Mass Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Health Connector launched the ConnectorCare Card to Culture program at the Hitchcock Center on Friday, January 17. This unique program is designed to facilitate access for all Massachusetts residents to cultural facilities, including the Hitchcock Center, across the state. Residents with EBT, WIC, or Connector Care cards are eligible for benefits at over 100 cultural organizations across the state.
The Hitchcock Center received a USDA Forest Service Every Kid in a Park grant to get local 4th graders outside and connected to nature through hikes in Skinner State Park this past fall. Local parks in the Pioneer Valley provide a valuable resource for nature exploration, exercise, and recreational activities. However, not all children have the opportunity to visit these beautiful resources, despite how close they are. The grant provided funding for Hitchcock educators to lead 15 two-hour inquiry–based natural history and geology field trips for 375 fourth grade students, fifteen teachers, one principal.
Through the town’s drinking water permits, the Amherst Department of Public Works (DPW) funds Hitchcock Center educators, Helen Ann Sephton and Aemelia Thompson to teach a series of Water Conservation classes in all Amherst and Pelham classrooms grades 2, 4, 5, 6. By engaging youth in water system cycles and uses, these standards-based classes help develop communities that can more effectively use and manage water resources.
The Western Mass Climate Summit, now in its third year, brought together 12 school teams and 75 students from Massachusetts and Connecticut for a 2-day intensive, empowering students toward action on community solutions at their schools. The event is a partnership between Hitchcock Center and Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Sanctuary and this year for the first time, the Summit’s goals and plan were developed and guided by Sadie Ross a student at Frontier Regional School and Ollie Perault a homeschool student.
What happens when two architects, two research scientists, and an advocate for healthy buildings walk into a room? If their assignment is to influence the architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) community to embrace the design of healthier buildings, they might pose these questions: If you knew that a building product you selected for your project caused cancer, you wouldn’t specify it, would you? If you knew that day-care furniture was exposing children to a vast array of toxic chemicals, you wouldn’t buy it, would you? If you knew that stain-retardant treatment was poisoning our water supply, would you still select white carpet and upholstery, which won’t stand up to use without that treatment?
By Katie Koerten On October 12, I was honored to represent the Hitchcock Center in an event that has long intrigued me: the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts “Geek is Glam” STEM Expo. This full day event takes place every fall at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and provides an opportunity for Girl Scouts in […]
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment honored Northampton High School students: Adia Bennett, Saraphina Forman, Willa Sippel, and Jordan Winsor with its Heroes for a Healthy Planet Award at its Salamander Sunday Brunch on Sunday, November 17, 2019. The Hitchcock Center’s Heroes for a Healthy Planet Award acknowledges a person, people, family, organization or institution […]
By Sadie Ross
Frontier Regional School
This year, the Frontier Environmental Club, composed of 8th and 9th graders, decided to take steps creating change in the school. We hope that this will lead to further changes and inspire other schools to follow suit. This year, it all started for us when we attended the Western Mass Youth Climate Summit. This is an educational, 2-day conference that allows students who are passionate about the environment, to create an action plan to carry out through the rest of the school year.
By Angelina Egland and Cheryl Moreau
Frontier Regional School
When we were at the Summit in November, 2018, we were excited to participate in the high school idea to reduce the school’s electricity usage at the middle school level. Our high school and middle school are combined. We were the ones to set up the timers for the middle school Chromebooks and we became the liaisons for the middle school teachers and their implementation so the eco-tools would be used correctly.
Hitchcock Center’s Small Wonders: Using Science and Nature to Grow Young Minds project engaged over 200 early childhood educators during the 2018-19 school year, to increase the integration of science and nature into early childhood programs and schools throughout the Pioneer Valley.