Suggested Events 09/01/07 – 09/07/07


First Day of School PictureSchool’s back in session, and for some families this will be the first time their kids are away from home. I have friends whose kids have been by their side since the day they were born, and I have friends whose children have been in either daycare or pre-school for a couple of days a week … and then there are kids who have been in full time daycare or pre-school since they were one. My daughter is in the latter group and she started kindergarten this week.

Before my daughter was born I considered homeschooling. Now that she’s five and has the energy of ten kangaroos, there is no way I could keep up with her. She doesn’t stop moving from the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep. “She’s very kinetic,” one of her pre-school teachers remarked.

CCL (c) CaroWallis1 - Dropped Ice Cream ConeHaving a kinetic child presents certain challenges … spilled milks, dropped ice cream cones, tumbles from high places, etc. Our most recent challenge is figuring out what to do with her after school. I’m foregoing the homeschooler route yet I am very interested in “after-schooling,” as are many parents. But now that summer is winding down, and the weather is cooling, there comes the difficulty of finding and coordinating (without “overscheduling”) appropriate activities in the late afternoon that can supplement and/or support her educational experience, including physical education.

One of the great aspects of the member and readership of Hilltown Families is that we are a mixed bag of educational modalities, with many great ideas and resources to contribute. HF is committed to supporting educational and enrichment programing through our rich communications network of supportive families.


  • If you would like to share activities with HF that would benefit after-schoolers and/or homeschoolers, post your suggested event in our comment box.
  • If you would like to see an event/activity happen in our area that would benefit our community of families, and would like to collaborate with HF, email
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If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at Comments are warmly welcomed!

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 09/01

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown FamiliesAll Weekend – COUNTY FAIR – Blandford Fair on North Street in Blandford, MA, from 08/31 – 09/03. Horse-Oxen-Pony Draws, entertainment, agricultural exhibits, and more. 848-2888 [Families] ($$)

8am – FAMILY RADIO – While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child [All ages] (Free)

9am-Noon – KIDS HOW-TO CLINIC – All Home Depot stores offer free “How-To Clinics” on the first Saturday of each month.Children accompanied by an adult construct projects from pre-fabricated kits. The kits are designed to be both educational and practical. Click here to find out where the nearest Home Depot store is to your home. [Ages 5-12] (Free)

10am-Noon – KIDS CRAFT CLASS – Michael’s in Hadley, MA, hosts kids craft classes every Saturday. 582.0784 [All Ages] ($2)

Sunday – 09/02

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families2pm-4pm – HISTORICAL MUSEUM – Every Sunday through 10/21 families can take their children to the Blacksmith Shop Museum in Westhampton, MA, to explore their collection and learn a little about the history of our area. (Ages 5 & up) (Free)

Monday – 09/03

Labor Day

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families1pm-5pm – I SPY – At the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA, there will be an activity program for kids using hands-on spy packs. 634.2244 [Ages 3-9] ($)

2pm – FAMILY MOVIE – Artic Tales will be screened at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. Rated G. A narrated documentary. Click here to read more about this movie. 443.7171 [Ages 5 and older] ($)

Tuesday – 09/04

KIDS CHORUS – The Hampshire Young People’s Chorus will be holding auditions for singers toaday and 09/11 in Amherst, MA. Call to schedule a time: 253.7346 [Ages 8-16] (Free)

3:30pm-5pm – THEATER CLASSES – Theater classes for children grades 3rd – 5th. There will be three 10 week sessions available from Sept.-June in Florence, MA. Call to register. 584.5562. [Ages 8-11] ($$$)

(c) Hilltown Families7pm – FAMILY RADIO – Tune-in between bath and bedtime to the Hilltown Families very own radio show, the Hilltown Family Variety Show, on WXOJ LP 103.3 FM, Valley Free Radio, out of Northampton, MA. [Families] (Free)

