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The pop-up tent itself features a raffle, info booths, art, postcard-writing, children's activities.

Berkshires Beat: 350Vermont Brings Summer Pop-Up Series to Bennington

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Popping up: 350Vermont's Summer Pop-Up Series is taking the Burlington-based climate organization to four Vermont communities, including a last stop this week in Bennington County. The pop-up tent will appear in four Bennington County locations: the Bennington Farmers Market (Aug. 8, 3-6 p.m.), the Left Bank in North Bennington (Aug. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.), the Manchester Farmers Market (Aug. 10, 3-6 p.m.), and Willow Park in Bennington (Aug. 11, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Each site will also host other activities such as workshops or cantastoria performances. A full schedule can be found online.

350VT's Jen Lazar describes the pop-up as a "mix of a traveling roadshow, a listening tour, a fierce commitment to climate justice, a set of powerful workshops and trainings, the excitement of overnight summer camp, and incredible climate leaders from across the state." The pop-up tent itself features a raffle, info booths, art, postcard-writing, children's activities. Other events, including cantastoria performances, talks on climate subjects, and workshops on themes ranging from "active hope" to "solidarity singing," will be held throughout the week. The pop-up is designed to engage more Vermonters in the movement for climate justice by building a network of community-run 350VT groups.

According to the 2016 Yale Climate Opinion Map, a majority of Vermonters (61 percent) are worried about global warming, but in many parts of this rural state, environmentally concerned Vermonters still feel isolated and, perhaps, powerless in the face of this overwhelming climate crisis. The summer pop-up will encourage people to get involved, take action and build community.

Exploring racism: The subject of inclusiveness, and creative responses to racism, will be explored by a professor, an attorney and an artist on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Berkshire Community College in a thought-provoking day of lively discussion and learning. The event, titled "OLLI University Day," is organized by OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, and is open to the public.

The day features three celebrated speakers. Williams College professor Charles Dew is a renowned expert in slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction.  His talk will center around his recent memoir, "The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade." He will be joined by attorney and advocate Tahirah Amatul Wadud, and artist and former journalist Setsuko Winchester, the founder of the Freedom from Fear/Yellow Bowl Project currently on view at the Mount in Lenox.

Registration is $40 for OLLI members and $55 for members of the public, and includes lunch. The deadline to register is Monday, Aug. 7. The day begins at 10 a.m. with coffee and registration, followed by Professor Dews' talk and discussion at 10:30 a.m. Lunch and a talk by Mrs. Wadud follow, with Setsuko Winchester presenting in the early afternoon. For more information and to register, call 413-236-2190 or visit the wesbite.


Getting info: Information sessions for the Northern Berkshire Adult Basic Education Program will be held at the Adams Public Library on Aug. 11 at 3:30 p.m., at the North Adams Public Library on Aug. 15 at 10 a.m., at the North Adams Downtown Celebration on Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m. and at the UNO Center on River Street in North Adams on Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. Call 413-662-5330 for information.


Real news: The first edition of Mayor Linda Tyer’s quarterly newsletter is now available. A link to the newsletter is located on the city's website. Sign up for future editions of the newsletter is available through the city's subscription system.

Each issue will include highlights on the people, projects, initiatives, developments, and funds that are in place to move the city forward. During the week of Aug. 7, copies of the newsletter will also be available in the Mayor's Office, Berkshire Athenaeum and the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center.

Growing support: Berkshire Nursing Families, a nonprofit lactation consulting organization, is now making lactation support services available throughout the entire county. The mission of BNF is to enhance the life-long health of its community through the promotion and support of breastfeeding. BNF delivers a continuum of expert lactation support from pregnancy through baby's first six months.

The program includes clinic and home consultations, a telephone hotline, a structured telephone/email follow-up program, equipment loan and rental, weekly support playgroups, community data collection, and education and training for health care professionals, parents and potential parents. All services are free of charge to every family who needs them to preserve equity for all families.

These services, which have been offered in North County for the past 20 years, have been expanded to Central and South County. BNF has been working toward securing reliable funding to support their program in Central and South County and has recently been awarded a grant by Berkshire United Way that has helped make this expansion of services possible. BNF also has received funding from the Bank of America Ida S. Barter and Marion Boynton Trusts, the City of Pittsfield and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation's Central Berkshire Fund.

For more information about how to access BNF’s services or information about the organization, visit the website.

Preschool openings: The Dalton Preschool is accepting applications to fill limited enrollment openings for the 2017-18 school year program, which begins on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Dalton Preschool is located within the Dalton CRA building at 400 Main St., Dalton. Applications for Dalton Preschool may be picked up at the Dalton CRA's front desk.

Dalton Preschool, known formerly as Dalton Cooperative Nursery School, is a small, private, play-based, preschool program with an experienced and professional staff. Dalton Preschool's curriculum emphasizes the development of social-skills and includes early-academic components. It is a mixed-aged program serving children between the ages of 2 years, 9 months, to 5 years old.

The preschool offers either full-day programs, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or half-day programs, from 8:15 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays, and follows an academic year calendar. For information, visit the website.


Library art: The town of Williamstown’s long-time principal assessor, William Barkin, will be exhibiting original oil paintings at the Milne Public Library in Williamstown for the month of August. All the work on display depict scenes of Williamstown.

An accomplished artist, Barkin has been painting for more than 40 years and has had his work exhibited in numerous galleries throughout New England, New York and Florida.

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