Learn Local. Play Local.: Starfish to Glass Art. Social Movements to Rural Heritage.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsRural HeritageNew England HeritageAgricultural HistoryTextilesAgricultural Fair4-HSustainable LivingArt StudiesTeen ArtInstallation ArtVan GoghSocial MovementsPicture Book ArtGlass ArtMusic StudiesShape Note SingingSymphonyA CappellaClassical MusicCommunity ConcertLawn ConcertDance StudiesContemporary DanceFolkloreTheater StudiesShakespeareOutdoor PerformanceFairiesStarfishRabbitsBeaversAmphibiansGeologyAstronomySTEMComputer CodingArchitectureEconomicsCulinary DesignCommunity MealTea TimeBlueberriesPeachesHarvest SupperCreative Free-PlayParanormalRoller DerbyTai Chi & Aikido

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 17-23, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Chinese Painting to Bike Repair. Meteor Showers to Sturgeon Moon.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

New England HeritageAgriculture HistoryAgricultural FairsRural HeritageFarmers’MarketCountry FairApple OrchardBook SaleDowntown CelebrationLawn ConcertZoologyMammalsBatsBeaversReligious StudiesKirtanFolk TraditionsBike RepairTheaterShakespeareHansel & GretelMother GooseArt StudiesChinese PaintingVan GoghPicture Book ArtSocial MovementsReading To DogsLiteracyLiterary StudiesMusic StudiesMusic FestivalSymphonyClassicalContemporary DancePlacemakingCollaborative ConsumptionSustainabilitySkillshareCreative Free-PlayCommerceArchitectureAviationSTEMPhysicsYo-YoNatural HistoryAstronomyPlanetariumMeteor ShowerConstellationsSturgeon Moon

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 10-16, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Fairy Tale to Folk Stories. Cider Pairing to Agricultural History.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Revolutionary WarAgricultural HistoryNative American HeritageShaker FoodwaysBritish CultureBlacksmithingQi GongContemporary DanceMusic StudiesMusical InstrumentsMusic PerformanceClassical MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmTheater StudiesImmersive TheaterFairy TaleFolk StoriesLiterature in TranslationNutritional AnthropologyCider PairingTea TimeLobsterMarine BiologyBeaversOwlsNative SpeciesAstronomyEconomicsUrban EcologyRowingHelicopterBike RepairMagicParanormalRenaissance FairNative American FestivalSkillsharingFolk TraditionsCommunity MealIntergenerationalCreative Free-PlayPlacemakingCommercial Free

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, Aug 3-9, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Motorcycles to Skateboarding. Youth Theater to Family Concert.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsSkillsharingPreserving FruitPotteryFarmingTextile ArtsAgricultural HistoryLocal HistoryTransportation HistoryAviationBucklandDeerfieldSpringfieldMiddle AgesRenaissance FairGather In FestivalBlock PartyArt WalkMusic FestivalFamily Outdoor ConcertLawn ConcertJazzKlezmer MusicMusical InstrumentsBotanyEcologyFernsBirdsNative SpeciesStargazingSolar SystemTheater StudiesAutobiographicalMusicalYouth TheaterClowningPuppet TheaterMarionettesGhostsLiterature in TranslationContemporary DanceReading to DogsCanoeingLabyrinthSkateboardingBaseballMotorcyclesJetsChessKnitting

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 27-Aug 2, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Blueberry Pie to Tea Party. Nature-Based Learning to Placemaking.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Outdoor AdventuresWaterwaysCanoeingStargazingMountain HikeBoat CruiseBaseballCultural StudiesScottishShakerRural LivingIndigenous Heritage60s Pop CultureFolk TraditionsCanningEmily DickinsonEdith WhartonMary PoppinsStorytellingIce Cream SocialTea PartyBlueberry PieLocal HistoryColonial HistoryLiving HistoryAgricultureCanalsAstronomyAviationJetsPollinatorsMothsNative SpeciesWildlifeBeaversStarsOrnithologyEcologyMarine BiologyZoologyEntomologyRiversFamily PerformanceTheater StudiesExperiential TheaterFamily TheaterYouth TheaterMusicalImprovShakespeareContemporary DanceMusic StudiesLawn ConcertKlezmer

