Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Your Time: Easthampton Family Center

  • Raelyn Osetek, 2 1/2, and James Lynch, 2 1/2, both of Easthampton.
  • From left, Drew Davine, 3, Hope Kmetz, 2 1/2, Zachary Davine, 3, James Lynch, 2 1/2, and Doreen McCarthy and son, Shawn, 3, all of Easthampton.
  • Coordinator Lynne Guyette sets up.
  • Easthampton Family Center coordinator Lynne Guyette.
  • Shawn McCarthy, right, of Easthampton and Brett Davis of Westfield, both 3.
  • Raelyn Osetek,third from left, 2 1/2, of Southampton and friends.
  • Snack time is run by the parent volunteers.
  • Andrea Gauvin and son, Kody, 15 months, of Westfield.
  • Loren Davine, left, Kerry Metz, Allyn Spacek and Rose Lynch, all of Easthampton.
  • Kerry Metz, left, and Allyn Spacek, both of Easthampton.
  • Lucy Graham, 20 months, of Easthampton.
  • Easthampton's Old Town Hall, pictured here in April 2013, will be renovated later this year thanks to a $133,000 state grant. KEVIN GUTTING
  • From left, Drew Davine, 3, Hope Kmetz, 2 1/2, Zachary Davine, 3, James Lynch, 2 1/2, and Doreen McCarthy and son, Shawn, 3, all of Easthampton.
  • Easthampton Family Center coordinator Lynne Guyette.

"These are my people,” says Easthampton Family Center coordinator Lynne Guyette as she watches families enter the Old Easthampton Town Hall for a morning play group session as the noise and excitement levels start to build. She says the number of families taking part in the three-day-a-week group has tripled since the nonprofit center found its new home in the Flywheel Arts Collective space about three years ago.

Guyette arrives before the 10 a.m. opening on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from September to June, to set up the toys and playscapes for the two-hour sessions. She has seen the parents become more involved with efforts like organizing the daily snack time and planning fundraisers. “The parents really have a voice here, too, because, you know, it is a parent-run place. I don’t make all the decisions, I help it to fall in place, hopefully.”

A typical morning involves open play for 90 minutes. After everyone helps put away the toys, it’s time for a snack. At circle time Guyette reads a book aloud and leads a few songs until the morning closes with a spirited rendition of “Ring Around the Rosie.”

To suggest a subject for Your Time, email Suzanne Wilson at swilson@gazettenet.com.

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