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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Submissions are welcome! Send us photos. Did you capture a beautiful scene while on a hike? A funny pic of a sourdough bread failure? A craft project that you are particularly proud of? We would like to see and share with the community! Please forward your items to Carolyn Edwards: cedwards@theparkerschool.org

Anti-Racism Resources (new content)
Anti-Racism Resources (new content)

Books (a few more titles in addition to the Friday Newsletter content):

Parenting guides to help with difficult conversations about hate and racism. Organized by age group:

Volunteering
Volunteering

Step3-Conversation.png

Become a Crisis Text Line volunteer. If you are willing and able, Crisis Text Line is recruiting volunteers to help people by answering texts from those in crisis and working with them through difficult moments.  With training, you will learn skills in reflective listening, crisis management and collaborative problem-solving.

Other Volunteering Opportunities

Are you passionate about social issues, education, animals, science? Volunteer and do some good right from your own home! Organizations like the Smithsonian, Project Gutenberg and Translators Without Borders offer digital volunteering opportunities. Other options include:

Just for Fun
Just for Fun
  • Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
    An engaging and very funny video about one man’s ingenious quest to fool the crafty backyard squirrel. Feats of engineering (human), acrobatics (squirrel) and mathematics (human and squirrel) in this 21 minute entertaining YouTube video.
  • More Harry Potter fun: Watch and listen as the first installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is read chapter by chapter by familiar actors including Daniel Radcliffe himself reading the first chapter, The Boy Who Lived.  Others include Stephen Fry and the cast of The Cursed Child.
  • Young kids in the house? Introduce them to sometimes fun and sometimes educational podcasts. This article lists 18 of the best!
  • Need a huge dose of cute? The Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has got you covered. Cheetah Cub Cam!!
  • For Harry Potter fans… and for fans of escape rooms!  Peters Township Library in McMurray, PA has created a Hogwarts escape room.  Try your hand at mastering Hogwarts.  Go as a group or as an individual but get those brain cells working.
Educational
Educational
  • The Chautauqua Institution in New York has put many of its famous lectures online. This summer they had to cancel the events in New York but they plan to have many of their lectures and performances.
  • Common Sense Media is chock full of family activities and educational resources for families. There is a variety of opportunities for kids from pre-k to 12th grade. Everything from how to make an origami box to how to write a resume, how to cook an egg and how to spot a “deep fake”. You will want to click on "Coronavirus Free Resources" at the top of the page to get started.
  • Zooniverse gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real, cutting-edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities and more, with over 50 active online citizen science projects.  Work with 1.6 million registered users around the world to contribute to research projects led by hundreds.
  • NEEF – The National Environmental Education Foundation – ”…the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.” Through this website learn more about cultivating a healthy environment and the connection to people’s everyday lives. There are sections on conservation, education, and health. It's worth checking out! It also has good resources and readings about COVID-19.
  • WGBH Distance Learning Resources for Grades 6-8 
  • WGBH Distance Learning Resources for Grades 9-12 
Self Care
Self Care

Recipes on how to make your own foot soak and sugar scrub. You may have the ingredients in your cupboards to whip up a hair rinse or a face mask. Give it a try with these botanical do-it-yourself products from Urban Moonshine.

Bookstore Newsletter
Bookstore Newsletter

Porter Square Books in Cambridge has been writing a newsletter called Shelf Stable.  While stuck at home you can get a bit of an in-store virtual experience!  This includes a video for at-home browsing of their shelves, clips from PSB staffers reading, featured staff picks, polls and quizzes, writing prompts, and more.

Outdoors
Outdoors
  • Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary’s Sheep and Wool Festival has gone virtual!  The festival experience is being brought to you right here.  Read about the history of the flock at the sanctuary, watch a shearing demo video.  How are the sheep named?  What is their favorite snacks?  And of course at any festival, there is a marketplace to buy wool and other woolen festival sundries.
  • Hiking in Central Massachusetts. The weather is finally cooperating as we head into mid-Spring. Take a hike and discover something new about central Massachusetts! These hiking suggestions take you through some gorgeous forests and even with a touch of history. Keep in mind, as always, to social distance. Mass Audubon and Trustees of Reservations properties are open, but you’ll find that any of the property’s buildings will be closed.
  • Mass Audubon Resources – Explore Nature at Home
  • The Wildlife Trusts - videos, articles, activities, and live web-cams
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts
  • Artists!  Hone up on your art skills or learn something new at Art ala Carte .  New art tutorials drop on this YouTube channel on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
  • Draw With Us! This is a great website! Drew Willis, children’s book illustrator and creative director of Time-for-Kids and his sidekick Rosie have teamed up to bring art instruction to you! It started when Drew received a Santa drawing from Rosie (who had admired his work for a long time). He sent her a thank you with his own drawing of Santa. Rosie then made another drawing and their back and forth art relationship was off and running. Now, they’re letting you at home in on the fun.  Learn to draw a different subject every week!
  • Bees are in need of homes!! This is a fun, quick and worthwhile project. Build a Bee Hotel. It’s simply a box that is at least 6 in. deep, filled with holes that bees can rear their babies in. And let’s be honest, bees need all the help and lovin’ they can get these days.
  • Art Kits at Periwinkle Art and Glassworks – learn a new craft
Virtual 360° Tour & Solstice Live Stream
Virtual 360° Tour & Solstice Live Stream

Summer Solstice Live Stream at Stonehenge

Take an interactive tour of this ancient sacred site and for the first time ever, experience the summer solstice during a live stream!

