September thru December 2017           
FIRST CONNECTIONS' FALL NEWSLETTER
Playgroups, Support Groups, Parenting Education, Special Events

First Connections received the Mass. Dept. of Early Education and Care Coordinated Family and Community Education grant on July 1st to continue serving the towns of Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. There was a 5% cut in the budget from last year, so we are extremely thankful for the following donations received since our last newsletter: 

Emerson Hospital Pediatric Intervention Team $5,000

Acton Congregational Church $3,000

Acton-Boxborough United Way $3,000

Maynard Community Chest $1,500

Get in Shape for Women $350

 

Despite the rainy weather, the Walden Pond Climb Out of the Darkness Walk raising funds for awareness of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth, raised $8770 - 75% of which will support First Connections' Emotional Wellbeing After Baby Group, home visiting, and The New Mothers Group. The goal of the walk was $10,000. If anyone would still like to donate to this cause, the link will be active until December 31: 

https://www.crowdrise.com/massachusetts---metrowest---psi-of-ma 


 
Many thanks to Dr. Lauren Brown of Concord who coordinated the fund raiser and will be our new Advisory Council Co-Chair beginning in September! 

 

A HUGE Thank You! to the schools, libraries, and businesses that are allowing 
us to  run a program in their space free of charge this Fall:
The Gallery
 at VillageWorks, Emerson Health Centers - Westford and Concord Westford Preschool at St. Marks, Village Nursery School in Harvard, and WoodsEdge Children's Center in Sudbury 
Public Libraries in Maynard, Littleton, Boxborough, and Carlisle 
 

 

  ALL FIRST CONNECTIONS PROGRAMS REQUIRE REGISTRATION BEFORE ATTENDING

 

Email:
or call
978-429-8284
We will confirm your registration!
           
Thank You! 

 

 brain building   


If you have any concerns about your child's development or readiness for preschool, you can contact your public school preschool program listed below for a free screening if your child is age 2.6-5.

Acton-Boxborough
jgibowicz@abschools.org
978-264-4700 x3948
Bedford
tanya_kalantari
@bedford.k12.ma.us
781-275-1700 x3248
Carlisle
wverbits@carlisle.k12.ma.us
978-369-3758
Concord
joshea@concordps.org
978-202-1147
Harvard
mharrington@psharvard.org
978-456-4143
Lincoln
lfagan@lincnet.org
781-259-9403
Littleton
rcotter@littletonps.org
978-486-3953 x117
Maynard
cgahan@maynard.k12.ma.us
978-897-2138
Sudbury
stephanie_juriansz
@sudbury.k12.ma.us
978-639-3204
Westford
ncailler@westfordk12.us
978-692-5560 x2132

As a first step, you may also choose to fill out an ASQ through First Connections. Send your child's birth date and your postal mailing address to:
lmatthews@jri.org
We will send you the questionnaire and a return envelope. After we receive it back, an educator will set up a time to go over it with you and share suggested activities for helping your child reach his/her next developmental milestone. 

Sudbury Public Schools Playground Modernization Project

www.playsudbury.org 

A new volunteer group, PlaySudbury, has been formed to work hand-in-hand with the Town of Sudbury on a project which aims to update and improve all 4 elementary school playgrounds and develop an outdoor area at the middle school. The goal is for the playgrounds to be ADA accessible and follow the spirit of Universal Design to benefit citizens of all ages and abilities. 

 

Anyone interested in joining this project can contact:

playsudbury

01776@gmail.com

    

The Discovery Museums in Acton
FREE
on the following Fridays, 4:30-8:00 pm

September 1
October 6
November 3
December 1

The new building is expected to be completed some time in December so watch the website for the grand opening announcement!
museums.org   
  
Future Classmates Groups for 2018 Kindergarteners

If your child will be entering kindergarten in 2018, you may want to join a local parent association group for future classmates so your child will see some familiar faces when he/she begins school.

Harvard Family Association's Kindergarten Connection!
Open to all incoming Hildreth Elementary School kindergarten families. Includes playgroups, information about fun and educational opportunities, and it's free! Email:
harvardmafamily
@gmail.com
to be included on the email list.
/harvardfamily

Maynard Family Association's Future Classmates
group meets quarterly. If your child will be 5 by September 1, 2018, email:
classmates18@
maynardfam.org
Include your name, your child's name and birthdate, and your contact info.

