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Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer ReadingLiterary StudiesLiterature In TranslationReading To DogsFarm AnimalsNative SpeciesWatershedOrnithologyNature-Based LearningLavender FestivalGarden TourManufacturing HistoryTextile HistoryLiving HistoryNew England HistoryAviation HistorySolar SystemStar GazingDinner TheaterMusicalPlayFairy TaleMary PoppinsInto The WoodsGuided HikeZoologyFamily ConcertCreative Free-PlayPlaygroupBaseballFireworks4th of JulyParadesFood Justice

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 29-July 5, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, June 24, 2019, with Sienna and Danny talking about hos Independence Day can support both interests and education as well as strengthening civic pride and a sense of place.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Wild FoodsAstronomyAviationTransportationSTEMCollaborative ConsumptionOpen Studio TourState ParksCommunity PicnicLavender FestivalLabyrinthNaturalist ProgramCivic OrganizationsLocal HistoryColonial HistoryNautical HistorySummitsZinesPicture Book ArtsLiterary StudiesArt SuppliesFireworksBaseballTheater StudiesPodcastingMusicalLiterature In TranslationLawn ConcertGeologyInterpretive WalkOrnithologyEntomologySpidersFirefliesGoatsPigsCowsBeaversMagic

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 22-28, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Town CelebrationCommunity DayRiver CelebrationFaerie FestivalPride FestivalFather’s DayBaseballSummer SolsticeCommunity MealSkillsharingSustainabilityMedieval StudiesWorld StudiesMusic StudiesFolk MusicFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmLiving HistoryExperiential LearningWalking TourArchitectureCulinary ArtsWild FoodStrawberriesFarmers’ MarketTheater StudiesImprovMusicalGeologyEgyptTransportationAviationHelicoptersTrolleysBeaversPigsDogsNaturalistPoetryFilm StudiesStrawberriesMuseumsPlasticLeonardo da VinciPaleontologySolar EnergyService-Based LearningExperiential LearningSewingSummer Camp

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 15-21, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

PlacemakingCreative Free PlayCommunity MealsCommunity DayCanalsDamsMuralsCemeteryHydroelectricityTransportationFish MigrationLanguage DevelopmentEarly Childhood EducationContemporary ArtChinese Brush PaintingHerbalismWild EdiblesGarden TourFarmers’ MarketRhubarbBeekeepingVeterinary ScienceDogsPigsGoat CareReading to GoatsZinesStorywalkInterpretive WalkHistoric Walking ToursGuided ToursSocial TheaterMusic StudiesJewish/Jazz MusicJewish/African MusicBarbershop QuartetJazzFiddle MusicLawn ConcertOutdoor FilmPhysicsGeologyArchitectureNaturalistBaseball

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 8-15, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

OccupationsRangerNaturalistAsparagusCommunity MealFood FestivalAgricultureOenologyFarmers’ MarketPancake BreakfastCollaborative ConsumptionPlacemakingBlock PartyLawn ConcertMarine BiologyBeginning NaturalistVernal PoolsWild EdiblesHerbal GardensHerbal MedicineFarm AnimalsBird WatchingGoatsPigsButterfliesPollinatorsScenic BywaysHikeBike SafetySummer PlaygroupStorytimeLifelong LearningToddlersArchitectureLiving HistoryLocal HistoryMilitia HistoryMedieval Studies19th-Century DanceHaitian DanceCircus MusicUkuleleYo YosAnglingEntomologyOrnithologyGeologyPictureBooksLiterature in TranslationWriting ContestPoetryOpen MicArt StudiesContemporary ArtFigure Drawing

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, June 1-7, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

FalconsBird HousesArt FestivalSheep & WoolcraftWoolHistoryHerbalismFiberArtTextile HistoryLocal HistoryMedieval StudiesFood TrucksNutritional AnthropologyFarmers’ MarketsFarm AdventuresFarm TourComic BooksPicture Book ArtsBotanical IllustrationBook DesignSTEMPhysicsYoYo SchoolMarine BiologyGeologyDendrologyLabyrinthPlacemakingLawn ConcertScavenger HuntNature-Based LearningWaterfallsWalt WhitmanSojourner TruthCemetery TourNight HikeEcology

