Learning Ahead: May 30th-June 3rd, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 21 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. This week, don’t miss our special listing of Memorial Day events, Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness!


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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 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 nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 28th-June 3rd, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Agriculture ♦ Culinary Arts ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ Physics ♦ Earth Science ♦ Puppetry ♦ Career Studies ♦ Native American Studies ♦ Intergenerational ♦ Children’s Literature ♦ Language Studies ♦ Ornithology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Tinkering ♦ Theater Arts ♦ Dance ♦ Memorial Day ♦ Music Studies ♦ Service-based Learning

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season
  2. Geocaching & Letterboxing Support Learning and Outdoor Adventures as a Family
  3. Let Them Grow: Backyard Bird Paradise Brings Toddlers Closer to Nature
  4. What to Play? Creative-Free Music Making!
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds.

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If you love wool, weaving, textiles, fiber arts, or animal husbandry, you won’t want to miss the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! Western MA is full of talented, crafty people, and opportunities to learn or practice your fiber arts skills with them abound throughout the year.

Rhubarb to woolcraft. Bubbles to adventure playgrounds. World music to Shakespeare. 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: Adventure playgrounds invite children to engage with a variety of open-ended, simple materials (think giant cardboard boxes, tubes, fabric, string, bales of hay) to create the play spaces and experiences they desire. Participating an adventure playground not only stimulates the imagination, it encourages collaboration and builds self-esteem. Visit The Play Workshop‘s pop up playground on Saturday, May 28, from noon until 4pm, to try out this fun, different, joyful type of creative free play! 413-588-2208. Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


AgricultureCulinary ArtsFiber ArtsAnimal HusbandryPhysicsEarth SciencePuppetryCareer StudiesNative American StudiesIntergenerationalChildren’s LiteratureLanguage StudiesOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTinkeringTheater ArtsDanceMemorial DayMusic StudiesService-based Learning


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Learning Ahead: May 23rd-27th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 21st & 22nd, 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 over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 21st-27th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 21st-27th, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Reborn! Nature Table for May
  2. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  3. Learning Landscapes: Empowering Children in Learning Critical Life Skills
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding

Art created by native peoples of the Pacific Northwest offers a vibrant and engaging look into Native cultures, folklore, history, and values. Visit this new exhibit, Finding Raven, at the Berkshire Museum on its opening day, and enjoy special interactive stations to enrich your understanding and appreciation of the techniques, stories, and identities behind the works of art!

Railroads to running. Cultural studies to coding. Gorges to gardening. 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: Storytelling is a highly empathetic process. When you combine the creative empathy involved in storytelling with the therapeutic effects of expressing yourself through pictures, the activity has a profound impact. Comic books and graphic novels do just this; they force artists and writers to think about people’s emotions, and the social impact of characters’ actions on each other. On Saturday, May 21st, 10:30am-1:30pm, The Lee Library is hosting a Comic Jam, a collaborative storytelling adventure for cartoonists of all ages and abilities. This fun-filled event will encourage participants to think critically, empathetically, and creatively. Each artist will contribute to other artists’ comics, resulting in a highly original work which could not be created by a single individual. No prior experience or ability is required. Participants can drop in any time. 413- 243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting


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Learning Ahead: May 16th-20th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 30 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 14th-15th, 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 65 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 14th-20th, 2106 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 57 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Engineering to Bicycling. Food Security to Fire-building, our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 14-20, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Ornithology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Community Meal ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Botany ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Local History ♦ STEAM ♦ Makerspace♦ Architecture ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Woodworking ♦ Shakespeare ♦ Language Arts ♦ Quilting ♦ Visual Arts♦ Youth Theater ♦ Music Studies ♦ Film Studies ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. How Does Your Sunscreen Rate?  
  2. Play Spring Walk Bingo!  
  3. Little Homes for Little Folks: Make Your Own Gnome Home
  4. DIY: Social Platform for Kids Aims to Build Confidence in Creativity
  5. 18 Story Books on Weather for Kids

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57 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Engineering to Bicycling. Food Security to Fire-building.

Yo-yos have been around for a long time, and their use is documented in many cultures, perhaps as far back as ancient Greece! These toys, along with jump ropes, hula hoops, and others, make up a subset of toys called “skill toys.” Experts, novices, and anyone else interested in this type of toy can participate in a fun skillsharing event this week!

Engineering to bicycling. Food security to fire-building. Canines to quilts. 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: The recent transit of Mercury may have piqued your and your family’s interest about astronomical events! How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with such accuracy? In short, they use mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of physics, and use algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, the speeds at which they are traveling, and other factors, and then develop predictions of various arrangements of celestial bodies with respect to Earth. You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. Come to the Springfield Museums on Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 14th, from 12pm-4pm, to engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a space sensory bin for kids. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Under 3 and museum members FREE)


OrnithologyCitizen ScienceCommunity MealService-based LearningBotanyCollaborative ConsumptionLocal HistorySTEAMMakerspaceArchitectureSkillsharingWoodworkingShakespeareLanguage ArtsQuiltingVisual ArtsYouth TheaterMusic StudiesFilm StudiesCultural Studies ♦ Parenting


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Learning Ahead: May 9th-13th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 26 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 7th-8th, 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 over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 7th-13th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mercury’s Transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber Arts to Food Trucks, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 7-13, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Gardening ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Ornithology ♦ Computer Science ♦ Astronomy ♦ Chemistry ♦ Ecology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Performing Arts ♦ Sewing ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Zoology ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Sustainability ♦ Collaborative Consumption♦ Visual Arts ♦ Local History ♦ Folklore ♦ LGBTQ ♦ Community Engagement ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. HFVS Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna (Radio Show/Podcast)
  2. Project 333 Challenges Consumerism While Supporting Style
  3. Parenting Green: 6 Reasons to Bike Ride with Your Family
  4. Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard
  5. Hindsight Parenting: Stepping Out of Motherhood and into Yourself

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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Mercury’s Transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber Arts to Food Trucks.

Chocolate lovers! Don't miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Chocolate lovers! Don’t miss a chance to learn about this tasty treat, as well as other culinary delights, this week!

Mercury’s transit to Mother’s Day. Fiber arts to food trucks. Pride to perennials. 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: Ornithology, the study of birds, encompasses many subtopics. People interested in studying birds may want to learn to identify them by sight or sound, analyze their communication through bird songs and behavior, protect endangered species, or become falconers.You can celebrate the spectrum of bird-related topics at the Valley Bird Festival! The festival begins on Saturday, May 7, with a bird walk at 6:30am, followed by family-friendly activities including a falconry demonstration at 8am. The first half of the festival will take place at Fort River Refuge. For more ornithological activities, head over to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary where the fun continues from 10:30am until 2pm. Play games, visit information tables, and witness live owl demonstrations at 11am and 1pm. For more information, visit the Hitchcock Center for the Environment website. 69 Moody Bridge Road, Hadley, MA, and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)


GardeningService-based LearningSkillsharingOrnithology ♦ Computer ScienceAstronomyChemistryEcologyCitizen SciencePerforming ArtsSewingFiber ArtsZoologyCultural StudiesSustainabilityCollaborative ConsumptionVisual ArtsLocal HistoryFolkloreLGBTQCommunity EngagementParenting


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Learning Ahead: May 2nd-6th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 26 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 30th & May 1st, 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 over 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 30th-May 6th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Poetry to Potluck. Homesteading to Oceanography, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 30-May 6, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Placemaking ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Community Meal ♦ Homesteading ♦ Gardening ♦ Nutrition ♦ Arts & Crafts ♦ Ornithology ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ STEAM ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Oceanography ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Civil Engineering ♦ Renaissance ♦ Music Studies ♦ Animation ♦ Performing Arts ♦ Storytelling ♦ Pottery ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Message of the Spring Peepers
  2. The Birds are Back!
  3. Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning
  4. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  5. Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence

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51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Poetry to Potluck. Homesteading to Oceanography.