Sudbury Family Network's Future Classmates 
events meet periodically. 
Go to
n etwork.org  
for more info and to join.

If you belong to or know of a group in one of our other 8 towns and would like to share the information in our January newsletter, just send it to:
lmatthews@jri.org

New Resource! 

 

Boston Post Adoption Resources

235 Cypress St., #310 Brookline 

617-383-5409

 

Monthly Peer Groups for 

Children & Teens, 8 & Up

Expressive & Art Therapy

Family & Individual Therapy

Assisted visits with birth families

Support during search and reunions

Adoption-themed book and movie reviews

 

www.bpar.org

Accepts BCBS, Tufts, and sliding scale fees

OCTOBER 5

is

National Depression Screening Day


Take the quiz for yourself or someone you love:

www.helpyourself

helpothers.org


 

Mass. General Hospital has created a free Perinatal Screening available at:

https://appsto.re/us/-3X4jb.i


 
This screening measures relevant symptoms associated with peripartum psychiatric illness such as sleep disturbance, anxiety and perceived stress. 


For more information on postpartum mental health:

www.womensmentalhealth.org

CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS DAY!

Did you know that since 1979 Grandparents' Day has been celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day? The official flower for the holiday is the forget-me-not and the official song is "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa" by Johnny Prill.

September 10 

Eric Carle Museum, Amherst, 1:30-3:30
Kids age 4 & up with their adult will read stories inspired by grandparents and work together to make creative books that invite play and further exploration. Sign up under "workshops" 
$12 per adult/child pair


September 23


Free Drop-in 10:30-4:00
Story hour, live music, sing-a-long, creative movement, henna tattoos, crafts, and at 12:30 Encore Dance Ensemble performs "Dance in Bloom" at Carlisle Center Park!
22 Bedford Road
Free, no registration!
Fall Kid's Tag Sale

Recycle the old and come find the new from 8:00. to Noon at the Parker/Damon School upper parking lot (rain location in the cafeteria). If you're interested in selling ($20 ABFN member, $25 non-member), or have questions about buying, email TAGsale@abfamily.org 

"Big ticket" items will be highlighted on ABFN's Facebook site the week prior. 

Shopping is $1/family to help defray the cost of site rental. All items for sale must be kid-related (clothes, winter items, sporting goods, toys, baby equip, books, maternity, etc.) 
 
Saturday, September 23
11 Charter Rd., Acton  

      
ABFN Spooktacular Halloween Party!

Children and adults are encouraged to come dressed in costume (a prize will be awarded for best adult costume!) and should be ready to have a fantastic time! There will be Halloween crafts, activities, dancing music, trick-or-treat at our fabulous Haunted House, sweet treats and refreshments. There will also be a raffle! Open to the public and free to adults, ABFN members, and children under age 1.  Otherwise, $3 per child with a $10 family maximum.

Saturday, October 28
10:00-11:30 a.m.
R.J. Grey Jr. H.S. Gym
16 Charter Rd, Acton

New Resource!

Westford Young Child Network
The Westford Young Child Network is for parents or caregivers in Westford with children between 0 and 6 years. We are currently organizing discussion groups and playgroups with a goal of linking to the Westford Parent Connection, an already-established education community in town.
 
For more information, email
Emily Edwards at: westfordyoungchildnetwork
@gmail.com
 


FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION

September 23*
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst

Museum of Fine Arts
Boston

Harvard Museum of Natural History and Peabody Museum
Cambridge

Springfield Museums

Salem Witch Museum
salemwitchmuseum.org 

Garden in the Woods
Framingham

*Free museum day is courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine and requires online registration for 2 free tickets: www.smithsonianmag.com
/museumday

October 9
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston
Free for "Community Day"
No pre-registration required

New Collaboration

Infant and Pregnancy Loss Support Group: Finding Support through Community
We are grateful to be collaborating with Emerson Hospital's Pediatric Intervention Advanced Practice Nurse Katie Stockman on this new group which fills a long-term need in our catchment area. The group is for those who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy at any stage or infant loss shortly after birth and are looking for support from others with shared experiences. Katie's work supporting families whose pregnancies have ended unexpectedly or whose infants have died led her to this group project which meets monthly. This is a free drop-in group. You can contact Katie with questions (978-287-3422 or kstockman@emersonhosp.org) or to confirm the group is meeting during severe weather. If anyone would like a flyer for the group, email lmatthews@jri.org. 
Fall dates: Mondays, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 11
Held at First Connections, 179 Great Rd., #104A, Acton 
               
Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.
author of  Playful Parenting  and  The Opposite of Worry

The Importance of Play in the Lives of Children (and Parents)

Play is where children live, and it is the main way that they learn. Parents and teachers can visit children in this play zone, for the purpose of forging closer connections, promoting learning, and just having fun. This talk, presented in conjunction with The Discovery Museums, will discuss dramatic play, physical play, and play to solve behavior problems and heal from emotional upsets. You will discover how to "learn from the natives" when you visit your children's world of play, and you will find more relaxation and joy in parenting and teaching. 

Dr. Cohen is a licensed psychologist specializing in children's play and play therapy. In addition to his private practice he is an international speaker and consultant to schools and community organizations. Dr. Cohen is the co-author of  The Art of Roughhousing, Best Friends Worst Enemies, and Mom They're Teasing Me. His books have been translated into 14 languages. He lives locally and has 2 grown children and a granddaughter.

Wednesday, October 4, 7:00-9:00 p.m. 
The Gallery at VillageWorks, 525 Mass. Ave. #200, West Acton
Free; $5 suggested donation at the door
Registration required through this link:

Parent Education News
!

This fall we will begin embedding parent education topics into our playgroups and support groups, which has proven successful in other CFCE programs like ours. If you would like to join us for any of the following presentations, please email lmatthews@jri.org. Some programs will be open to additional adults only, without onsite childcare available due to space limitations. All topics are free of charge.

Motor Development in the First 12 Months of Life  presented by Mary Evans, MA, DPT. Infants welcome, no childcare for older siblings.
September 5 and December 5, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Held at  Emerson Health Center, 122 Littleton Rd, Room 315, Westford  

Babywearing Demonstration and Assistance  presented by Jessica Smith
Infants welcome, no childcare for older siblings.
September 13 and December 13 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at New Moms Group
Held at 300 Baker Avenue Extension, Concord, Conference Room A

Introducing Solid Foods  presented by Abby Brayton-Chung, MS, OTR/L
Infants welcome, no childcare for older siblings.
October 4  at 300 Baker Ave. Ext., Concord, Conf. Room A, 1:00-2:00

Language Articulation Development and Fine Motor Development presented by Meghan Ledan, MS, CCC-SLP and Irene Kounelas Gibbons, OTR/L
Adults only, no childcare available.
October 17  at Westford Preschool at St. Marks in Westford, 1:30-2:30

Baby Sign Language  presented by Marahu Falcon George, MA, CCC-SLP
Infants welcome, no childcare for older siblings
November 1  at 300 Baker Ave. Ext., Concord, Conf. Room A, 1:30-2:30

Language Development in Bilingual Families, presented by Marahu Falcon George, MA, CCC-SLP. Childcare available for Multilingual Playgroup families.
November 14 at First Connections in Acton, 10:15-10:45 a.m.

We are extremely grateful to all of our presenters who are donating their time to our programs.

First Year of Life Support Programs

These programs are open to parents from any town.
 
New Mothers Support Group
Any mother with a pre-crawling baby is welcome to attend this ongoing weekly support group facilitated by Emerson Hospital and First Connections. Open discussion group is a forum for you to share experiences and resources, connect with other new mothers, and seek guidance about any concerns you might have. Facilitators are certified in lactation support. Held at Emerson Health & Wellness Center Yoga Studio, 310 Baker Avenue Extension, Concord thru August 30. 
New location beginning September 6: 300 Baker Avenue Extension, Conference Room A  (for directions to help you find the room, email lmatthews@jri.org). Special presentation schedule:
Sept. 13 & Dec. 13 : Baby Wearing demonstration and assistance
October 4: Introducing Solids*
November 1: Baby Sign*
*Speakers provided by Emerson Center for Rehab & Specialty Services
Every Wednesday, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., No registration required. 
 
