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Hilltown Voices: Expert to lead workshop on electronic use among youth

  • Northampton author Kim John Payne will lead a talk in Cummington Sept. 15 for parents about electronic use among children. File photo



For the Gazette
Saturday, September 08, 2018

CUMMINGTON — Parents and guardians in search of effective ways to set boundaries and instill good judgment when it comes to their children’s use of electronic devices are invited to a workshop in Cummington sponsored by It Takes a Village.

Local author and educator Kim John Payne will offer a talk entitled “How to Make Devices not Divisive,” on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Village Closet.

The two-hour workshop will focus on several interrelated related issues including:

How to maintain loving limits and discipline around screen time and media.

How to help children develop good judgment so as not to become overwhelmed by media.

How to navigate the peer pressure and status symbol environment that often surrounds devices.

How to help children understand the difference between “aloneness” and “loneliness.”

Payne is the author of “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.”

He has worked as a school counselor, consultant, researcher and educator, and has been a private family counselor for 27 years. He has also served as director of the Collaborative Counseling program at Antioch University New England, and is the director of the Simplicity Project — a multimedia social network that explores connections and disconnections to ourselves and to the world.

As the founding director of The Center for Social Sustainability, Payne and his organization have trained teachers, parents and students in the “Three Stream Process,” which gives social, emotional and behavioral support to children who struggle in the school environment.

The Village Closet is located at 2 Main St. in former Berkshire Trail Elementary School building. The workshop will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

For more information about It Takes a Village or this event, visit their website at: hilltownvillage.org

COA seeks coordinator

PLAINFIELD — The Plainfield Council on Aging is seeking a new coordinator after the resignation of coordinator Debbie Thibault.

This is a part-time position that is appointed by the Select Board. The position is funded from a $6,000 state grant and an allocation of $2,200 from the town. The COA is currently developing a job description and compensation package.

The coordinator works with the COA Advisory Board to provide Plainfield seniors with services and assistance as well as programs and outreach.

At present, 42 percent of the town’s population includes people that are 60 years of age and older.

Anyone interested in the position can view a job description on the town’s website at plainfield-ma.us and/or contact Ann Irvine, COA Chair at 634-5698 or irvinea@verizon.net

Town in search of land

CHESTERFIELD — The Chesterfield Select Board is soliciting requests for proposals from property owners within a half mile of the town center.

Officials are hoping to find at least 3 acres of developable property that would be suitable for municipal building use.

Owners of 3 or more acres within this area who are interested in submitting a proposal should visit the town’s website at: townofchesterfieldma.com for a proposal form.

The proposal must be received by Sept 13.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at Fryan.gazette@gmail.com