Northern Berkshire Family Net

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Northern Berkshire Family Net- "Come Play with Us"

Family Net is a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education; our mission is to provide a network of support for families with young children. Family Net holds playgroups in several locations throughout Northern Berkshire. We also present parent education workshops such as "The Power of Play" and "Siblings without Rivalry". Age specific groups such as "Toddler Gym Day" and "Growing Baby" and "New Baby" playgroups are also available to meet the different needs of parents with infants, older babies and toddlers.

Family Net Playgroup Schedule

Monday
9:30 Williamstown Youth Center Playgroup
3:00 First Congregational Church in Adams

Tuesday
9:00 Cheshire Senior Center

Wednesday
9:30 First Congregational Church in North Adams
10:00 Growing Baby Group at Haskins Community Center, North Adams

Thursday
10:30 New Baby Group at Haskins Community Center, North Adams
3:30 LINCS Center at Brayton School, North Adams

Friday
10:00 Family Net Adams Playspace at 46 Howland Ave.(C&W Construction Bldg.)

* These are the programs that run on a regular basis.

What do children and parents do at Family Net playgroups?
They play of course! Family Net has playgroups at several different sites, and each has its own unique appeal. Some spaces such as the one in Adams on Howland Ave. is already set up with play centers for block building, housekeeping play, manipulatives, and reading. Other sites such as the Williamstown and Cheshire sites need to be set up with materials such as a gym, mats, balls, riders, tunnels etc. At these groups, we try to provide a balance of the play experiences. For example, while some children may choose to ride and climb in one area, books, puzzles, art projects and playdough is provided in another quieter area of the room.

A typical morning schedule goes as follows:
Arrival, free playtime, short group/circle time, snack and clean up. Most playgroups are 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Parents spend time playing with their child and getting to know and talk with other parents. Family Net staff is available to assist parents with information on a range of children's issues such as child development and behavior management. Playgroups provide a time for developmentally appropriate activities and socialization for families and their children ages birth - 3 years of age. It is not our role to make judgements about styles of parenting. Our purpose is to allow children to play and learn with others. Each family has its own style of raising their children and playgroup gives an opportunity for parents to exchange ideas with other parents and staff members.

Families can receive more information about Family Net by calling us at (413) 664-4821. Our e-mail address is familynt@bcn.net. When you call let us know if you are interested in receiving our monthly newsletter which lists our playgroups, special events and has parent interest articles. Thank you, see you at playgroup!

Family Net Staff
Program Coordinator: Joanne Ranzer
Early Childhood Specialist: Mary-Jo Belanger
Playgroup Coordinator: Kerri-Ann Ruthven
Administrative Assistant: Aimee Cutler

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