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 20-26, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Canoeing to Folk Traditions. Waterways to Shakers.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsFruit PreservesShaker GardeningMasonryMusic FestivalTown FairBeach PartyCommunity PicnicOutdoor FilmNature-Based LearningZoologyEntomologyOrnithologyEcologyGeologyCosmologyDaytime CanoeingEvening PaddleMoonlight Canoeing Guided HikingBeaversDragonfliesNative SpeciesWetlandsWaterwaysAviationLunar LandingSolar SystemTheater StudiesMusicalBiographical TheaterImmersive TheaterDance StudiesContemporary DanceMusic StudiesSwing MusicLawn ConcertDrummingKirtanReligious StudiesShakerLocal HistoryAgriculture4-HLiterary StudiesStorytellingReading to DogsSummer PlaygroupBaseballPostcardsMagic

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 13-19, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Beekeeping to Bird Watching. Natural History to Social Issues.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Literature In TranslationLiterary StudiesStorytimeButterfliesBeekeepingBird WatchingGeologyNatural HistoryMarine BiologyBiodiversityPond EcologyZoologyOrnithologyMycologyEcologyInvasive SpeciesApiculturistsService-Based LearningWild EdiblesGardeningCanoeingEvening PaddleGuided HikeAerodynamicsAviation HistoryLocal HistoryFrederick DouglassShakersDance StudiesReligion StudiesNutritional AnthropologyIce CreamTea TimePicnicSocial IssuesLawn ConcertOutdoor Film
Music FestivalFolk SongsMusicalFairy TaleBlack ComedyFamily ComedyCircus ArtsContemporary DanceAquariumMuseum AdventuresLibraryWatershed

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, July 6-12, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Independence Day to Summer Concerts. Geology to Zoology.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer ReadingLiterary StudiesLiterature In TranslationReading To DogsFarm AnimalsNative SpeciesWatershedOrnithologyNature-Based LearningLavender FestivalGarden TourManufacturing HistoryTextile HistoryLiving HistoryNew England HistoryAviation HistorySolar SystemStar GazingDinner TheaterMusicalPlayFairy TaleMary PoppinsInto The WoodsGuided HikeZoologyFamily ConcertCreative Free-PlayPlaygroupBaseballFireworks4th of JulyParadesFood Justice

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 29-July 5, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Learning through the Lens of Independence Day

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Learning through the Lens of Independence Day

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, June 24, 2019 with Sienna and Danny talking about hos Independence Day can support both interests and education as well as strengthening civic pride and a sense of place.

Click on the video below to view.

  • NATIONAL HOLIDAY: Annual events that celebrate the 4th of July support learning and community values.
  • EVENTS: Look for annual events to engage in, including parades & community firework displays.
  • RESOURES: Notice what community resources support these opportunities, including main streets, town commons, parks, stadiums, and civic organizations
  • SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: Learn about the world and national history behind fireworks and US celebrations and why we have parades and firework displays. Integrate STEM by exploring the science and chemistry behind pyrotechnics.
  • VALUES: Participating in annual events supports many community values, including civic pride, intergenerational engagement, placemaking, shared history, and sense of place.

Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).

Learn Local. Play Local.: Strawberries to Salsa Dancing. Lavender to Labyrinths.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Wild FoodsAstronomyAviationTransportationSTEMCollaborative ConsumptionOpen Studio TourState ParksCommunity PicnicLavender FestivalLabyrinthNaturalist ProgramCivic OrganizationsLocal HistoryColonial HistoryNautical HistorySummitsZinesPicture Book ArtsLiterary StudiesArt SuppliesFireworksBaseballTheater StudiesPodcastingMusicalLiterature In TranslationLawn ConcertGeologyInterpretive WalkOrnithologyEntomologySpidersFirefliesGoatsPigsCowsBeaversMagic

