Wildwood/ARPS Important Dates


Welcome Wildwood STARS

  • May 2: Valley Gives Day & Brown Envelope Fundraiser
  • May 2: Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Meeting, 6:30PM – 7:30PM
  • May 9: Amherst School Committee Meeting, 6:00PM – 7:30PM
  • June 5: Band/Orchestra Concert, 6:30pm
  • June 8: Multicultural Fair, Wildwood School
  • June 21: Sixth Grade Graduation
  • June 22: Last Day of School

Important Links / Hiperenlaces importantes

Front Office/ PGO Requests

  • The Wildwood Multicultural Fair is looking for school community members willing to showcase their talents while sharing their cultural heritage. Are you or your child interested in performing for our community event? Please email: wildwoodelementarypgo@gmail.com

Valley Gives & Brown Envelope Fundraiser, May 2

The 4th annual Valley Gives Day is THIS WEEK!  [ADD VG LOGO and a PHOTO]

This 24-hour online giving day allows people throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond to support hundreds of local nonprofits, including our very own Wildwood School. Don’t delay, support Wildwood PGO today!

Donate via brown envelope or online at: https://valley-gives.org/designee/wildwood-parent-guardian-organization

With your help the PGO can continue to support our students in ways that are as diverse as the population we serve. We strive to ensure that all children have what they need to thrive while also providing our amazing educators with basic tools for their classrooms. With your help the PGO can continue to support our students in ways that are as diverse as the population we serve. But we can’t do it without you! Check it out:

  • $850 ensures every 6th Grade student can participate in the Morse Hill field trip
  • $700 pays for a visiting author
  • $500 supports Art room clay supplies for the year
  • $200 will pay for a Sewing Machine for the Art Room
  • $125 supports a Staff Appreciation Breakfast
  • $120 buys Soil Testing probes for a 2nd Grade Soil Investigation science unit
  • $100 Pays for Moby Max curriculum software licenses for 5th Graders
  • $100 Can assist the school to submit mini grants for unique learning opportunities for children
  • $50 Will help every child to attend class field trips in the community
  • $20 Contributes to teacher classroom supplies so all children have access to pencils and paper
  • $10 helps to ensure that each child can have a snack every day

Our school will be stronger with help from you. Please donate what you can today and dig deep this spring. Thank you!

Youth on Broadway Performance

Youth on Broadway is a musical revue performed by area kids and teens. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and support youth in the arts, while taking in some fine entertainment. The show runs May 6 at 1:30 and 7 pm, and May 7 at 1:30 pm at the Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium.

Tickets at LSSE 413-259-3065 or at the door.

View Flyer

The Daffodil Run 5K Walk/Run & 10K Run

The Daffodil Run 5K Walk/Run & 10K Run

Sunday, April 30, 2017

10:00 AM

Kendrick Park, Amherst

Registration costs before April 1st:

5K Run Adult: $25, Student: $18, Child (under 12): $8

Join the fun in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County! The Daffodil Run is a community event for all ages and abilities.  Run or walk, enjoy entertainment, food and more.  Register before April 1st for early bird rates and an event t-shirt.  Registration is live on RaceWire.com. Visit our web site for more details or call 413-259-3345.

Visit www.chd.or/DaffodilRun

Help with rides to Boston for WW 4th grader Bill Chu

Bill Chu has returned home after his kidney transplant!

Thank you to the WW community who previously helped the family. Bill’s mom Han mentioned that they need to return to Boston twice a week for the next two months. The family has requested help with transportation to Boston. If you can help, please contact Tu Chu via email tchu47@hotmail.com or phone at 413-549-1332.

Next week they need to return to Boston on Tuesday and Friday.

Games on the Common This Weekend

Amherst, Massachusetts —Think you’ve got game? Think you can take on a UMASS college athlete and win? How about at Bocce?

