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Our Facebook Followers shared their “dream way” to spend Mother’s Day! Can you guess the top wish? Check out what our readers had to share and add your idea of a special day to the wish list too!

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Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.

The second Sunday in May brings us Mother’s Day, an annual holiday to mark the season while spending time with your favorite mother(s), or mother figure, in your life. Use this holiday as a catalyst for learning about traditions in other cultures that celebrate mothers. Let it also be a source of inspiration for creative gift-giving and nature-based presents!

Our parks are rich in history, botanical beauty, and inspiration! Why not visit one of these local treasures on Mother’s Day? Pack a picnic or plan a hike. Parks, trails, and state forests are not only community-based educational resources that support nature-based learning, but they are also sanctuaries that connect us to our community, our family and ourselves. Enjoy a Sunday afternoon at any of these local treasures!

Poetry Explorations for Mother’s Day

2002 Poet Laureate Billy Collins has been described as “the most popular poet in America” by the New York Times. Collins’ poetry is rich with human emotion told in a way that is quirky and whimsical. His poem “The Lanyard” is a reminder of all the gifts mothers offer to their children, friends, and families – the gifts that are often taken for granted or unrecognized, moments from infancy that are not remembered because we are too young – and yet they are some of the most important and precious gifts ever received. Read Collins’ poem on Mother’s Day; perhaps share it with someone who embodies motherhood for you and reflect on the qualities and unsung gifts you have received from them. Perhaps list them in your handmade card and include a copy of Collins poem as a reminder of gratitude and love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EjB7rB3sWc


Download our May/June edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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Think about this:

  • How does Billy Collins’ poem, “The Lanyard,” use humor as a way to highlight the immense gratitude the poet feels towards his mother?
  • What non-commercial gifts and activities can you do on Mother’s Day to celebrate motherhood in Western MA?
  • What traditions do you associate with celebrating Mother’s Day?
  • How can we use Mother’s Day as a catalyst for learning about art, ancestry, and women’s history?

This spring and summer, The Trustees of Reservations have a variety of activities planned for folks at the homestead where visitors can volunteer, experience history and learn more about this interesting place and its antique objects. These events offer a variety of opportunities to engage your local community through different interests such as community service, local history, poetry, food traditions, and ecology, and hiking.

If you’re looking for ideas for getting out on Mother’s Day in Western MA, we have a few suggestions…

Our list of Weekly Suggested Events for Mother’s Day weekend and next week is up! Discover community building and educational events happening throughout the four counties of western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

Rhubarb to Butterflies. Bedrock to Marble. Turtles to Trolley… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! Community Highlights There’s fun stuff happening over the next few days!  Down in the Pioneer Valley, families can check out the Amherst Town Fair on the Common all weekend, and take in a… Read More

Healthy Smiles to Spring Fling. Lady’s Slipper to Bird Calls. Charcoal Industry to Historic Mill Sites… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! Community Highlights With beautiful weather in the forecast, it’ll be a great weekend to head out to any of the many annual community celebrations taking place… Read More

Mother’s Day to Plant Something Campaign. Mamadrama to Steamboat Bill. Beaver Ponds to Fishways… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! Brunch, Hike & Celebrate for Mother’s Day Not up for breakfast in bed, then head out for breakfast or brunch.  We asked our readers for family friendly restaurant… Read More

Happy Mother’s Day, 2012 If you’re looking for ideas for getting out on Mother’s Day, we have a few suggestions… Not up for breakfast in bed, then head out for breakfast or brunch.  We asked our readers for family friendly restaurant recommendations for Mother’s Day and they had several to offer. Check out Mother’s Day Brunch to see their suggestions… and add one of your own. After breakfast/brunch, celebrate Mother’s Day by… Read More

Here’s To Our Mothers! Although Mothers Day as we know it is not recognized all over the globe, there is not one single culture that doesn’t celebrate the roles of mothers, grandmothers and similar figures in their folklore, stories and songs. Do other cultures love their moms and like to sing about them? You bet they do! This month I wanted to share a song and video from the Zulu tradition. It’s… Read More

Your House is Strong By Nerissa and Katryna Nields MotherWoman wanted to find a unique way to celebrate mothers, so they teamed up with Western MA mother’s, Nerissa and Katryna Nields, and local photographer Sarah Prall and asked families and friends in Western MA to share what they received from mothers that they treasure most. The results… this beautiful and touching video! Share with other mother’s in your life! MotherWoman is a… Read More

Follow Hilltown Families on Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that… Read More

Historical Look at Motherhood at Old Sturbridge Village on Mother’s Day Moms get free admission to Old Sturbridge Village on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 9th, and family events are planned throughout the weekend. Children can meet the baby animals on the farm, and enjoy indoor crafts, including making block printed note cards for a Mother’s Day gift. Moms can gain insights on childbirth, raising children and running a frugal household from OSV… Read More

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW Mother’s Day Episode WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Saturday mornings from 9-10am 05/09/09 PLAYLIST listen LIVE via streaming audio | request a song | subscribe to free podcast archived shows | contests | myspace | facebook The Dream Jam Band – “Nicky Nicky Knock Knock” [The Dream Jam Band] Justin Roberts – “From Scratch” [Pop Fly] Claire Bloom – “Of What Became… Read More

SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page.  The events below are “suggested.”  Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY There are several Mother’s Day activities happening in the area… Read More

Beth Fairservis of Northampton, MA writes: Join the Fourth Annual Peaceable Planet Mother’s Day Puppet Parade in Northampton, MA on Mother’s Day. The task is simple. Take some time to consider:  How care for our mothers, for our children, for other cultures mother’s and children and care for Mother Earth is important to you. Find an image or words and some kind of medium to express it, like paint, collage, sculpture, a… Read More

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