The self-guided Asparagus Pottery Trail will weave you through the Hilltowns and surrounding areas and allow you to visit with some of Western MA's most talented ceramic artists. Love pottery? Learn more at our post, Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning!

The self-guided Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail will weave you through the beautiful springtime landscapes of the Hilltowns and surrounding areas and allow you to visit with some of Western MA’s most talented ceramic artists. Love pottery? Learn more at our post, Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning!

Pottery to potluck. Homesteading to oceanography. Civil engineering to a cappella. 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: Living history museums and events provide interesting insight into the ways in which we engage with historical information. Renaissance fairs first emerged in the United States in the 1950s, as part of a larger interest in medieval culture and music. Living history challenges actors and attendees to think about history beyond events, learning about customs, dress, accents and behaviors. On Sunday, May 1st, from 11am-4pm,  The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies hosts its 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival! Attendees of all ages can learn about jewelry making, pottery, weaving, and woodworking. There will be sword demonstrations, juggling, Tarot reading, dancing, and music. As part of this festival, The Theater Truck will be performing Commedia Grab Bag! in the Big Tent at 11:30. This interactive theatrical performance will allow audience members to determine what scenes and characters are played in a choose-your-own-adventure style performance. The book sale will allow for continued historical learning after the event. The full event schedule can be found on the The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies website. 413-577-3600. 650 E Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingCollaborative ConsumptionCommunity MealHomesteadingGardeningNutritionArts & CraftsOrnithologyAnimal HusbandrySTEAMNature StudiesCitizen ScienceOceanographyService-based LearningCivil EngineeringRenaissanceMusic StudiesAnimationPerforming ArtsStorytellingPotteryCultural StudiesParenting


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Learning Ahead: April 25th-29th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 24 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 23rd & 24th, 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 over 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 23rd-29th 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 42 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bikes to Botany. Farming to Financial Literacy., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 23rd-29th, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

 Biking ♦ Earth Day ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Wildflowers ♦ Soil Science ♦ Community Gardens ♦ Volunteering ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Evolution ♦ Trades ♦ Archaeology ♦ Abolition ♦ Books ♦ Classic Stories ♦ Circus Arts ♦ Diversity ♦ Stepdancing ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Support Language Art & Community Engagement Through Poetry
  2. Nature Table for April is Strong as a Rock
  3. Where to Get New/Used Bikes for the Family in Western MA
  4. Planting Seeds: Music that Celebrates Gardening
  5. Let’s Play: Overflowing Recycling Bins is an Opportunity for Creativity

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42 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bikes to Botany. Farming to Financial Literacy.

Love to paddle a canoe, go fishing, or watch wildlife? Learn more about how to enjoy your local riverways!

Love to paddle a canoe, go fishing, or watch wildlife? Learn more about how to enjoy your local riverways!

Bikes to botany. Farming to financial literacy. Earth Day to entomology. 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: Children’s book author and illustrator Grace Lin has said: “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Lin grew up in upstate New York and hers was the only Asian American family in her neighborhood. As a Taiwanese author drawing upon her personal experiences, Lin has enriched the world of children’s literature with greater diversity. Asian American children reading her books have the pleasure of feeling represented, and children of other cultures and backgrounds get to learn about experiences beyond their own. On Saturday, April 23, at 2pm, Lin will be giving a talk, discussing these issues as they relate to her picture books, early readers and middle grade novels, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6315. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission <$)


 Biking ♦ Earth DaySkillsharingCitizen ScienceWildflowersSoil ScienceCommunity GardensVolunteeringAnimal StudiesEvolutionTradesArchaeologyAbolitionBooksClassic StoriesCircus ArtsDiversityStepdancingParenting