Wednesday – 09/05

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families9pm – PARENT COFFEE BREAK – After dropping the kids off at school or their homeschool program, drop into Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA. Not only do they have great coffee, they have a fantastic breakfast menu too. Connect with other parents. If you’d rather do some work, bring your laptop (they have wireless!) and let wait on you! To find out what’s happen over at Elmer’s, read Notes from Nan, a weekly update posted here on Hilltown Families. [Adults] ($)

3:30pm – GIRL’S SPORTS – After school hours take your girls to be inspired through sports by watching Hampshire Regional HS and Northampton HS Girls Scoccar teams play at Northampton HS, Northampton, MA. [Families] (Free)

Thursday – 09/06

Bold Red Tent Event11am-5pm – FOR MOTHERS – In front of First Churches in Northampton, MA, gather to tell your birth stories as part of the Bold Red Tent project. [Mothers] (Free)

3:30pm-5pm – THEATER CLASSES – Theater classes for children grades 1st & 2nd. There will be three 10 week sessions available from Sept.-June in Florence, MA. Call to register. 584.5562. [Ages 6-8] ($$$)

5:30pm – PARADE – The Franklin County Fair Parade will move through downtown Greenfield, MA. 774.4282 [Families] (Free)

Friday – 09/07

3pm – COUNTY FAIR – The Franklin County Fair opens and will proceed through the weekend in Greenfield, MA. 774.4282 [Families] ($$)

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families5pm – COMMUNITY DINNER – Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA, invites community members to come together to share dinner and conversation every Friday evening. Click here for menu 413.628.4003 [Families] ($)

5:30pm – BALLOON FESTIVAL – A Hot Air Balloon Festival will be happening at Look Park in Florence, MA, through the weekend. 584.5457 [Families] ($)

A play by Karen Brody7:30pm – FOR MOTHERS – Birth, a play at PACE in Easthampton, MA. The true story of eight powerful women giving birth in America today. Directed by Juniper Talbot. Seating is limited. 527.3700 [Adults, children welcomed] ($)

7:30pm – INDIAN DANCE -“Homeland(s): India and the Pioneer Valley” is an hour-long show that weaves sound, images and live contemporary Indian dance through the stories of six vastly different Pioneer Valley individuals, all of whom have a strong connection to India. At the Northampton High School in Northampton, MA.587.1374 [Families] (Free)

Anyday – Anytime

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5 Comments on “Suggested Events 09/01/07 – 09/07/07

  1. Parenting Groups Meet at Forbes Library!

    Pioneer Valley Attachment Parenting
    Forbes Library
    9:30 AM until 11:30 AM
    Meets every third Wednesday of the month

    A monthly meeting of parents interested in attachment parenting. We will
    discuss a different topic each month and have time for questions and
    support from other parents. For more information about this style of
    parenting, visit

    Location: Community Room

    La Leche League Toddler Meeting
    Forbes Library
    9:30 AM until 11:00 AM
    Meets every first and third Fridays of the month

    A meeting for mothers of nursing toddlers. Babies and kids of all ages
    are welcome.

    Location: Community Room

    Carried Child Northampton
    Forbes Library
    9:30 AM until 11:00 AM
    Meets every fourth Wednesday of the month

    Welcome to Carried Child Northampton! We are your local independent
    bebywearing support & advocacy group. Come join our friendly group to
    learn more about babywearing, share what you know with others, try out
    new carriers, and socialize with other parents! Our group is free, and
    membership is not required. We always welcome partners, babies, older
    kids, expectant parents, and anyone else with an interest in
    babywearing. Our group can be found on the web at

    Location: Community Room

  2. A couple of things happening at the Childrens Art Museum and more ongoing will be posted soon


    Mucho Gusta Spanish w/Laurie Davidson
    8 weeks, $95, siblings $85
    Start Sept 26 and end November 14
    3:00pm for 4-7year olds, 4:00pm for 0-5year olds

    Mucho Gusto Spanish classes are conducted in Spanish, with minimal English used when necessary to facilitate understanding.

