100 Suggested Learning Ideas, Events & Resources for July 4-10, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With 10,000 opt-in subscribers and over 2.7 million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover learning ideas and community-based educational opportunities to explore at home and outdoors this weekend and next week.

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Bulletin Board


New England “OPEN” Air Museum reopens indoor & outdoor exhibit spaces! The New England Air Museum is the largest aviation museum in New England with 3 large hangars, outdoor exhibits, and 100+ aircraft ranging from early airships & flying machines to supersonic jets & helicopters. Open every day from 10am-3pm with public programs and activities ongoing in socially distanced style. With 90,000 square feet of aircraft hangars and wide-open hangar doors, there is no better place to go for safe, socially distanced fun. The outdoor space will remain open with 10 aircraft, and visitors can see another 50 aircraft indoors, plus dozens of engines and exhibits on various aspects of aviation history. The entire museum has been cleaned and sanitized with daily cleaning protocols to ensure the health & safety of all. Admission: $16/adults; $10/children 4-14yo; Free for ages 3 & under and Veteran. Located at 36 Perimeter Road in Windsor Locks, CT.

Jul 6 – Aug 21

Online Courses

Summit View Learning Summer Math Courses. Online. Summit View Learning can help individuals or small groups of students learn math well in an online setting. They offer personalized instruction with a focus on conceptual understanding and deep long term learning. Whether helping to prepare for school in the fall or accelerating math learning generally, SVL’s 4-week summer courses are customized to meet the needs of all students. Their summer courses include 8 one-hour virtual (real-time) lessons with their highly qualified and experienced instructors and optional hands-on activities that students can work on independently. Pricing: $350 for 1 student, $300/student for 2, $250/student for 3, $200/student for 4, contact them for groups over 4. Rolling admission accepted through July. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 21; Age Range of Campers: 9-18yo. Contact: 339-927-6191. jagron.svl@gmail.com. www.summitviewlearning.com/summer-math.

Online Program Now – Aug 14

Montessori School of Northampton Summer 2020 Virtual Programs. Online/Northampton, MA. Group classes w/individual lessons/instruction included. Half & full-day options offered. All virtual programs designed to balance engaging instructional content w/mindfulness for appropriate screen time intervals. For elementary & middle school students they offer online modules like Film & Videography, LEGO Engineering w/Play-Well TEKnologies, Social Justice Workshop, How to Make a Radio Play, Make Your Own Podcast, STEM Engineering, Ukulele instruction, Instrument Building, Dance, Visual Arts, Dungeons & Dragons, Graphic Novel/Comic Book Art, and Digital Animation & Coding workshops with Holyoke Codes. For 40+ years, MSN has offered engaging summer programs for children 18mo-8th grade in the tradition of Italian educator Maria Montessori. Dates: Jun 22-Aug 14; Age Range of Participants: 5-14yo. Contact: 413-563-4645. summer@northamptonmontessori.org. msn.coursestorm.com

Online Camp Now – Aug 28

Virtual Camp

GCC Summer Virtual STEAM Camps. Online. GCC has paired up with Black Rocket, a national leader in tech-education, to bring Virtual Summer STEAM Camps to kids ages 8-14. Taught live by teachers with expertise in STEAM, the online camps will run for 12 weeks. Offering courses on topics such as coding, game design, eSports, virtual reality, and more, Black Rocket’s camps invite students to engage in cutting-edge curriculum designed to encourage their imaginations & bring their ideas to life. Each week-long session is divided into 2 sections: 3-hour session in the morning for 8-11yo & 3-hours in the afternoon for 11-14yo. Virtual Campers will benefit from smaller break-out sessions with Black Rocket coaches and ongoing access to Black Rocket’s Creator Corps. Tuition starts at $149. Dates: Jun 8-Aug 28; Age Range of Campers: 8-14yo. Contact: 413-775-1661. colek@gcc.mass.edu. noncredit.gcc.mass.edu

Now Virtual!

