE: S. A. Lewis writes, “Gently used clothing sale to benefit the Friends of Westhampton Public Library to be held on Sat., June 23 from 10AM- 3PM. Accepting donations of Women’s, Men’s & children’s clothing. No tears, stains, missing or broken zippers/buttons. Especially looking for Women’s: Dresses, suits, skirts, jackets. Men’s: Suits, shorts, summer shirts, Children’s: All ages dress clothes and everyday clothes. No accessories, shoes, or boots.  Drop off times at Westhampton Public Library: Thursdays May 17 & 31, June 7 & 21 at 3-6pm  Also looking for hangers and paper bags. Volunteers are needed, for sorting and organizing. Great opportunity for teenagers looking to do community service projects. Please call Bev Montague at 413-527-1068 to set up schedules.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
May 5th-11th, 2012

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Hilltown Challenge at the Meekins Library

Meekins Faces a Happy Challenge

Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA has a dedicated advocate! For the fourth year in a row, Goshen, MA resident Kay Warren is encouraging residents of surrounding communities to take her Hilltown Challenge and support the library that serves communities up and down the hills.

Library Director Lisa Wenner says, “Warren has once again generously issued a $1500 challenge—asking residents who especially live outside of Williamsburg to donate to the library. Warren will match their gifts with her own, essentially doubling the power of a gift from Hilltown residents.” Wenner adds “This is such a thoughtful way to encourage support among people who don’t live in town but who love and use the library.”

The current state of the economy and recent budget cuts have taken their toll on all libraries. Wenner says, “People understand this and want to help.” This year’s Hilltown Challenge is one part of the current annual appeal to Williamsburg and Haydenville residents and all Meekins and Haydenville Libraries users for the support that keeps the libraries’ collections and programs vital to the communities.

Warren has long been a devotee of public libraries. She recalled that “As a kid, I remember spending wonderful afternoons at the local library. It was fun to be an explorer, to check out books and find moments to enjoy them, to travel in time and space to other places in the world of the imagination.” Because her of her childhood library experiences, Warren finds the Meekins’ service as the local elementary school library particularly important.

The now familiar glass donation jar is in place at the Meekins. Wenner encourages patrons to stop by and adds that “donations to the annual fund from everyone in Williamsburg and our sister communities are welcome.”

For more information call: 413-268-7472; contact Daria D’Arienzo at: ddarienzo@cwmars.org or visit Meekins online at: www.meekins-library.org

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