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 22-28, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Strawberries to Summer Solstice. Father’s Day to Community Celebrations.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Town CelebrationCommunity DayRiver CelebrationFaerie FestivalPride FestivalFather’s DayBaseballSummer SolsticeCommunity MealSkillsharingSustainabilityMedieval StudiesWorld StudiesMusic StudiesFolk MusicFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmFilm StudiesLiving HistoryExperiential LearningWalking TourArchitectureCulinary ArtsWild FoodStrawberriesFarmers’ MarketTheater StudiesImprovMusicalGeologyEgyptTransportationAviationHelicoptersTrolleysBeaversPigsDogsNaturalistPoetryMuseumsPlasticLeonardo da VinciPaleontologySolar EnergyService-Based LearningExperiential LearningSewingSummer Camp

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 15-21, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Music Studies to Geology. Creative Free Play to Early Childhood Education.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

PlacemakingCreative Free PlayCommunity MealsCommunity DayCanalsDamsMuralsCemeteryHydroelectricityTransportationFish MigrationLanguage DevelopmentEarly Childhood EducationContemporary ArtChinese Brush PaintingHerbalismWild EdiblesGarden TourFarmers’ MarketRhubarbBeekeepingVeterinary ScienceDogsPigsGoat CareReading to GoatsZinesStorywalkInterpretive WalkHistoric Walking ToursGuided ToursSocial TheaterMusic StudiesJewish/Jazz Music ♦ Jewish/African MusicBarbershop QuartetJazzFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmPhysics ♦ GeologyArchitectureNaturalistBaseball


These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 8-15, 2019. Click through, peruse our list below, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe! Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Scenic Byways to Guided Hikes. Asparagus to Pancakes.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

OccupationsRangerNaturalistAsparagusCommunity MealFood FestivalAgricultureOenologyFarmers’ MarketPancake BreakfastCollaborative ConsumptionPlacemakingBlock PartyLawn ConcertMarine BiologyBeginning NaturalistVernal PoolsWild EdiblesHerbal GardensHerbal MedicineFarm AnimalsBird WatchingGoatsPigsButterfliesPollinatorsScenic BywaysHikeBike SafetySummer PlaygroupStorytimeLifelong LearningToddlersArchitectureLiving HistoryLocal HistoryMilitia HistoryMedieval Studies19th-Century DanceHaitian DanceCircus MusicUkuleleYo YosAnglingEntomologyOrnithologyGeologyPictureBooksLiterature in TranslationWriting ContestPoetryOpen MicArt StudiesContemporary ArtFigure Drawing

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 1-7, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Wool History to Memorial Day. Waterfalls to Falcons.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

FalconsBird HousesArt FestivalSheep & WoolcraftWoolHistoryHerbalismFiberArtTextile HistoryLocal HistoryMedieval StudiesFood TrucksNutritional AnthropologyFarmers’ MarketsFarm AdventuresFarm TourComic BooksPicture Book ArtsBotanical IllustrationBook DesignSTEMPhysicsYoYo SchoolMarine BiologyGeologyDendrologyLabyrinthPlacemakingLawn ConcertScavenger HuntNature-Based LearningWaterfallsWalt WhitmanSojourner TruthCemetery TourNight HikeEcology

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 25-31, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Living History to Walking Tours. Volcanoes to Rivers.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

STE(A)MRoboticsPicture Book ArtsGraphic NovelsZinesLiterature in TranslationLibrary AdventuresPoetry WalkBird WalkGuided HikeScavenger HuntNatural HistoryRiversVolcanosWild FlowersPlant SaleHorticultureEcologyBotanyMycologyWild EdiblesCulinaryArtsCheese MakingMushroomsNative American HistoryLocalHistoryRussian HistoryLiving HistoryWalking TourGuided TourHistoric HomesArchitectureIndustrial HistoryHorologyCivicsEntrepreneurshipTransportationTrainsPlacemakingExperiential LearningPodcastingMusicalImprovPlay ReadingComedyYouth CircusFamily MusicLawn ConcertBaby Sign LanguageParent CafeBuddhismMindfulness

