BITS & BYTES: Pumpkin Walk; Conference of the Historical Society; AGO movie / music Spooktacular; the events of the Hoffmann Bird Club; BCC receives funding

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Pumpkin Walk returns to the northern Berkshires on October 29 and 30

ADAMS – Mill City Productions (MCP) announces the return of Pumpkin Walk, a free self-guided walk through lighted pumpkins. The event will take place at the Adams Visitor Center, in collaboration with the Adams Council on Aging and the Adams Events Committee, the October 29 and 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free hot cider and donuts will be available for guests to enjoy as they browse the displays of pumpkin lanterns carved by community members. The Pumpkin Walk is free and all ages are encouraged to attend.

Mill City Productions is seeking jack-o-lantern donations from individuals and organizations to support the event. A pumpkin carving session will take place Thursday October 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., inside the Adams Visitor Center (masks required). Members of the public are encouraged to bring pumpkins to carve and decorate. A limited number of free carving pumpkins will also be available on a first come, first served basis. Donated jack-o-lanterns can also be dropped off during these sculpting session hours. For more information, email Mill City Productions at [email protected]

Mill City Productions is a multi-generational, non-profit, community-based collaborative theater group serving North Berkshire County since 2004. Previously based in Building 4 of the Western Gateway Heritage State Park, MCP is currently seeking support. ‘a new permanent home for theatrical productions. .

—AK

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The GB Historical Society will present portraits of the past, cherished people of yesterday

GREATER BARRINGTON – The Great Barrington Historical Society sponsors a program called “Portraits from the Past, Yesterday’s Treasured People”, starring Michael Fitzpatrick and Jane Green, on Wednesday October 20 at 7 p.m., at the Teague Senior Center in Great Barrington.

After two successful presentations involving old town businesses, Fitzpatrick, the former Great Barrington Fire Chief, returns with a PowerPoint presentation to test the memory of the public, and stir and share the treasured memories of the people who helped shaping the character of Great Barrington. Jane Green will then offer her personal reflections.

This “Portraits” program is the latest event in the Historical Society’s ongoing exhibition of the same name, which now runs through October at its museum at 817 South Main St. in Great Barrington. The event is free and open to the public. As the center for the elderly is a municipal facility, participants are requested to wear their face masks. Refreshments will be served.

—AK

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AGO To Show Spooktacular Silent Movies With Live Organ Accompaniment

Image: Blackhawk Films Image Entertainment / NPR

LENOX, NORTHERN ADAMS – The Berkshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) will feature their free Spooktacular event twice on Saturday October 30. At Trinity Episcopal Church (88 Walker Street in Lenox), at 2 pm, the group will present a short children’s comedy, the 1921 silent film “Haunted House”, with live organ accompaniment. It will be followed by a costumed parade and a visit to the church pipe organ. At 2:30 pm, the main feature film, “The Phantom of the Opera” from 1929, will be screened with live organ accompaniment.

At 7 pm, the group will present the 1923 silent film “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. The film will be screened at All Saints Episcopal Church (59 Summer Street in North Adams).

Organ accompaniment for both events will be provided by Peter Krasinski, an award-winning organist whose performances have been described as “a great marriage of film and music”.

Face masks are mandatory and Halloween masks are preferred. Free will offerings will be accepted. Free tickets available are on Eventbrite or just show up!

Register for 2 p.m. at Lenox: www.eventbrite.com/e/186890563707
Register for 7 p.m. at North Adams: www.eventbrite.com/e/186911506347

—AK

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The Hoffmann Bird Club announces the program of its events until January 2022

Photo courtesy of the Hoffmann Bird Club

BERKSHIRE COUNTY – The Hoffmann Bird Club recently announced its calendar of meetings and events from October 2021 to January 2022. Visit the club’s website for more information and to register for events.

October

Sunday October 17, 7:30 a.m.
Chef’s Choice, Williamstown
Join the group in search of migrating fall birds, focusing on the sparrows. This trip will meet its leaders at the Williamstown Public Library, 1095 Main Street, at the intersection of Highways 2 and 7. The trip will consist of visiting 2-4 birding sites, with easy to moderate walking on highways. grassy or gravel paths, or along roads. Please register for the trip online for contact information for facilitators.

November

Monday November 1 6:30 p.m.
Monthly meeting: virtual
Roger Pasquier presents Birds in Winter: Surviving the Most Challenging Season
Pasquier will discuss the ecological and behavioral adaptations birds have developed to survive winter, a season that affects not only birds that stay in areas where it gets cold each year, but also migrants who go far to avoid the effects. cold. This zoom meeting is free and open to everyone. Visit the website for the Zoom link.

Sunday November 7
Bartlett Hendricks’ 75th Memorial Waterfowl Census
PLEASE NOTE: pre-registration required
This event is an annual census of the lakes and wetlands of central Berkshire. The journey involves driving to the lakes and going out to count each bird. Glasses are required for the trip. There is very little walking involved in this event. Please register for the trip by visiting the website for up-to-date information and register with the coordinator.

Saturday November 13, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
NW CT Waterfowl Census
This trip is an annual census of Northwestern Connecticut lakes. Meet the leaders at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Bring lunch and a litter. Please register for the trip by visiting the website for up-to-date information and to register with the leaders.

December

Monday December 6, 6:30 p.m.
Monthly meeting: virtual
HBC Members’ Night
Select 10 digital images to share. The plans for this meeting will be shared in the e-newsletter. Members share pictures of birding adventures from the past year with the club. Visit the website for the Zoom link.

Saturday, December 18
Central Berkshire Christmas Countdown
Join a team and carry on the tradition. The date of the Blizzard is December 19. Please register for the trip by visiting the website for up to date information and register with the leader.

January

Saturday January 1
South Berkshire Christmas Account
Join a team and welcome the New Year with winter birding. Please register for the trip by visiting the website for up to date information and register with the manager.

Monday January 3, 6:30 p.m.
Monthly meeting: virtual
Christian Hagenlocher: a great year of bird watching on a low budget
Hagenlocher will describe how he saved money by living off his Subaru Outback and cutting corners to save money in his search for birds in the far corners of the continent.
This Zoom meeting is free and open to everyone. Visit the website for the Zoom link.

—AK

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BCC receives funding through preschool grant, SUCCESS program

The Pittsfield campus of Berkshire Community College. Photo courtesy of BCC

PITTSFIELD – The Commonwealth Department of Early Childhood Education and Care (EEC) has awarded Berkshire Community College a Career Path Grant totaling $ 257,331 for fiscal year 2022. The grant funds the costs. tuition, fees and support for those pursuing a degree in higher education while working in the field of early childhood education and care.

The grant is designed to reduce barriers to enrollment and completion by providing consistent, stackable courses for accreditation and graduation. It also discusses challenges in the field of preschool education, including shortages of certified staff. Funding supports:

  • Teacher registration and retention
  • Completion of courses, certificates and diplomas
  • Smooth transfer for students who choose to continue their studies at a four-year university.

The EEC Career Pathways grant has supported early childhood educators at BCC since 2019. In just three years, the grant has supported 160 students who achieved a total of 1,269 credits.

BCC also announces that it has received a stipend of $ 869,377 from the state legislature as part of a $ 16 million fund distributed to 15 Commonwealth Community Colleges. The allocation is for the Urgent Community College Equity Support Fund through Student Services (SUCCESS), which focuses on vulnerable populations. The funding, which was requested through the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC), covers the period until June 30, 2022, but will likely be renewed if the program proves successful.

The majority of BCC’s SUCCESS funding will be spent on staffing, including the hiring of Assistant Dean of Student Affairs / SUCCESS Director George Ambriz, as well as four SUCCESS coaches and administrative support. The remaining funds will be used for student engagement initiatives and related expenses.

According to MACC, the objectives of the SUCCESS Fund project are:

  • Develop / increase existing student support services that have proven to be effective
  • Serve a specific cohort of students
  • Demonstrate significant and demonstrable improvement in student achievement outcomes (e.g., retention, graduation, and transfer) in the targeted cohort population

SUCCESS is designed to maximize collaboration among Commonwealth Community Colleges, identifying best practices and scaling those practices up to scale rather than creating new initiatives.

Areas for improvement identified

BCC has identified three main areas for improvement: completion of a college-level math course in the first year, especially by students of color; reduce the number of students who do not get any credit in the first semester; and increase the likelihood that students will return to school after the end of the first semester.

While the SUCCESS program is beneficial for everyone, it is primarily designed to serve vulnerable student populations, including first generation, low income, minority, disabled and LGBTQ + students. At BCC, approximately 500 students will participate in the program. Each student will be assigned a coach, who will focus on academic skills, socio-economic support, and housing and food insecurities. Each coach will manage a workload and monitor interactions with their students. Field trips to four-year colleges and financial literacy workshops will be among the student engagement initiatives offered.

—AK


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