    Classes are a combination of music and movement, stories, and circle games. While hearing the language, children make connections as they move their bodies, respond to visual aids such as puppets and pictures, and manipulate simple props. Mucho Gusto participants vary in language background, from parents with little or no prior exposure to Spanish to those who are raising their children bilingually.

    Special Events:

    Dr. Marmalaid, A Puppet Show
    Sept 15 2007, 11am Tickets:$12 (non members) $10 members

    Learning about Nature through music and performance…You have read all about the concept on Hilltown families now is another chance to participate in a performance locally. Dr. Marmalaid has traveled the world helping animals in distress. Her gentle, empowering methods leave everyone with a sense of well-being and adventure.

    She introduces the children to many puppet friends: a gorilla with a belly ache, a singing dinosaur, a snake that wants to be a kitty, a giraffe, crow, rabbit and many others. All the animals come to Marmalaid for help.

    The children become her assistants giving hugs, words of encouragement, and even translating for a lost puppy. A beautiful map is the backdrop for Dr. Marmalaid’s world. Her traveling “Emerge-And-See” Wagon will surprise and delight.

    Marmalade Productions specializes in educational and inspiring puppet / school shows. In addition to puppetry the company has an area of Roving Characters ideal for Festivals. Marmalade Productions is biased in the Berkshires.
    They recognize the importance of participation and value the input and reactions of their young audience. “until we play before a live audience we can’t fine tune a piece…we depend on the children to tell us, when we are holding their attention when we are losing them and when they need to hop up and participate in some way.” In a live performance the child feels that their presence has significance.

    For More info on Marmelade Productions:

    Local artist Mischa Epstien Alvarado returns to CAM
    Sat September 8 2007, 3pm-4:30pm $18 (members $15) All ages

    Last summer she was here “Cutting up the Sky” making collages of rocket ships, start and moons and sun! Fun was had by all who attended young and old! Now she returns for the first of a seasonally inspired series of collage workshop “Fall in New England”

    You can see/purchase her work at “Wings of Light” in Shelburne Falls and a few galleries/gift shops in Northampton.

    For an Artist Interview:
    For more info on her last workshop Cutting Up The Sky and samples of her work:

    For more info on any events at CAM
    Tony(a) Lemos
    The Children’s Art Museum

  3. Educational programming on the History Channel this week:


    The History Channel Announces “Take A Veteran to School Day”, a New
    National Initiative

    New Season Premiere. Digging for the Truth: Neanderthal! Monday,
    September 3rd at 9PM/8c

    The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang, Tuesday, September 4th at 8PM/7c

    Lost Worlds: Herod the Great, Wednesday, September 5th at 9PM/8c

    Star Wars, The Legacy Revealed, Thursday, September 6th at 10PM/9c

    The History Channel Announces “Take A Veteran to School Day”, a New National Initiative

    The History Channel has developed a Take A Veteran to School Day campaign to link veterans of all ages with young people in our schools and communities. This nationwide initiative will help strengthen ties in your communities and bring history to life in classrooms. The History Channel is encouraging people throughout the country to organize events at their schools in the weeks leading up to Monday, November 12th, the official Veterans Day holiday. To learn more about how to organize a Take a Veteran to School event at your school or in your community, log on to This website will include sample agendas, curriculum links, how-to guides, and information about how to work together with your local cable company to organize an event.

    This campaign is not only celebratory or commemorative, there are clear links to classroom course units and lesson plans. The Story of Veterans Day – a 25-minute documentary produced in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education – will be linked to state standards. A teacher’s guide to this program will be available on the website as well. This site will also include oral history guidelines for middle and high school students, and suggestions for in-class activities for grades K-12 related to this program. If you have any additional information, contact us at

    New Season Premiere! Digging for the Truth: Neanderthal!
    Monday, September 3rd at 9PM/8c

    In an exciting new season of Digging for the Truth, educators and their students are invited to travel throughout the world as some of the worlds most perplexing mysteries are explored on a quest for new insights into the past. A brand new set of ace hosts led by Hunter Ellis and Zay Harding traverse the earth far and wide throughout this season. Viewers will follow along as they take on the adventure of history in countless cities, across oceans, and in remote locales, often experiencing the danger of the unknown as they to unlock the truth.

