Bits & Bytes: Early college conference; Fathers and Families meeting; community garden registration; ‘Pencil and Paper’

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By Thursday, Apr 13 Life In the Berkshires
'Sonoran Bumblebee' by April Coppini will be featured in the drawing exhibition 'Pencil and Paper' opening at L'Atelier Berkshires in Great Barrington on Saturday, April 15 (see item below).

Simon’s Rock to host Early College Conference and Summit

Great Barrington — Educational, cultural, and civic organizations from across the region will meet at the Early College Conference and Summit at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22. The theme of the two-day forum, “The Architecture of Partnership: Connection, Collaboration, Conviviality,” is designed to foster interorganizational conversations and alliances centered around educational innovation. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference will feature panels, roundtables and workshops focused on local and regional partnerships. Participating institutions and organizations will explore commonalities and identify opportunities to extend beyond institutional boundaries. Roundtable discussions will include “Early College in Local, Regional, and National Contexts,” “Public-Private Partnerships for the Social Good,” “Reimagining the Learner,” “Collaboration and Integration Among Local Educational Institutions,” and “Community and Education in the Pursuit of Justice and Equity.”

More than 20 organizations will be represented at the conference, including Miss Hall’s School, Berkshire Hills Regional School District, Montessori School of the Berkshires, Berkshire Community College, Williams College, Bard College, Bard Prison Initiative Jobs for the Future, North Shore Community College, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Ramp Education, Norman Rockwell Museum, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, Butterfly Leadership Program, Shakespeare & Company, Multicultural Bridge, Railroad Street Youth Project, Falsework School, Disaster Recovery International, and Berkshire SURJ.

The conference and summit will produce a series of presentations, articles, and papers that will then be published in Process Notes, an online journal on pedagogy. Published by the Center for Early College, the journal will document ideas and educational models that seek to transform individuals and institutions, and provide a repository of outcomes.


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Fathers and Families Network meeting

Pittsfield — John O’Neil of the Family Nurturing Center in Dorchester will be the featured speaker at the Fathers and Families Network meeting on Wednesday, April 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Family Resource Center. The workshop will focus on the role that fathers play in the healthy development of children. A discussion will be facilitated on how appropriate parental expectations of children can strengthen the parent-child relationship and positively impact a child’s ability to interact with others, modify their behaviors and effectively communicate their feelings. Participants will learn how fathers can enhance their children’s self esteem, self concept and self worth, and teach children how to be respectful, cooperative contributing members of society.

The meeting is free and open to service providers throughout Berkshire County. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Tariq at (413) 442-5333 x268 or


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Canoe Meadows community garden accepting registration

Pittsfield — Mass Audubon is accepting registration for plots in its community garden at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. In order to participate, all community gardeners must attend a free organic gardening workshop at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox on Saturday, April 22, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Conducted by master gardener Diane Wetzel of Pittsfield, the workshop covers the benefits of organic gardening and imparts practical information on how to incorporate the approach.

The garden sites measure 15 feet by 20 feet each and are $35 for Mass Audubon members and $50 for nonmembers. Gardeners may rent multiple sites and a number of raised beds are also available. For more information or to register for the workshop, contact Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at (413) 637-0320, or


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L’Atelier Berkshires to exhibit ‘Pencil and Paper’

'Buckets' by David Bell.

‘Buckets’ by David Bell.

Great Barrington — L’Atelier Berkshires will present “Pencil and Paper,” a drawing exhibition with work by Melanie Vote, David Bell and April Coppini Saturday, April 15, through Thursday, May 11. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 15, from 6 to 9 p.m.

All three artists create narratives on paper through their drawings, allowing the rawness of the artistic process to speak of intention. Vote is originally from Iowa and now lives and works in New York City. Her paintings and drawings investigate the human and the landscape, incorporating elements of surprise and discovery. Bell is a director, animator and visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York, whose work involves drawing, sculpture, miniatures and stop-motion animation. Coppini was born and raised in a suburb of Rochester, New York, and currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon, creating charcoal drawings depicting creatures and animals that foster an appreciation for the living world.

For more information, contact the gallery at (510) 469-5468 or


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