COOK UP FUN WITH KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
Massachusettsâ€™ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996
SWEET SPOTS TO ENJOY MAPLE MONTH
IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR SLEEP-AWAY CAMP?
21ST ANNUAL CAMP ISSUE
Making a Difference One Skater at a Time
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At Saint Vincent Hospital, our experienced team in The Center for Women and Infants is committed to providing individual and specialized care for you and your family. We offer expert pregnancy and childbirth care in Worcester that rivals any birthing experience in Boston, providing the safety, comfort, and convenience of delivering your baby close to home. Visit stvincenthospital.com/maternity to learn more about the services and classes we offer.
Put your child on the educational path to success by enrolling them at Cornerstone
Educating all learners in grades K-6 An elementary preparatory school that celebrates the individual.
TOURS: March 13 & 27 • Sign up on our website
r Foreve ps hi Friends
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Learning, playing, meditating! Happy, playful calm, joyful Cornerstone!
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Past shows included:
grades 8-12 - including recent high school graduates. This camp will take your teen to a higher level in theatre! They will produce and act in THEIR OWN show - separate from the younger campers! Join in this exciting adventure!
Announcing the 2018 youth show
grades 2-7 Learn the importance of teamwork, make friends for life, experience being part of a show from start to finish!
July 9th - July 27th
Grades 2 -12 including recent high school graduates â€˘ 5 days! Mon.-Fri. â€˘ 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Camp show performances on July 28th & 29th
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DISCOUNT AVAILABLE NOW! TAKE $50 OFF CAMP ENROLLMENT FEE UNTIL MARCH 31ST
Your child will enjoy a summer of music, art, drama and dance at our 3 week, state certified theatre camp held in Worcester. Campers will also produce a full show for family and friends at the conclusion of camp. Students will learn all the aspects of producing a show from acting, singing & dancing to set building, costumes and more!
For all information, call 978-602-6288 or register online at
Because it takes expert care to deliver a miracle
Bringing miracles to life is our passion at the LaChance Maternity Center at Heywood Hospital. Our expert team of physicians, nurses and doulas, provide personalized attention in a state-of-the-art environment that promotes a tranquil and natural birthing experience, resulting in the lowest caesarean birth rate in the state. And our specialty services â€“ from our post-birth celebration dinner to our rejuvenating spa treatments including relaxing whirlpool hydrotherapy, post-partum massage therapy, music therapy and aromatherapy â€“ will leave you feeling just heavenly. To find out more about the services offered at the LaChance Maternity Center visit www.heywood.org. To register for a Childbirth Class or schedule a tour of the LaChance Maternity Center call (978) 630-6216.
242 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 | (978) 632-3420 | heywood.org
7/11/14 10:09 PM
table of contents MARCH 2018 VOLUME 22
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: March Calendar Of Family Events
in every issue 8 9 14
ADD TO CART: Our Favorite March Products OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: March Calendar Of Family Events FINALLY FORVER: Meet Maxxon & March Adoption Events
REEL LIFE WITH JANE: What’s in Theaters This Month TAKE 8: Magician Adam Trent
ripe 10 12
Doing Your Homework on Camp: How to Know if Your Child is Ready & How to Pick The Right Camp
Dog Days of Summer Camp: Kids Can Bring Dog to K-9 Camp
Paxton Farm Aims to Turn Back Time with Outdoor Play
Compassion at Camp: Volunteers Get Just as Much Love as They Give
Ten Things You Never Knew About Camp
Dealing With Homesickness at Camp
Girl Scout Cookies Go Gourmet Kids in The Kitchen: Children’s Cooking Classes Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating
meet team president and publisher KIRK DAVIS
associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-749-3166 ext. 331 email@example.com
Kadin, 9 and Lukas, 8 Photography by Barnes Portrait Design, East Brookfield barnesportraitdesign.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our March Issue
Delights 46 KidsCon Families
Dog Days of Summer Camp: Kids Can Bring Dog to K-9 Camp
editorial & creative
Sweet Stuff: Make the Most of Maple Month
26 46 48
Discovery Museum Gets Reinvented
National Peanut Month: 4 Crafts Using Peanuts
Circle Round Serves Up Audio Entertainment for Kids
Child Advocacy Groups Give No Likes to Facebook App for Kids
Inside KidsCon 2018 Boys & Reading: Closing the Gender Gap
editor in chief AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER 508-865-7070 ext. 201 firstname.lastname@example.org
director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210 email@example.com
creative director and events coordinator PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221 firstname.lastname@example.org
account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211 email@example.com
senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070 firstname.lastname@example.org
account executive MICHELLE SHINDLE 508-865-7070 ext. 212 email@example.com
account executive CHEYRL ROBINSON 508-865-7070 ext. 336 firstname.lastname@example.org account executive ERIN QUINN-SHANNON 508-865-7070 ext. 213 email@example.com baystateparent is published monthly 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527 508-865-7070 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.
Sad story: I never went to summer camp. Thinking back now, I’m not really sure how I spent my summer (other than watching cartoons on the Disney Channel, eating junk food and arguing with my sisters, of course). There certainly were no cabins or counselors, and I never returned to school in the fall with any particular stories to tell. So for me, a parent who never experienced the fun of a sleep-away camp, the thought of sending my kid away for weeks is a bit a daunting. Then again, he’s seven months
old, so I’ve got some time to really get used to the idea. When the time is right, it is definitely something I’ll think about – not (just) to live vicariously through my son, but because there are some real benefits to camp. According to research by the American Camp Association, attending camp helps build skills necessary to prepare children to assume roles as successful adults. Parents, campers, and camp staff report growth in areas such as self-
confidence, independence, making friends, exploring and learning new activities, and spirituality. Indeed, camp provides growth experiences for youth that can benefit them through adulthood. This issue of baystateparent is our annual guide to and celebration of all things camp. Look through this edition to see what’s out there for your child this summer. Obviously, camp is not one size fits all, but with everything from overnight camps to day camps, programs for children with special needs or specific interests – there is truly something for every child. Need some help getting started with navigating it all? See “Doing Your Homework on Summer Camp” on page 30 for some tips and guidelines – broken down by age group – for knowing if your child is ready for camp, then picking the right one. Worried your camper will miss home? Check out “Dealing With Homesickness at Camp” on page 44. And don’t forget, there are camp-related opportunities for parents, too. In “Compassion at Camp,” on page 40, you can read about how volunteering at some truly special camps has changed the lives of local teens and adults. While you’re preparing for summer,
don’t forget to enjoy spring, which starts officially on March 20. Ring in the season with a stack of flapjacks... March is officially “Maple Month” in the Bay State, and on page 22 we’ve got a round up of some seriously sweet activities going on. Too muddy outside? Check out some craft ideas on page 51, using a surprise item you likely already have in your pantry. Or, head to the movies… you can see what’s hitting theaters this month on page 55. As always, we have our comprehensive calendar featuring all sorts of family-friendly things happening this month on page 14. A birthday party for the famous Dr. Seuss, the ball handling wizardry of the Harlem Globetrotters, kite-making and a spring “egg-stravaganza” are just some of the things on tap. Enjoy the final days of winter (if you can) and make the most of New England’s fleeting spring. Don’t forget to stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter, and check out baystateparent.com for new stories and things to do. As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything you’d like to share.
add to CART The coolest stuff we found online this month
On-the-go diaper changes are breeze with this mobile changing station that saves parents from searching for a sanitary spot to change the baby. Featuring a foldable wedge and padded borders to maximize space in the car, the Beanko also has a built-in baby wipe holder and space for diapers, clothing and other items. A pocket for a tablet or phone and loops for toys also ensures baby is kept entertained. Bonus? The changing pad can double as a tummy-time mat. $99. beanko.com.
Want to pique your daughter’s interest in tech? SmartGurlz is a toy that teaches girls how to code by programming a self-balancing robot scooter. No bulky wires, just connect to smartphones or tablets through Bluetooth. Four dolls to choose from. $79.99. smartgurlz.com.
Bring a starry night indoors with the SKY Lite. Plug it in and watch thousands of stars move over a soft, blue nebula cloud. Use it as a nightlight and sleep under the stars, or to add a relaxing ambiance to any room of the house. $39.99-$89.88. blisslights.com
If you’ve got kids you’re familiar with the typical floor messes: stuck on mac ‘n’ cheese, crusty oatmeal, glittery stickers and that questionable mystery gunk. No need to get on your hands and knees with butter knife – try a broom with built-in retractable scraper. The SweepEasy has interchangeable metal or plastic scrapers that are safe for all floor types. $19.95. sweepeasy.com.
Easily stash a water bottle in your kid’s backpack, lunchbox or even pocket – the Hydaway collapses to pack down flat, then unfolds into a bottle designed specifically for kids. Easy to grip, the bottle has a flip-up straw, a stable base to prevent tipping or spilling and a watertight guarantee. Made of BPA-free food-grade silicon, it is taste-free, odor-free and dishwasher safe. Available in three colors. $18. hydawaybottle.com.
Girl Scout Cookies Go Gourmet
Chefs Get Creative at ‘Fork It Over’ Competition
BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER
yummy Girl Scout fundraiser? You’re probably thinking Tagalongs and Samoas, right? But what about a Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Sage Lasagnette? Sure, a few Thin Mints and a glass of milk is enough to satisfy any sweet tooth, but Girl Scout cookies have made their way into the more refined palate. Fork It Over, an inventive local culinary competition, is where the Do-si-doh meets a roasted duck. The annual fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts has evolved from the desserts-only event it started as in 2005 to now include appetizers and main dishes, too. Now in its 13th year, Fork It Over brings together some of the region’s top culinary artists to battle it out “Iron Chef” style, creating unique sweet and savory dishes – the “secret ingredient” being Girl Scout cookies. “The event has definitely grown… especially with the range of creativity the chefs bring to the table,” said Melanie Bonsu, Director of Development and Marketing Communications for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. Last year’s winning recipes included a Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Sage Lasagnette from Niche Hospitality, a Thin Mint Butternut Squash Cornbread topped with Braised Beef Brisket and Brussel Sprout Apple Slaw from Peppercorns, and a Samoas-inspired Chocolate, Coconut Red Curry Custard from Figs & Pigs, she noted. Chefs from British Beer Company, DJ’s Tasty Treats, Figs & Pigs, The Hangover Pub, Hilltop Restaurant at Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School, Karol’s Corner, Matoaca Kitchen & Bakery, Niche Hospitality, Peppercorns, Publick House and Sonoma will face off at this year’s Fork It Over competition, March 8 at The Hanover Theatre. A panel of judges will determine winners in both the “Sweet” and “Savory” categories, and attendees will vote for a “People’s Choice” favorite. Tickets, $50 each or two for $80, are available at gscwm.org or by calling 800-462-9100. All proceeds benefit the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.
Savannah Smile Lemon Tarts From Matoaca Kitchen & Bakery Ingredients Tart Shell: ½ box Savannah Smiles ½ stick Butter Parchment paper Lemon Curd: ½ cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice 2 tsp. Lemon Zest ½ cup Sugar ¼ tsp. Salt 3 Large Eggs 6 Tbsp. Butter One bag of dry beans (any kind) or Pie Weights Optional Toppings: Fresh Berries Powdered Sugar Coconut Flakes 10 MARCH2018
Swiss Meringue Preparation Crust: 1. Measure out all of your ingredients and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. In a food processor or by hand, crush Savannah Smile cookies until they resemble coarse sand. 3. Melt butter and stir into the crushed cookies. Once all the cookies are moist, turn out into tart pan and press down until the entire bottom and sides of the pan are covered. Pack tight and up the side of the pan (it’s OK if a little hangs over the edge). 4. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the entire tart pan and pour the entire bag of beans on top of the parchment paper. If you are using pie weights place the weights on top of the parchment paper. (During the cooking process the
tart shell will shrink. The weights/ beans help keep the shell intact and keep it from puckering.) 5. Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Lemon Curd: 1. In a 4-quart stainless steel pot, pour eggs and beat lightly, just enough to break the yolks. Add, lemon juice, sugar and salt. 2. Turn the burner on to medium – medium/low and stir with a wire whisk. Continue to stir the mixture until it thickens. This will take around 15 minutes. The mixture should resemble a loose pudding. 3. Once the mixture thickens, remove from the heat, and stir in the butter. When all the butter melts, add the lemon zest and give it a quick stir.
4. Transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd. Place in the fridge and let chill for at least 2 hours. 5. Once the lemon curd has chilled, pour into the cooled tart pan. Serve immediately or place in fridge until ready to serve. Top with fresh berries, Swiss meringue, whipped cream or dust with powdered sugar.
Try your hand at these cookie creations from last year’s Fork It Over.
Roast Duck, Savannah Smiles and Trefoils Dumpling with Apple Dijon Samoas Dipping Sauce From Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School Ingredients Dumpling: 4 Eggs 2 to 8 Tbsp. Water 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil ½ tsp. Salt 3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour Filling: 3 Duck Breast (rinsed and patted dry) 2 Tbsp. Onion Powder 2 Tbsp. Granulated Garlic 2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt 2 Tbsp. Ground Black Pepper 3 Eggs 3 cups Ricotta 3 Tbsp. Red Pepper (finely diced) 3 Tbsp. Fresh Basil 3 Tbsp. Shiitake Mushroom Caps (sliced thin and sautéed in butter) 2 Tbsp. Scallion (finely sliced) 2 Tbsp. Ground Savannah Smile cookies 6 Trefoils (finely ground) 1 Tbsp. Butter (per 6 dumplings) Dipping Sauce: 1 cup Unsweetened applesauce 2 Samoas (crushed in food processor) 2 Tbsp. Toasted Coconut 2 tsp. Cocoa Powder 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard Preparation Dumplings: 1. In an electric mixer, mix flour, salt, eggs and oil with a dough hook. 2. Gradually add water until the dough comes together. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic. 3. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. 4. Roll out dough using a rolling pin and continue rolling out dough using a hand cranked pasta roller until dough is through the #2 setting. 5. Cut out 3-inch circles using a round cutter. Wrap the cut dough to prevent drying out and put aside. Filling: 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Season duck with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic. 3. Roast duck in a 300 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees 4. Allow meat to cool and rest. Remove meat from bone and dice. 5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, and add remaining ingredients other than the Trefoils. Keep chilled until ready to use. Dipping Sauce: Blend all ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Assembling the dumplings: 1. Lay the pasta disks out on a work surface, brush egg wash on half of the circle. 2. Lightly sprinkle ¼ tsp of the ground Trefoils on the egg washed area. 3. Place 1 tsp. of filling in the center of the egg washed area. 4. Fold the dumpling in half, sealing the egg washed edge to the dry edge. Press tightly. 5. Once the dumplings are assembled, in small batches, drop into salted, oiled, boiling water.
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6. Cook 5-8 minutes until they are soft and floating. Carefully remove from water and drain on paper towels. 7. When they are all cooked. In a sauté pan, melt the butter and place dumplings in small batches, in hot pan. Brown on each side, remove from the pan and serve immediately with dipping sauce.
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Kids In The Kitchen
CHP Children’s Cooking Classes Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER When it comes to teaching kids about healthy eating, it’s not enough just to tell them to eat their vegetables. You have to show them how, said Tori Beuerschaper, Education Coordinator at Community Harvest Project. That’s the idea behind the series of cooking classes launched this year by the non-profit farm in North Grafton. Once a month, they host one-to-two hour culinary classes for kids ages 5 to 12, each set around a different food theme. From desserts to dumplings, pasta, pickles, or the “magic” eggs, there may be an offering for every taste, but one of the points of the classes, said Buerschaper, is broaden kids’ palate. “Finding ways to get kids to love and want to eat fruit and veggies is a lot of times about repeated exposure – the same food in many different ways,” said Beuerschaper. “So it’s not just red peppers sliced
and eaten with dip. It’s seeing that there’s lots of different ways to cook and eat vegetables, and teaching them those cooking skills.” Classes are limited to about a dozen children and take place in the great room in the farm’s barn. Standalone burners, blenders, griddles and food processors are brought out, and the fun begins. The cooking classes first help children master some basic kitchen concepts – how to hold a knife, measure ingredients, or figure out fractions, for example – then try their hand at a recipe. For older kids, the lesson is taken a step further as they learn about adapting different methods and ingredients to suit different tastes. All classes emphasize basic nutrition, and include hands-on cooking and vegetarian recipes to take home. “The underlying theme is some sort of nutritional lesson and focusing on fruits and veggies,” said
THE SHREWSBURY CHILDREN’S CENTER
Beuerschaper, noting that’s in line with the Community Harvest Project’s great goal of giving all people access to fresh, healthy foods. “It’s not always about giving people the food, but about providing the knowledge.” So far, kids have mastered granola recipes in a “Morning Rocket Fuel” class, and celebrated international culture and cuisine in Korean Dumpling cooking course. In June, the themes shift to being planned according to what’s in season. Throughout the summer, participants will be harvesting fresh ingredients right from the farm’s garden. “One of my favorite things is having a kid look at the ground and say, ‘there’s a carrot under there?’ And we say, ‘yep – and you’re going to dig it up and then we’re going it eat it,” Beuerschaper laughed.
AF H IT
BA L L U
Classes featuring quesadillas, homemade pasta, salad dressings, smoothies, pesto, salsa, dips and more are planned through December. From May through August, the Community Harvest Project will also host programming for preschool age children (ages 2 to 4 with a parent), which will involved a hands-on farm activity, vegetable tasting, and other activities geared towards the season (think planting or tractor rides). Pre-registration is required for each class: Broccoli Head Chefs (9 to 12 year olds) $40; Celery Sous Chefs (5 to 8 year olds) $20; and Pepper Pack (2 to 4 year olds) $10. More information is on the Community Harvest Project Facebook page or under the education tab at communityharvest.org.
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Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - Dr. Seuss
Photos Courtesy of Boch Marketing
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
Families @ WAM Tour. Worcester Art Museum March 3 14 MARCH2018
Photo Courtesy of Massachusetts Audubon Society
Photo Courtesy of the Discovery Museum
Photo Courtesy of the Worcester Art Museum
PAW Patrol Live. The Wang Theatre. March 10 & 11
Asobouyo! Explore the Songs and Toys of Japan Discovery Museum. March 7
Maple Sugaring Weekend Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary March 17-18 & 25
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the minivan, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.
Photo Courtesy of the Discovery Museum
Snip and Tear. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Show off your scissor skills, try cutting for the first time, or use your hands to tear a collection of confetti. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Littlest Sailors. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 10-11 a.m. Bring your littlest sailor along for stories, songs, and playtime, while exploring the clothing worn by sailors and officers, and learn the difference between the ranks. For ages 2 to 5. Children $8. ussconstitutionmuseum.org. Upbeat Music. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 3:15-4:15 p.m. Enjoy this exciting, rhythmic music and movement class, using multicultural drumming patterns, instruments, song, and dance as tools for enrichment. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Berklee Middle Eastern Festival: Celebrating 10 Years. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy a stellar lineup of artists from around the globe, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Berklee Middle Eastern Festival. Advance $8-12, day-of $12.16. berklee.edu/events.
2 Friday Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30-10 a.m. Join our favorite professional musician and educator, Miss Bernadette, as we move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory workout. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Backyard and Beyond: Intro to Orienteering.
Discovery Museum. March 11
adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages under 4 free. berkshiremuseum.org.
Dr. Seuss Birthday Party. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ring in Dr. Seuss’s 114th birthday during a day filled with wacky, fun, crazy, and sometimes delicious activities spread throughout the day from crafting to magic to stories to decorating. Free with admission. Adults $25, youth ages 3 to 17 $13, ages under 3 free. springfieldmuseums.org.
Everyday Engineering: Go Fish. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop-in and try your hand at designing mini-fishing poles with different hooks, before using your new tool to try and fish some precious cargo out of the water. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
My Neighbor Totoro. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Watch what is often regarded as one of the best children’s films ever created, as Hayao Miyazaki’s watercolor ode to childhood imagination delights and exhilarates its audience. Through Sunday. Adults $9, children $7. coolidge.org.
Arms + Armor Demonstrations. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Join this fun interactive program and learn all about the kinds of arms and armor used by Roman soldiers, Medieval knights, and more. Free. worcesterart.org.
First Friday Nights Free. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30-8 p.m. Join us for this evening of exploring the Museum campus, while we collect non-perishable food donations for the Acton Food Pantry, and Open Table of Concord and Maynard. Free. discoveryacton.org.
Families @ WAM Tour. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:3011 a.m. Explore the Worcester Art Museum galleries during this docent-guided discovery tour. Free. worcesterart.org.
Shopkins Live! Shop It Up. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 6 p.m. Join the first theatrical production based on America’s No. 1 toy brand, immersing audiences in the world of Shopville using custom-designed theatrical costumes, creative characters, and outstanding music, songs, dances, and displays. $35-45. thehanovertheatre.org.
Beyond the Spectrum: Point of View. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join us as we look at artworks by M.C. Escher, Pablo Picasso, and others who have taken a twisty take on the world around them, before making our own works during this adventure in art for children on the autism spectrum. For ages 8 to 12. $9. mfa.org.
Stars Over Springfield. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Join members of the Springfield Star Club for skygazing in the Science Museum’s observatory, or a planetarium show if overcast. $3. springfieldmuseums.org.
WeeMuse: Art Lab. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday during this special Art Lab exploring ‘Bartholomew and the Ooblek’, as we look at the intersection of art and science. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember
Wooden Eggs: Drop-In Craft. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 12-4 p.m. Have fun decorating wooden eggs to add to your Easter basket, to give as gifts, or to house in your home. Through Sunday. Free with admission. Adults $10, youths ages 3 and up $5, children under 3 free. museumofrussianicons.org. Kid’s Opening Costume Party. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 2-4 p.m. Put on your favorite costume or outfit and bring your grownups to the Concord Museum for a kid-friendly opening of Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town, featuring games, crafts, and snacks. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youth ages 6 and up $5, ages under 6 free. concordmuseum.org.
4 Sunday Nature and Nurture with Miss Bernadette. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton.
10:30-11:15 a.m. Come and explore the great outdoors, as we sing songs, take a nature walk, read a story or make a craft. For ages 2 to 4. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Peter and the Wolf Free Family Concert. Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester. 3 p.m. Join the Worcester Chamber Music Society during their annual free family concert performing Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf following a little boy who, with the help of a bird, a duck, and a cat, outsmart a big, bad wolf. Free. worcesterchambermusic.org.
5 Monday MFA Playdates: Flowers A Bloom. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15-11 a.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time and looking activities in the galleries, followed by artmaking, celebrating the upcoming Spring season through looking at flowers in art. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youth ages 7 and up $1, children under 7 free. mfa.org. Dr. Seuss Birthday Party. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Enjoy a special party featuring a fun craft, singa-long, reading of ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ and more. Suitable for children ages 7 and under. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Berklee World Strings. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy original work from the flagship string orchestra, the Berklee World Strings and improvising soloists during this concert representing nearly every continent. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu/events.
6 Tuesday Tuesday Volunteer Days. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us as we learn about nature while helping the staff keep the sanctuary safe, fun, and educational for all. Recurs Tuesdays. Free. massaudubon.org. Lil’ SMART Gals: Mary Anning. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Learn about how Mary Anning’s childhood passion for collecting fossils resulted in great discoveries in the field of paleontology during this celebration of Women’s History Month. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Especially for Me: Sensory-Friendly Afternoons. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Come explore the entire Museum campus as your own pace, during this time where crowding is limited and quiet spaces are available. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 15
Photo Courtesy of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Guitar Night: Rock and Pop 2018. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy this concert featuring student-led ensembles comprising the best rock and pop guitarists at Berklee. Advance $8, dayof $12. berklee.edu/events.
7 Wednesday Asobouyo! Explore the Songs and Toys of Japan. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. & 2 p.m. Join visiting student teachers from Showa University in Tokyo to explore classic Japanese children’s songs and toys, as well as a little bit of Japanese words. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Enjoy this special tour helping individuals get used to their feet learn to enjoy art alongside their guardian or favorite adult, with light refreshments and a story. For ages up to 3, with siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org. ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Fill your morning with art and play through stories, art, materials, nature, and friends in deCordova’s 30-acre space. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, youths 12 and under free. deCordova.org. Family Fun Night: Wonderful Weather. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Come investigate all things weather, read When the Wind Blew, create a weather station, design a small kite, and more. For ages 3 to 7. Register ahead. leominsterlibrary.org.
8 Thursday Spring in My Backyard. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Celebrate spring, plant seedlings, make a pinecone bird feeder, learn about earthworm com-
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. March 18 posting, and meet some animal friends. For ages 5 and up. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. RE:VUE. David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. 4 p.m. Faculty and students from the Voice Department and Boston Conservatory present a world of talent and diversity of musical styles – from musical theatre to R&B. Free. berklee.edu/events. Spanish Bilingual Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Enjoy a special story time with stories, songs, and movements in English and Spanish. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
9 Friday Preschool Story and Nature Hour: Winter Birds. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Enjoy an hour of nature-themed fun engaging within a storybook, making a craft to take home, and walking the trails to explore what the feathered friends do this time of year. For ages 2.5 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org.
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Icy Investigations. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in as embrace the last few days of winter, experimenting with different types of salt on ice, add some watercolors, and discover how cool science can be. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Let’s Learn About Japan. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3-3:45 p.m. Come find out what kids do for fun in Japan as student teachers from Showa University in Tokyo share with toys, folktales, and crafts from Japan. For ages 3 and up. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Harlem Globetrotters. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy the star-studded roster that will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that will thrill all ages. Through Saturday. $24.50-$83.50 dcucenter.com.
10 Saturday Muggle Magic. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Follow recipes using mangrove juice, unicorn’s blood, Swump-Dump water, and more to create a variety of potions, lotions, and concoctions. For ages 7 to 10. Register ahead. Members $22, nonmembers $26. springfieldmuseums.org. Little Groove. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Come explore the Coolidge during this interactive music experience, featuring instruments, dances, and song for a full-body musical experience. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Margot Fox Family Fun Time. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Come dance, wiggle, and sing to old and new songs, during this family-friendly folk rock concert by Margot Fox and Friends. Members $7; nonmember adults $10, youth ages 3 to 12 $8, children under 3 free. regenttheatre.com. PAW Patrol Live. The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. Join the PAW Patrol on a pirate adventure, as Ryder and his team of pirate pups must rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern, and discover a secret pirate treasure map. Through Sunday. $25 and up. bochcenter.org. The Irish Balladeers. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Take a musical trip the Emerald Isle during this performance of traditional stories and dances with authentic Irish instruments. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org. Sensory Friendly Screening. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11 a.m-12 p.m. Come spend an hour at the Little Cinema watching a family friendly film in a quiet and dim theatre, designed for families and children with sensory needs. Recommended for ages 3 to 6. Members $3, nonmembers $5, children under age 4 free. berkshiremuseum.org. Special Storytime: Jane Yolen. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2 p.m. Celebrate Jane Yolen’s 365th book of her career, A Bear Sat on My Porch Today, directly from the author herself. Free with admission. Adults $9, youth $6, children under 1 free. carlemuseum.org.
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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! A Musical Taste of Irish Culture. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2-3:30 p.m. Discover Irish culture during this live performance featuring traditional tunes, stories, and educational engagement surrounding the Emerald Isle. Free. mywpl.org. Daddy/Caregiver & Me Brain Building Afternoon: Racecars. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 3-4 p.m. Dads or caretakers are invited to join in this activity building wooden race cars using real hammers and nails, before painting them. For ages 3 to 7 with caretaker. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Especially for Me: Autism-Friendly Evening. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-8 p.m. This is a special evening especially for families with members on the autism spectrum. Play, explore, learn, and enjoy a family dinner. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org. Ballet Flamenco Jesus Carmona. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Celebrated flamenco dancer Jesus Carmona and his company of 10 dancers, musicians, and vocalists perform an innovative and emotionally charged program. $40-79. berklee.edu/events.
11 Sunday Maple Day. South Shore Nature Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Explore maple history, culture, and production, and enjoy the process from start to finish of tapping a tree for sap to boiling maple syrup. Members $5, nonmembers $8, ages under 3 free. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Girls Day. MIT Museum, Building N51, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 11 a.m.4 p.m. Join the bi-annual celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, through hands-on activities, informal talks, and demonstrations. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Free with admission. Adults $10, youths 5 and up $5, ages under 5 free. mitmuseum.mit.edu. ARTfull Explorations. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 1-3 p.m. Drop-in and explore the Museum exhibitions with the whole family. Investigate new ideas and unique materials inspired by the themes of the artists on view. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, youths 12 and under free. deCordova.org. Hands-On History. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 1-4 p.m. Drop-in
for an afternoon for kids and families to learn together through hands-on demonstrations. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youth ages 6 and up $5, ages under 6 free. concordmuseum.org. Backyard and Beyond: Intro to Orienteering. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4 p.m. Explore the outdoor campus of the Museum through use of compasses, maps, and the skills of orienteering. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Compañía Eva Yerbabuena. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy a riveting balance between artistic innovation and rich flamenco tradition, as Eva Yerbabuena performs the Boston premier of her work ¡Ay!. $40-79. berklee.edu/events.
12 Monday Introduction to Baby Sign Language. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Take time with Sheryl White of Baby Kneads for an enriching class that will teach baby signing through song, the use of puppets, stories, paly, and interactive music. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.sfs
13 Tuesday Lil’ SMART Gals: Rosalind Franklin. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Join and learn about Rosalind Franklin’s exploration of DNA through a scavenger hunt. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Folk Open Mic: Phil & Trisha Knudsen. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Join in over two decades of tradition, as TCAN welcomes Phil and Trisha Knudsen and an open mic of experienced and new folk performers during this nighttime song series. Members free, nonmembers $5. natickarts.org.
14 Wednesday Pi Day. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. In honor of the important number Pi as we celebrate circles galore, through circle collages using colorful, mixedmedia circles, and trying our hands at compasses. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Into the Woods. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7:30 p.m.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Berklee Musical Theater Club incorporates the characters and plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and more with a score by Stephen Sondheim. Through Thursday. Advance $8-12, day-of $12-16. berklee.edu/events.
15 Thursday Doggy Days: Brains Awareness Week. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Join Abby the Therapy Dog as she shows her friends – you – that she is one smart pup. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Let’s Go for a Ride. Oliver Colvin Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston St., Boston. 4 p.m. Brandon Lin presents original music relating to traveling in the physical and fantasy world. Free. berklee. edu/events. Victory at Arnot. Oliver Colvin Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston St., Boston. 7 p.m. Learn the story of Mother Jones and the securement of safer working standards by a small Pennsylvania coal mining town, featuring live music. Suggested for ages 10 and up. Free. berklee.edu/events.
16 Friday Family Game Day. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3-5 p.m. Drop-in for family games, building materials, and other activities available for all. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
17 Saturday Maple Sugaring Weekend. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy, Sharon. 9 a.m. A day of the magic of turning sap into syrup, during this 45 year old celebration, covering the evolution of maple sugaring from the traditions of the Native Americans onward, before enjoying a delicious meal with a sugaring quiz board, crafting, and more fun. Registration recommended. Through Sunday. Advance $10, day-of $12. massaudubon.org. Preschool Story Hour: In a Nutshell. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 10-11 a.m. Bring your favorite adult for a thematic hour of story, activities, and a naturalist-led walk. For ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org. Pop-Up Play Day. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Come build and rebuild the big, blue blocks of Imagination Playground, inspiring innovative and collaborative play. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages under 4 free. berkshiremuseum.org. St. Patricks’ Day Celebration. The Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop-in and search for leprechauns, design a trap, and wear your green for a special 18 MARCH2018
treat on a day of leprechaun magic. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9, ages under 1 free. childrensmuseumineaston.org. Nowruz 2018: The Persian New Year Festival. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Welcome the arrival of spring at the MFA’s annual celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, through demonstrations, music, dance, artmaking, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youth ages 7 and up $1, children under 7 free. mfa.org. Karen K and The Jitterbugs. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11 a.m. Bug out with Karen K and her Jitterbugs Hop, Bumble, Stinky, and Slug Bug, during this unforgettable, crowd-engaging, theatrical show. Members $10, nonmembers $12. natickarts.org. Revels Spring Sing. Belmont Watertown UMC, 80 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown. 2 p.m. Wave goodbye to winter surrounded during this joyful family celebration of spring filled with music, songs, and mumming fit for the season, featuring songs from England, Ireland, and America. Adults $20, children 11 and under $8. revels.org. Zootopia. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2-3 p.m. Watch this Disney animated film showing us that we can be whoever we want to be, through the lens of a bunny police officer and her unlikely Fox partner on a quest to solve a mystery. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
18 Sunday Artbarn: Parables from the Parthenon. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Explore ancient Greece through three classic myths – from King Midas to Medusa – brought to life through Artbarn’s Duck Soup Troupe. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 12-4 p.m. Celebrate the Caterpillar’s special day at The Carle and enjoy a special art studio project, food search, films, Storytime, and more. Free with admission. Adults $9, youth $6, children under 1 free. carlemuseum.org. Learn to Geocache. South Shore Nature Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 1-2:30 p.m. Come sharpen your birding skills or learn the basics of a map of compass, during this continuation of our ‘Learn To…’ series. For ages 5 and up. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $15. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Sunday Volunteer Days. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 1-4 p.m. Learn about nature as you assist with a variety of projects such as gardening, grounds work, trail clearing, wildlife monitoring, and more. Free. massaudubon.org. Boston Area Chantey & Maritime Sing. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 2-5 p.m. Embrace your Maritime Heritage by joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys at the USS Constitution Museum, as we listen, learn, and lift up our voices. Suggested donation $5-10. ussconstitutionmuseum.org.
19 Monday Paul Galdone Celebration. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Celebrate the books of Paul Galdone through stories, art, music, and movement. For ages 2 to 5. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Video Game Design Workshop. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-8 p.m. Join Empow Studios as they present a class encompassing storytelling, pixel art, and objectoriented programming through a user-friendly 2D game design platform. For ages 8 to 13. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
20 Tuesday Lil’ SMART Gals: Beatrix Potter. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Dissect flowers and learn about author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, whose career as an author occurred simultaneously with a fascination and exploration of botany. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. AIR PLAY. Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 151 Presidents Dr., Amherst. 7 p.m. Ride the wind and dream with AIR PLAY, a circus-style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, featuring giant kites, flying umbrellas, and larger-than-life balloons. $10-25. fac.umass.edu.
21 Wednesday WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Enjoy this special tour helping individuals get used to their feet learn to enjoy art alongside their guardian or favorite adult, with light refreshments and a story. For ages up to 3, with siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Sap to Syrup. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy, Sharon. 10:30-11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Try your hand at becoming a maple sugar farmer, look for sap dripping out of tapped trees, discover how sap is turned into syrup, and do a little taste test. For ages 4 to 6. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $12. massaudubon.org. Backyard and Beyond: International Day of Forests. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m. Celebrate all the important things that healthy trees provide us, journey into the woods, and try to find the biggest, tallest tree in the forest. Free with admission. Members
free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Literacy Night at the Library: Farm Friends. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Celebrate literacy and our farm friends, by reading My Farm Friends and Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook, before stuffing our own plush horses. For ages 3 to 7. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
BRAND NEW SHOW!
MARCH 10 & 11
22 Thursday Make a Mess: Spring Fever. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Drop-in and come create a vernal work of art using recycled containers of all sorts, as we embrace the newly sprung Spring. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Color Craziness Concoctions. The Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10-11 a.m. Come be inspired by Eric Carle’s The Mixed Up Chameleon and learn about the science of color mixing. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9, ages under 1 free. childrensmuseumineaston.org. Take Aparts. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and explore the curious inner-workings of telephones, computers, radios, and more. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. Beaman Memorial Library, 8 Newton St., West Boylston. 6 p.m. Join Screen Savvy Kids as they host a documentary screening and discussion exploring media exposure and childhood. Free. screensavvykids.com. A-Town Teen Video Contest. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 7 p.m. Enjoy this presentation of the very best teen filmmakers from the entire Greater Boston area, and find out who will be highlighted for distinction. Adults $10, youths $5, families $25. regenttheatre.com. Woodcock Watch for Families. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 7-8 p.m. Look for the incredible courtship flight displays of woodcocks which occurs in late March through late April to wonder. Members free; nonmember adults $6, children $3. massaudubon.org.
23 Friday Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Explore a nature-based activity responding to the weather, and head out to the Discovery Woods or adjacent conservation land. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Fridays. discoveryacton.org. Preschool Story and Nature Hour: Salamander Migration. Wachusett Meadow
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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Enjoy the time of the great salamander migration, incorporate the traveling of these slippery sliders through a stories, crafts, and a nature walk. For ages 2.5 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this musical depiction of Buddy Holly through his short yet spectacular career, featuring classic songs like ‘La Bamba’, ‘That’ll Be The Day’, and ‘Oh Boy’. $3969. thehanovertheatre.org.
24 Saturday Backyard and Beyond: Bird Language with ‘PrimiTim’. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. Come join Tim ‘PrimiTim’ Swanson as he helps us decode some of the bird language we hear all around us each Spring. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Wayne Potash. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Join Wayne Potash and his band during this special interactive rock and roll show for families, featuring new songs incorporating animals, princesses, and
silly monsters. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Nazar Bollywood Dance Troup: Colors of India. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Experience the excitement of Bollywood and celebrate the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi, with a stunning performance combining South Asian dance with western jazz and ballet. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org. Kitchen Ka-Boom. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Join some science fun and experiments, as kids enjoy a safe space exploring items found in almost
BETHDIGITAL FIRST ANNUAL
KIDS BUSINESS EXPO 2018 Advocating entrepreneurship to foster leadership and financial literacy in students & young adults
HOSTED AT THE DCU CENTER 50 FOSTER ST WORCESTER MA APRIL 21 2018 @ 10AM-7PM PARENTS
Is your child creative, enjoys extreme couponing, or supports an already estabilished business that they participate in? Would they like to sell their own original products/services or resell wholesale products purchased from eBay, Amazon, etc.? Then check out BethDigital’s 1st Annual Kids Business Expo (KBX). Free vendor booths for students (w/ parent if under 18yrs) and PTO groups, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose! Go showcase your stuff, learn about business and make some money! KBX is hosted at the DCU Center Sat. April 21st @10-7pm. For more info visit www.bethdigital.com
Come support your local P.T.O. groups and help foster the entrepreneurial spirit in our kids by visiting the KBX and exploring the unique items student vendors have for sale. LEARN from our Educational Presentations for both students & adults. ENJOY our Live Performances and Exhibition Shows. PARTICIPATE in our Entrepreneurial Workshops, Raffles, Competitions & More for the whole family!
students debut their products & services. Free vendor space is also available to PTO/ PTA to help raise funds for much needed school supplies and under-funded programs like sports and music. Join us as we raise financial literacy in our kids and funds for our schools, in this exciting yet purposeful event!
FREE VENDOR SPACE FOR STUDENTS & PTA/PTO! (registration & approval req’d) Free vendor space is provided to help
THE ONLY ALL-STAR KID VENDOR EVENT OF IT’S KIND
LEADERS START HERE
any kitchen. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages under 4 free. berkshiremuseum.org. Teddy B Tea. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 12-1 p.m. & 2-3 p.m. Come be delighted as you bring your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal for an afternoon of tea, cocoa, and a simple craft. Register ahead. Member adults $20, children $17; nonmember adults $25, children $22. concordmuseum.org. Amazing Archaeology Fair. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. 1-4 p.m. Families are invited to enjoy hands-on activities, learning, and virtual tours, and more, as archaeologists and Harvard students present this exciting day of fun. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $12, youths ages three and up $8, children under 3 free. peabody.harvard.edu. Especially for Me: Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or KODA Children. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-8 p.m. Enjoy a special night featuring ASL interpreters, newly renovated exhibitions, and dinner. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org. Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Spanning jazz, Latin, and African influences, this collaborative concert brings to stage sounds from Cuba and Senegal live. $28-42. berklee.edu/events.
25 Sunday Maple Sugaring Weekend. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy, Sharon. 9 a.m. Join us for a day of the magic of turning sap into syrup, during this 45 year old celebration, covering the evolution of maple sugaring from the traditions of the Native Americans onward, before enjoying a delicious meal with a sugaring quiz board, crafting, and more fun. Registration recommended. Advance $10, day-of $12. massaudubon.org. Groton-Dunstable Chamber Chorus. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 2-3:30 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of stunning classical and contemporary acapella pieces. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
26 Monday Toddler and Me Yoga and Movement. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-10:45 a.m. Join us for a funfilled yoga session for active tots and preschoolers, including age appropriate poses, songs, and movement. For ages 1 to 3 with caregiver. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
27 Tuesday Matt Heaton Family Singalong. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:00-10:45 a.m. Enjoy as the Toddlerbilly Troubadour brings 20 MARCH2018
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Photo Courtesy of Revels
Everyday Engineering: Strike a Balance. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Engage in some everyday engineering as we build a tabletop seesaw using rulers, paint stirrers, and paper towel tubes, before piling on pennies and seeing if they can do a balancing act. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Revels Spring Sing. Revels. March 17
his infectious energy to sing-alongs peppered with well known classics, and a few soon-to-be classics, performed on banjo and guitar. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
experiment with different designs and colorful patterns. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Lil’ SMART Gals: Katherine Johnson. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Join us as we learn blast off, and strap on our imaginary moon boots as we learn about research mathematician Katherine Johnson whose fascination of numbers was essential for NASA’s success in space. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
International Folk Festival. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Folk music from all over the world will be presented by various Berklee student groups and special guests during this wide-ranging performance. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu/events.
SMART Gals: Annie Easley. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in as we learn about computer programmer, mathematician, and rocket scientist Annie Easley, who was essential in creating a new high energy rocket launcher. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Make a Mess: Paint with What. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.11:00 a.m. Drop-in and use our unconventional painting tools as we explore what can be used to create artwork. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Folk Open Mic: Kenny Selcer. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Join in over two decades of tradition, as TCAN welcomes Kenny Selcer and an open mic of experienced and new folk performers during this nighttime song series. Members free, nonmembers $5. natickarts.org.
28 Wednesday ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:3011:30 a.m. Fill your morning with art and play through stories, art, materials, nature, and friends in deCordova’s 30-acre space. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, youths 12 and under free. deCordova.org. Colorful Kaleidoscopes. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and join us to explore light, color, and reflections as we create simple but dazzling kaleidoscopes, and
Fly a Kite. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy, Sharon. 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Hold onto your hats, as we make a simple kite to ride on the winds of Spring and discover how some plants and animals depend on the wind to help them survive. Recommended for ages 4 to 6. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $12. massaudubon.org. In the Mood. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:00 p.m. Enjoy this 1940s musical revue, transporting audiences to a time when everyone was singing and dancing, featuring the best singers, period costumes, dance routines, and shear American pizzazz around. $38-48. thehanovertheatre.org. Percussion Days Showcase. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Enjoy as select Berklee students and faculty as they perform in honor and in memory of the illustrious career of longtime Percussion Department member Kim Plainfield. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu/events.
High School Musical. The Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center, 1 School St., Foxborough. 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Join Troy, Gabriella, and the students of East High as they perform all the songs everyone knows and loves in this staged version of Disney Channel’s smash hit movie. $8. orpheumfoxboro.org. Family Autism Day. The Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 4:30.-6:30 p.m. Enjoy this opportunity to explore the Museum’s hands-on exhibits in a less overwhelming atmosphere during this time for children on the Autism Spectrum and those with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. For ages 10 and under. Register ahead. $3. childrensmuseumineaston.org. Moscow Festival Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 8:00 p.m. Enjoy as the Moscow Festival Ballet returns to present what is often considered the finest achievement of classical ballet, with lavish theatrical staging and a beautiful score. $41-55. thehanovertheatre.org. Berklee Global Jazz Institute Summit: Love Supreme. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Come celebrate the impact of William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, John Coltrane, Martin Luther King Jr., and other leaders on today’s global jazz era. Advance $12, day-of $16. berklee.edu/events.
31 Saturday Spring Egg-Stravaganza. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn to decorate eggs with natural dyes, enjoy an egg hunt, and search for clues that spring is near. Registration recommended. Member children $10, nonmember children $13, adults free. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Davey the Clown. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy physical comedy, juggling, unicycling, balloon sculptures, and more zany antics during this performance by celebrating pure fun. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Make a Mess: Spin Art. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Drop-in as we put a fresh spin on art, as we twist, twirl, and give our watercolors a whirl. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 21
Sweet Stuff: MAKE A DAY OF IT
Make the Most of Maple Month
arch is here and winter is slowly melting into spring. The warm days and cool nights mark a short but sweet spot on the calendar – the sap is running and sugaring season is here. All over the region, trees are being tapped to collect that liquid gold: maple syrup.
Throughout the month of March, which the governor has officially proclaimed as “Maple Sugar Month” in Massachusetts, there is plenty of maple-themed fun (and food) to savor. From the Berkshires to the North Shore, many of the state’s 300+ maple producers are hosting events this month where you can watch the process of turning sap into syrup, or enjoy an authentic sugarhouse maple breakfast. The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association kicks off the season on March 9, tapping the ceremonial first tree at Mill Brook Sugarhouse in Lenox. Statewide, Maple Weekend follows on March 17-18. Check out some of these maple sugaring events and demonstrations happening this month. You can also find a comprehensive list of sugarhouses at massmaple.org.
Photo Courtesy of Maple Ledge Farm
Brookwood Farm, Canton A decades-old tradition, Maple Sugar Days Festival at DCR’s Blue Hills Reservation is slated for March 24 and 25. Take a walk down “Maple Lane” and learn to handle and use various sugar making tools. Smell the wood smoke as you watch clouds of steam rise from bubbling sap cooking into syrup in the sugarhouse, and get a taste of real maple. Activities include games for children, a warming bonfire, and horse-drawn wagon rides. Skilled artisans demonstrate traditional, hand-powered crafts. Grab a bite to eat from a food truck, and locally produced maple syrup is available for purchase. $5-$10. No reservations required. massaudubon.org. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln Various goings on such as “Maple Moo” and “Sip Some Sap” are held throughout the month of March, but the sweetest event is the Sap-to-Syrup Farmer’s Breakfast on March 10 and 11. See how sap is collected from the majestic maple trees and enjoy a hearty pancake breakfast with real maple syrup, and Drumlin’s own roasted potatoes and sausage. $15-$17. Reservations required, call 781-259-2200 or visit massaudubon.org.
See sap boiled down to syrup Saturdays and Sundays in March at Holland’s Maple Ledge Farm. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Ipswich Guided weekend Sugaring Tours take place Saturdays and Sundays in March, where visitors learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, and watch sap get boiled down in the sugarhouse. Taste the final product, then warm up by the wood stove in the barn where you can enjoy “sap dogs,” hot soups and delicious desserts. Tours last about one hour and run in all weather. $8-$11. Wrap up the sugaring season at the Spring Flapjack Fling on March 24, featuring a breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and of course, maple syrup, followed by a sugaring tour. $14-$17. Registration required for all events, call 978-887-9264 or visit massaudubon.org. Land’s Sake Farm, Weston The nonprofit public farm and educational organization’s Sugaring Off event on March 24 will take place at the Bill McElwain Sugar House at Weston Middle School. Watch maple sugaring demonstrations and enjoy a maple-filled breakfast, all led by students in the farm’s maple education programs. landssake.org.
Old Sturbridge Village hosts Maple Days weekends this month.
Photo Courtesy Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
Maple Ledge Farm, Holland Boiling sap starts on March 3 and continues on weekends through the month. Stop by to see demonstrations. Enjoy a pancake breakfast served up on March 17 and 18; donations accepted for the Easter Seals of Massachusetts. facebook. com/maple.ledge/ Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon Experience the sugaring process from tree to table during Maple Sugaring Weekends March 17, 18 and 25. Learn how sugaring evolved from Native American to Colonial to current procedures during a 90-minute outdoor, guided tour where characters from the past portray their daily tasks, like tapping trees. End the tour at the sugarhouse to taste the final product, then stop by the Visitor Center for children’s crafts, pancakes, “sap dogs,” maple-dusted popcorn and more. $10. Registration required, call 781-784-5691 or visit massaudubon.org. Natick Community Organic Farm, Natick Maple Sugaring Tours are offered during sugaring season at this nonprofit, certified-organic farm. Explore the history and artifacts of maple sugaring from Native American to Colonial to modern times. Learn about the science of sugaring, visit their tapped sugar maples, sip some sap while it drips into the bucket, and stop by the sugar shack where sap is boiled down into delicious syrup. Boiling and sap flow is entirely weather dependent. Tours run for about an hour and must be booked in advance. $8. natickfarm.org.
The evolution of maple sugaring comes to life at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.
North Hadley Sugar Shack, Hadley Watch syrup be boiled in the evaporator room on weekends in March. Tours and tastings for Maple Weekend, March 17 and 18. Maple breakfast served 7 days a week. Reservations recommended. northhadleysugarshack.com. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge Weekends in March are Maple Days at this living history museum. See maple sugaring as it was done in early 19th Century rural New England at OSV’s working sugar camp. The entire process is brought to life – from tapping the trees to “sugaring off” – with costumed historians, period foods, other maple related items. Included with cost of admission. osv.org.
River Bend Farm, Uxbridge Park staff and volunteers take visitors on a guided tour of the art and science of tapping maple trees, gathering sap and producing syrup during Maple Sugar Days, March 3 and 4. Free, 90-minute tours are on a first-come, first-served basis and include indoor and outdoor elements. No registration required. blackstoneheritagecooridor.org.
The Warren Farm, North Brookfield Open weekends in March for sugaring tours. This tour discusses the history and future of maple sugaring. Guests visit the woods to explore two different systems of tapping, then head to sugarhouse to see the evaporator at work receiving sap from the collection tanks outside. See firsthand how sap is boiled to syrup before stopping at the greenhouse for stories and samples. $5. Reservations required, call 508-867-0174. Beyond the Bay State The annual Hebron Maple Festival in central Connecticut March 17-18 will feature sugar house tours, kids’ activities, and of course, a pancake breakfast. Vermont plays host to some sweet celebrations, including two maple festivals in April and the annual Maple Adventure Ride – a 24-mile bike ride that leads to a different sugar house each year. The 2018 ride on March 25 starts in West Windsor.
Photo Courtesy of Land’s Sake
Photo Courtesy Old Sturbridge Village
South Shore Natural Science Center, Norwell Explore maple history, culture and production at Maple Day on March 11. Help tap trees and watch how sap is boiled into syrup. Woodland walks, sweet treats, crafts and hands-on activities all part of the event. $5-$8. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org.
Students from a Maple Sugaring after school program lead Land’s Sake’s Sugaring Off event. BAYSTATEPARENT 23
Maple sugaring was happening in Massachusetts long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. From journals of early explorers, we know Native Americans had a process for making maple sugar as early as 1609.
60,000 The number of gallons of maple syrup produced in Massachusetts each year.
Sugaring is one of the few tourist destination events occuring during mud season. Over 60 million visitors spend an excess of $2 million during maple sugaring season.
TOP TEN: The Bay State is the 9th largest maple producing state in the nation.
Rein in a Dream Horsemanship Center
• Nurturing, non-competitive environment. • Lessons open to the public. • Serving ages 4 through adult.
Liquid Gold: It takes approximately 40-50 gallons of sap to create one gallon of maple syrup.
The number of calories per tablespoon of maple syrup, making it one of the lowest-calorie natural sweeteners.
Good Food. Done Right.
In the historic Jefferson House on the north end of
Holden, Route 122A
Hand-cut Steaks Fresh Seafood Vegetarian Specialties Sandwiches
Specialized programming for students with mental health disorders, on the autism spectrum, with cognitive and learning challenges, or mild physical disabilities.
Massachusetts has more than 300 maple producers, with more than 80 percent of them located west of Interstate 91.
Hand-made meals crafted with care.
• Therapeutic and recreational riding.
Contact Cherie Ansin at 978/368-4804 or Cansin@perkinschool.org
Pure maple syrup is graded according to Federal USDA regulations, and is based on both color and flavor. All syrup available to the public is Grade A, and then further classified by color. • Golden Color: Delicate Taste • Amber Color: Rich Taste • Dark: Robust Taste • Very Dark: Strong Taste
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Photos Courtesy of MitchellGreenPhotography.com, Discovery Museum Staff, Cambridge Seven Associates and Lemon, and Brooke Landscape Architects.
Gets Reinvented BY ALEX KHAN
alancing zip, originality, and enticement is a necessary but difficult task in welcoming individuals to a new space. In the case of the reinvented Discovery Museum, opening in March, there are
many options for consideration. The 13-foot tall interactive ‘A-Mazing Airways’ sculpture adapts well to “Come Get Blown Away,” but the tired phrase is unreflecting of the space’s freshness. The da Vinci Workshop, an on-site tinkerer’s haven, adapts well to “Find Your Inner Renaissance Man,” but this is too gender specific for a welcoming, fully-accessible museum that is open to all. “It’s so Big, We Fit a House Into It” is, yes, true with its Bessie’s House replicating the former Children’s Discovery Museum on campus, but still, that doesn’t quite say it all. And “Come Get Your Inner House” is an incoherent mess, disregarding the careful consideration to unify the Children’s and Science Discovery Museums into one building. The expanded and completely renovated museum has twice the exhibit space of the original museum and includes significant new galleries for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) experiences including water; air; tinkering, design, and engineering; early brain development; math; light and color; and sound. It also includes reimagined visitor favorites from the original buildings including a Diner, Train Room, and Ship Room, along with other beloved exhibit components such as a giant amethyst and radar magnet. The new building is ADA-compliant and all exhibits are accessible, designed according to Universal Design principles to be both aesthetically pleasing and useable by the widest possible range of people, without regards to age or ability. In combination with the museum’s Discovery Woods outdoor nature playscape and treehouse, the entire campus is now accessible.
The consolidation of the two sites into a singular Discovery Museum was decided seven years ago after the Museum conducted a broader Facility Masterplan, examining current and future museum experiences. In unifying the spaces, the Museum could provide a more coherent experience, and expand accessibility for visitors. “The main thing that happens is that you develop a vision of what you are trying to create,” says Neil Gordon, CEO of the Discovery Museum. At a conceptual level, the premise of increasing access to the Museum’s mission to “inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning” was uncontroversial. Potential problems arose from the pragmatic to the emotional: requesting funding, and decommissioning the Children’s Discovery Museum, respectively. The 19th century yellow and red Victorian home preceded the Science Discovery Museum and acted as the primary site for younger visitors to the Museum campus since opening in 1982, including during the construction of the new Discovery Museum. Situated directly off Main Street in Acton, the Children’s Museum served as a backdrop for the goodwill ambassador of the Museum – and symbol of offbeat-pride for many locals – Bessie, the Dinosaur. Both the Victorian House and Bessie will remain. Tasked with taking the temperature of the community were professional campaign feasibility consultants using anonymous interviews to survey community members and past supporters. For the Museum, according to Gordon, the feedback was decisive. “What was great about that process is that it
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really solidified for us the notion that the community viewed us as a community resource, and they were willing to make an investment in us.” In 2013, the Discovery Museum began its first official capital campaign in over 25 years. In total, it was estimated $8.4 million to execute the Museum’s vision. While grants would support the Museum in-part, the goal was contingent on community donations. In total, the Discovery Museum raised $8.8 million. Core to the redesign was the Universal Design Principle (UDP), seven criteria developed to promote all ability access to and experience of designed spaces. “It is really an anticipation of an understanding of the different ways that information can be absorbed,” says Charles Baldwin, Program Officer at the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s UP [Universal Participation] Program. The Discovery Museum has participated in UP’s “Innovation and Learning Network” since 2015, and through the process, has cultivated a network of institutional contacts and consultants to gauge accessibility. Along with strict functional elements, including wheelchair accessible paths, a second elevator, and bathrooms on both floors of the space, UDP finds congruence with the Museum’s mission promoting equal access. It is of little surprise then to hear Gordon speak of exhibition goals consistent with criteria, such as simplicity and intuitiveness – “we want people to walk up to it and begin, rather than stand there and read directions” – and flexibility in use. “Most of our exhibits don’t have a right answer; the beauty of them is kids get to change lots of different things, and that is, of course, a core principle of science.” Notes Baldwin, “the Discovery Museum under Neil Gordon has got it solid.”
Ensuring this goal of accessibility, the Museum will also welcome “expert users” of differing abilities to provide feedback upon opening. The Museum views such opportunities to recommit to improving accessibility amongst its exhibitions as a learning experience. There are ten signature museum exhibits. All exhibit spaces are unified in an exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering. Art, and Math (STEAM) concepts. Some of the exhibit spaces have a clear legacy point with rooms of the past. For fans of the Children’s Museum, there is Bessie’s House -- a two-story space with the same façade, it contains iconic but updated areas from the former building. “It was important to the Museum (and to me) to capture the creativity and uniqueness of Bessie’s House in our reimagined exhibits, while making sure the spaces were safe, comfortable, and accessible to visitors of all ages and abilities,” says Margaret Middleton, who spent nearly two years designing the Museum’s new exhibits. “The gallery spaces are smaller than the gallery spaces in the rest of the building to mimic the intimacy and coziness that people really cherished in the old building,” adds Gordon. da Vinci Workshop’s use of recycled materials, hammers, nails, and free space for invention echoes a similar tinkering space in the Science Discovery Museum. Adding a twist, the Museum will feature a vertical airstream for engineers to experiment with aerodynamics alongside creating prototypes. Some are newly configured spaces. The A-Mazing Airways sculpture created to demonstrate the power of air is marketed as “the only freestanding exhibit of its kind in North America”, and the space, ‘Yes, It’s Math!’ became a new area of exploration for the Museum. To maintain scientific validity,
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the Museum took a multipronged approach. Internally, the museum used trained staff whose expertise in field and function promoted efficiency without sacrificing quality. Laterally, the Museum constructed advisory committees for each research subject to provide “upfront advice and to weigh-in and review designs during the process”. Externally, the Museum used a cadre of designers with experience in building science-based familyoriented accessible exhibits, including Middleton, designer Kevin Harper for costumes, and Truro Designs in Rhode Island. Along with new designs, the Museum will reserve 1,5000 square feet of space for its Community Gallery, built equally to host traveling exhibits, experiment, and provide space for “when the local high school robotics team [wants to] display things and interact with the public”. Now ready to welcome guests, the Discovery Museum’s remaining task is adorn Bessie’s party hat. The Discovery Museum’s Celebration Weekend will be held on March 3rd and 4th. It is located at 177 Main St., Acton, Massachusetts. Alex Khan is a reporter, writer, and documentary researcher. He divides his time between New York City and Massachusetts.
Discovery Museum’s Especially for Me Series The Discovery Museum has announced 2018 dates of their Especially for Me series of free events for families with children with an autism spectrum disorder and/or with hearing or vision loss. Upcoming events will take place in the new unified and fully-accessible museum building. The popular free program series began in 2010 to offer families an opportunity to play together when the museum is closed to the general public or capacity is limited in order to improve access. Because admission is free, families may come and go based on their child’s needs without concern for cost. Parents also have the chance to meet other families in similar circumstances, thereby reducing feelings of isolation often described by families dealing with special needs. Special resources appropriate to each event are provided. These may include noise-reducing headphones, audio-description devices, sensorybased programming, or American Sign Language (ASL) language facilitators. Additionally, food including gluten-free options is provided for all evening events. The museum works with various local organizations to serve
Especially for Me audiences, provide trainings for museum staff on topics of inclusion, and provide on-site resources as needed. These include the Boston Children’s Hospital Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program, Autism Alliance of MetroWest, Perkins School for the Blind, and Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired. This year, the museum has partnered with The Learning Center for the Deaf’s Center for Research and Training and Unstoppable Design Studio to provide staff trainings and programs related to accessible making and tinkering. All Especially for Me events are free to attend, but pre-registration is required.
2018 Schedule • Free Sensory-Friendly Afternoons (during public hours, but no school groups or birthday parties will be scheduled at this time) from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays March 6, April 3, May 1, June 5, October 2, November 6, and December 4.
• Free Autism-Friendly Evenings (closed to the public) from 5-8 p.m. on March 10, April 7, May 19, July 14, August 11, October 6, and November 17. • Free Evenings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children (closed to the public) from 5-8 p.m. on March 24, April 28, July 28, and October 13. • Free Mornings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants and Toddlers (closed to the public) from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on April 2 and October 1. • Free Visually Impaired Family Evenings (closed to the public) from 5-8 p.m. on May 5 and November 3.
AT THE LIBRARY
FIRST and THIRD TUESDAY of each month 10:30-11:15 AM
“…Mary was a bookworm. Sometimes when her siblings went out to play, she’d stay at home reading. Other times when she joined them, as often as not she’d eventually slip away to a secluded spot where they’d find her later, engrossed in a book.” — From A World More Bright: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Isabel Ferguson and Heather Vogel Frederick
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In this children’s program, young visitors will not only listen to stories but also engage in playful activities. Recommended for bookworms 5 years old and younger with adults. No registration required. 200 Massachusetts Ave., Boston MA 02115 For more information, please contact our Educational Programs Coordinator 617-450-7203 | email@example.com
21ST ANNUAL CAMP ISSUE
30 Doing Your Homework on
Camp: How to Know if Your Child is Ready & How to Pick The Right Camp
34 Dog Days of Summer Camp:
Kids Can Bring Dog to K-9 Camp
Photo by Barnes Portrait Design
Happy CamperS 36 Paxton Farm Aims to Turn
42 Ten Things You Never Knew
40 Compassion at Camp:
44 Dealing With Homesickness
Back Time with Outdoor Play Volunteers Get Just as Much Love as They Give
About Camp at Camp
Doing Your Homework on Summer Camp How to Know if Your Child is Ready, and How to Pick the Right Camp BY JODI DEE
hen it comes to the world of camp, there is truly something for everyone. With programs to meet every interest, price range and schedule, how do you go about picking the right one for you child? As a parent, it comes down doing a little homework. The first thing to consider is if your child is ready to attend camp, and if so, it helps to be clear what their goals are at camp. Is it to make new friends, learn a new skill, or try something new? Is camp mainly for child care in the summer, or an alternative to traditional child care? Half-day, full-day, or sleepaway? Some camps are focused on one activity or skill, like drawing or art projects. Some camps are strictly to learn or practice a sport, like soccer. If your child is very active, an art camp may not be the best choice, unless they break up the day with physical activities. Most full day camps will have a set daily schedule. Be sure to review the curriculum and schedule outlined. Many parents wonder what the best age and is to time to send their child to a camp. There are some 6 and 7 year olds who get dropped off and eager to go, while some 11 year olds experience angst and fear being in a new environment with new kids. The answer really depends on your individual child, his or her age, and developmental readiness, which varies significantly from child to child (even of the same age).
Some Guidelines Early Childhood – Ages 4-7 Young children are typically not ready for overnight camp, although some children younger than 7 may be, depending upon their maturity level and prior experience. However, children who aren’t ready for overnight can thrive at a day camp! If a child has spent weeks in the summer or overnights with family members, and are used to
sleepovers with friends, they might be just fine. When selecting a camp at this age, look for one that focuses on preschool or primary grades that provide a good mix of age appropriate activities and lots of movement. Children at this age need to play and use their bodies, and experi-
The first thing to consider is if your child is ready to attend camp, and if so, it helps to be clear what their goals are at camp.
ence lots of new things. Ideally, there should be a small counselorto-camper ratio for younger children. One counselor for six children is a good size for children ages 6 to 8. Parents should compare their child’s age with the ages of other
campers, and make sure they are not in a group with older children. Find out in advance the age ranges, and how many have signed up before committing. Middle Childhood – Ages 8-10 While some children aged 8 to 10 may still be more comfortable at a day camp, many in this age range are ready for overnight camp. Children of this age are seeking much more intellectual stimulation and physical challenges, and prefer specific activities like art, sports, or music, that target their interests. Many will want to do camps with their friends or team mates. These are wonderful ways to extend friendships and school comradery. Early Adolescence – Ages 11-12 Children ages 11 to 12 become much more focused on individual achievement and success. At this age they are usually seeking to further develop a skill or talent, or will prefer a camp with a wide variety of activities. They would benefit a camp that allows them to try new things and gain new skills in a supportive and non-threatening environment. Most camps will list the age ranges. Camps that cater to 11 to 12 year olds typically focus on more group and team activities, which is great for social and emotional development and confidence in group settings. Middle Adolescence Ages 14-16 Children ages 14 to 16 (mid-teens) often are evolving their identity and abilities, and that comes with insecurities and self-doubt. Choose a camp that provides opportunities for your child to succeed and be with other kids their age. If he or she is passionate about a particular activity, consider a camp that specializes in that activity. If his or her interests are more widespread and varied, look for a camp where she can try many different things (like a YMCA outdoor camp that has swimming, kayaking, camping skills, basketball, tennis courts, and more). If this is your child’s first
time at camp, talk to the camp staff about how they integrate new campers with returners.
Getting Them Ready: • Involve and bring them shopping for camp, pack together • Talk about what they are excited or concerned about • Pack a favorite toy or item, like a t-shirt, family picture, cap or small stuffed animal to bring if they miss
child about how to meet new friends
• Have them “practice” sleeping over at relatives or a friends
• Tell them who to turn to if they have issues with their counselor
• Share stories about your own camp experience (positive memories!)
• Explain that they may not like all activities or be as good at all -- they don’t have to, it is for fun!
• Point out what your child does well and how that will be an asset at camp
• Tell them not to worry about being everyone’s friend, one or two good friends at camp is great
• Let them know the camp counselors are there for them, and to help
• Encourage them to have fun...and let them know you can’t wait to hear all about it
• Have conversations with your
Danforth Summer Arts at Framingham State University June 25 - August 24, 2018
In the end parents have to use their judgment in determining a child’s readiness for camp. In addition, the type of camp (day camp or overnight), the distance from home, and the camp’s structure and philosophy are all factors in determining suitability for your child. The best camps not only teach new skills or activities, but teamwork, navigating social and emotional situations, self-reliance, and resilience. Read the reviews by other parents and ask for recommendations from parents of your children’s friends. This often help hone in on the best camps for you. Jodi Dee is a mother of three with more than 20 years’ experience in early childhood and education, and 11 years as a full-time mother. She has a B.A. in psychology and Master’s Degree in Education from Clark University. She is a regular columnist, avid blogger, and children’s book author. Jodi is a passionate advocate for emotional maturity, early childhood education, and recently launched of how to createahomeoflearning.com.
Support and Strategies for Parents of Infants Through Teens
Parenting Solutions • Discipline strategies that work • Sleep and bedtime problems • Changing disrespectful behavior
Weeklong, full-day sessions for children entering or emerging from grades K-8. Weeklong half-day sessions for grades 9-12.
Nurture your child’s creative curiosity and self-expression through art and art-making. In Danforth Art’s studio art classes, children will develop an understanding of the elements and principles of art, and will learn skills and techniques in drawing, painting, and sculpture using a variety of 2D and 3D materials. All materials are provided.
Save up to $50 if you register before April 30th Learn more and register online: danforthart.org
• Helping children with behavior problems in preschool settings • Keeping your teen out of trouble • Dealing with parenting differences • Solving stepfamily problems • Making divorce work for children Visit our website for more information www.parentingsolutionsprograms.com
6 Colonial Drive Suite 2, Westboro, MA 508-366-7557
Sylvia Sirignano, Ph.D. Developmental Psychologist, Director Individual Parent Consultations Marital Mediation • Divorce Mediation Post-divorce Mediation and Consultation
Observe whales, porpoises, puffins, seals, and a variety of other marine life up-close in their natural habitat.
xplore a unique island ecosystem and make connections that will last a life time!
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Celebrating 96 Amazing Summers in the Berkshires! Heated Pool • Sailing • Skate Park • Zip Line • Zumba • Team Sports Gymnastics • Crafts • Pottery • Waterskiing Archery • Judo • Rocketry Golf • Yoga • Guitar • Cheerleading & much, much more!
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Summer days spent enjoying the great outdoors. A break from overly-structured, overly-scheduled routines. No rushing, no homework. A slice of carefree living. What’s better than summer camp? Summer camp with your four-legged best friend.
Dog Days of
Summer Camp Kids Can Bring Their Best Friends Along at K-9 Camp BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER, PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH BROOKS Heading off for the day at summer camp no longer means saying goodbye to the family pet. At Stowe Farm’s Kids & K-9 Camp, children bring their dog along with them. Kids spend a week learning how to train and care for their animal, becoming a more responsible pet owner while building a bond and trust with their furry friend. From obedience basics to games and tricks, canines and their kids learn new skills and build confidence. The camp, which was met with wagging tails when introduced at the farm last summer, is the idea of Maura O’Connor, the sixth-generation owner of Stowe Farm. The West Millbury staple – which dates back to the early 1800s and started as a Blue Hubbard squash dairy farm – is still home to barnyard animals, apple orchards and homegrown crops, but it continues to widen its breadth of offerings. When they added canine boarding and training to their expansive list of offerings recently, O’Connor said a complementary camp immediately came to mind. “This was one of my goals after get34 MARCH2018
ting certified [in professional dog training] – to educate children on how to handle their own dogs, or how to approach strange dogs,” said O’Connor. Last year, she spent three months at the renowned Starmark Professional Dog Training Academy in Texas, and at the Kids & K-9 Camp, she’s imparting her knowledge on to dog-loving children. Two week-long camps for kids and their pups will be offered this summer: July 9th -13th and July 30th -August 3rd. Camp starts with some basic socialization, then moves on to obedience training, grooming and care. Campers and canines are divided into three groups that rotate through stations with three trainers. Days also include hikes in the wooded land around the farm, playing on an agility course, ice cream for the kids … and “frosty paws” for the pups. By the end of camp, children will have trained their dogs to greet others, have good manners, and follow basic commands. They will also learn bathe and brush their pet, dif-
ferentiate breeds and their distinct lifestyles and temperaments, master pet first aid and gain an awareness of dangers for dogs. The progress that the dogs – and the kids – make in one week is incredible, said O’Connor. “We had a boy come to camp last year, his dog was on two leashes, and just dragging him. His mother said she wasn’t sure if he’d be able to do this,” O’Connor said. “By the end of the week, he was doing everything he was told. You really can teach a dog a lot in a little bit of time – the key is to be consistent.” But can an old dog learn new tricks at camp? “Absolutely,” said O’Connor. Last year, canines in the program ranged from 8-month-old puppies to more senior family dogs. It is encouraged that campers BYOD (bring your own dog). They can bond, and have extra time to train together when they go home. For some kids, knowing they can bring their pal along with them takes some trepidation out of trying something new. “It was amazing really,” O’Connor
said of watching the kids blossom at last year’s program. “Shy kids that might not do well at a big camp -- or at camp in general -- they have their best friend with them already. They do it together.” All participating dogs must be upto-date on vaccinations including rabies and kennel cough, and pet owners must have emergency forms and recent health forms from veterinarians. Pup-loving kids who don’t have a dog can still attend – they will be assigned a four-legged friend to care for and train. Last year, parents who planned on getting a dog for Christmas sent their kids to the camp to prepare. “I thought that was a great idea,” said O’Connor. The K-9 & Kids Camp is for ages 11 and up and is limited to 12 children per session. Stowe Farm also hosts a Horsemanship Camp in the summer for ages 7 and up, which is suitable for novice to more advanced equestrians. For more information or to sign up for camps, visit stowefarm.com.
June 25 - August 17
Grades K-6 enroll in SUPER Camp Grades 7 & up enroll in STEM & Leadership Camp Register at www.girlsincworcester.org or call (508) 755-6455 Financial assistance may be available.
SUMMER at the STUDIO Summer Spotlight Theatre The Lion King Jr.
Campers will participate in singing, dancing, costuming, set building, improvisation and more! Two evening performances are held at the end of our two week camp giving everyone a chance to step into the “spotlight” and perform for family and friends.
Ages 7-14 Monday, July 9th – Friday, July 20th Tuition: $425.00 for 2 weeks Tuition includes a camp t-shirt!
MINI DANCE CAMPS Boys & Girls Ages 4-7 years Fun themed dance games, crafts, and more! Juice box and healthy snacks provided!
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. “Leap!” to Paris July 9th-13th Emoji August 13th-17th Tuition: $125.00 per camp
Open Monday-Friday 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM for Tours, Conferences and Evaluations READERS’ 50 Leominster Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-422-6989 w w w.paulameoladance.com 2017
HAPPY CAMPERS • VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE
Paxton Farm Aims to Turn Back Time with More Outdoor Play Program Growing Due to its Nature Focus and Inclusive Model BY JOAN GOODCHILD
many parents often lament, children don’t spend as much time outdoors as previous generations. Gone are the days when kids were sent outside and told to come when the streetlights turned on. Much of the time spent playing in the woods and in neighbors’ yards has been replaced with organized activities like sports
ng our pcomi ars k c Che e for u Semin ds sit web ial Nee c Spe
or music lessons, and play time is often screen time. But a program in Paxton aims to change that. Turn Back Time is a farm and nature-focused program for children that offers classes, preschool, summer camp and afterschool activities with a simple mission: to get kids and parents reconnected with nature. Founder Lisa Burris started TBT when she began
to notice how beneficial nature was for her own children. A mom of five, one of her youngest was struggling with behavioral issues when she made the connection. “I noticed that when he played with kids that he normally had conflict with, he would do fine when they were outside,” she said. Eventually her interest in getting her children to spend more time
playing outdoors led her to find the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv. “In it, he states that most children don’t suffer from attention deficit disorder, they suffer from nature deficit disorder,” she said. “That really opened my eyes to how important time outdoors is to kids. And nature is vanishing from childhood.”
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“There is no separation, everyone is in it together. Regardless of a diagnosis or not, they are all together, figuring it out.” Burris decided to take a massive chance and convinced her husband to sell their home and purchase a farm in Paxton to launch the TBT program. Their offerings have been running since 2012 and growing each year. While one of the original missions of the program was to serve children with developmental and emotional issues, TBT attracts all types of children, said Burris. “It is an integrated program,” she explained. “Every program we run has staff for special needs and we try not to say no very often. We have three rules: safety, respect and responsibility.” The property is a sustainable working farm with trails throughout and with offerings for kids as young as toddler-aged and as old as 14, and with activities like animal care and lots of time spent in the woods. There are also offerings families can attend together. What’s essential, said Burris, is risk-based play and taking chances. “Risk is essential, risk is beneficial,” said Burris. “It is essential for kids to be able to grow up and know how to care for themselves. If you have a 3-year-old that never gets skinned knees, you end up with 17-year-old that drives car the 100 miles an hour.” For Kathy Fratus, a Worcesterbased parent whose son, Henry, age 5, has been attending the preschool for more than a year, the experience has been transformative. “He never says he doesn’t want to go to school, and he said that all the time at his last school,” said Fratus. “There was some concern from me in the beginning, I wondered ‘Is this too risky? How much guidance will they have?’ But his confidence gave me confidence. The risk play and outdoor-risk play has
benefited him so much.” Fratus said the daily lessons that take place outdoors include reading to the children and incorporating math and science into their activities. The class includes children with all kinds of development and behavioral backgrounds, which Fratus said is another wonderful aspect of the program. “There is no separation, everyone is in it together. Regardless of a diagnosis or not, they are all together, figuring it out.” Burris said TBT will continue to serve children of all abilities and backgrounds. What turned out to be a huge financial risk has begun to pay off with strong enrollment. The summer camp was full by April last year, Burris noted, because everyone is welcome. “A lot of programs that don’t offer special needs aspect,” she said. “Those are kids that need it the most and have the least amount of access.” As they move into the future, TBT is in the final stages of completing a 2400 square-foot barn, which will include an educational space and allow Burris to provide the same level of services in winter as in summer. “We want to increase the level of nature exposure with all of our programs and increase the hours throughout the winter. This will help us do that, because we really feel this is a need in the community that we’re trying to meet.” Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor, and a mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.
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At Special Camps Volunteers Get Just as Much Love as They Give BY AMANDA ROBERGE
The air was crisp and the fall sky was clear as I crossed onto the piney grounds at Camp Sunshine, a peaceful recreational camp in the woods of Maine devoted to helping children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. I was there to volunteer for the afternoon during a session dedicated to children with brain tumors. I was there for one of my friends, whose son has multiple diagnoses and for whom Camp Sunshine has become as important -- if not more important -- to her than her own friends and local community. At camp, people understand. At camp, her entire family finds acceptance, compassion and respite from the daily grind of hospital visits, MRIs and medications. And I was there, sobbing into my friend’s arms in the parking lot just minutes after my stint was over. I was overwhelmed, mostly, by the beauty I’d been blinded with in the people I met, in their compassion and caring for each other and for their kids and camp community.
“I can’t believe I’m crying in the Camp Sunshine parking lot,” I bawled. “You aren’t the first person to cry in this parking lot, and you won’t be the last,” she joked, wrapping her arms around me, despite the fact that I had traveled all that way to comfort her. It was then that she broke the tension and shared with me the first lesson everyone learns in these unbearably special environments -- you are never alone, and you are always loved.
Compassionate Camping Camp Sunshine is one of a handful of camps across New England that caters to a special population of kids -- those who are medically fragile or emotionally in need. These camps invite and welcome a broad spectrum of campers, whose needs for summer fun -- while as great as any other child’s -- are wrapped up in much more tender and sensitive packaging. Dream Days, a camp nestled deep in the woods of Cape Cod’s Nickerson State Park, offers a family camp experience for people who have medical needs beyond what is typical, and who suffer from complex medical diagnoses. And for children and teens whose needs are more emotional than physical, Comfort Zone is a bereavement camp that rents facilities in various Massachusetts
locations, this year on Cape Cod, to support children who have suffered a significant family loss. Each camp is designed with the same ideals: They all exist to give kids the chance to enjoy water sports, arts and crafts, field trips and team building activities while giving them access to counseling, support and education about ways to cope with their own unique situation. But mostly, each camp maintains, it’s about the fun. “Dealing with the emotional piece can be really hard,” said Long Island teen Ashley Brown, who began at Dream Days as a volunteer and served the following year as a counselor. “But when we are there, the very most important thing is making sure the kids are having fun. We want to see them laughing and making memories with friends, just like any kid at summer camp.”
Changing Lives Marina Napoletano was first introduced to Comfort Zone Camp in 2008 after her father passed away. Now age 25 and a graduate of UMass Amherst, she is among those campers who have returned as counselors in order to spread some of the love that she once felt so relieved and fortunate to receive. “Volunteering (and being a camper) with Comfort Zone Camp continues to shape my relationship with my own loss, and with grief and death as a part of my life,” she said. “Being able to volunteer as a teen granted me a space and and an environment in which to learn how to incorporate my loss into my identity and my life in a healthy way.” Like Napoletano, Methuen’s Caroline Hamilton, 17, is a camper who graduated to volunteer. Having spent plenty of time on the shores of Sebago Lake at Camp Sunshine as a child coming to terms with life with brain tumors, she now helps others along their journey. In fact, she has inspired groups of friends from her high school to join her and she speaks at events to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and hopes to inspire others to see for
entire life,” said Lily Daigle, who has spent the past eight summers with Comfort Zone camp and who claims that her early experiences as a camper led her to her current career with another bereavement camp. “Camp has given me a family I can always depend on.”
themselves how wonderful it feels to volunteer. “I find it to be a very rewarding experience,” she said. “It’s been really cool to work behind the scenes and to be able to help other people.”
Volunteers Always Needed
According to Dream Days Camp Director Dave Hudnall, camp runs on volunteers. This is a sentiment echoed at each camp: Without the volunteers, none of it would be possible. For Ashley Brown, who spends summer with her grandparents on Cape Cod and was looking for a way to fill her days, beginning as a volunteer at Dream Days was a great way to get her foot in the door and satisfy her desire to be of service to others. Some teens volunteer with their families and get lodging through the organization, like at Camp Sunshine where volunteers are housed in dorms. Each of the camps work hard to match volunteers with a task or job that they will get maximum enjoyment from, which will translate to campers and make for a great experience all around. According to Sue Oppici, Regional Marketing Officer at Comfort Zone, capitalizing on the strengths of each volunteer is the best way to ensure a successful and rewarding camp experience. “We have a very individualized matching process,” she said. “Maybe a family will come in and we will have them serve lunch in the dining hall because we see how well they work together as a team, or maybe they are very athletic so we will have them helping out on the ropes course.” According to both Hudnall and Katz, who run
camps with permanent locations, volunteers are also welcomed in the off season to do clean-up and maintenance work. “We are always looking for help with camp beautification,”said Katz, who added that scouting and school groups are a great resource to the camp. Whatever the task, finding a place to be of service at a camp -- a camp full of sunshine, dreams and comfort -- is sure to change life for the better. “Volunteerism has shaped the course of my
“Most of the tears here are happy tears,” said Mike Katz, Executive Director at Camp Sunshine. “I find that most of the crying happens when people have to say goodbye.” It would be easy to imagine that a camp filled with kids diagnosed with pediatric cancer or grieving children would be hard on everyone, but by all accounts the hardest thing is leaving that weekend, or week, of beautiful experiences and people behind. “People might not really understand what the magic is until they have experienced it,” added Katz. “They come and they see how uplifting it is here, how much courage these families and children have. And they leave saying, ‘Oh, I get it now.’” Amanda Roberge is a freelance writer and artist who lives in Leominster with her husband, three teenage daughters and one fat pug. Neither she nor her kids have ever been to summer camp, but if she did she would want it to include at least 8 hours of arts and crafts each day along with unlimited coffee and sushi.
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Top Ten Things You Never Knew About
10. Camp is older than dirt,
almost literally. Started in 1861, the camp experience turned an impressive 150 years young in 2011. The secret behind the longevity? “Camps are adapting to meet the needs of today’s campers,” says Tom Rosenberg, president/CEO of the American Camp Association. “At the same time, the impact camp has on campers, the life-changing experience, has remained after all these years.”
9. Camp is worth its weight in
gold, and then some! The camp experience is life-changing – developing friendships and memories that last well beyond the final campfire. And, there is a camp for literally every budget. Often camps offer special pricing or financial assistance, and some camp experiences qualify for tax credits or for payment with pre-tax dollars. Visit ACA’s Affording Camp page for more information.
Camp has become a staple of the summer season. Each year, millions of children, youth, and adults head to the hills, lakes, valleys, and parks to participate in the time-honored tradition of camp. And, while
most people easily conjure up images of campfires and canoes, there is a lot more to the camp experience. Here are ten of the things you may not have known about the camp experience.
Green is “zen.” Research shows that first-hand experience with nature, like those at camp, reduce
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stress in children and help them better handle stress in the future. In addition to teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment, camps are teaching children how to enjoy the world around them and take a minute to breathe deep and feel the nature, which ultimately teaches them how to de-stress the natural way.
Mommies and Daddies do it too. Camp is not just for children and youth. There are family camp experiences, and camps for single adults, senior adults, and any adult that wants to relax and enjoy all camp has to offer. Adults benefit from the same sense of community, authentic relationships, and self-discovery that children do. Camp is an excellent vacation option, allowing adults to try a variety of new activities in a safe and fun environment.
Camp is a great place to try new activities and hobbies. Afraid of rock walls? According to ACA research, 74 percent of campers reported that they tried
new activities at camp that they were afraid to do at first. And, those activities often leave lasting impressions. In the same survey, 63 percent of parents reported that their child continued new activities from camp after returning home.
Manners matter, and often linger. The camp experience teaches more than just archery or lanyard making. The entire experience is made of teachable moments, perhaps one of the biggest is how to live with a group of people. Campers learn to pick up after themselves, respect each other’s property, and to say “Please” and “Thank You.”
Veggies taste better with friends. Hollywood and fictional novels may have given camp food a bad reputation, but in truth, camps are constantly exploring healthy food options, and often are at the forefront of things like allergy specific diets, healthy snack options, and vegetarian meals. According to ACA’s 2011 Emerging Issues survey, 90.7 percent of responding camps
indicated that healthy eating and physical activity was an important or very important issue.
Maybe there’s something to it! Camp has played an important role in the lives of some of the most talented people in history. ACA’s family resource site offers a list of notable campers – including business professionals, celebrities, artists, and great thinkers.
Camp builds leaders for the 21st century and beyond. Independence, resiliency, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and the ability to relate to other people — these are the skills that tomorrow’s leaders will need, and the skills camp has been adept at building for 150 years.
Camp gets those neurons pumping! Education reform debate and concern over summer learning loss have pushed academic achievement into the spotlight. Research shows that participation in intentional programs, like camp, during summer months helps stem summer learning loss. In addition, camp provides ample opportunity for developmental growth, which is a precursor to academic achievement. And, because of the “hands-on” nature of camp, often children who struggle in traditional education settings do well at camp.
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Dealing with Homesickness at Camp BY CHRISTA MELNYK HINES
orried that your child will suffer a serious hankering for home during his or her first camp experience this summer? While homesickness isn’t unusual, a proactive approach now can minimize the blues later. Work up to it. When her children were younger, Stephanie Maass says sleepovers with friends helped her sons, Spencer, 18, Hunter, 15, and Carter, 11, adjust to eventual week-long camps. Talk to your child. Include your child in the process of choosing a camp and discuss whether or not she is ready to go. And remember, every child is different. Adrienne Andrews has two daughters Janelle, 13, and Cameron, 9. While Janelle felt ready to attend week-long Girl Scout camps at 7, Cameron didn’t feel ready until last summer. Practice coping skills. “Make them feel like they can still be connected with (you),” says Amy Gragg, a licensed clinical social worker. If a phone is available, agree on a specific time each day to talk. Or pack pens, paper, envelopes, and stamps so they can send you letters. Positive, self-calming statements can also help. For example, “I am safe. I can handle this.” “This gives control back to the child when they’re able to calm themselves and change their thought patterns,” Gragg says.
Do your homework. Find out the camp’s caregiver-to-child ratio in each cabin, the staff’s experience and qualifications, and if a nurse or physician is on staff. Also, ask about the camp’s policy on homesickness, including how they train staff to handle it. “If they don’t have (a policy) in place with how they support your child, I wouldn’t send them,” Gragg says. Find familiar faces. Find out if other children from your child’s school or your neighborhood plan to attend the same camp. A few friendly faces can go a long way to help a child transition from the home to camp setting. When Andrews’ daughter Cameron attended a camp in Wisconsin last summer, her older sister Janelle went, too. With Janelle there, Cameron adjusted easily to a 10-day camp far away from home. Pack a connection to home. Typically, morning and bedtime are the most difficult times of the day for children at camp - times when they normally enjoy a routine and are more likely to connect with a parent or another caretaker. In addition to stationery, pack your child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy. Even something that smells like a parent or home
can provide comfort as they drift off to sleep. For her sons, Maass says she always packs a flashlight, a cell phone (if allowed), a couple of books and a hand-held video game. Remain calm. If your child calls feeling homesick, calmly remind him about the coping skills you discussed before camp and ask him if he talked to his counselor. “The more reassuring and calm (you) can be, the more helpful that’s going to be for (your) child. At this age, they’re listening to our words and tone of voice more,” Gragg says. Above all, try to avoid going to get him. When to bring ‘em home. If your child is homesick to the point of not eating, sleeping or participating in camp activities, talk to a camp counselor. You may decide it is in his best interest to bring him home. But, focus on the positive. Praise your child for going in the first place: “I’m proud of you for going because that was an accomplishment.” While homesickness is difficult, Maass says she is happy her sons did not miss out on the camp experience. “Camping helps them learn camaraderie. It builds their self-con-
fidence,” she says. Andrews agrees. “It provides an opportunity for them to grow and learn how to be independent without mom or dad hovering,” she says. “They both came home feeling very good about themselves. They made new friends; they tried new things and felt good about being on their own.”
Additional Resources Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow by Michael Thompson, Ph.D. The Summer Camp Handbook: Everything You Need to Find, Choose and Get Ready for Camp--And Skip the Homesickness by Dr. Christopher Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski The Night Before Summer Camp by Natasha Wing (Children’s Book) Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband have two children. She is the author of Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.
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INSIDE THE 2ND ANNUAL
What fun! A look back on the good time had at the Jan. 27 event!
The G Gender Gap In Reading How and Why We Should be Motivating Boys to Read BY KRISTIN GUAY
one are the days when reading and writing were considered for girls, while boys excelled math and science. Many literacy skills that were once reserved for the language arts classroom are now incorporated in the math and science curriculum. It is not uncommon for a science teacher to ask a student to write, in detail, a scientific process or a math teacher to ask the students to read Flatland to better understand dimensions. All of these skills are important for young minds but, while females advance in STEM test scores, males are continuing to fall behind in language arts skills. In her article “Why Boys Don’t Read,” author Linda Jacobson states that this problem is negatively impacting male students far beyond the elementary and secondary school years. “Experts believe this gap is responsible for another disturbing development: as college completion rates continue to rise in this country, young men are not keeping up,” she notes. “Since the early 1990s, college graduation rates have steadily increased for women but remained stagnant for men. Only about 40 percent of college graduates last year were male – a difference that many education experts believe is linked to poor reading habits and literacy skills that boys developed in the elemen-
tary and middle school grades.” So here is the problem: Males are significantly lagging behind their female peers in literacy skills. According to William Brozo, a professor of literacy at George Mason University’s Graduate School of Education, these statistics are very alarming. In an interview with the Desert News, he said that some of the most compelling data on the topic comes from the results of exam given to 15 year olds in 65 countries. “On the 2000 PISA exam, girls outperformed boys in reading by an average of 32 points. By 2009, the gap had increased to 39 points. To put those numbers in perspective, a 32-point difference means that boys are a year-and-ahalf behind girls in reading skills,” he said. Why the gap? Is it that reading is portrayed as being a more feminine activity in our society? Do females have more connections between their left and right brain, as shown on imaging studies? Perhaps books and textbooks in elementary school and public libraries reflect interests of females more than males? Maybe tougher literacy curriculum is being used in younger grades when males are not receptive to these verbal challenges? These are just a few theories. Unfortunately, the problem does not end with college graduation
rates. Journalist Peg Tyre illustrates the life-long significance of the reading gender gap in her book The Trouble Boys, A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School and What Parents and Educators Must Do. “It’s not only college courses but our contemporary job market that demands high-level reading and writing skills,” Tyre points out. “Forty years ago there were plenty of employment opportunities for boys who didn’t read or write well. But over the last several decades, jobs for unskilled workers have been outsourced overseas. There are no illiterate scientists, tech geeks, and engineers. Kids can’t do well in math and science unless they have a strong grounding in reading and writing.”
What Can We Do About It? So, there are all the grim statistics, theories and finger-pointing but what can be done about this problem? Since educational experts are not really sure what is causing this problem, it is a challenge among parents, teachers and librarians to find the solution. Here are several techniques to engage boys (or any reluctant reader) to finding joy and purpose in reading. • Set an example for your child by
letting them see you read, especially males who are a positive influence in their life. This conveys the message that reading is about learning new and exciting things, no matter your age or gender. • Try to be receptive to what boys want to read and give them reading options that are of interest to them. Potty humor, gore, battle stories, and silly comics might not be the first choice of adults, but many boys gravitate toward this type of material – at least during some point in their life. They might also be more interested in more non-fiction material such as sports, trucks and cars, or survival stories. Let them explore magazines, graphic novels, comic books, and even joke books – the shorter chunks of reading material along with the graphics might be more appealing to some boys. If they are interested in a story (and feel like they had a voice in the choosing of the story) they will be more invested and more likely to enjoy reading. Over time, their interests might change to material with fewer pictures and more words, but let them set the pace. • Show an interest in what they are reading even if it is not your interest. This can be accomplished by asking them questions about the story and characters, looking at the graphics, and even helping them find more of these books in your local library or bookstore. Show your support for their choices and support them in feeling good about reading. • Keep in mind that not all kids like to engage in “literary discussions” so think of ways this can be accomplished without being so overt. Casual conservation in the car or quick comments seem to work better in some cases – remember, it is not a language arts classroom, so do not expect your child to recite character development and use of symbolism – keep it simple. • Consider using technology to encourage reading. Some boys prefer reading if they can do it on a Kindle, iPad, or some other electronic device. Another option is to try audiobooks, either following along with the paper book or just simply listen to the story. Parents might initially reject the idea of audiobooks because they feel that it is not actually reading the book, but remember that listening is an important literacy skill. In many schools, reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the four components of the language arts curriculum. If your child enjoys listening to an audiobook they are not only experiencing the pleasure of a good story but developing an important literacy skill. • Make connections to their interests and reading material. Explore their interests by gathering some reading
material on the subject whether it is a book, magazine, newspaper article, or even an article on the Internet. Show them that reading allows them to learn more about something important to them. Researching nearby skateparks, family vacation destination or new hobby are all ways that reading can be used for their benefit. After looking at all the material, have discussions about the topic. Prompt them to read more to gain more information about the topic (details about the skate park, kid-friendly attractions at the vacation destination, how they can begin their new hobby interest). By doing this, you are teaching your child that reading is an excellent way to learn about something that is actually important to them.
How to Choose the Right Book Maybe it’s not that they don’t like reading, but rather they haven’t found the right book. Young readers are just like adult readers – sometimes we need to try a few authors and genres before knowing what kind of reading material we enjoy. Sometimes we want to curl up with a good book and other times, we want a short read like a magazine or newspaper article. Kids are no different. Try something, and if that does not work, try something else. Likewise, if you find a genre or a favorite author, stick to it like glue and never let go. Have a variety of reading options available. Chapter books can be used when there is a little more time, like a car ride or the weekend, while a magazine article or comic book might be better for short bursts of reading time. It is also important to find books with a topic that is relatable to your young male reader – they can see a part of themselves in the story. Sometimes boys like reading sport biographies of their sport of interest or of a career that they aspire to explore. Try to find books that appeal to the humorous and silly side of young boys. Why do you think the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is such a huge success -- with both boys and girls? It is because it is wonderfully silly and kids can laugh at all the ridiculous antics of Greg Hiffley as he navigates middle school. In the academic setting, kids will have years and years of Shakespeare, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. They will have plenty of opportunities to translate dramatic plays of the Renaissance period and read engrossing stories of human suffering, but for now, let them read what appeals to them. Something to keep in mind: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the classics The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, Mrs. Dalloway, A Passage to India, and even the adult book Bossypants by Tina Fey all have something in common – the same Lexile score of
950. Lexile scores are determined by two factors, semantic difficult (how often the same work appears in the text) and syntactic complexity (the average sentence length). When put together, it is basically how difficult a text is to understand. Some books that boys want to read adults might dismiss as silly and a poor choice in reading material while these books actually have high Lexile levels. The graphic novel Marvel Heroes: Amazing Powers actually has a Lexile level of 1040. Lexile levels are only one aspect in determining appropriate reading material, but at least parents can rest easy knowing that some of these popular choices are actually challenging text.
Website Resources Guyread.com: As the website states, this site is “a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka. Its mission is to “help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers” by offering book suggestions (based on categories such as “At Least One Explosion” and “Creepy and Weird”), Book of the Month, interviews with authors, statistics about boys and reading, how to start your own “Guys Read” club. Boysread.org: The mission of this organization is to collaborate with parents, educators, mentors, authors, and book sellers to transform boys into lifelong readers. The belief is that “It’s not that boys can’t read; it’s that boys won’t read.” This site offers book suggestions, reviews of new books, ways that schools, libraries, and book sellers can support boys and reading, and a blog – all with the common goal of creating lifelong readers with boys.
Book Suggestions That Appeal to Young Male Readers The Summer I Got a Life, by Mark Fink. Life lessons are learned by two competitive brothers while staying with family in rural Wisconsin. Stepping Up, by Mark Fink. Teen issues are played out at a competitive basketball camp. Something to Hold, by Katherine Schlick Noe. Based on the author’s childhood experience, this books outlines the tensions between white kids and Native American kids on a Native American reservation. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. Post-apocalyptic tale of the journey between and father and a son – won a 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Charlie Bone series and Children
of the Red King, by Jenny Nimmo. This is a series of eight fantasy and adventure novels. The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker. This book tells the story of Harvey, a bright 10-year-old boy who is having a boring winter – until a creature takes him to a special place every day filled with fun and adventure. This is a story enjoyed by both children and adults. The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. Goodreads calls this supernatural thriller “a perfect work of unnerving terror.” Danny, the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl. This story centers around a young boy and his father that make a living fixing cars in a gypsy caravan. Adventure ensues when they go on a pheasant poaching expedition. The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson. This horror story is said to be about the true paranormal experiences of a family living in Long Island. Running Wild, by Micahel Morpurgo. This is a survival story of a boy after a tsunami has hit his Indonesian town. Fortunately, he is not alone – his elephant Oona is by his side. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart. This YA novel was listed as an ALA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2015. This story focuses on the theme of family values, acceptance, and the consequences of one’s actions. Rifles for Watie, by Harold Keith. This is a civil war story as seen through the eyes of a sixteen-yearold boy caught up in all the events. This book is a Newbery Medal winner. Wicked History of the World, by Terry Deary, Martin Brown. This book presents the fascinating, yet disgusting, history of different people of the world – the ghastly fate of Captain Cook, smelly sport played by Samurai warriors, and why Alexander the Great banned his soldiers from having beards. 100% Pure Fake: Gross Out Your Friends and Family with 25 Great Special Effects, by Lyn Thomas. This book features 25 safe, kidtested projects to trick family and friends. Bug Butts, by Dawn Cusick. Discover the wild and weird ways insects use their butts. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney. This best-selling series is a hilarious hit with both BAYSTATEPARENT 49
boys and girls (and even some parents). Alien in My Pocket series, by Nate Ball, Macky Pamintaum. These books feature hilarious adventures between a boy and his alien friend.
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Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment, by David Adler. From the author of the Cam Jensen series comes a silly story of unlikely friends. The books are filled with whimsical drawings. Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure, by Jeff Brown, Macky Pamintuan. Ever popular with school projects, this book continues to delight young audiences.
Week-long Sessions for Ages 3 - 17 July 9 - August 17 Encourage artistic discovery and self-expression by enrolling your child in our summer art classes. Students of all abilities find inspiration in our galleries and learn to express themselves in the studios. New classes start each week in a variety of media. Extended day and supervised lunch are available.
Learn more and enroll at worcesterart.org/classes
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Eerie Elementary series, by Jack Chabert, Sam Ricks. These are fast-paced, high-interest books designed to appeal to newly independent readers.
Tintin series, by Herge. This comic series features a young Belgian reporter and his faithful dog Snowy – and their many adventures. The Adventures of Captain Underpants, by Dave Pilkey. Potty humor at its best – and boys love it. For more books that appeal to young male readers, as well as a list of authors, visit baystateparent.com.
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National Peanut Month:
5 Crafts To Do With Your Children Using
Peanuts BY MEAGAN RUFFING
There’s so much more you can do with peanuts than just eat them. Why not try some cute crafts with your kiddos in honor of National Peanut Month? If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll balk at the idea of eating peanuts out of shells but the second you pop open that bag and show your kids just how fun peanuts can be, they’ll be begging you for more.
Finger Puppets What you will need: • 5-10 empty peanut shells (plus a few more in case some break) • Paint • Paintbrushes Break your peanut shell in the middle at its weakest point. Shells can be delicate so be careful when breaking them. Pull peanuts out leaving it hollow inside. Sometimes the peanut won’t come out but your child can still fit one of her fingers in the shell. If that’s the case, don’t worry about getting the peanut out. Let your child paint faces on the peanut shells and leave them to dry on a paper plate. Once shells are dried, have your child put the shells on her fingers and help her sing the “Daddy Peanut” song. “Daddy peanut, daddy peanut, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do? Mommy
What you will need: • Peanut Shells • Hot glue gun with glue • Cardstock or construction paper • Black pipe cleaner • Googly eyes This craft will require help from an adult since a glue gun is involved. Have your child pick out a full sized peanut shell. Let him cut out butterfly wings from any color of paper he chooses. This is a great time for him decorate the wings with markers and stickers. Pipe a thick line of glue on one side of the peanut shell and stick the flat edge of the wing in the glue. Hold there until set. Repeat on the other side of the shell so both wings are across from each other. Glue two eyes on the front of the peanut shell. Cut the pipe cleaner in
peanut, mommy peanut, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do?” Repeat song using Brother peanut, sister peanut, and so on.
to one, 2-inch piece and form it into the shape of a V. Place one large peasized dab of hot glue on the back side of the peanut. Place the tip of the V in that dab of glue and hold there until it sets.
Mosaic Peanut Masterpiece What you will need: • A bowl full of shelled peanuts • Markers • Glue • Glitter (optional…but fun!)
Ants on Paper What you will need: • Construction paper • Peanuts (without the shells) • Hot glue or liquid glue • Markers or paint This is a great craft to with kids of any age. Break open the peanut shells and pull out the peanuts. Make sure each peanut is in half so you can glue down the peanut with the flat side down on the paper. Glue the halved peanuts in a fun line on the paper to make it look like a trail of ants. Once the glue has dried and the peanuts are stuck to the paper, color the peanuts with a black marker and draw tiny legs coming out from each side of the peanuts. Let your kids draw backgrounds on their
pictures and watch their faces light up as they see their imaginations come to life on paper.
Grab a piece of paper and let your kids go wild with this craft. Tell you daughter to grab the glue and put dots wherever she wants to lay a peanut. Make sure the peanuts are halved so the flat part will lay on the paper. Once the glue has dried and peanuts are set in place, have your daughter color the peanuts as she likes or have her add a little more glue on the top of some of the peanuts so she can sprinkle glitter over them. To make this piece mosaic, have her group the peanuts by colors. For example, glue a circle of peanuts and color them all blue. Then right next to those blue pea-
nuts, make another design in the shape of a swirl and color those green, and so on. The coloring part is easier with paints but you can use markers too. Parenting journalist Meagan Ruffing is always looking for fun, new ways to get her kids involved with crafts. Through the writing of this article, her 4-yearold daughter Elinor realized just how much she loved eating peanuts. BAYSTATEPARENT 51
Circle Round Serves Up Audio Entertainment For Kids New Locally Produced Podcast Features JOAN Folktales From Around The World BY GOODCHILD
resh Air, S-Town, Up First. What are they and what do they have in common? They are all some of the most popular podcasts downloaded today. While podcasts have become a huge media staple in many lives in the last few years, often used to as entertainment during car rides or exercise sessions, most of them are for adult listeners and tackle topics and genres like news, crime, politics, technology and health. But Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, a married couple who are based in the Berkshires, set out recently to change that. The couple, parents to a young toddler, have partnered with Boston-based NPR station WBUR, and executive producer Jessica Alpert, to create Circle Round, a storytelling podcast for kids ages 4 to 10. Created and produced by the team, Circle Round tells a new folktale each week in 10 to 20 minute episodes that dive into topics like kindness and generosity. Sheir is a narrator and veteran public radio
host/reporter and Shimelonis is an experienced composer for the stage and screen. WBUR wanted to tap their collective talents to create a rich, layered listening experience that would appeal to little ones. The episodes are adapted and written specifically for Circle Round by Alpert and Sheir and feature a famous actor each week. The pilot episode featured Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, which means they are entertaining for adults, too. “They are meant to appeal to a diverse age group and harken back to old storytelling,” explained Sheir. “In this day and age when there’s so much screen time, this is for your ears. We don’t offer a lot of description of characters. This podcast lets you build this picture in your mind.” Now on episode 20 and counting, the podcast has been renewed for another season. Sheir said she is choosy about which folk tales she selects to build into an episode and they come from countries all over the world. Tales from Nigeria and the Philippines have been recent features. Liberties are often taken with characters to update them for today’s audience, including sometimes changing a male protagonist character into a female lead, for example, or a nurturing mother figure into a loving father figure. The idea, of course, is to get listeners using their imagination. “Within the design, I use a lot of restraint to not set the scene too specifically,” said Shimelonis. “Musically, I found early on that solo instruments were the best way to score these. Solo instruments can sometimes act as other players in the script.”
Shimelonis purposely uses a different instrument in each episode, and has used a trombone for a billy goat, as well as piano, a military fife, and a baroque flute, to name a few of the other so-called musical guests. For executive producer Alpert, she is the mother of young twins and was looking for a podcast experience she could share with them. Noting the options lacked, she was inspired to create the series. Alpert also works on the wellknown Modern Love podcast, a project with the New York Times, and said she was aiming for a podcast experience for children that was equally high in quality. “I loved the idea of making a story-telling podcast that would be very lush and beautiful, with quality stories that maybe people haven’t heard before and that have a lesson in the end,” she said. Each episode ends with a call to action for listeners, and often prompts adults to converse with kids about the theme of the story. “It’s hard to talk about topics like gratitude, or bullying, without a framework,” said Alpert. “We just give parents a framework. Whether they want to engage in that conversation or not, it’s there for them. I think these kinds of conversations lead to better and stronger bonds with your children.” You can listen to and download episodes of Circle Round on the WBUR web site or on iTunes. Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor, and a mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.