First-Time Mothers Group
6-week, small-group setting includes a different topic each week such as : adjusting to your new role, changes in relationships, work/family life balance, sleeping, feeding, crying and infant development. Based on the Zero to Three Healthy Minds Series. Registration required: lmatthews@jri.org. Special Presentation:
September 5 & December 5:   Motor Development in the First 12 Months presented by *Mary Evans, MA, DPT at Emerson Health Center in Westford, 1:00-2:00.  
Our next group begins October 16 in Carlisle
Late Fall group begins November 27 in Lincoln

New Dads Group
Our new dads group allows dads to make connections with other fathers, asks questions, exchange tips, and share their experiences of parenthood and all the changes that come with it. Fathers are welcome to attend with or without babies, most of whom are 0-12 months. Facilitated by Heather O'Brien, LICSW, who runs our postpartum wellness group. Email Heather to be added to the reminder email that is sent out with the monthly brief discussion topic. 
New Location: Maynard Public Library, 77 Nason St, Trustees Room
Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 5 
 
Emotional Wellbeing After Baby Group
Emotional challenges are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, yet mothers often feel isolated and ashamed if they are struggling. Mothers experiencing anxiety or depression in the postpartum year can come together in this supportive, nonjudgmental, confidential group to share stories and learn from each other while receiving coping skills strategies. This is an ongoing, weekly group moms can attend for as long as it is helpful to them. Before participating for the first time please contact the facilitator, Heather O'Brien, LICSW at hobrien@jri.org or 978-429-8284, ext. 219. Childcare can be provided for older siblings with advance notice.
Every Thursday, 10:00-11:30 a.m. at First Connections, Acton

New Group! 
Me Too! A Mom-to-Mom Support Group for Second-Time * 
(or More) Moms
Are you struggling with a perinatal mood disorder, a lack of support, or simply finding time for self-care? Do you need to connect with other moms who can relate to having more than one child? Me Too! is facilitated by 3 moms trained by Group Peer Support and supervised by First Connections' social worker. Amalia, Candice and Elisabeth have a total of 7 children between them and they all experienced perinatal mood disorder so they get it! The group offers a safe, friendly, judgment-free space where moms can share and connect, taking solace in knowing they're not alone.  Babies welcome, child care available with advance notice (contact Elisabeth for childcare and with questions: metoomoms@gmail.com). *While Me Too! strives to meet the needs of moms with more than one child, we also welcome moms of one. If you're a mom who wants to connect with other moms, please feel free to join us!  Every Wednesday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at First Connections, Acton
  
Join First Connections at              
 
Playscape at Ripley
120 Meriam Road, Concord
Sunday, October 1
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Free & open to the public - No registration required

Wash a fire truck, meet a firefighter, learn about fire safety

Play pumpkin games

Take a Hibernation Station StoryWalk

Visit animals from Drumlin Farm

Try out the new Concord Integrated Preschool playground

www.ripleyplayscape.org/fall-family-festival.html

  

Playgroups begin the week of Sept. 11 and end the Week of Dec. 11 unless otherwise stated. Registration is required for all groups: lmatthews@jri.org or 978-429-8284 x202. No fees. Children may be registered for one 12-week group. All groups require participation of a parent or caregiver. With the exception of our Infant Playgroup which receives supplemental funding, registration for families living outside of Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Hanscom AFB, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford will be on a space-available basis. 

 

Infant 3-11 Month Playgroup Meets Thursdays 10:30-11:30

This playgroup includes developmental discussions and handouts, playtime, circle time with finger plays, rhymes and songs. Based on the Parents Interacting With Infants (PIWI) group model. Limited to 12 babies.

Held at Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough

 

Older Baby 10-18 Month Playgroup Meets Wednesdays 1:00-2:00

This playgroup will have free play time at the beginning and short stories and songs at the end. The facilitator will be available to talk to and answer questions, but we won't have the same structured adult talking time as in the infant group because the children are starting to move around and sitting still for more than a few minutes is too much to ask! Based on the Parents Interacting with Infants model. Limited to 16 babies.

Held at First Parish Church in Bedford (location tentative)

 

Toddler Art-Literacy Group for 1 Year Olds meets Fridays, 10-11:00

This group is for confidently-walking toddlers and will include free play in a preschool classroom with time to work on social skills such as sharing and waiting for a turn. Circle and story time, as well as some art and sensory activities which may be messy or wet, so don't wear your best clothes! Reading Rockets handouts will help continue learning at home. Limited to 12.

Held at Village Nursery School in Harvard

 

Art-Literacy Group for 2 Year Olds meets Mondays, 10-11:00

This group will have free play time where an art, fine motor, or sensory activity will be available for children to choose, followed by circle time with songs and books. Children will have time to work on social skills as well as their fine motor and cognitive skills in a preschool classroom. Activity may be messy or wet so don't wear your best clothes! Reading Rockets handouts will help continue learning at home. Limited to 12.