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 18-24, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Mother’s Day to Lady Bugs. Solar Energy to Beekeeping.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Mother’s DayPancake BreakfastTea TimeFood HistoryCommunity MealCollaborative ConsumptionSustainabilitySolar EnergyLiving BuildingNature-Based LearningExperiential LearningCraft FairKnittingPlant SaleTeen GardeningWildflowersDendrologyOrnithologyBird HousesIchthyologyPaleontologyEntomologyLady BugsBeekeepingFish MigrationDinosaursAstronomyCosmologyBlacksmithingCemeteryRussian HistoryIranian CinemaFilm StudiesArt SkillsPrintmakingArt StudiesVan GoghChorusCommunity SingParenting WorkshopMental HealthNutrition

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 11-17, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Plastic Bottles to Electric Cars. Mushrooms to Engineers.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Bird WalkBird BandingBird FestivalFamily FestivalParents’ Night OutDivinityArchitectureLocal HistoryLabor HistorySilk HistoryWomen’s SuffrageRosie RevereGirls GardeningPlant SaleSoil ScienceElectric CarsNatural HistoryPhenologyMycologyBotanyForest BathingWild FlowersVolunteeringTown Clean-UpLGBTQNAACPADHDSTEMFood SecurityLiterature in TranslationPicture Book ArtComicsMuseum AdventuresThe ClarkWoodstockDouble Edge TheatreBasket WeavingTie-DyeTextilesStar WarsHarry Potter

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 4-10, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights  delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe! Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Folk Music to Poetry Cafe. Wildflowers to Bird Walks.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

PlacemakingSustainability FestivalCreative Free PlayPark Clean UpVolunteeringWalking MeditationMindful MeditationActivismSkillsharingFood StudiesCommunity SederChocolateBotanyWildflowersArbor DayEvolutionKnittingTextilesSheep ShearingOrnithologyBird WalkEntomologyHerpetologyFrogsSalamandersMason BeesAmerican WoodcockCollaborative ConsumptionCraftingArt SuppliesSecond Hand SaleMuseum AdventuresLibrary AdventuresArt StudiesMusicalYouth TheaterShakespeareMister RogersIndustryLawGovernmentLocal HistoryIndustrial HistoryArchitectureMusic StudiesFolk MusicDrummingWest African MusicIrish MusicStorysongsPoetry CafeParenting WorkshopEarly ChildhoodSocial MediaFirst Aid

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the wook, April 27-May 3, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights  delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Peeps to Jelly Beans. Spine Poetry to Easter Baskets.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Egg HuntsPassoverFarm AnimalsNative SpeciesOrnithologyHerpetologyBatsRural New England HistoryLiving HistoryLocal HistoryCemetery TourMasonryEngineeringSTEMComputer CodingPodcastingHealthy LivingFamily HikeMud SeasonOld Growth TreesEarth DayClimate ChangeGreen New DealGeoscienceMuseum AdventuresPaper CraftsStenciling ArtHarry PotterRembrandtShakespeareImprovMusical TheaterPuppetryFiber ArtsCraft SwapFilm StudiesCommunity SingPianoKlezmer MusicMusic StudiesCreative WritingSpelling BeeLanguage ArtsPublishingMangaCollaborative ConsumptionExperiential LearningToddlersTeensLifelong Learners

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 20-26, 2019… Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Raptors to Folk Art. Postcards to Pancakes.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

HarmonyKids TheaterFilm StudiesBroadway MusicalShakespeareDramaHolocaustMindfulness ImproveMeditative HikeExperiential LearningVolunteeringPark Clean-UpCitizen ScienceCommunity MealCreative Free-PlayNon-CommericalNature-Based LearningEarth Day FestivalSeed BombsWildflowersVernal PoolsNative SpeciesAnimal StudiesBatsHerpetologyBearsMigratory BirdsBirds of PreyRaptorsOrnithologySleddogsMarine BiologyFolk ArtPrintmakingChalk ArtPoetryBookfestGraphic NovelPicture BooksKids Book ClubEvening StorytimeTeen Escape RoomRevolutionary HistoryNative American StudiesPostcardsSoapmakingArcticPiratesEaster BunnyRevolutionary MusterPoliceTouch A TruckFire DepartmentMaker FaireComputer CodingRocketsKineticsPhysicsAeronautics