English Heritage will host this event on their social media channels. Not quite like being there in person but watching the sun rise behind the ancient heel stone should be pretty special.

The timing for us (EST) will be a little before midnight on Saturday June 20th.  Another interesting feature on their website is Skyscape. Step inside the stones and learn about the movements of the sun, the moon, and the planets. It’s fun to take a look around in this virtual 360° experience.
Coding
Coding
Bird Watching
Bird Watching
  • Saw my first American Goldfinch of the season.  A flash of bright yellow in front of my path!  Got to love the color. And finally, the first hummingbirds have made it to my feeder.  Send us photos of birds at your feeders.  Send us names of unusual birds you’ve seen or how about a photo of a bird you’re having a hard time identifying?
    American Goldfinch sitting on a branch
  • Carolyn's current list of bird sightings includes the usual: Chickadees, Tufted titmouses, Nuthatches, Juncos, Carolina wrens, Flickers, Blue Jays, Sparrows, Cardinals. Still waiting for the first hummingbirds. Also includes The Never Seen it Before: Green Heron!!! What have you observed? 

Science
Science
  • Interact with Trustee of Reservations staff. Go behind the scenes and do a little discovery. Salt Marshes. Wildflowers. New England Wildlife Cams. Shore birds. A reading of Nature by Emerson. All here, collected by the Trustees of Reservations.  Broken down by age group.
  • Sign up for  Spot the Station from NASA.  You will be notified when the International Space Station will be making a pass over your area. Watch the International Space Station pass overhead from several thousand worldwide locations. It is the third brightest object in the sky and easy to spot if you know when to look up.
  • How are theme parks created you ask? Try this course out for size. Disney engineers and artists are offering this free course for Disney theme park aficionados and any all Dreamers. Imagineering in a Box is a free online program that brings together the diverse talents of Disney Imagineers around the world for a one-of-a-kind learning experience and is part of Disney’s commitment to helping today’s youth create the future they imagine. The series offers 32 videos in which Imagineers share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – to create immersive experiences.
  • Fun experiments (why does matter matter?) that you can do in your own kitchen especially if you have younger kids in the house, brought to you by the Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta, ME.  Follow on Facebook @cdmplay or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/cdmplay/.  Full disclosure – my creative and lovely niece, Amarinda happens to be the museum’s executive director and does most of the videos!  And they’re really good!
  • Spark your curiosity in science for you and the whole family with these two websites. Activities, ideas, and inspiration: Seacoast Science Center and New England Aquarium
  • Chat with a real scientist from your home with Skype a Scientist. Click the ‘Events’ tab to view pre-planned live group sessions, or click ‘For Families’ to be matched with a scientist that fits your interests.
Webcams
Webcams

 

 

Museums
Museums
  • Go to The Louvre.  From your home, experience, at least in some small but enriching way, the exhibitions and events from The Louvre.  Enjoy concerts, see a virtual reality exhibition of the Mona Lisa, and each day they present and feature a work of art.  Learn about the museum’s 8 centuries of architectural transformations.  Did you know it started out as a medieval fortress?
  • Take a virtual tour of the United States Botanic Garden which is located in the middle of Washington DC.  George Washington had a vision for the capital city of the United States that included a botanic garden that would demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.  Set your imaginations in the middle of this magnificent display of plants and flowers.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is offering tours of collections and online exhibitions.  Treat yourself to in-depth videos and lectures.  Learn more about Degas and the Impressionists gallery.  Listen to a curator talk of Van Gogh.  Lectures on the Red Scare and movies in the 1950’s, and even teen programs.  Tons to keep you occupied and maybe learn and be inspired.
Enrichment
Enrichment
  • Free online photography classes offered by Nikon. Each class is taught by a professional photographer and provides in-depth lessons to help you get better at taking photos. Some courses cover Nikon-specific products, but many of them teach you the fundamentals of photography, such as a course that teaches you how to photograph your children or pets or the basics of making a music video. So even if you don’t own a Nikon camera, many of these classes might still be worth a watch.
  • Help out archivists and librarians by transcribing documents.  Tens of thousands of papers need to be preserved and one of the way to do that is to have document’s words transcribed into a permanent state.  This article from Atlas Obscura gives you just this opportunity to save oral histories and the works of famous authors, artists.  You’re not saving physical copies but are saving the words and ideas that are on these documents.
Exercise
Exercise
Emotional Well-Being
Emotional Well-Being
  • Listen to Krista Tippett from the On Being Project.  How to still feel ok when your days may be lacking their usual hard work.  How does self-worth interact with “just being.”
  • Lynn Lyons, LICSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in anxiety in children, had a conversation with Joan Lunden and focuses on the stress that the COVID-19 virus has put on us all.
  • Ten Percent Happier Live Live: Weekday 20-30 live meditation and talk between Dan Harris and a meditation teacher (interviewee changes daily). Topic is always the pandemic.
Gardening
Gardening
Members of the National Orchestra of France filmed themselves playing alone at home. Edited together into one video, the always enjoyable and rousing, Bolero by Maurice Ravel.
A wonderful rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend” performed by the worldwide cast of “Beautiful.” Each part recorded separately. In quarantine. It all comes together.
And the Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Finland) getting in on the act with their separate but together recording of Sibelius’ Finlandia. Sixty-two musicians in sync, playing their hearts out. One of my favorite pieces.
Staying home right now isn’t just about keeping you and your family safe—it’s about helping to save the lives of others. But, just because we’re apart, doesn’t mean we can’t do things together. Please #StayHome and help save lives #WithMe. Let’s do this together. www.YouTube.com/StayHome
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