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 25-31, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

STE(A)MRoboticsPicture Book ArtsGraphic NovelsZinesLiterature in TranslationLibrary AdventuresPoetry WalkBird WalkGuided HikeScavenger HuntNatural HistoryRiversVolcanosWild FlowersPlant SaleHorticultureEcologyBotanyMycologyWild EdiblesCulinaryArtsCheese MakingMushroomsNative American HistoryLocalHistoryRussian HistoryLiving HistoryWalking TourGuided TourHistoric HomesArchitectureIndustrial HistoryHorologyCivicsEntrepreneurshipTransportationTrainsPlacemakingExperiential LearningPodcastingMusicalImprovPlay ReadingComedyYouth CircusFamily MusicLawn ConcertBaby Sign LanguageParent CafeBuddhismMindfulness

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 18-24, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Mother’s Day ♦ Pancake Breakfast ♦ Tea Time ♦ Food History ♦ Community Meal ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Sustainability ♦ Solar Energy ♦ Living Building ♦ Nature-Based Learning ♦ Experiential Learning ♦ Craft Fair ♦ Knitting ♦ Plant Sale ♦ Teen Gardening ♦ Wildflowers ♦ Dendrology ♦ Ornithology ♦ Bird Houses ♦ Ichthyology ♦ Paleontology ♦ Entomology ♦ Lady Bugs ♦ Beekeeping ♦ Fish Migration ♦ Dinosaurs ♦ Astronomy ♦ Cosmology ♦ Blacksmithing ♦ Cemetery ♦ Russian History ♦ Iranian Cinema ♦ Film Studies ♦ Art Skills ♦ Printmaking ♦ Art Studies ♦ Van Gogh ♦ Chorus ♦ Community Sing ♦ Parenting Workshop ♦ Mental Health ♦ Nutrition

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 11-17, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Bird Walk ♦ Bird Banding ♦ Bird Festival ♦ Family Festival ♦ Parents’ Night Out ♦ Divinity ♦ Architecture ♦ Local History ♦ Labor History ♦ Silk History ♦ Women’s Suffrage ♦ Rosie Revere ♦ Girls Gardening ♦ Plant Sale ♦ Soil Science ♦ Electric Cars ♦ Natural History ♦ Phenology ♦ Mycology ♦ Botany ♦ Forest Bathing ♦ Wild Flowers ♦ Volunteering ♦ Town Clean-Up ♦ LGBTQ ♦ NAACP ♦ ADHD ♦ STEM ♦ Food Security ♦ Literature in Translation ♦ Picture Book Art ♦ Comics ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ The Clark ♦ Woodstock ♦ Double Edge Theatre ♦ Basket Weaving ♦ Tie-Dye ♦ Textiles ♦ Star Wars ♦ Harry Potter

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 4-10, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Placemaking ♦ Sustainability Festival ♦ Creative Free Play ♦ Park Clean Up ♦ Volunteering ♦ Walking Meditation ♦ Mindful Meditation ♦ Activism ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Food Studies ♦ Community Seder ♦ Chocolate ♦ Botany ♦ Wildflowers ♦ Arbor Day ♦ Evolution ♦ Knitting ♦ Textiles ♦ Sheep Shearing ♦ Ornithology ♦ Bird Walk ♦ Entomology ♦ Herpetology ♦ Frogs ♦ Salamanders ♦ Mason Bees ♦ American Woodcock ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Crafting ♦ Art Supplies ♦ Second Hand Sale ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Library Adventures ♦ Art Studies ♦ Musical ♦ Youth Theater ♦ Shakespeare ♦ Mister Rogers ♦ Industry ♦ Law ♦ Government ♦ Local History ♦ Industrial History ♦ Architecture ♦ Music Studies ♦ Folk Music ♦ Drumming ♦ West African Music ♦ Irish Music ♦ Storysongs ♦ Poetry Cafe ♦ Parenting Workshop ♦ Early Childhood ♦ Social Media ♦ First Aid

