Learning Ahead: June 15th-19th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 15 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.

Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Berkshire County

Monday, June 15, 5pm – VISUAL ART/PHOTOGRAPHY: Photographer Jack Sprano will lead a photography workshop for all ages at the Lee Library. Learn the basics of photography, from DSLRs to cell phone cameras. Great for students interested in photography! 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, June 16, 4pm-6pm – HISTORY/WWI: Historian Alan Price will discuss Americans in World War I at Ventfort Hall‘s Tea and Talk program on June 16. Price will talk about the 20,000 volunteers who sailed to Europe to drive ambulances, offer aid to refugees, serve as nurses, deliver supplies, and more. Best for older students interested in history. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, June 17, 10am-3pm – HABITAT/HIKING: Explore the Hoosac Range with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. This moderate hike features beautiful views and great natural areas. Best for older teens and adults. 413-499-0596. Route 2. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, June 17, 7:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/HISTORIC HOME: You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, but did you know that it’s considered to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of The Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Not recommended for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Thursday, June 18, 7:30pm & Friday, June 19, 8pm – CONCERT/JAZZ: As part of Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend, the Berkshire Jazz Collective will perform at the Spectrum Playhouse. Students interested in jazz music will enjoy the performance. Tickets available in advance. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Friday, June 19, 12noon-10pm – CITIZEN SCIENCE/ECOLOGY: The 6th Annual Berkshire BioBlitz takes place June 19 at 12noon to June 20 at 12noon, a full 24 hours, at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. All are welcome to stop by Canoe Meadows to search for and catalog all the different living species in the sanctuary, and participate in interactive activities, nature walks, talks, and more. There will also be experts on hand to help identify and educate. Berkshire BioBlitz is a great opportunity for the whole family to participate in a fun citizen science project and learn about the importance of conserving local natural areas. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Franklin County

Thursday, June 18, 6:30pm-8pm – PLANT STUDIES/WILDFLOWERS: Naturalist John Root will present a program on wildflowers at the Great Falls Discovery Center on June 18. Learn about the Northeast’s native wildflowers at this exciting talk. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Hampshire County


Wednesday, June 17, 3pm-5:30pm – MAKER SPACE: Every Wednesday, Amherst Media hosts a drop-in group for makers of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re working on computer programming, tech projects, knitting, other projects, or are just curious, stop by and check it out! 413-259-3300. 246 College Street. Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, June 17, 6:30pm – MUSIC/ARABIC: Enjoy an evening of folk music at one of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum‘s Wednesday Folk Traditions concerts. This week features Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. ($)

Wednesday, June 17-Friday, June 19, 7:30pm – THEATER/SHAKESPEARE: The Hampshire Shakespeare Company will perform Romeo and Juliet at the UMass Center for Renaissance Studies. Theater fans can enjoy seeing Shakespeare’s famous tragedy outdoors this summer. Performances June 17-21 and 24-28. Tickets available in advance. 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Thursday, June 18, 5:30pm-6:30pm – TEEN WORKSHOP/JOB SEARCH: There will be a job search panel for teens and their parents at the Amherst Survival Center on June 18. Representatives from UMass Amherst will be there to offer tips on looking for jobs and the dos and don’ts of job applications. Come with questions and enjoy a light dinner. This workshop would be helpful for teens looking for work, and the timing is right for those looking for a summer job! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA.

Friday, June 19, 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY/NATURAL HISTORY: The Goshen Historical Society presents a video on the development of Highland Lake. Learn about the lake and what it was like when electricity and telephone came to town. Takes place in John James Memorial Town Hall. 413-268-7120. 42 Main Street. Goshen, MA.

Friday, June 19, 7pm-9:30pm – MUSIC/GYPSY JAZZ: Django in June is a yearly event that takes place at the Academy of Music and celebrates the musical genre associated with French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Also known as “gypsy jazz,” “hot jazz,” or “jazz manouche,” this unique genre features percussive rhythm and other distinguishing characteristics. RP Quartet, Tim Kliphuis, and Joscho Stephan will perform their own take on the genre at the Academy of Music on June 19. Older students interested in music and jazz will love this unique concert. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$$)c

Hampden County

Thursday, June 18, 9:30am – WALKING/NATURE STUDIES: Join the Naturalist’s Club for a walk in Stanley Park. Come with binoculars and enjoy a leisurely walk around the park. Call Colette Potter for meeting place and to register. 413-786-1805. Westfield, MA.

Thursday, June 18, 12:15pm – ART STUDIES/IMPRESSIONISM: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “American Impressionism: From the Hudson River School to Art Colonies” with Robin Hoffman and Jodi Stiffelman. Learn how impressionism arrived in America and the education of American artists at this talk. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

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