Held at WoodsEdge Children's Center in Sudbury

 

Social/Emotional Skills Group for 2 & 3 Yr Olds, Tuesdays 1:30-3:00

This playgroup will use the Mass. Early Learning Standards and approaches to play and learning for social and emotional development. The group will include free play indoors and out, a weekly learning activity, snack time, story and circle time. Children should bring a snack and inform us during registration of any anaphylactic food allergies. Limited to 12 children

This program includes a 1-hour presentation to parents on October 17 on: Language Articulation Development by Meghan Ledan, MS, CCC-SLP and Fine Motor Development by Irene Kounelas Gibbons, OTR/L.

Held at Westford Preschool and Kindergarten at St. Marks

 

Outdoor STEM Group for 3 thru 5 Year Olds, held Fridays 2-3:00

With cooler weather and all the Fall changes, we'll be heading outside to explore nature trails so we can learn about what is happening in the ponds, fields and woods around us. We'll read a different book each week and allow the children to talk about what they may have discovered in their own back yards during the week. The places we will be walking are not stroller-friendly, but babies are welcome if they are worn in a carrier/sling/backpack.  Limited to 7 families due to parking restrictions.

Held on Conservation Land in Maynard and Lincoln (in Acton if rain)

 

Multilingual Families Playgroup (babies in carriers welcome)

A child's primary language and culture are key contributors to lifelong development. This playgroup is specifically for families who are conversing in a language other than English as part of their family culture and daily life. The group will include a Read & Rise monthly parent/caregiver discussion topic, led by a parent educator, centering on how culture, traditions, and everyday fun family experiences can help foster their child's literacy and language development. On November 14 a speech and language pathologist will speak to parents about Language Development in Bilingual Families. (Families for the Tuesday or Wednesday group may attend this presentation). Families should bring a snack for their child. During registration please let us know:

1) if your child has a life-threatening anaphylactic food allergy

2) what the language other than English is that is spoken at home on a daily basis

3) who will be attending the group each week with your child

Appropriate for ages 18 months thru 5. Held at First Connections in Acton.

Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 9:30 to 11:00

 

Playgroup for Spanish-Speaking Families

Do you and your children speak Spanish? Would you like to get together with other families and their young children once a month? Our Spanish Sing & Play facilitator is in South America for several months, but members of that group would like to keep meeting on a monthly basis until she returns in January. Please register for this group (which you can participate in along with a weekly playgroup listed above) by emailing lmatthews@jri.org. You will receive a monthly reminder, weather-related alerts, and directions to our playroom space in Acton.

Fridays, 1:30-3:00 p.m. at First Connections in Acton

September 22, October 20, November 17 and December 15

  

FOR PARENTS

"Tips to Manage Back-to-School Anxiety (For Kids and Parents!)" workshop with Donna Shea, Director of The Peter Pan Center for Social & Emotional Growth held on Tuesday, August 22.
Back-to-school time is exciting, but for some children it may also increase their anxiety (Will my friends be in my class? Will my teacher be nice? Will the work be too hard? Will anyone like me?). Anxiety may increase for parents too (Is my child safe? Is he or she eating? Will the teacher understand my child as an individual? Is my child making friends and being included at recess?). You will leave the workshop with concrete strategies to help you and your child through this transition time. $55/participant. 7-8:30 p.m. Register at:
www.peterpancenter.com Located at 629 Mass. Ave., Boxborough.

"Soon to be Grandparents" Class at Emerson Hospital
Perfect update on the new "rules", products, ideas, labor & delivery practices, infant care & safety, and supporting new parents in their decisions. 
August 31, October 5 or November 16, 7-9:00 p.m. $30/couple
Register at www.emersonwellness.org or 978-287-3777

Inspire: A 6-Week Support Group for Parents of Children with Special Needs Aged 4-9, held in Concord beginning October 16
This group will be facilitated by Patty Marquis, LICSW, who has many years of experience counseling parents of children with challenges in her private practice and groups. Members of this group will meet other parents who can offer immediate empathy for the unique challenges they face on a daily basis and for the long haul. They will also learn strategies to care for themselves and have more satisfying interactions with their child. $60 fee, scholarships available (email cpt@concordps.org Re: INSPIRE). Held on 6 Mondays, 9:30-11:00 in Concord. 6-week commitment required, 8-10 members. Register:

Monthly Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs
meets in Westford on Sept. 19, Oct. 5, Nov. 14, Dec. 14, 2017
This group is a collaborative effort to meet the unique needs of all parents that share in the successes and challenges of raising children with any special need. Meets at Pediatrics West, 133 Littleton Road, Suite 301, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Call Allison with questions, 978-577-0414 www.pediatricswest.com 

Monthly Support Group for Parents of Adopted Children
meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Maynard Public Library
This group is for parents who have adopted a child domestically or internationally, foster parents and kinship parents. The program is offered through Adoptive Families Together, a program of MSPCC. For more information contact kristy.bouley@gmail.com or call Lori at 857-728-2157.
Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 14, Dec. 19 from 7:30-9:00 in the Cullen Room

"Evaluating Medical Risk in Domestic Infant Adoption," with Dr. Lisa Prock
This presentation for prospective adoptive families will be held at JF&CS in Waltham. There is a $15 fee per person and registration is required. Interested families should RSVP to ngordon@adoptionresources.org.
Tuesday, September 12, 6:30-8:30 pm., 1430 Main Street  

Expectant Parents invited to Tiny Fingers Tiny Toes: All About Your Newborn and Everything You Should Know! One day, 9:00-4:00
Informational, hands-on classes include newborn appearance, baby care basics, safety, immunizations, and what to expect from pediatrician visits. Healthy lunch  provided. Free bag of goodies and information. Call 978-577-0497 or email TFTT@pediatricswest.com to register. Free!
Held in Groton on Sept. 2, 16, Oct. 7, 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 or 16, 2017

"Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Education Day" at Mass. General on Saturday, September 16, 9:45-4:00 - Free
An update on new research findings and important clinical topics for parents and others. Topics include obsessive compulsive disorder, mood issues, substance use disorders, learning disabilities, working with schools, behavioral interventions for children with food allergies, parenting children with anxiety or personality disorders, and resiliency training for youth. Interactive panel discussions and lunch included. Pre-registration required: 866-644-7792 or   www.mghpatientfamily.org. There is a parking fee; Red Line MBTA recommended.

"How Routines Affect Sleep" at the Center for Early Relationship Support in Waltham on Monday, October 23, 10-11:30 a.m.
Sleep and routines are the most talked about concerns of parents. Are routines the same as schedules? Gather Information and strategies to improve your family's sleep, as well as the opportunity to share your concerns, ideas, and tips with other parents.  All sleep conversations are led by a member of JF&CS's Sleep Consultation Team and are open to families of all faiths and races. Babies in arms welcome. $15 per person. 
1430 Main Street. Registration and payment required before the session - contact dwalker@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5652. www.jfcsboston.org/cers 

"Adults and Children in Youth Sports: Who Wins, Who Loses?" at Oak Meadow School in Littleton on Wednesday, November 1, 6:30-8:30
Guest speaker is Bob Bigelow, former NBA player and one of the country's foremost youth sports speakers. Free, $5 suggested donation at the door.

24th Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices & Adoption Conference
RESOLVE of New England, November 4, 2017, 8:00-5:00 p.m.
The largest educational consumer infertility conference in the country will take place at the Newton Marriot Hotel. www.resolvenewengland.org/conference 
Keynote speaker will be Nancy Kerrigan, who suffered from secondary infertility and multiple pregnancy losses. 

3rd Annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Event November 5
Anyone touched by pregnancy or infant loss is welcome to attend this non-denominational Memorial Event. This year's theme is The River. Held at Old Meeting House, 617 Main Street, Lynnfield, MA from 3:00-5:00. To insure adequate seating, please RSVP to Leslie McKeough, LICSW: leslie@corevalu.com or 781-507-2025. 