Join us on the Downtown Common for “The Games on the Common” where ordinary Amherst citizens of all ages can engage in demonstrations of backyard prowess. Show off your style. Try your hand at a new game. Unlock secret talents. Pick up pro tips. Participate or spectate. Bring your A game or order up a nice picnic lunch from one of our fine cafes, pubs and restaurants and join us for croquet, bocce, and badminton.
On April 23 from 12 – 4 pm, the Amherst BID is providing games, balls and nets and offering an open invitation to the community at large. UMASS Athletics is sending student athlete ambassadors to join in the fun. The Town Common is a level and welcoming playing field used for over 250 years as a community resource.

Amherst Sustainability Festival This Weekend

Saturday April 22, 10 AM – 4 PM on the TOWN COMMON

Join us for a day of family fun, education and entertainment. The Sustainability Festival is in its eighth year and is bigger and better than ever! There is literally something for everyone with over 100 vendors of renewable energy, energy efficiency product suppliers, advocacy groups as well as sustainable crafts and artisans!

Schedule of Stage Performances:

10 AM – Under the Tree Music

11 AM – Chris Scanlon and the Other Guys

Noon – Tuff Riddim International

1 PM – Valley Women Drummers

2 PM – Luke DeRoy Trio

3 PM – Piti Theatre Company


Demo Workshops:

     11 AM – David Lovler “Grow, Save and Eat Beans: Complete the Garden Protein Cycle Noon – Megan Brockelbank “Heathy Gluten Free and Sugar Alternatives in Cooking and Baking” 1 PM – Shoshona King “How to Make ‘Plarn’” 2 PM – Emma Hayes – “Growing Wine Caps and Allying with the Fungal Kingdom”



THE ‘CLIMATE TRANSFORMER’ – NEW THIS YEAR – FEATURED CENTER COMMON! An interactive art installation and exhibit

Don’t forget to bring your clean, used, dry clothing and textiles for the annual Textile Drive sponsored by the Amherst Recycling and Refuse Management Committee! The drop off will be located on Boltwood Avenue across from the Lord Jeff Inn.

5 Recycling Collections this year!:
1. Pellet bags 
2. Large Styrofoam chunks (no peanuts)
3. Textiles (No pillows, rugs or carpets please!)
4. Cell Phones and Accessories (working and non-working)
5. Computers and related equipment (printers, laptops, scanners, faxes and modems)

Single-use Plastic Bag Turn-In:
Bring your single-use plastic bags to the festival and turn them in for a really cool reusable folding nylon bag! Turn-in located at the Recycling Booth.

View Flyer

ARPS School Equity Task Force Meeting Times

The Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools-School Equity Task Force meets the first Wednesday of each month, form 6 pm to 8 pm, in the high school library. We invite all parents and guardians to attend our meetings. We discuss issues of equity in our schools and how to resolve inequitable obstacles as they confront our youth.

Money Smart Week® Comes to the Jones Library

Libraries have long been advocates for reading and literacy for the people in their communities.  Another community need now being addressed by libraries in an annual campaign is financial literacy and money management.  Money Smart Week®, a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will be observed with programs at the Jones Library during the week of April 22-29, 2017.

On Tuesday, April 25 at 7 pm, join us for a workshop called Identity Theft: Are You Protected?  This workshop will help explain the best practices to protect yourself in this world of ever-changing technology. Learn how to minimize the risk of having your identity stolen by managing personal information wisely and cautiously. This program is co-sponsored by UMassFive College Federal Credit Union.

On Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 pm, teens ages 14-17 are invited to a Money Matters Million Dollar Event, which is designed to share with you some information about how to become a millionaire and retire before you turn 30.  Please pre-register at 313-259-3091.

Throughout the week, the story times in the children’s room will talk about money, saving, and much more.