Online Programs Jul 6 – 31

The Bement School Online Summer Programs. The Bement School is excited to offer remote summer enrichment opportunities for middle school-age students in the summer of 2020! Beginning in July, students will engage in academically-focused classes taught by Bement’s renowned faculty. Students will be challenged in small, specialized remote instruction with a focus on individual attention and skill-building that will allow participants to explore their passions or prepare for their upcoming school year. Each class will occur between July 6 and July 31 under a Monday-Friday model with instructor office hours available. Visit online to learn more! Dates: Jul 6-31; Age Range of Campers: 10-15yo. Contact: 413-774-7061 ♦ summer@bement.orgwww.bement.org/summer

Three virtual music programs this summer!

Jul 6 – Aug 16

Virtually Rock the Summer! Institute for the Musical Arts Rock the Summer 2020 to be held on-line. IMA’s on-line music programs offer girls & young women tools to confidently use computers to generate & share music that they create individually & together. Programs will utilize digital tools to enable students to work collaboratively on the development, home recording & virtual presentation of their music. IMA’s faculty is composed of seasoned musicians, producers & engineers, many of whom have been ground-breakers for women in the field of music. July 6-12 Explore Rock ‘n Roll, performance-based program for preteen girls 9–12yo; July 15-26 Rock ’n Roll Performance, designed for teen-aged girls 13-19yo; Aug 6-16 Recording, Engineering & Producing, designed for girls & young women 16-24yo. Programs culminate in virtual concerts/listening party. Dates: Jul 6-Aug 16; Age Range of Participants: Girls/Young Women 9-24yo. Contact: 413-268-3074. info@ima.org. www.ima.org

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July 4-10, 2020

Saturday, July 4Sunday, July 5
Monday, July 6Tuesday, July 7Wednesday, July 8
Thursday, July 9Friday, July 10

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Resources and opportunities below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm age appropriateness, registration requirements, and associated costs.

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25 Self-Guided Hikes in Western MA to Support Place-Based Learning

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Here is a list of self-guided hikes to do with your family or on your own. To support place-based learning, before you head out, conduct an online search about the natural and human history of some of these community-based educational resources. Bring with you field guides, sketchbooks, cameras, and magnifying glasses and spend the afternoon engaged in self-directed, nature-based learning!

Easy Hikes in Western MA:

  • Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield
  • Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke
  • Field Farm, Williamstown
  • Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley, Lenox
  • Mass Audubon Arcadia, Easthampton

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Land Trusts & Native Species: Community-Based Educational Resources to Support Self-Directed Learning

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Self-guided hikes are a great way to keep your family active outdoors and engaged in nature! They’re also excellent ways to support learning via community-based educational resources, including land trusts & native species!

Download this free interpretive trail guide Hilltown Families created with the Hilltown Land Trust for the Bradley Sanctuary trail in Williamsburg, MA. This guide goes beyond the typical map and route. It highlights interesting features and information from cultural, scientific, artistic, and historical perspectives. It encourages users to think about how their experience outdoors relates to other interests such as citizen science, history, literature, and social activism. Additionally, it complements the trail guides by providing additional resources and activities that extend your learning off the trail.

This guide takes hikers along the Red Oak Trail, a great walk to do with kids or on your own. On this trail, hikers will see the historical and environmental features of Bradley’s landscape and enjoy a lovely walk along Nichols Brook. One of the most interesting features of the Bradley Sanctuary is an old-growth Red Oak tree that is approximately 5 feet in diameter. Included in the guide is a formula for helping Bradley hikers hypothesize the tree’s age.

This property is available to the public year-round, thanks to Hilltown Land Trust’s land conservation efforts and the foresight of Hilltown residents who value the protection of our natural resources in perpetuity for future generations to visit and love. Each Hilltown Land Trust property has a story to tell. This partnership with Hilltown Families narrates this story for Bradley Sanctuary in Williamsburg, MA, and shows how our community places are connected to our personal stories and interests.

Use this guide to strengthen your relationship to the local land and experience these Hilltown forests and woods in new and inspiring ways.

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