Infant CPR at Emerson Hospital, including Take-home Practice Kit 
1-hour intro class provides information and practice of the skills needed to perform infant CPR and to relieve choking. $50 for 2 participants (no babies).
September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12, 6:30-8:00 pm
Register at www.emersonwellness.org 

Infant Massage Classes, Levels I & II, thru Emerson Hospital
Registration includes one child and 2 caregivers. $20. Classes are held on Thursdays from 10-11:00. Register: www.emersonwellness.org
Level I: September 14, October 5 or November 2
Level II: September 28, October 19, November 16

Sibling Preparation Class at Emerson Hospital for Ages 3-6
Taught by a member of the Pediatric Intervention Team, $25/1 or $30/2 children. Register at www.emersonwellness.org 
Saturday, September 30 or December 2
9-10:30 for ages 3-4, 10:45-12:15 for ages 5-6

FOR FAMILIES

Free Instrument Petting Zoo - August 23, 4-7:00 p.m. in Acton 
The Concord Conservatory will hold an instrument petting zoo activity at St. Matthews's Church, 435 Central Street, for children to explore a variety of musical  instruments in a hands-on way. Teachers will demonstrate how to hold, play and experience various instruments. Raffle for group classes, learn about Suzuki for children age 4 and up. Classes are held in Concord, financial assistance is available. For more info, email sseger@ concord conservatory.org,  visit  www.concordconservatory.org , or call  978-369-0010

Buy One Get One Free Admission at Southwick's Zoo September 10
Valid Massachusetts ID required www.southwickszoo.com 

ARTfull Explorations for Ages 5-12 at DeCordova Museum, Sept. 17, 1-3:00
Drop-in program allows kids to investigate ideas and materials as they are inspired by themes and artists on view in the sculpture park. Free with admission (library pass = $5 adults). Age 12 years & under always free. Located 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln. https://decordova.org 

ARTfull Play for Ages 2-5 at DeCordova Museum, Sept. 27, 10:30
Children & caregivers can engage with art materials, stories, nature and new friends during multi-sensory activities. Drop-in, free with admission ($5 adults with a library pass). Ages 12 & under always free. https://decordova.org 

Sudbury Colonial Faire & Muster of Fyfes & Drums, September 30 
Morning activities include games for children, a demonstration of contra dance and militia drills, a parade of 20 fife & drum companies marching from the Grist Mill to the Wayside Inn, demonstrations of colonial life cooking, blacksmithing, woodworking and medicine. Period clothing, herbs, wooden toys and food available for purchase. $2 per person over age 12. Held at 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury. www.sudburymuster.org 10:00-4:00.

Global Harvest Fest at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 10-4:00
Cultural celebration where children can visit home sites from around the world and make crafts, play games, press apple cider, dig potatoes, roll beeswax candles, more. Live music, face painting, 1:00 horse show, hay rides and pumpkins. Farm to table food available. Admission $10 adults, $5 ages 3-10. https://www.heifer.org 

Henry Bear Play Date October 10 or November 7, 10:30-11:30 
This Concord Museum program tells the story of Henry Bear who builds his cabin, climbs a mountain, and hikes to Fitchburg. See real objects he (Henry David Thoreau) owned and make a craft to take home. Drop in, $5 per child & caregiver pair. www.concordmuseum.org  53 Cambridge Turnpike

Scarecrow Making Contest to benefit NAMI of Central Middlesex
The local National Alliance on Mental Illness invites families, businesses or organizations  to reserve space at Cucurbit Farm in Acton to display their family-friendly scarecrow for the month of October in their "Stand Up to Stigma" campaign. For a $25 donation you receive a starter frame to build your scarecrow, which you bring back to the farm at the end of Sept. The public will vote on their favorites. Questions?: scarecrows@namicentralmiddlesex.org More info:  http://www.cucurbitfarm.com/scare-a-crow-2017.html  

Fall Fest & Scarecrow Contest at Haskell Field, Sudbury, October 22
Sign up to build a scarecrow that will be displayed until Halloween. They provide the straw, mounting and twine; you provide the face and clothes! Face painting, crafts & musical entertainment for kids too. $10/Family with supplies available for 50 scarecrows. Register:   http://www.sudburyrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=29833#0_144734 

Family Crafts at the Family Trees Exhibit on November 24 and 25, 11-3:00
Concord Museum's annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature exhibit will include this special activity with admission on Thanksgiving weekend. Admission cost benefits the museum's educational initiatives. $15 adults, $6 ages 4-18. www.concordmuseum.org

Holiday Open House and Living Gift Market at Heifer Farm in December
10:00-4:00 on December 2, 3, 9 & 10, https://www.heifer.org
Meet farm animals representing those changing lives around the world. Meet Santa and talk about the importance of giving. Take a picture with a goat, take a hayride, make international crafts, roast chestnuts and decorate gingerbread cookies. Bake sale, Fair Trade gift shop and winter farm stand open. Admission: food pantry canned goods. Located in Rutland, MA.