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Learning Ahead: April 18th-22nd, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 29 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 16th & 17th, 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 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 16th-22nd, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 61 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Foraging to Forensics. Recycling to Raptors., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Service-based LearningAnimal StudiesOrnithologyPaleontologyJewelry-makingForensicsEngineeringHorticultureSustainabilityU.S. HistoryNative American CultureSouth American StudiesCulinary ArtsPoetryFishingYogaImprovStorytellingPuppetryMagicWorld MusicIntergenerationalParenting


Family Volunteer Days

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61 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Foraging to Forensics. Recycling to Raptors.

Trilliums are one of many spring ephemerals you can encounter on a springtime hike! Walk slowly and watch where you put your feet to protect these beautiful species.

Trilliums are one of many spring ephemerals you can encounter on a springtime hike! Walk slowly and watch where you put your feet to protect these beautiful species.

Foraging to forensics. Recycling to raptors. Poetry to postcards. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week: Learn sustainable living skills like beekeeping, gardening, and composting, while enjoying live entertainment at the Seventh Annual Amherst Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 16, 10am-4pm! Visitors can watch demonstrations on how to build a solar oven, how to make natural body-care products, or talk to local climate advocates about green energy and climate change. Hilltown Families will be represented at the festival, at a pop-up open house. Come to our table to find out about our resources for connecting community members of all ages to educational events, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. There will be live animals, face painting, jugglers and stilt walking on the common to keep you entertained as well as informed. Bring items for the Recycling Drive. For more information, visit the event website. 413-259-3149. Town Common, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Service-based LearningAnimal StudiesOrnithologyPaleontologyJewelry-makingForensicsEngineeringHorticultureSustainabilityU.S. HistoryNative American CultureSouth American StudiesCulinary ArtsPoetryFishingYogaImprovStorytellingPuppetryMagicWorld MusicIntergenerationalParenting


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Learning Ahead: April 11th-15th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 25 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 2nd & 3rd, 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 over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 9th-15th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 34 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stone Art to Electrical Engineering. Indonesian Culture to Invertebrates., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


EcologyEngineeringMathematicsLocal HistoryHydropowerLocal LandscapesAthleticsCreative WritingCollaborative ArtCircus ArtsPublic ArtPerforming ArtsPuppetryVolunteerismIntergenerationalParenting

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Recommended Fiction Titles with Autistic Characters
  2. RiverCulture: Another Success Story in the Western MA Arts Scene
  3. Over 25 Walking Tours Support Community-Based Education in Western MA
  4. Poem-Mobiles: Bizarre Cars & Humorous Rhymes
  5. Capture & Record Your Wildlife Encounters for Fun & for Science

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34 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stone Art to Electrical Engineering. Indonesian Culture to Invertebrates.

Who knew there was so much math and science at play when we're trying to get a hole-in-one on the mini golf course? Everyone in your family can put these skills to use at the Holyoke Public Library this week!

Who knew there was so much math and science at play when we’re trying to get a hole-in-one on the mini golf course? Everyone in your family can put these skills to use at the Holyoke Public Library this week!

Stone art to electrical engineering. Indonesian culture to invertebrates. Quidditch to food sculpture. 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: Collaborative art brings communities together and provides a visual example of what can be accomplished when people work together. Working in a large group moves creative expression off of any one individual and allows people to simply have fun, be free, and respond to what others have already drawn. The creative process takes on new dimensions and the continually-evolving piece of work is always a delight for all to see! On Saturday, April 9, 12pm-12am, bring your creative, collaborative spirit to the 2nd Annual Hilltown Draw Around at the Conwell Gym, where the space will be transformed into a 4,000 square foot space for collaborative community art. Proceeds benefit ARTeens. 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls, MA. (DONATION)


EcologyEngineeringMathematicsLocal HistoryHydropowerLocal LandscapesAthleticsCreative WritingCollaborative ArtCircus ArtsPublic ArtPerforming ArtsPuppetryVolunteerismIntergenerationalParenting


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Learning Ahead: April 4th-8th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 15 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 2nd & 3rd, 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 over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 2nd-8th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 2nd-8th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

FarmingLocal FoodNutritionPuppetryCultural StudiesArchaeologyMultimedia ArtImprovisationLocal HabitatsVisual ArtsEarly LiteracyAstronomyBiologyLGBTQIntergenerational

Family Volunteer Days

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FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Vision Boards Can Support Youth with Goals
  2. Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Vernal Pools
  3. Let’s Play: Creative-Free Play in the Spring
  4. 6 Remedies to the Pre-Dinner Snack Dilemma
  5. A Flock of New Bird Books Take Flight

 

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25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works.

Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works. Marionettes to electronica. 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!

red eft

Spring is here, and with it come myriad vernal pools. Explore the rich plant and animal life, like the red eft pictured here, in these ephemeral habitats before they’re gone for the year!

Featured community highlights this week:
What is it like to be an astronaut? What special features are included on flight suits? A visit to the Space Expo at New England Air Museum will help you answer these questions, and give you the opportunity to participate in interactive programs, see a planetarium show, and meet Story Musgrave! Musgrave, native Stockbridge resident, is currently physician and worked for 30 years as a NASA astronaut, flying on six spaceflight missions.He participated in STS-61, a 1993 mission to repair the Hubble Telescope. At this event you will see life-sized droids, examine a Mars spacesuit, build a rocket, touch a space rock and more! All ages welcome. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adults $. 4-11<$. Children under 3 FREE)


FarmingLocal FoodNutritionPuppetryCultural StudiesArchaeologyMultimedia ArtImprovisationLocal HabitatsVisual ArtsEarly LiteracyAstronomyBiologyLGBTQIntergenerational


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Learning Ahead: March 28th-April 1st, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 25 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 26th & 27th, 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 over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 26th-April 1st, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Acts of Kindness. Bat Houses to Sign Language., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

March 26-April 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Family VolunteeringCommunity MealOral HistoryBread BakingBridge EngineeringLocal LandscapesBatsOrnithologyMusic StudiesGender StudiesSign LanguageHistoryCollaborative ConsumptionArts & CraftsPhysicsComputer ScienceWeavingNutritionGrandparentingEaster

Family Volunteer Days

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Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

  1. Legends & Lore of Easter Icons
  2. Message of the Spring Peepers
  3. One Clover & A Bee: A Poem for Spring
  4. Video: Snake Eating an Egg
  5. Lifecycle Studies: Hatching Frog Eggs

 

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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Acts of Kindness. Bat Houses to Sign Language.

Bread is such a staple of so many diets, such an important food, that it has become synonymous with wealth in the English language. Words like “breadwinner” drive home the necessity of bread. The word “dough has been a slang term for money for centuries now. Join members of your community at the Pioneer Valley Breadhouse in South Hadley on Thursday, March 31, 4pm-6pm and learn how to make this famously important food.

Juice box engineering to bread baking. Bat houses to sign language. Service-based learning to acts of kindness. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week:  Celebrate National Nutrition Month at  Hilltown Families Family Volunteer Day with The Food Bank of Western MA on Saturday, March 26, 9am-11am. Volunteering together teaches children positive values, like kindness, empathy and tolerance, and opens up channels of communication between parent and child. Engaging children in community service can increase their participation as future volunteers, helping to create more resilient and sustainable communities. There will be a number of educational and hands-on activities for children and their caregivers. Register by calling 413-247-9738 x135. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)


 Family VolunteeringCommunity MealOral HistoryBread BakingBridge EngineeringLocal LandscapesBatsOrnithologyMusic StudiesGender StudiesSign LanguageHistoryCollaborative ConsumptionArts & CraftsPhysicsComputer ScienceWeavingNutritionGrandparentingEaster


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


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