Tue01272015

Community

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation brings donors to the classroom


Courtesy of East Palo Alto Kids Foundation
Students and teachers in East Palo Alto classrooms have had continuous support from the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation since its founding more than 20 years ago.

In California public schools, the government sets standards and governs basics, but local communities determine – through their time and money – the true resources available to a classroom. The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK) gives local donors a direct way to support school communities that don’t have the budget to pay for field trips, libraries and supplies on their own.

Among other grants during the last year, EPAK has enabled under-funded classrooms to visit a science museum, a play and a wildlife center; sponsored a collection of grade-level-appropriate books about social justice and equity; and purchased preschool supplies that encourage motor-skills development during play.

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Jeremiah's Promise builds bridge to lifelong success for foster youth


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Participants in the Jeremiah’s Promise Foster Forward workshop meet with Executive Director Kim Golter, second from left, and volunteer facili- tator Michelle Leavitt, far right.

As Jeremiah’s Promise Executive Director Kim Golter gathers a handful of young adults into a small circle in the center of a classroom at the College of San Mateo, there is a feeling of calm and peace, the feeling of warmth one experiences when returning to the familiar people and comforts of home.

Since 1990, Jeremiah’s Promise has helped more than 950 young people discover a gateway to college, professional mentorship and a supportive community of peers that become family – something they may not have found in the foster-care system.

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IRS issues phone-scam warning

The IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have issued a joint alert warning residents that scammers have been calling homes falsely posing as agency representatives.

The warning followed numerous reports from taxpayers who received unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to be from the IRS and demanding payment – at times in a threatening manner. The Treasury Inspector General has received 90,000 complaints through its telephone hotline to date. Of those, the agency has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from such scams.

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Music for Minors harmonizes with schools for nearly four decades



Over the years, Music for Minors has been led by founder Grace Johnston, from left, Cathy Combs, Gunilla Follett and Chris Burke. Town Crier File photo

When the state cut music programs from local schools in the 1970s, Los Altos mom Grace Johnston set out to bridge the gap by founding Music for Minors. Nearly four decades after its 1976 founding, the nonprofit organization is stronger than ever while filling a greater need than ever before.

“The biggest thing (with a long-lived nonprofit) is staying relevant to the community’s needs,” said Sonja Palmer, beginning her fifth year as the organization’s executive director.

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Rotary speaker emphasizes community support as crucial to keeping U.S. military forces strong


Chuck Lindauer/Rotary Club of Los Altos
Lt. Col. John Lynch of the U.S. Marine Corps Special Forces, left, served as keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Veterans Day luncheon Nov. 13. Pictured with Lynch are Los Altos Rotarians Kendra Gjerseth and Jerry Moison.

Lt. Col. John Lynch of the U.S. Marine Corps Special Forces sees community support as critical to encouraging re-enlistment.

“What separates Americans from the rest of the world is our community spirit, and there is no community more connected to their military than the Californians,” said Lynch, keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Veterans Day luncheon Nov. 13.

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Affordable ways seniors can winterize homes

Whether your aging loved one lives in an area with four distinct seasons of the year or in milder temperatures year-round, autumn is the ideal time to winterize the home to protect it against the elements and the dipping thermometer.

Preparing for the chilly months may range from a professional furnace check to simply adding weather-stripping around the front door. Although some people on limited incomes think that they can’t afford to winterize, even small steps toward guarding against the elements can prove a cost savings in heating bills and exterior wear and tear to the home.

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