14 Community Highlights: Winter Trail Days to Chasing Ice. Preschool Fair to Teen Social Justice.

This week there are a few events to inspire and education on ways individuals and communities have in the past and can in the future bring about positive change. 

Winter Trail Days to Chasing Ice. Preschool Fair to Teen Social Justice. Worksongs to Work of 1000… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from the public library!


Teens interested in exploring the history of social justice movements (and/or Jewish history) can learn about the Kosher Meat Boycott and its place in the American Labor Movement on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 6th in Greenfield at Temple Israel. Participants will focus on learning about the key ideas of the movement (related to work and time), Jewish ethics, and relevant Jewish cultural history. This free workshop is designed for Jewish teens, but is open to those of any religious or cultural background interested in supplement their learning.

The Trustees of Reservations will host a free screening of “The Work of 1000” at the Wistariahurst Museum on Thursday evening, Jan. 10th in Holyoke. The film is about environmental pioneer Marion Stoddart’s work to restore the Nashua River after years of pollution from industrial manufacturing. Stoddart, along with communities along the river and the Trustees of Reservations, helped to lobby successfully for the Massachusetts Clean Water Act, and helped to set a standard for treatment and respect of bodies of water. Stoddart will be in attendance to share her experiences firsthand and answer questions. Great for older students (grades 4+) learning about conservation and community organizing. Pair with a family reading of Lynne Cherry’s book, A River Ran Wild, which tells the natural and human-impacted history of the river alongside beautiful illustrations.


The Berkshire Museum Little Cinema will screen “Chasing Ice,” Sat.-Mon. evenings and Mon. afternoon in Pittsfield. This award-winning film is National Geographic photographer James Balog’s documentary of the Arctic with breathtaking imagery that tells of the Earth’s changing climate. Balog’s videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. A beautiful film to supplement environmental science studies.


Sing along to traditional southern worksongs with Max Godfrey and Friends at Williams College on Wednesday evening, Jan. 9th in Williamstown. The collection of songs included were originally created by prisoners, but have been rediscovered by agricultural workers and are sung to make hard labor more bearable. Most follow a simple call-and-repeat format, and are, as a result, quite easy to participate in and learn quickly. Godfrey works to search through recordings in order to share them with people in order to keep up the musical tradition. The free event will include dinner, and lots of music! Students of any age will love singing along, and the event can be tied in with studies of the history of rural America and American agriculture.

The MIFA Theater screens the documentary, “After the Factory,” in the Great Banking Hall at the South Hadley Falls Bank and Trust Building in Holyoke on Friday evening, Jan. 11th. The documentary examines how the cities of Detroit, Michigan and Lodz, Poland have dealt with sustaining their populations and re-strengthening their post-industrial economies. Both cities have rich and interesting histories, and the film fits well with studies of American and European history. The film is also relevant for studies of local history, as the city of Holyoke is facing similar issues.


Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Longmeadow is hosting Cooking With Parents and Grandparents on Monday afternoon, Jan. 7th – a free workshop where kids and their grown-ups can learn traditional shabbat recipes. Families can learn to make challah, potato knishes, and other treats. All are welcome to come learn how to make these traditional recipes in kid-friendly ways.


Winter Trails Day happens at Northfield Mountain on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 5th. Families with older children can learn to snowshoe and/or cross country ski during free workshops hosted throughout the afternoon. Gear provided.

On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 6th, celebrate the opening of Community Field in Holyoke with Winter Fun! Skate for free on the refrigerated ice patch (skate rentals available), go for a snowshoeing adventure, and warm up with some hot cocoa!


The Jones Library in Amherst hosts a free Chess Club for youth ages 7yo and older with Andy Morris-Friedman on Saturday afternoon in the Amherst Room.

The Westfield Athenaeum is offering a special Nook petting zoo on Wednesday evening, Jan. 9th. Families can try out the devices for free and learn about some of their features – trying out a Nook can be helpful if you’re thinking about investing in on.


On Tuesday evening, Jan. 8th, Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs will share strategies for preparing your family for an emergency at River Valley Market Co-op during a free workshop in Northampton. Participants will learn what things are best to have on hand, and what strategies to have prepared for a variety of emergencies, including a power outage, extreme weather, being lost in the wilderness, etc.

Learn more about the Brain Gym program with Childcare of the Berkshires on Wednesday evening, Jan. 9th at Abbott Memorial School in Florida. This free program focuses on utilizing movement to promote brain stimulation, and parents will learn about the basic principles that the program focuses on.

On Thursday morning, Jan. 10th, the Northampton Parents Center is hosting its annual free Preschool Fair at the Parents Center in the lower level of Edwards Church. Representatives from local Northampton based preschools (and a few from neighboring towns) will be on hand to answer questions.

In the evening on Thursday in Florence, the Valley CDC is hosting a free four-part workshop series for first-time homebuyers at Florence Savings Bank. There are a lot of benefits to participating if you’re about to buy your family’s first home – the certified class will help families get access to special loan programs, will teach participants how to access money for down payments and closing costs, and will share information about many other parts of home shopping and the legal processes that come with home-buying.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: