Learning Ahead: Jan 12th-16th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 10 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.



Berkshire County

Thursday, January 15, 5:30pm-6:30pm – HISTORY: Learn about the history and legacy of war at the Norman Rockwell Museum’s “Four Freedoms Forum: The Cultural Legacy of War.” This free discussion with William H. Cohn, Ph.D. and others will engage older students and adults in the topic of war, including its history, legacy, uses, and more. Why is war seen as an acceptable response to conflict? What led to this acceptance? What are some nonviolent alternatives? Older students with an interest in history and politics can learn from this lecture and discussion, and can come with questions of their own to examine during the program. Call 413-298-4100 for more information. The Norman Rockwell Museum is located at 9 Route 183 in Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 16, 9:30am-11am – COMPUTER SKILLS: The Berkshire Athenaeum is offering a Computer Basics class, which teaches how to use laptops, keyboards, mice/touchpads, and how to browse the internet. This class would be great for someone who with no computer skills who is hoping to learn! Pre-registration is required. 413-499-9480 x202. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Franklin County

Tuesdays, beginning January 13, 3-6pm – ARTeens: ARTeens provides an opportunity for teens to cultivate an art practice in The Art Garden’s supportive, intergenerational studio. With an emphasis on personal responsibility and self-direction, teens explore and critique the world around them, develop their own voices, and share their ideas. ARTeens offers a sense of community while nurturing uniqueness and engagement in a diverse and non-judgmental group. This 6-week session runs through Feb. 24. ARTeens is being offered as a pay-what-you-can program. No one will be turned away because of lack of funds. Call to see if there are spots open. 413-625-2782. Shelburne Falls, MA ($)

Hampshire County

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 14, 6:30pm-8pm – CULINARY ARTS: Older teens and adults who are interested in cooking can learn how to cook Turkish food at Whole Foods Market in Hadley. Local chef Ipek, from Turkish Kitchen, will instruct you on how to prepare an entire Turkish meal in under an hour. This is a great chance to learn how to cook Turkish food! Stop by store to RSVP. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. ($)

Thursdays, 5:30pm – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Fridays, 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)

Hampden County

Monday, January 12, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Educators of kids in pre-k through 8th grade can attend a Project Learning Tree Educator Workshop at the Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitor Center on January 19 from 11am-3pm. Learn about PLT and how it can be applied to your teaching. Pre-registration is required for this workshop. 413-584-6788. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Tuesday, January 13, 3:30pm-4:30pm – CULINARY ARTS: Tweens and teens can learn how to make a tasty afterschool snack at the Forest Park Branch Library. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 15, 12:15pm – ART HISTORY: Discover the religious and historical significance behind one of the Springfield Museums’ most famous pieces – Bartolomeo Manfredi’s Christ Crowned with Thorns – at a Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday, January 15 at 12:15pm. Mount Holyoke College Professor John L. Varriano will present, “A Caravaggesque Painting in Springfield by Bartolomeo Manfredi,” which focuses on this piece and its similarities to works by Caravaggio at the turn of the 17th Century. Older students and adults who are interested in art history can learn about this fascinating period in European history, as well as how Caravaggio’s work influenced other artists, and how these artists spread his painting style throughout Europe. Call the Museums at 800-625-7738 for more information. The Museums are located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. (>$)

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