On Saturday, April 29 at 2:30 pm, learn about how to incorporate planned giving into your estate planning at a program entitled Creating a Charitable Legacy.  Join Attorney Seunghee Cha, from Bulkley Richardson and Gelinas, and the Community Foundation’s Vice President for Philanthropic Services Ellen Leuchs for a joint presentation on ways you can give through estate planning and how the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts can help you support your favorite causes in our community, including the Jones Library!

Money Smart Week® was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, and is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of thousands of organizations across the country including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media. For more information, visit www.moneysmartweek.org/.

All programs are free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

Valley Gives Day is coming – Mark your calendars for Tuesday, 5/2

The 4th annual Valley Gives Day is just a month away! This is a 24-hour online giving day that allows people throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond to support hundreds of local nonprofits.
This year, ARHS/ARMS Athletics (Hurricane Boosters) is participating for the first time, as well as ARHS PGO and Wildwood PGO. Organizations are eligible for incentive prizes based on the number of donors – no matter how big or small the gifts – so save the date, spread the word, and help our organizations raise thousands of dollars to benefit our students and schools.

Museum Passes Available for FREE at Jones Library

Looking for something to do over the break? Borrow a museum pass.

Our local libraries make regional museums accessible to their patrons! Borrow a museum pass and get out and visit one of these many community resources. Some of these passes allow free admission and others allow discounted admission. The number of adults and children admitted varies from pass to pass.

Be amazed at the community-based educational opportunities waiting for you and your family!

For more info about activities at the library, visit: www.joneslibrary.org/

Press Release: Amherst Survival Center Hosts Job Fair April 26



 For Release:               Immediate

Contact:                      Tracey Levy, Program Director 549-3968 ext 102

Amherst, MA – The Amherst Survival Center in collaboration with the Franklin Hampshire Career Center will sponsor a Job Fair on Wednesday, April 26 from 1:00 to 2:30pm. The Job Fair will include a dozen employers from the area. This is the third year that the Amherst Survival Center has held a Job Fair. Job Fairs at the Center are open to everyone.

The Job Fair will be held in the Center’s Community Dining Room, at 138 Sunderland Road in North Amherst. The Job Fair will take place at the Center on a day when no other services are available to the public.

Job Fairs are part of the Center’s job search assistance program. The program also includes weekly one-on-one assistance every Thursday from 11:30am-1pm, access to the Center’s public computers, and of course access to interview and employment related clothing through the Center’s Community Store.  In addition, the Center has also begun to hold recruitment events with several temporary agencies in the area.  The Center holds two Job Fairs a year, and in the late spring also hosts a panel for youth on finding summer employment.

According to Mindy Domb, Executive Director of the Amherst Survival Center, “the response to our Job Fairs has been consistently positive, encouraging us to continue to sponsor them as well as the recruitment events. We’re excited to present these programs, and to work in partnership with the Franklin Hampshire Career Centers and the prospective employers, in order to bring this possible employment service to our participants.”

Participants have shared what they thought was most helpful about past Fairs, including: “It was helpful to meet people from different companies. And to see what jobs they might be hiring for”, and “everyone was very welcoming and informative. And I have made a contact in which I feel positive about.”

“The Job Search Support Program increases our community’s access to employment opportunities and the skills they need to take advantage of them,” said Tracey Levy, Program Director. “The value of this program has been repeated to us by participants and we’re excited to continue to offer job search support in various ways.”

All are welcome to attend the Job Fair. The Amherst Survival Center’s Community Store also makes clothing available for free to participants, including clothing that could be useful in the job hunt scenario. The store is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday from 11am-2:45pm, and Thursdays from 11am-6:45pm.

The Amherst Survival Center connects residents of Hampshire and Franklin Counties to food, clothing, health care, wellness and community, primarily through volunteers.

Mindy Domb

Executive Director

Amherst Survival Center

P.O. Box 9629, 138 Sunderland Road

North Amherst, MA 01059

tel: 413.549.3968 x107;  fax: 413.549.5860

Website: www.amherstsurvival.org

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @AmherstSurvival

Join UMass’ Dash & Dine 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, April 8 – proceeds benefit the Amherst Survival Center, registration & info here: www.runumass.com



A time to create postcards under the guidance of our professional art teacher

We will deliver them to people in power

Multi-Arts is inviting all children from the community to celebrate EARTH DAY and create artistic post-cards referring to this question: “Why does the environment matter and what can we do to protect it?” Our art teacher will inspire and guide them in the art design of the post-cards.  Multi-Arts will deliver them to people in power.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Immanuel Lutheran Church

space is limited, please reserve your slot at info@multi-arts.org

ONLINE: Children can also participate in this event online, by writing their message at: http://www.multi-arts.org/voices-of-children-for-the-environment.html This web page will be available online through April 21st.


Multi-Arts is extending the invitation to celebrate EART DAY to the adult community. We will make available an ART STATION table with art supplies, post-card paper, and examples of designs and message.

 WHEN: Monday, April 17, 10:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: The ART STATION table will be located at the entrance hallway of the Immanuel Lutheran Church

for more info visit www.multi-arts.org

Multi-Arts’ April Vacation Camp

Join Multi-Arts’ super duper APRIL VACATION CAMPApril 17 – 21
Location: 867 N. Pleasant St., Amherst
We have activities for children 4 to 12 years old
Do you know your child can come for just one day, or two, or the whole week?
What Makes Multi-Arts UNIQUE is:
·      The high professional qualification of all our teachers and head counselors
·      The specialization of all our teachers. They are all professional working artists in their fields
·      The relevant teaching experience of our teachers and head counselors
·      The different artistic forms children explore: Art & Prop making • Drama & Black Light Theater • Mime • Music • Flamenco Dance & Funk Dance Styles • Fashion • Story Telling • Creative Writing • Crafts • Nature Exploration
·      The size of the groups: max. 12 children by group
·      The 1:4 adult to child ratio
You will bring home a happy child.
Space is limited. Register TODAY!

Dr. Michael Morris Appointed Interim Superintendent for 2017-2018 School Year

Eric Nakajima, Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Chair, and Anastasia Ordonez, Union 26 School Committee Chair, are pleased to announce that the committees have voted to extend the appointment of Dr. Michael Morris as Interim Superintendent of the Amherst, Pelham and Regional Schools for the 2017-2018 school year.  The unanimous vote of both committees occurred at a joint meeting held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, and the vote is contingent upon successful contract negotiations between Dr. Morris and the School Committees.

A 16-year veteran in the districts, Morris began his work in the district as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Fort River Elementary School. He then became the principal of Crocker Farm Elementary School before moving into district administration first as Director of Evaluation and Assessment and then as Assistant Superintendent.  Morris was appointed Interim Superintendent in September 2016.
“The committee is grateful to Dr. Morris for his steady leadership over the past year,” said Eric Nakajima, “he is a gifted educational leader and we are looking forward to a full academic year in which he can work with us, the staff and community to advance our mission of educational excellence for all students.” 
Dr. Morris holds a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, a Master’s and CAGS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Doctoral degree from Boston College. His work on Educator Evaluation has been profiled as one of the four exemplary districts in the state by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He has also presented at statewide conferences on a variety of topics for the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Elementary Principals’ Association, DESE’s Spring Convening on Educator Evaluation, as well as others.  
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve as Interim Superintendent and to work collaboratively with the School Committees and the outstanding faculty and staff of our districts on behalf of our students,” Morris stated.  “I look forward to continuing that work for another year.”  
“Teachers, parents, staff and community leaders have repeatedly expressed their enthusiastic support for Dr. Morris’s work so far, and I’m pleased that the Committees voted to have him continue as Interim Superintendent for the next academic year,” said Ms. Ordonez. “Dr. Morris is a steady and collaborative leader who is committed to the excellence of all our students, and we are grateful for his many years of service to this community and school district.” 

UMass Dash & Dine 5K

Register online at www.RunUMass.com, in the dining commons, or in select retail dining locations by Friday April 11, 2014.

$5 for UMass Community

$15 for Public
First 500 registered receive an event t-shirt. Lunch provided with entry fee

Net proceeds to benefit Amherst Survival Center


Check in at Berkshire DC beginning at 9:00 am

Race begins at 11:00 am

Prizes awarded at noon

$100 American Express Gift cards awarded to:

1st Place Male & Female Runner, 1st Place Male & Female Costume

Lunch to follow

Amherst Charter Commission Public Sessions

The Charter Commission is zeroing in on a set of recommendations for reshaping Amherst government. We invite you to attend one of our upcoming feedback sessions. These feedback sessions will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about and to comment on the emerging plan. There is still time to have input but as the weeks go by, the chance to influence the plan will diminish. Please join us for one or more of these sessions. You can also participate with a feedback form that you can find on our web site, or by sending us an email.

Web address: https://www.amherstma.gov/2248/Charter-Commission
Feedback Form: https://www.amherstma.gov/FormCenter/Charter-Commission-29/Amherst-Charter-Commission-Draft-Charter-133
Email address: charter@amherstma.gov
Facebook page: amherst charter commission

All feedback sessions will be held in the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library
· Wednesday, April 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
· Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

ARPS SEPAC Autism Awareness Event

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) and the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools have teamed up to host an Autism Awareness Night.
Current middle/high school students and post-graduate panelists will be in small groups, talking about their experience with Autism, its strengths and challenges, what helps/what doesn’t, and other interesting discussion topics, such as Autism as a disability versus difference.
We will also feature an art installation of Autism Awareness posters and a literature table.
When: April 13, 2017, 6:00 pm-7:30pm

Where: ARHS Library

*Please RSVP by April 10th to Nancy Stewart at sepac@arps.org or 413-687-4255. Event is free and open to the public.

April Events at Jones Library and a special storytime

View the monthly calendar of programming for the Jones Library Kids Room. There are interesting events happening over the school vacation week, in case April Showers lead people to indoor activities.

View a flyer for a special evening storytime coming up on April 4th. A grad student from Umass who is part of the school psychologist program is presenting a storytime in honor of World Autism Awareness day (April 2nd) .


Community Conversation – Learn about the threat to the safety net

A Community Conversation in collaboration with the Amherst League of Women Voters.

Wednesday, April 5, 6:30pm-8pm at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, North Amherst on the #33 bus

Michael Knapik, Director of Governor Baker’s Western MA Regional Office
Keith Barnicle, Regional Manager for Congressman Jim McGovern
Michelle Geoffroy, Advocacy, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Wildwood Water Fixture Repairs Update

Repairs have been completed on 43 of the water fixtures in the classroom and ELL areas at Wildwood that tested above the action level of 15 ppb for lead.  I am pleased to report that 38 of the fixtures now test below the action level on first draw, and all tested below the action level on the flush draw.  Full results can be found here.

Additional repairs and retesting will be made on the five fixtures that still tested above the action level on first draw, as well as in a few places outside the classroom and ELL areas of the school.  In the meantime, staff will continue to follow the flushing protocol for those five quad fixtures and in areas that still need retesting.  All other water outlets in Wildwood School are now operational with no flushing protocols required.

Statement from School Committee Chairs Regarding Superintendent Search

On Tuesday, March 21, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee and the Union 26 Committee, meeting jointly, unanimously decided to postpone the search for a permanent superintendent of schools until fall 2017.  The committees will name an interim superintendent to serve for the 2017-2018 academic year, with a permanent superintendent to start on July 1, 2018.  Dr. Michael Morris has served as interim superintendent during the current academic year.

The committees deliberated about how best to proceed with the search for a new district superintendent following the news last week that the search firm hired to conduct the process on behalf of the district had inappropriately requested criminal background information from applicants. The committees had a thorough and deliberate discussion in which members balanced multiple issues, including the desire for a new educational leader, confidence in the current search firm, resources expended to date, the timing of the search, and the strong need to have a permanent superintendent who has the full confidence of the community and the committees.

The committees strongly believe that postponing the search until fall 2017, which would follow the typical calendar for superintendent searches, gives our district the best opportunity to ensure a better pool of qualified and diverse candidates than if we restarted the search immediately.  The committees also intend to work closely with the district’s human resources staff and Ray & Associates, the search firm, to ensure that a new search would adhere to all Massachusetts employment and discrimination laws, as well as achieve a standard of excellence that we expect for a search of this importance.  We are committed to bringing regular updates to the committees and the public as we restart the search process during the next few months.

Our committees have expressed how deeply they value input from the community in matters related to the governance of our school district, and continue to be interested in the full participation of the community. We hope that the volunteers who stepped forward to help with the screening of candidates and the broader search will continue to be interested in participating when we pick up this process again in the fall.

We are grateful to interim superintendent Dr. Morris and the district leadership team for their support during this search process. The committees will continue to work with our interim superintendent and other district leaders to ensure that we have a stable, robust educational plan in place for the next school year. We also will continue to work closely with our talented and dedicated educators, principals and other staff to ensure the continued success of our students and schools.


El martes, 21 de marzo, el Comité Escolar Regional de Amherst-Pelham y el Comité de la Unión 26, reunidos conjuntamente, decidieron por unanimidad aplazar la búsqueda de un superintendente permanente de escuelas hasta el otoño de 2017. Los comités nombrarán a un superintendente interino para servir en el año académico 2017 -2018, con un superintendente permanente para comenzar el 1 de julio de 2018. El Dr. Michael Morris ha servido como superintendente interino durante el año académico actual.

Los comités deliberaron sobre la mejor manera de proceder con la búsqueda de un nuevo superintendente de distrito tras la noticia de la semana pasada que la firma de búsqueda contratada, para llevar a cabo el proceso en nombre del distrito, había solicitado de manera inapropiada información de antecedentes penales de los solicitantes. Los comités tuvieron una discusión minuciosa y deliberada en la que los miembros han equilibrado múltiples cuestiones, entre ellas el deseo de un nuevo líder educativo, la confianza en la empresa de búsqueda actual, los recursos gastados hasta la fecha, el momento de la búsqueda y la fuerte necesidad de tener un Superintendente que tenga la plena confianza de la comunidad y de los comités.

Los comités creen firmemente que posponer la búsqueda hasta el otoño de 2017, que seguiría el calendario típico de las búsquedas de superintendentes, da a nuestro distrito la mejor oportunidad de asegurar una mejor reserva de candidatos calificados y diversos, que si volvemos a iniciar la búsqueda inmediatamente. Los comités también tienen la intención de trabajar en estrecha colaboración con el personal de Recursos Humanos del Distrito y Ray & Associates, la firma de búsqueda, para asegurar que la nueva búsqueda se adhiera a todas las leyes de empleo y discriminación de Massachusetts, así como lograr el nivel de excelencia que esperamos para una búsqueda de esta importancia. Estamos comprometidos a llevar actualizaciones periódicas a los comités y al público mientras reiniciamos el proceso de búsqueda durante los próximos meses.

Nuestros comités han expresado lo mucho que valoran el aporte de la comunidad en los asuntos relacionados con la gobernanza de nuestro distrito escolar, y siguen interesados en la plena participación de la comunidad. Esperamos que los voluntarios que se ofrecieron para ayudar con la selección de los candidatos y la búsqueda más amplia sigan interesados en participar cuando retomemos este proceso de nuevo en el otoño.

Estamos agradecidos al superintendente interino Dr. Morris y al equipo de liderazgo del distrito por su apoyo durante este proceso de búsqueda. Los comités continuarán trabajando con nuestro superintendente interino y otros líderes del distrito para asegurar que tengamos un plan educacional estable y robusto establecido para el próximo año escolar. También continuaremos trabajando estrechamente con nuestros talentosos y dedicados educadores, directores y demás personal para asegurar el éxito continuo de nuestros estudiantes y nuestras escuelas.

Jones Library Celebrates the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read

The Jones Library Celebrates the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read,

Marking Henry David Thoreau’s 200th Birthday

Amherst, MA –   This spring, the Jones Library is participating in the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read, a yearlong event that has events taking place in every city and town in Massachusetts through 2017.  The Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read is part of a global celebration that highlights the continued relevance of Thoreau’s writings and philosophical contributions, even 200 years after his birth on July 12, 1817.

A variety of events for all ages will be taking place at the Jones Library throughout the spring, and the Amherst community is invited to participate.  While the book club reading “Walden” has already filled, we invite the Amherst community to join us in other programming being offered – or to use these events as inspiration to read one of Thoreau’s works on your own.  Please join us in celebrating this great American author, philosopher, and poet.  His message still rings clear in our hectic society, and perhaps some of his words might help alleviate the pressures of modern-day life.

On Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm, Dr. Thomas Dumm of Amherst College will present a program entitled “Thoreau on Resignation and Resistance”, exploring Thoreau’s understandings of resignation and resistance, and suggesting ways in which we may be able adapt his understanding to the current political crisis in the United States.

On Thursday, May 11 at 7 pm, Dr. David Glassberg of the University of Massachusetts will present an interactive lecture on Thoreau and his legacy.

The Special Collections department will feature an exhibit entitled Let Us Consider Walden. This exhibit explores the influences of Henry David Thoreau on Clifton Johnson and Robert Francis, two writers living in Western Massachusetts. The exhibit is on display in Special Collections at the Jones Library in Amherst from May 1st to June 30th. Special Collections is open Monday and Saturday from 2pm to 5pm and TuesdayFriday from 10am to 5pm.

There are also events planned for young people.  On Thursday, April 20 at 1 pm, Tom Ricardi of Mass Birds of Prey will give an informational demonstration and provide a chance to meet live birds of prey. As an introduction to the program, there will also be a story about Thoreau, and a true story about a wounded hawk and how Mr. Ricardi helped to rescue and rehabilitate her. This program is free and open to children ages 4 and up.

On May 1st at 2:00 pm, Story and Play story time will feature stories of nature and Thoreau.

A program for teens ages 11 – 17 entitled “Plant Printing on Greeting Cards Celebrating Thoreau” will take place on Thursday, April 20 at 3:30 pm.  Thoreau spent a vast amount of time in nature, and to celebrate that time, participants are going to quickly study images of his sketches with the intent of being inspired, and then use the samples of plant material provided by the library to create greeting cards.  Pre-registration strongly encouraged at 413-259-3091.

All events are free and open to the public.

The Walden Woods Project (Lincoln, MA), Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area (Devens, MA), University of Massachusetts Lowell Honors College (Lowell, MA), and Massachusetts Center for the Book (Boston, MA) are co-sponsors of the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read.  Their goal is to have every town or city in Massachusetts participate by coordinating at least one event in 2017 that brings community members together to read a work by Thoreau.

In the spirit of self-determination championed by Thoreau, the coordinators of each town’s Read event can choose when in 2017 they want to carry out their Read; how they want to implement their Read; and which Thoreau piece they will read. With that said, to facilitate some shared experience among participants across the state, organizers will provide a brief excerpt from Walden for all participants to read, providing a connecting thread between all Read events across the state.

For more information on the Read event in Amherst, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

For more information about the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read as a whole, please contact the Walden Woods Project at education@walden.org or visit www.walden.org/bicentennial/read.


Janet Ryan

Head of Programming & Outreach

Jones Library

Amherst, MA