Learning Ahead: Jan 19th-23rd, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 12 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

Monday, January 19, 8:30am – SERVICE LEARNING: The Berkshire Community College Service-Learning and Diversity Committee is holding their second annual MLK Day of Service on January 19. BCC students and employees will participate in the day of service, and there are spots open to those outside the BCC community as well. This year, there will be three service sites: The Harvest Table, where a free community lunch will be served; Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers will work to revitalize a local home; and Dower Square, where volunteers will work with young children to spread Dr. King’s message. Call for more information and to register. 413-236-2177. 55 Fenn Street. Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Monday, January 19, 9am-2pm – SERVICE LEARNING: In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be a Day of Service in Northern Berkshire County, at the MCLA Church Street Center. All ages can come work on a variety of community service projects, including sewing mittens, making military care packages, putting together meal kits for food pantries, decorating placemats for senior programs, as well as activities that take place off-site, at the YMCA, the Adams Youth Center, and other places around town. This service day is a great chance to get the whole family engaged in community service projects to benefit a variety of causes. Call for more information. 413-664-4006. Church Street. North Adams, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, January 22, 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and the Williamstown Historical Museum at Sheep Hill to learn about a project to restore an antique horse-drawn work sled donated by Henry Flynt. The documentary Ben’s Mill will be shown to kick off the evening – the film is about a water-powered mill in 1970s Vermont and the making of a work sled. Art Evans will discuss the restoration project and what tasks must be done in the winter and spring. Older students interested in local history can learn about local industry and tools from the past at this event. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Franklin County

Monday, January 19 from 10am-1pm – MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. CELEBRATION: Greenfield Community College will host their Annual Celebration of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities and programs for children and families will be available from 10am-noon and the day will conclude with lunch and presentations in the Dining Commons. 413-775-1819. One College Drive. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, January 22, 6pm-8pm – ART/CULTURE STUDIES: The Deerfield Arts Bank‘s newest exhibit, “Papercut Art: Then and Now,” features the Polish papercut work by several different artists. The show’s opening reception is on January 22, and it features a demonstration by artist Carolyn Guest. Students who are interested in learning about this traditional Polish art form will enjoy the exhibition and demonstration. 413-665-0123. 3 Sugarloaf Street. South Deerfield, MA.

Thursday, January 22, 7:30pm – CONTEMPORARY ART HISTORY: MASS MoCA is screening Art and Craft (2014), a documentary about Mark Landis, a prolific art forger in the United States who has been donating works to museums for years. He has forged the works of many different artists, including Picasso and many others. Because he poses as a philanthropic donor and gets no money from his forgeries, he has not committed a crime. The documentary follows curator Matthew Leininger, who tries to catch and expose Landis to the art world. Those who are interested in art will love this screening, which also features a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker after the screening. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

Hampshire County

Monday, January 19, 9am-4pm – LOCAL & AMERICAN HISTORY: American Friend Service Committee’s Annual Celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of non-violent work. Events include a guide talking tour of Florence, children’s program at the Florence Community Center, a panel discussion at Edwards Church, concluding with a reception and vigil at the Unitarian Universalist Church. If you are interested in participating or volunteering this MLK Day, or just have any questions, call 413-584-8975. Florence/Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, January 20, 6:30pm-8pm – ANIMAL STUDIES/TRACKING: Learn about animal tracking at a presentation and slideshow by Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs at River Valley Market on January 20. He will teach to see, read, and identify animal tracks, and will teach the six arts of tracking. Older students and adults interested in animal tracking can attend this workshop and then put their new knowledge to the test searching for tracks and sign in the neighborhood or in some favorite natural areas. Registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Hampden County

Monday, January 19, 11am-1pm – MUSIC/MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Community Music School of Springfield, and D.R.E.A.M. Studios are hosting the annual Dr. King Day Celebration at the MassMutual Center on January 19. There will be music, dance, and spoken word by Freedom Choir, Springfield Mass Choir, CMSS String City Youth Orchestra, Dream Studio, MLK Charter School of Excellence Choir, Springfield Public Schools students, MLK Family Services/Community Music School choral workshop students, and others. This celebration helps to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. and aims to create positive change in the community as people come together. 413-732-8428. 1277 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 20, 3:30pm-4:30pm – SCIENCE: Ages 9 and up can have fun learning about science at the West Springfield Public Library. Come make your own lava lamp at this hands-on science program! Registration is required. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 22, 12:15pm – ORIGAMI: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “The Origami Renaissance: How Paper-folding and Math Influence Each Other” with Professor Thomas Hull. Professor Hull will discuss the connections between origami and math and how the origami renaissance has inspired new applications in physics, engineering, and technology. Best for older students. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, January 22, 3pm-4:30pm – ANIME: Teens in grades 7-12 can watch anime, read manga, draw, and discuss with peers at the Chicopee Public Library‘s Anime Club. 413-594-1800 x120. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

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