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 13-19, 2019… Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Slow Art to Matzo. Hero’s Journey to Bird Migrations.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

BalletBroadwayDramaLiterature in TranslationSnow WhiteBeauty and the BeastWomen’s HistoryLocal HistorySleddogsAmerican WoodcockVernal PoolsAmphibiansApril Vacation WeekSummer CampsMovie Theater Birthday PartyFamily CampParents’ Night OutDate NightBaby ShowerEducationEarly Childhood EducationWeek of the Young ChildNature-Based LearningCreative-Free PlaySound ArtMuseum AdventuresSlow Art DayEaster BunnyPassoverRamadanImmigrationRaceIslamic StudiesTEDx TalkHero’s JourneyAnatomy & PhysiologyOrnithologySTEMAstronomyAeronauticsKineticsParenting WorkshopTeen HealthHomeopathy5KRecyclingUpcyclingSustainabilitySeed ExchangeLandscape DesignGardeningFarm to SchoolPancakesMatzaString QuartetOrchestraContradanceFlamencoFiber ArtsAirplanesTrolley CarsMini GolfBasketballKites

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 6-12, 2019… Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Migration to Reconciliation Ecology. Duct Tape to Michelangelo.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Printmaking to Social Justice. Drumming to Farsi Funk.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Hamantaschen to Butter. Neon to Book History.

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Learning

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Learning

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, May 28, 2018, with Sienna and Lauren talking about how the Memorial Day is the perfect time to show appreciation towards those who have served our country through self-initiated activities while learning via community-based resources.


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).

Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Monday, June 25th, 2018!

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Spring Holidays as a Catalyst for Kindness

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Spring Holidays as a Catalyst for Kindness

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, April 30, 2018 with Sienna and Lauren talking about how the spring holidays are the perfect time to show kindness and appreciation towards others through self-initiated activities while learning via community-based resources.

Click on video for viewing.


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).

Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Monday, May 28th, 2018!

Sense of Place: Presidents’ Day & Freedom to Read

Think about this:

  • What books have you read that were once banned or on a challenged list?
  • What does the freedom to read mean to you?
  • What was the literacy rate among women in the United States in the 18th century? What was it later in the 19th century?
  • How can literacy, the right to read, and the value of reading literature help shape an ethical and compassionate democracy?

Valentine’s Day Through the Lens of Art & History

The Art, History & Paper of Valentines

The American valentine industry was started during the mid-19th century by Esther Howland, a Mt. Holyoke graduate and Worcester native. Often called “The Mother of the Valentine,” Howland was inspired by the beautiful, ornate valentines imported from England and suspected that there might be a market for them in the United States, as well. Through her father’s paper company, she sold her first valentines in 1848 and within a few years was able to begin her own business, the New England Valentine Company.

Mt. Holyoke College graduate, Esther Howland, started the American valentine industry with her beautiful paper valentines sourced through her father’s paper company in the mid-19th century.  Howland, also a Worcester native, began her own business 5 years later in 1848: The New England Valentine Company.

Howland’s valentines featured lacy, cut paper with ornate and decorative images. At Mt. Holyoke College’s Archives and Special Collections there are many examples of Howland’s valentines with designs heavily influenced by Victorian style. By the 1860’s, Esther was selling $100,000 worth of valentines a year.  (That’s over 2 million dollars today!)

In honor of this Mt. Holyoke alumna’s success and contribution to the history of paper goods and Valentine’s Day, the college’s Archives and Special Collections displays a student-curated exhibit case of valentines in the Library’s courtyard. Curious to see some of the collection’s valentines?  Take a look online at the Pinterest board, From MHC With Love.

Esther relied on her father’s local paper company to start the business.  In the mid-19th century these types of mills were more common. Which paper mill is the oldest?  That would be Crane & Co. in Dalton, MA!  Read the rest of this entry »

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