DCP Alum Rock opens new facilities, prepares students for college

Traci Newell/Town Crier
Downtown College Prep Alum Rock serves sixth- through eighth-graders, aiming to create a familylike atmosphere among teachers and students.

• Mission: Downtown College Prep Alum Rock prepares students who will be the first in their families to attend college and equips them to thrive at four-year universities. The singular goal for all students is that graduates be accepted to and enroll in four-year colleges. The Alum Rock Middle School community has created a learning environment that helps students and their families chart a course for college beginning in sixth grade.

• 2015 update: The Alum Rock Middle School campus relocated to a new long-term home this year as a result of a partnership with Downtown College Prep, the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District and the Income Investment Fund. The new campus includes classrooms, administrative offices, an outdoor amphitheater and a lunch shelter. School officials are working on plans to add a 7,500-square-foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) center and multipurpose space. The lease for the new space extends more than 40 years, allowing program officials time to refine the academic program at the middle school. Teachers on campus are groomed to teach in the Downtown College Prep style, with training and assessment models that eventually will be tied to teacher pay.


East Palo Alto nonprofit provides gathering place for lifelong learning

Photo Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries
Bayshore Christian Ministries last summer launched CREATE Academy, a four-week program that delivered Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics education to 42 middle school students.

• Mission: Bayshore Christian Ministries (BCM) seeks to equip east-of-Bayshore youth to grow spiritually, gain life skills and develop as leaders so they have hope and a future.

• 2015 update: With a focus on relationships and continuity of care, BCM served 353 children in 2015 through its summer programs, afterschool tutoring, Bible studies, youth groups and leadership training.


Help One Child supports families that serve children in foster care

Photo courtesy of Help One Child
Help One Child families enjoy activities during “A Day at the Farm” last April at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, above, left and far left. Help One Child teamed with Hidden Villa for the event, which drew hundreds of at-risk children from foster care and group homes.

• Mission: Help One Child recruits, trains and supports those willing to open their homes or offer volunteer services to at-risk children and youth.

• 2015 update: Known for its support of foster and adoptive families, Help One Child this year has placed greater emphasis on prevention, according to Executive Director Susan Herman. The organization is now the regional hub for the national Safe Families for Children program, designed to deflect children from foster care. Help One Child also organized what Herman hopes becomes an annual tradition – “A Day at the Farm.” Held in April at Hidden Villa, the outdoor event featured an array of fun activities and food for hundreds of at-risk kids ages 3-18, including those from foster care group homes.


RotaCare continues free health service for local residents in need

Courtesy of El Camino Hospital
RotaCare Mountain View, which operates out of El Camino Hospital, provides free health services to patients who cannot afford them.

• Mission: RotaCare Bay Area Inc. is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that provides free medical care to those with the greatest need and the least access to medical care. It operates out of El Camino Hospital.

• 2015 update: RotaCare Mountain View hired a new full-time nurse practitioner in July. The clinic has a new coordinator/site administrator this year. RotaCare participated in the Gift of Surgery Week, held in August in partnership with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Surgical Centers. Over the course of the week, PAMF doctors provided free surgeries to 37 RotaCare Mountain View patients. According to PAMF, those surgeries would have cost patients nearly $250,000.


Morning Forum explores secret life of World War II workers

Author and television producer Denise Kiernan shared the compelling and little-known history of “The Girls of Atomic City: Spies, Secrecy and the Manhattan Project” with a Morning Forum of Los Altos audience Nov. 3.

Based on her best-selling biographical account “The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II” (Touchstone, 2013), Kiernan’s presentation addressed the young women who lived and worked in the so-called secret city of Oak Ridge, Tenn., during WWII, a government city supported by workers who had no idea they were enriching uranium for the Manhattan Project – the effort to make the world’s first nuclear weapon.


Rotary Club of Los Altos gives grants to nonprofits

Distribution of Rotary Club grants are, from left, Laura Fulda, Child Advocates; Jerry Moison, Rotary president; Jordan Dancer, Next Door Solutions; Kendra Gjerseth, Rotary; Eileen Tsai, ALearn; Laura Sears, Vida Verde; David Fung, Friends of Deer Hollow; Carmen Ponce, Foothill College; Jim Santucci, KARA; Natalie Morales, Bay Area Cancer Connections; and Marge Bruno, AAUW.

The Rotary Club of Los Altos distributed more than $23,170 to representatives of local service groups during the Los Altos Rotary Endowment Fund’s 2015 fall granting cycle.

The club’s Fine Art in the Park event in May generated proceeds for the grants.


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