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 27-May 3, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Egg Hunts • Passover • Farm Animals • Native Species • Ornithology • Herpetology • Bats • Rural New England History • Living History • Local History • Cemetery Tour • Masonry • Engineering • STEM • Computer Coding • Podcasting • Healthy Living • Family Hike • Mud Season • Old Growth Trees • Earth Day • Climate Change • Green New Deal • Geoscience • Museum Adventures • Paper Crafts • Stenciling Art • Harry Potter • Rembrandt • Shakespeare • Improv • Musical Theater • Puppetry • Fiber Arts • Craft Swap • Film Studies • Community Sing • Piano • Klezmer Music • Music Studies • Creative Writing • Spelling Bee • Language Arts • Publishing • Manga • Collaborative Consumption • Experiential Learning • Toddlers • Teens • Lifelong Learners

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 20-26, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Harmony ♦ Kids Theater ♦ Film Studies ♦ Broadway Musical ♦ Shakespeare ♦ Drama ♦ Holocaust ♦ Mindfulness Improve ♦ Meditative Hike ♦ Experiential Learning ♦ Volunteering ♦ Park Clean-Up ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Community Meal ♦ Creative Free-Play ♦ Non-Commerical ♦ Nature-Based Learning ♦ Earth Day Festival ♦ Seed Bombs ♦ Wildflowers ♦ Vernal Pools ♦ Native Species ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Bats ♦ Herpetology ♦ Bears ♦ Migratory Birds ♦ Birds of Prey ♦ Raptors ♦ Ornithology ♦ Sleddogs ♦ Marine Biology ♦ Folk Art ♦ Printmaking ♦ Chalk Art ♦ Poetry ♦ Bookfest ♦ Graphic Novel ♦ Picture Books ♦ Kids Book Club ♦ Evening Storytime ♦ Teen Escape Room ♦ Revolutionary History ♦ Native American Studies ♦ Postcards ♦ Soapmaking ♦ Arctic ♦ Pirates ♦ Easter Bunny ♦ Revolutionary Muster ♦ Police ♦ Touch A Truck ♦ Fire Department ♦ Maker Faire ♦ Computer Coding ♦ Rockets ♦ Kinetics ♦ Physics ♦ Aeronautics

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 13-19, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Ballet ♦ Broadway ♦ Drama ♦ Literature in Translation ♦ Snow White ♦ Beauty and the Beast ♦ Women’s History ♦ Local History ♦ Sleddogs ♦ American Woodcock ♦ Vernal Pools ♦ Amphibians ♦ April Vacation Week ♦ Summer Camps ♦ Movie Theater Birthday Party ♦ Family Camp ♦ Parents’ Night Out ♦ Date Night ♦ Baby Shower ♦ Education ♦ Early Childhood Education ♦ Week of the Young Child ♦ Nature-Based Learning ♦ Creative-Free Play ♦ Sound Art ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Slow Art Day ♦ Easter Bunny ♦ Passover ♦ Ramadan ♦ Immigration ♦ Race ♦ Islamic Studies ♦ TEDx Talk ♦ Hero’s Journey ♦ Anatomy & Physiology ♦ Ornithology ♦ STEM ♦ Astronomy ♦ Aeronautics ♦ Kinetics ♦ Parenting Workshop ♦ Teen Health ♦ Homeopathy ♦ 5K ♦ Recycling ♦ Upcycling ♦ Sustainability ♦ Seed Exchange ♦ Landscape Design ♦ Gardening ♦ Farm to School ♦ Pancakes ♦ Matza ♦ String Quartet ♦ Orchestra ♦ Contradance ♦ Flamenco ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Airplanes ♦ Trolley Cars ♦ Mini Golf ♦ Basketball ♦ Kites