    This premiere episode finds hosts Harding and Charles Ingram in Gibraltar, at the very edge of Europe, where scientists have discovered evidence that the Neanderthals may have existed for thousands of years longer than previously believed. As an archaic form of humans, Neanderthals have long been studied as a way of understanding the transformation of the modern day human species. In order to discover new information about the Neanderthal and their demise, the hosts of this episode examine their weapons, attempt to decode their DNA, and dive into underwater caves that may reveal the final story of their last years on earth. Educators and their students will find this episode to be a helpful introduction into understanding the development of humankind and the methods historians and scientists use to gain new information about societies of long ago.

    Curriculum Links:
    Digging for the Truth: Neanderthal! would be useful for courses and units on Global Studies, World History, Ancient Civilizations, and Science and Technology, and Archeology. It is appropriate for middle and high school. This documentary fulfills several National Standards as outlined by the National Council for History Education including: 1) Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation, 2) Comparative History of Major Developments, 3) Identifying Issues and Problems in the Past and, 4) Patterns of Social and Political Interaction.

    Special Clue Journal Available:

    Lost Worlds: Herod the Great
    Wednesday, September 5th at 9PM/8c

    King Herod of Judea is known for masterminding the construction of a series of amazing buildings, and laying the foundations for Jerusalem. This one hour episode in the Lost Worlds series charts the history of his most impressive projects, including his masterpiece, Herod’s Temple. Viewers will follow along as a team of historical detectives use evidence from recent excavations, scientific studies and historical documents to piece together clues to how exactly these ancient structures were built and how they looked upon completion. These buildings are brought to life through colorful computer graphics which allow viewers to fly over the ancient city of Jerusalem, visit the bustling streets, and walk through the halls and peer into these vanished worlds. Educators and their students will find that this program offers an excellent opportunity to visualize the growth of this important ancient civilization.

    Curriculum Links:
    Lost Worlds: Herod the Great would be useful for courses and units on Global Studies, World History, Ancient Civilizations, and Science and Technology, and Archeology. It is appropriate for middle and high school. This documentary fulfills several National Standards as outlined by the National Council for History Education including: 1) Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation, 2) Comparative History of Major Developments, 3) Identifying Issues and Problems in the Past.

    Special Website Available:

    The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang
    Tuesday, September 4th at 8PM/7c

    The Universe series offers an epic exploration of the universe and its mysteries, providing an in-depth analysis from the planets to the stars to the edge of the known. As research into our universe has become more sophisticated, new secrets are yielded which help us understand our planet and the world beyond. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars, NASA probes slam into comets at hyper speed, and deep space telescopes capture amazing images of the birth of stars and their free-fall into black holes. This compelling one hour episode entitled Beyond the Big Bang examines the theories scientists have developed to explain the origins of our universe. Interviews with the world’s leading physicists and historians are woven together with animated recreations and first-person accounts to explain concepts such as the development of galaxies, the Educators and their students will find that this series provides compelling images and data, and fresh insights into the great expanse that surrounds us.

    Curriculum Links:
    The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang is appropriate for middle school and high school students. It would be useful for Science, Astronomy, Earth Sciences, and Technology courses. Teachers may want to use clips from this documentary to supplement lesson plans related to astronomy and the universe, or show one episode in this series in its entirety in order the highlight one aspect of this topic. It fulfills several National Standards guidelines as outlined by the National Council for History Education including 1) Civilization, Cultural Diffusion, and Innovation, 2) Human Interaction with the Environment.