Child Advocacy Groups Give No Likes to Facebook App for Kids Messenger Kids Has Some Child Health Experts Concerned, And They Want it Shut Down BY JOAN GOODCHILD A new social media app, launched by Facebook and aimed at kids under 13, has child health advocacy groups alarmed. Known as Messenger Kids, it allows children to message and make video calls with other connections. According to the Facebook site, Messenger Kids is “a free video calling and messaging app designed for kids to connect with close friends and family from their tablet or smartphone. Kids can only connect with parent-approved contacts, which creates a more controlled environment. Group or one-on-one video calls with loved ones are more fun with interactive masks, reactions and sound effects.” While the main Facebook site is only available to people aged 13 and older, Facebook officials said the aim of Messenger Kids is a safe, parentsupervised environment where children can enjoy some of the features of Facebook. “Parents fully control the contact list and decide who can connect with their children. Messages don’t disappear and can’t be hidden in case parents would like to check in.” But several child advocacy groups don’t like the concept and say that kids under 13 are simply too young for social media use of any kind. They want Facebook to shutter Messenger Kids. The effort is led by the Bostonbased Campaign for a CommercialFree Childhood (CCFC) and includes support from other organizations, including the ACLU of Massachusetts, Media Education Foundation, Defending the Early Years and Parent Coalition for Student Privacy. The groups issued a joint letter asking Facebook to discontinue the app. “A growing body of research shows adolescents are negatively affected by time on social media,” said Josh Golin, Executive Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “Social media use is linked to depression, less life satisfaction, sleep disturbances. Young children are even less equipped to deal with the addictive challenges of using it and it seems dangerous to be encouraging
kids to be on social media.” Golin said he is particularly concerned about the addictive nature of social media and the dopamine rush associated with repeatedly checking for messages. Children are too young handle healthy use of these sites, he said, and they are also unnecessary for young kids. “Facebook is saying that this is a way to be in touch with a longdistance relative,” said Golin. “There are already an abundance of tools to do that. They can use the old-fashion phone.” In creating Messenger Kids, Facebook created an advisory committee of children’s health experts. One of them is Kristelle Lavallee, content strategist at the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital, who thinks the app is misunderstood by those speaking out against it. “It is a tool, neither good or bad,” said Lavallee. “It is designed to be implemented with a parent, not to be passed on to kids and just let them have it. Parents should be right there with their children when they are using social media, teaching them to be a good digital citizen.” Lavallee said despite age restrictions, research shows many kids younger than 13 are already using social media and using Messenger Kids with closely-guided supervision can help children develop good social media habits and learn healthy behavior around its use. “We need to take it out of this negative space, and look at it as a powerful tool and show them around,” she said. “We need to show them how you interact with others in a respectful and kind way. This is a wonderful way for parents to understand that the digital domain is not just a kid domain, but also a place where they need to be a parent.” But CCFC’s Golin isn’t convinced, and think’s the best use of social media for children is none at all. “We don’t feel like this is something that could be tweaked,” he said. “We are really hoping Facebook will pull this.”
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“Hi! My name is Maxxon. I love music!” Maxxon is a sweet, inquisitive and kind 9-year-old boy of Caucasian and Hispanic descent. He is generally easy-going and calm. His favorite activities include riding his bike, playing with trucks and watching television. Maxxon is fascinated with emergency vehicles and likes the sounds that they make. He also enjoys interacting with adults and loves music. Maxxon has a good sense of humor and will often surprise everyone with a funny joke out of nowhere! Maxxon is very intelligent and has good relationships with his peers. Maxxon is on the Autism
spectrum. Ready for adoption, Maxxon is eagerly awaiting his forever home. His social worker believes that he will thrive in a nurturing family of any constellation, with or without other children in the home. Maxxon has an Open Adoption Agreement and an adoptive family must be willing to help him visit with his birth parents three times a year. Can you provide the guidance, love and stability that a child needs? If you’re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income, and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married, or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples. The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews, and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for. To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-964-6273 or visit www.mareinc.org.
Circle of Friends
Adoption Info and Matching Events Monday, March 5 – DCF Northern Regional Adoption Information Meeting, Jordan’s Furniture IMAX Conference Room, 50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading. 6-7:30 p.m. Contact: Victoria at email@example.com. Tuesday, March 6 – DCF Western Regional Adoption Information Meeting, 140 High St., 5th Floor, Springfield. 4-5:30 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Dawn at 413-452-3369. Wednesday, March 14 – DCF Central Region Adoption Information Meeting, 13 Sudbury St., Worcester. 6-7 p.m. Registration not required. Contact: Valerie Fluitt at 508-929-2150. Monday, March 19 – DCF Southern
Regional Adoption Information Meeting, Canton Police Department, 1492 Washington St., Canton. 6-8 p.m. RSVP: 508-894-3830. Wednesday, March 21 – DCF Boston Regional Adoption Information Meeting, DCF Boston, 451 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. 4-5:30 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Marsha Donovan at 617-989-9209. Sunday, March 25 – Beanstalk Adoption Party, Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading. 8:30-11 a.m. A private event for waiting children and families at the ropes course. A pre-party informational event will be held Thursday, March 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Framingham DCF Office, 300 Howard St., Framingham. RSVP: Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your group or organization is presenting a program for adoptive families, and you would like to include it in baystateparent magazine, please send information to email@example.com 54 MARCH2018
A Wrinkle in Time • Rated PG for thematic elements and some peril • In theaters March 9 • OK for kids 7+ • Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels
New movies coming to theaters this month By Jane Louise Boursaw
Isle of Dogs • Not yet rated, likely PG • In theaters March 23 • OK for kids 7+ • Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels
After learning that her astrophysicist father Alex (Chris Pine) is being held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universespanning evil, Meg Murry (Storm Reid) works with her younger brother, new friend and fellow student Calvin O’Keeffe (Levi Miller), and three astral travelers, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) to save him. Based on the 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle and directed by Ava DuVernay, this fantasy adventure film also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña and Zach Galifianakis.
Set in a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on a remote island due to a “canine flu,” Isle of Dogs follows five local dogs - Chief, Rex, Boss, Duke, and King. They are fed up with their isolated existence until a boy named Atari Kobayashi ventures to the island to search for his dog, Spots. Atari receives their help and protection from the Japanese authorities who’ve come to retrieve him. Directed by Wes Anderson, this movie features the voices of Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Greta Gerwig. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” collaborators Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders will once again be the puppet masters.
• Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual references, language and teen partying • In theaters March 16 • OK for kids 14+ • Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels Everyone deserves a great love story. But for 17-year old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Things get even more complicated when his secret falls into the hands of the class clown, who blackmails Simon into playing cupid. Directed by Greg Berlanti, this movie stars Logan Miller, Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner and Katherine Langford.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
1 Reel - Even the force can’t save it. 2 Reels - Coulda been a contender. 3 Reels - Something to talk about. 4 Reels - You want the truth? Great flick! 5 Reels - Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Louise Boursaw is the editor of reellifewithjane. com and oldmission.net.
Oh, the places our readers do go! This issue will not only be read - but kept and reread - by our savvy readers who have travel budgets to spend. More than 60% of our readers turn to baystateparent for vacation and travel ideas. Don’t miss out! For more information on how your business can reach over 80,000 readers contact Regina Stillings, Director of Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-865-7070 ext 210. Space deadline is March 14 at noon. BAYSTATEPARENT 55
A GOOD PARTY IS ALWAYS IN SEASON Big Joe
Children are fascinated with our collection of reptiles. We allow them to experience firsthand these special creatures.
Storytelling fun for Birthday Parties, Schools, Daycare Centers, Library Programs, Special Events and TV Featuring: • Original & Classic Stories • Puppets, Props and Surprises For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 E-mail: BigJoe@BigJoe.com Visit me on the web at: www.BigJoe.com
Call us for Birthdays, Special Events, Educational Presentations. To see more of our animals follow us on Facebook under Reptile Circus
All Ages. Birthday Parties, Schools, Fairs, Day Care Centers, Etc.
nE du c
Presenting puppets, princesses, pirates, storytelling and much more! Call today for more information
New England’s #1 Traveling Animal Show
• Birthday Parties • Corporate Events • Dinosaur Shows • Fairs & Festivals
• Field Trips • Petting Zoo’s • Schools • Camps • Scout Meetings
Animal Adventures Rescue & Science Center Open Year Round 336 Sugar Rd., Bolton, MA • 01740 978-779-8988 • www.animaladventures.net
RESERVE YOUR PARTY PAGE AD TODAY email email@example.com 56 MARCH2018
March INDEX Beth Digital / Kids Business Expo...................... 20 Big Joe Productions........................................... 56 Big Y Foods, Inc................................................. 13 Boch Performing Arts Center........................ 19,27 Boston Paintball................................................ 56 British Beer Company........................................ 54 Cafe Espresso.................................................... 12 Camp Clio......................................................... 45 Camp Half Moon............................................... 33 Child Works....................................................... 50 Cornerstone Academy......................................... 4 Danforth Summer Arts...................................... 32 Ecotarium......................................................... 35 Explore Japan................................................... 39 Fletcher Tilton PC............................................... 36 FMC Ice Sports..................................................... 2 Girls Inc............................................................ 35 Global Connect Forum....................................... 53 Gymnastics Learning Center.............................. 42 Harvest Grille.................................................... 24 Heywood Hospital............................................... 6 Hillside School................................................... 33 Hunter’s Grille and Tap at the Grafton Inn.......... 11 ID Tech.............................................................. 38 Legoland Discovery Center Boston..................... 21 Mall At Whitney Field........................................ 57 Mary Baker Eddy Library (The)......................... 28 Mass Audubon.................................................. 38 Mazemakers..................................................... 53
Millbury Federal Credit Union............................ 11 Music Worcester.................................................. 8 National Inventors Hall of Fame........................ 41 Olde Post Office Pub......................................... 50 Parenting Solutions........................................... 32 Paula Meola Dance........................................... 35 Perkins School................................................... 24 Premier Dance Academy................................... 41 Regatta Point Community Sailing....................... 39 Reliant Medical Group....................................... 17 Reptile Circus.................................................... 56 Rosalita’s Puppets.............................................. 56 Shamrock Performance Field Hockey................ 45 Shrewsbury Children’s Center............................ 12 Smuggler’s Notch Resort.................................... 18 St. Vincent Hospital............................................. 3 STEM Beginnings............................................... 17 Summer Fenn/The Fenn School......................... 37 Teamworks....................................................... 38 The Children’s Workshop................................... 45 The Learning Zone............................................ 54 UMass Memorial Medical Center..............16,28,60 Wachusett Theatre Company............................... 5 Whale Camp..................................................... 33 Winchendon School........................................... 42 Worcester Art Museum...................................... 50 Worcester JCC................................................... 43 YMCA Central Branch........................................ 39 YWCA of Central Massachusetts......................... 44
What’s for dinner?
Get readyfar the
SPRING VENDOR FAIR
Saturday, March 3, 10am-4pm Featuring: Gales Custom Candles Tastefully Simple Color Street Scentsy Celia's Handmade Soaps Tupperware DCU - Digital Federal Credit Union LulaRoe Princess House Agnes and Dora
EASTER BUNNY ARRIVAL
Saturday, March 10, 1:30-3pm Featuring performances by MK Dance Center and a Bunny Hop at 2pm as the Easter Bunny is welcomed into his Spring Garden. Plus, make-and-take crafts and a free set of Bunny Ears for Kids Club members!
EASTER BUNNY PHOTO & VISITS
March 10 - March 31 Visit the Easter Bunny in his spring garden: Monday - Saturday 10am-8pm Sunday 12pm-6pm
EGG-STRA SPECIAL VISITS
Sunday, March 18, 10am-12pm Sunday, March 25, 10am-12pm A sensory-friendly event for our friends with special needs. Call 978.537.7500 for your reservation.
Mall closed Easter Sunday, April 1, select stores open. Visit themallatwhitneyfield.com fo store hours and event details.
20 Restaurants - $20 to each restaurant
$400 Value - ONLY $199
ultimaterestaurantdeals.com BAYSTATEPARENT 57
with Adam Trent With a new-age style of magic that mixes traditional illusions with music, dancing and technology, Adam Trent, 32, has been called the David-Copperfield-meets-Justin-Timberlake magician. Showcasing his “futuristic” brand of magic, Trent has mesmerized audiences across the globe, and has been featured on America’s Got Talent, The Today Show, Ellen and The Rachael Ray Show. Straight out of the record-breaking Broadway smash hit The Illusionists, Trent is bringing his signature style of magic and illusion to Boston this month in a high-tech stage spectacle. On stage at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre from March 7-11, The Magic of Adam Trent is an immersive entertainment extravaganza of magic, comedy and music designed to entertain the whole family.
How did you first become interested in magic and illusion, and what drew you to it? I began when I was 9 years old. I saw a magician with my whole family and it was the first time that I remember three generations of a family being equally entertained by something. I loved seeing the joy it brought to people when they witnessed something impossible.
What’s the first trick you mastered? When did you start performing for others? Simple sleight of hand. I started performing at kids’ birthday parties when I was 9 years old.
If you could give a budding magician three words of advice, what would they be? Practice, practice, practice.
Your tagline is “The next generation of magic.” What do you mean by that? What is “futuristic” magic? I combine technology and spectacular visuals, anything from live hologram projections, to giant 16-foot LED walls that I step in and out of. There are cutting-edge illusions audiences have never seen before.
What stands out about your new show, The Magic of Adam Trent? It’s produced by the producers behind Broadway’s The Illusionists, so it’s a chance for audiences across the country to witness one of the world’s largest touring magic shows without having to go to NYC and pay a several hundred dollars for a ticket.
You’ve performed all over the world. What’s been your favorite spot? My favorite places have been the Sydney Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, and Broadway.
Are you surprised you’ve been able to make a career out of magic? Did you have a back-up plan? I have a degree in finance, but I always knew I would make a career out of magic, so I never planned on using a back-up plan.
What do you hope a kid who’s into magic would take away from watching you perform? That any life choice and dream can come true if you are willing to work for it.
WHO’S THE MOST amazing woman YOU KNOW? baystateparent is highlighting female game-changers in our upcoming Power of Women issue. From moms affecting change in their communities, to women inventors and entrepreneurs, to ladies who aren’t afraid of going against the grain – we’re celebrating all kinds of wonderful women. Know a local lady who would be a perfect fit? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why along with a recent photo.
CARE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY NOW, RIGHT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
Accepting New Patients UMASS MEMORIAL MEDICAL GROUP
MAIN STREET BOLTON PRIMARY CARE 563 Main Street, Bolton, MA 01740
Appointments: 855-UMASS-MD (855-862-7763) www.umassmemorial.org/bolton
UMass Memorial - Community Healthlink | UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital UMass Memorial - Marlborough Hospital | UMass Memorial Medical Center | UMass Memorial Medical Group 60 MARCH2018
March 2018 issue of baystateparent Magazine