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, April 6-12, 2019… Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Family Festival ♦ Edible Books ♦ Swing Music ♦ Yo-Yos ♦ Hiking ♦ Forest Bathing ♦ Vernal Pools ♦ Ecology ♦ Botany ♦ Geography ♦ Migration ♦ Reconciliation Ecology ♦ Gardening ♦ Barn Swallows ♦ Beavers ♦ Ornithology ♦ Baby Farm Animals ♦ Farm-Based Learning ♦ Creative-Free Play ♦ Parents’ Night Out ♦ Teen Crafts ♦ Mindful Parenting ♦ 3D Printing ♦ Astronomy ♦ Physics ♦ Financial Literacy ♦ Investing ♦ Budgeting ♦ Aromatherapy ♦ Music Studies ♦ Orchestra ♦ Art on Screen ♦ Michelangelo ♦ Leonardo da Vinci ♦ Theater ♦ Broadway ♦ Film Studies ♦ Animation ♦ Printmaking ♦ Firefighting ♦ Current Affairs ♦ Social IssuesThese are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, March 30-April 5, 2019…

Community-Based Education Highlights for Western Massachusetts

Ducks • Woodcocks • Insects • Trees • Wildflowers • Herbalism • Jazz Studies • Farsi Funk • Maple History • Manufacturing History • 3D Printing • Computer Coding • Drones • Whips • Board Games • Women’s History • Native American History • Leonardo da Vinci • Hedy Lamarr • Humanities • Mythology • Skillsharing • Creativity • Drumming • Literature in Translation • Current Affairs • Purim • Folkdancing • Textile Arts • Printmaking • Dimensionism • Theater • Film • Opera • Hiking • Workforce • Picturebook Arts • Puppetry • Cartography • Opthalmology • Social Justice • Creative Free-Play • Experiential Learning • Community Breakfast • Babies • Toddlers • Preschoolers • Teens • Intergenerational • Lifelong Learning • Fatherhood • Parents’ Night Out • Summer Camps

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, March 23-29, 2019.

Maple Days ♦ Hamantaschen ♦ Butter ♦ Community Meal ♦ Sheep Shearing ♦ Botany Lessons ♦ Native Species ♦ Beavers ♦ Fish ♦ Owls ♦ Tulips ♦ Forest ♦ Story Hour ♦ Folktales ♦ Folk Dance ♦ Celtic Dance ♦ St. Patrick’s Day ♦ Purim ♦ Astronomy ♦ Spring Equinox ♦ Intergenerational ♦ Teen ♦ Parenting Workshop ♦ Fatherhood ♦ Rescue Dogs ♦ Bird Houses ♦ Fairy Houses ♦ Pottery ♦ Printmaking ♦ History of Books ♦ Sewing ♦ Neon ♦ Wildlife Photography ♦ Theater Studies ♦ High School Musicals ♦ Peace Activism ♦ Democracy

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week, March 16-22, 2019. Peruse our list and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250"] To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time![/caption]

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and fruit, along with The Mr. Fuzznogginz Show – the hippest, coolest, funniest magic show in New England. As always, we close out the morning with an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for the organizers, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.

Bulletin Board

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 7, 8, & 9[/caption]

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. This year, everyone is invited to our village tavern to enjoy traditions from the early Middle Ages to rousing contemporary carols. Come hear ancient songs, see the Abbotts Bromley horn dance, a mummers play and the passing of the yule log! There will be Basque, molly and sword dances! Friday and Saturday Dec. 7 and 8, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 9, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and children 5-16 years, at Amherst Books, Amherst; Broadside Bookshop, Northampton; World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield; at the door or online. Information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 7 – 9[/caption]

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 7 – 9 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 7 at 4:00 p.m. has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience, and is also ideal for young children. The 40th Anniversary Celebration Performance that evening features special musical guests and a champagne treat for the adults. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 8[/caption]

As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host a Winter Fair featuring musical performances and holiday gift-making on Saturday, December 8. Holiday crafts use recycled and natural materials and include fairy houses, full-sized wreaths, gingerbread people, and more. All proceeds support the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School library and educational programs. The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing mixed-aged classrooms and an arts-integrated approach to curricula. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery and is open to students throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties. For more information about the Winter Fair visit www.hilltowncharter.org or call (413) 529–7178.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 9[/caption]

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, December 9. The program begins at 1 PM. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership, with daily round trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield and the hilltowns, including several stops along each route. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 9[/caption]

There Will Be Light: A Community Hanukkah Celebration. Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 pm – 7:30 pm at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St., Northampton. Join us at 5 pm for two programs: 1. Candle lighting & song circle. Light hanukiot in the main sanctuary and sing songs of light and hope in-the-round with Molly, Aram, and Rabbis Jacob and Justin. 2. Candle lighting & music for families with kids ages 0-5. Join Felicia Sloin & friends for 8th night menorah lighting, story telling, song, and play. At 6:30 pm, a catered dinner will be served. RSVP requested: cbinorthampton.org. $10/person, $7/children 12 and under. We encourage you to bring your own menorah. For more info, contact Merideth Lively: mer@cbinorthampton.org or (413) 584-3593.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Dec 15[/caption]

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 15th at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Add your class[/caption]

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="40"] Add your school[/caption]

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.

 


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 8th – 14th, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Introducing the concept of homeschooling to young audiences, Jonathan Bean’s loosely autobiographical book takes a close look at a day in the life of a busy and constantly learning homeschooling family. The concise text and dense illustrations offer up a fascinating tale of nontraditional education, and paired with our literary guide, the book offers itself as a portal into the examination of nontraditional education and personal learning style.

Introducing the concept of homeschooling to young audiences, Jonathan Bean’s loosely autobiographical book takes a close look at a day in the life of a busy and constantly learning homeschooling family. The concise text and dense illustrations offer up a fascinating tale of nontraditional education, and paired with our literary guide, the book offers itself as a portal into the examination of nontraditional education and personal learning style.

Author and educator John Holt wrote in his book, Learning All the Time: “Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.”

Even amongst parental fears about “summer learning loss,” the phenomenon of children losing academic skills and knowledge over the summer months, there are many free and inexpensive ways to encourage learning for people of all ages during the summer. What’s more- programs, workshops, and educational events in the summer can give kids outside of school the chance to direct their own learning and develop new interests! The following are a brief selection of interest-based learning opportunities for children, self-directed teens, and lifelong learners.

Community-based resources, events and service-learning opportunities make education inclusive, accessible & intergenrational! Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for the upcoming weekend and following week to find community-based educational opportunities across the region and in your backyard for learning du jour! Ichthyology on Saturday. Book Clubs on Sunday. Science Cafe on Monday. Native American Music on Tuesday. Earthen Ovens on Wednesday. Scherenschnitte on Thursday. Toy History on Friday.

Another glorious New England autumn is here, bringing with it shorter days, cooler nights, and a cornucopia of seasonal and cultural darlings to celebrate! Families in western Massachusetts can celebrate fall by visiting local farms, enjoying fall-harvested foods, exploring the local landscape through leaf-peeping, and engaging in cultural celebrations honoring the season. This month Sienna and Ashley talked about community-based educational opportunities embedded in fall harvests, fall foliage and fall festivals.

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Thursday, August 19, 2015, for their back-to-school week, this time looking at how community-based education supports learning all year round! Sienna and Ashley talk about community engagement as a way of supporting self-initiated self-directed learning, or even a classroom-based curriculum or subject, including history, math, architecture, science, art, botany and biology.

Looking at your community through the lens of an interest is just one point of entry to community-based education. With back-to-school in the air we wanted to encourage our readers, parents, teachers and administrators to remember Hilltown Families as your community resource for supporting interests and education, both inside the classroom and at home.

Into the midst of the educational upheaval happening in Holyoke enters LightHouse Holyoke, Personalized Education for Teens, a new school alternative opening in September. LightHouse offers teens aged 13-18 the opportunity to direct their own learning, and to study their own interests in a supportive, academic, and creative community. Intrigued? Interested? Read on and find out about the upcoming info session.

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