    Special Website:

    Star Wars, The Legacy Revealed
    Thursday, September 6th at 10PM/9c

    Over thirty years and six movies, George Lucas has visually captured some of the most enduring philosophy and mythology, captivating the world’s imagination through his fascinating characters and engrossing dramatic stories. Lucas’ Star Wars saga is set in an ethereal, far away galaxy replete with good and evil, a mysterious force and its dark side, and an epic hero who follows the archetypal journey through theunderworld and into the light. Aided initially by a mentor, accompanied by warrior space pirates and eccentric androids, and quick to defend the damsel in distress, the cosmic path of Luke Skywalker can be viewed as a modern incarnation of the nautical path of Odysseus. His light-saber reminds us of Excalibur, his relationship with his sister can be compared with the bond between Apollo and Artemis, and the storm troopers he confronts are eerily reminiscent of the Nazi troops of the same name.

    Star Wars: the Legacy Revealed is a two-hour documentary special which explores the mythical, political, and philosophical subtext behind Lucas’ fantasy milestone. From ancient Greece to more contemporary times, Lucas has drawn inspiration and archetype throughout history
    from all over the world. This documentary examines these various influences with the commentary and reflection scholars, directors, and popular actors. Together, they reflect on how epic stories often go beyond special-effects and are firmly rooted in the mythology and political history of the world. This documentary offers students an opportunity to discuss the ways popular culture forms mirror and draw upon historical mythology. In a world saturated with imagery, this program gives educators and their students a chance to analyze these forms and their meaning.

    Curriculum Links
    Star Wars: the Legacy Revealed would be useful for high school and middle school classes on American History, Global History, Journalism,
    Film, Literature, Mythology, and Philosophy. Teachers may want to use clips from this two-hour special to animate their lesson plans and course units. This documentary fulfills several National Standards guidelines as outlined by the National Council for History Education including: (1) Values, Beliefs, Political Ideas and Institutions, (2) Civilization, cultural diffusion, and innovation, (3) Patterns of Social and Political Interaction and (4) Comparative History of Major Developments.

    Special Website Available:

  4. Welcome to September! I hope that for each of you–girls and parents–this is a good and fun time of transition!!! (Have you seen the brilliant full moon this week? Even more wondrous accompanied by the enchanting chorus of cicadas.)

    Before doing a general mailing, I am writing to a few writers and parents about the Autumn/Winter After-School Writing Group for girls who are 11 and 12. Our day is Friday– every week (except school vacations, of course) and our time frame, 3:30-5:30, which is yet to be fine-tuned when I hear back from those who are interested. (Depending on group size– your schedules permitting–this might expand a bit.

    We can start as soon as 9/7, or if not then– my goodness not until 9/28, (since I just saw that 9/14 and 9/21 are Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur respectively). We will meet every week for 10 weeks concluding either before or just after the December holiday break. Any sessions postponed due to weather or other circumstances will be made-up. The cost per weekly session is $36: total cost for the “semester” of writing sessions, $360*. This amount can be paid in full, in portions, and even weekly–just let me know of your intentions. I will offer a bonus session (at a time we arrange together) at no cost for those who have missed any of our weeks. *I am sorry, but the financial commitment must be to the entire series, even if sessions must be missed. I sincerely wish that I were in a position to offer scholarships and hopefully one day that will be possible!

    Please let me know if you are interested. It would be great if you could RSVP as soon as possible! There will be a maximum and minimum group size. Also, when you contact me, please let me know if you would like to carpool; I will send carpool info to each of you as soon as it is confirmed who is coming.

    I hope I didn’t leave anything out. Please call me with any questions. And please, feel free to share this info with other writers and parents who you think might be interested.


    PS. For those of you whose daughters are not available after-school on Friday, it is likely that I will be offering “Getting Cozy” writing afternoons once a month or so. Please let me know of your daughter’s possible interest in these sessions.

    Ani Tuzman, Director
    Dance of the Letters Writing Center
    60 Depot Rd. Hatfield, MA 01038

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