Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 4pm

Kids of all backgrounds discover sustained welcome at Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa has offered generations of children wilderness experiences that nurture a love of the wild as well as an appreciation of campers’ racial and cultural differences. 

• 2016 update: The 1,500 young people from kindergarten through high school who visit the 1,600-acre preserve’s summer camp represent a striking cross section of Bay Area society. Many children return year after year, growing into camp leaders and venturing throughout the region on extended backpacking trips.

CSA boosts its outreach efforts to serve the area's hungry

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
CSA volunteer Archana Appanna of Los Altos stocks shelves at the Food & Nutrition Center. The Community Services Agency offers drop-in services at its Mountain View location, but the agency has been expanding its scope through outreach efforts. 

• Mission: Community Services Agency serves as the community’s safety net, providing critical support resources aimed at preserving and promoting stability, self-reliance and dignity.

• 2016 update: CSA recently underwent a strategic planning process. One of the goals of that process was to help break down the barriers of access for its many services, said Maureen Wadiak, associate director of the nonprofit agency.

Families in need find multilayered support at Sunday Friends

Whether through education or earning basic necessities, Sunday Friends participants become financially literate and self- advocating in the process. The nonprofit agency is celebrating 20 years of service this year.

• Mission: Sunday Friends aims to empower families in need to break the cycle of poverty. Children and parents earn basic necessities while they contribute to their community, learn life skills and develop self-sufficiency.

• 2016 update: This year Sunday Friends is celebrating 20 years of connecting families in San Jose to services, opportunities and each other.

Holiday Fund extends a helping hand: 2016 campaign begins this week

Sunday Friends
Holiday Fund donors support early literacy in our community.

The Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund is in full swing, kicking off its 17th year of assisting local organizations that directly serve those with the most pressing needs in the community.

Do the math: Music for Minors enhances learning for thousands

Photos Courtesy of Music For Minors
Half of the students Music for Minors serves attend socioeconomically disadvantaged schools that would not otherwise have music education. Research documents the many benefits of music education for young children, including enhanced abstract reasoning skills required for math.

• Mission: Music for Minors nurtures in children a lifelong love of music by providing music education programs in elementary schools.

• 2016 update: Founded in 1976 in Los Altos, Music for Minors has continued to deepen and expand its reach and now serves 25,000 Bay Area children with weekly, comprehensive music education. The organization provides students in transitional kindergarten through fifth grade with a program of diverse, high-quality musical experiences that is engaging and participatory, based on state music education standards, a foundation for further choral and instrumental music education and cost-effective (regardless of district/school resources).

CHAC aims to bring children, families back from the brink

Photo courtesy of CHAC
Community Health Awareness Council programs provide support for families with children from infancy through the teenage years. CHAC programs and therapists helped avert suicide in dozens of cases this year.

• Mission: The Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) provides alternatives to self-destructive behavior and helps create healthy lives for children and families in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and surrounding communities.

• 2016 update: CHAC programs and therapists helped avert suicide in dozens of cases this year. Drug and alcohol abuse continues to be a serious problem. There was increased use of prescription drugs in schools and in the community. In the coming year, CHAC plans to address the increasing demand for mental health services in schools and integrate technology to more efficiently serve the community.

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