About Hilltown Families
Hilltown Families’ mission is to support the common good of our community through the development of a sense of place by a shared understanding of the value of self-directed learning through community engagement. These learning values are referred to as “community-based education” and are accessible and inclusive to an intergenerational audience. This process of learning unites community members through shared interests, establishes a shared history and deepens a connection to place.
Hilltown Families works to accomplish this mission by identifying the embedded learning that is found everywhere in communities, interpreting the educational and social value of engagement, and making the information accessible to the community through an online communication network.
Hilltown Families method for identifying, interpreting and curating community-based opportunities that support interests and education is an innovative and established community tool that fosters a community culture of intentional learning. This culture creation tool identifies and connects community events, resources and opportunities throughout the four counties of western Massachusetts and links them together through shared interests, values and methods of engagement.
By making community-based learning opportunities explicit, Hilltown Families reveals intersections of learning, allowing community members of all ages to be self-directed in their education through community engagement. Community-based education strengthens a sense of place in citizens of all ages by making learning relevant to the learner and based in their community.
Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.”
Founded in 2005 by Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families serves thousands of families and community organizations living throughout western Massachusetts. Through an online community-based education network, Hilltown Families connects people and organizations in the widespread communities of western Massachusetts by helping area residents share ideas, organize activities, support their children’s education, and increase participation in community life.
See this TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement, where Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares the story behind the vision and mission of Hilltown Families:
THE FOLKS BEHIND THE SCENES
Sienna Wildfield, Founder/Director of Community-Based Education
Sienna founded Hilltown Families, Inc., serving as Executive Director from 2005-2017. In 2019, Hilltown Families returned to Sienna as a founder-run organization to continue to strengthen and serve the community of Western MA through place-based education and self-directed learning. See her TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement to hear the story behind the vision and mission of Hilltown Families. Supporting the development of Community-Based Education Network (CBEdu Network) affiliates in other communities, Sienna is available as a national consultant and trainer to others wanting to integrate the framework of community-based education into their educational, community development, mindfulness, and sustainable community projects. She is trained as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. Sienna lives along the bank of the east branch of the Westfield River in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains where she is nurturing the emergence of the newest affiliate member of the CBEdu Network, Curly Willow Center: An emerging space for the passionately curious. [LinkedIn] email@example.com.
Robin Morgan Huntley, MEd., Community-Based Education Correspondent
Robin joined Hilltown Families in 2011 as an intern and has remained with the organization ever since, first volunteering as a community-based education correspondent until 2016 and later as a contributing writer. Robin is a graduate of Hampshire College and Antioch University New England, where she studied place- and community-based education. She lives on the banks of the Sheepscot River in Maine, where she and her husband are working to start a small farm. Robin is the elementary school directory and teacher at Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education and is the founder of Hilltown Families’ first affiliate community-based education network, Dirigo Learning.
PLUG INTO THE NETWORK!
- Subscribe to our Weekly eNewsletter
- Check out our weekly columns, including our list of Weekly Suggested Events
- “Like” us on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Suggest An Event
- Suggest A Camp
- Suggest A Class
- Share your news on our Sustainability Bulletin Board & Community Bulletin Board
- Gather the kids around and listen to our Radio Show/Podcast
- Participate in our community programs
Hilltown Families warmly welcomes writings that reflect the positive work and educational efforts teachers, parents, and community members work toward while sharing how that affects, supports, and empowers our community and families. Want to join our team of writers? After viewing the TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement, let us know how your voice integrates with the vision and mission of Hilltown Families. Email Sienna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP
Hilltown Families supports the development of our local economy and has sponsorship and advertising opportunities available. Local businesses, individuals, schools, etc., can advertise their event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business, or announcement on our list of Weekly Suggested Events and weekly eNewsletter. Join our team of sponsors and have your message shared with thousands of families living throughout the region while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. For more information or to submit partnership proposals, email us at email@example.com.
We’d love to hear from you. Fill out the form or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org: