MERIT Program helps teachers boost classroom tech curriculum

Town Crier File Photo 
Participants in the KCI Merit Program absorb as education experts share strategies for using technology to transform their classrooms. The MERIT program hosted 49 teachers in its 2015 class.

• Mission: The MERIT (Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology) Program is KCI’s premier technology-focused professional development initiative. MERIT is a research-based, K-12 educator development program designed to help teachers bolster their curriculum with technology-enhanced learning activities to motivate, challenge and inspire the diverse learners and leaders of the future.

• 2015 update: This year the program acquired a new director, Roni Habib from Gunn High School, who will continue as director next year. Habib has emphasized Design Thinking, a Stanford D School approach that many companies use for product design and problem solving. Design Thinking can create hands-on lessons but also integrate technology in the classroom. Habib, an expert on social-emotional learning, emphasizes how teachers should encourage students’ persistence as they learn from failures and move forward.


Families learn life skills together at Reach Potential Movement

Youth in Reach Potential Movement participate in Baile Folklorico rehearsal.

• Mission: Reach Potential Movement (RPM) equips under-resourced youth and families with leadership, learning and life skills to reach their highest potential.

• 2015 update: The Baile Folklorico troupe – unusual for drawing as many boys as it does girls – is currently rehearsing for its year-end performance. Visitors are welcome to attend a Dec. 11 “Posada” celebration – a Christmas festival with a dance performance, piñatas, tamales and enchiladas. The event fundraises to support the dance troupe.


Mentor Tutor Connection puts students on the positive path

Mentor Tutor Connection offers tutoring and mentoring programs for local youth that aim to improve students’ social and academic life skills. Mentors and mentees gather for a field trip to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Photo Courtesy of Mentor Tutor Connection

• Mission: Mentor Tutor Connection (MTC) helps build brighter futures for local youth in Los Altos and Mountain View through tutoring and mentoring programs that improve social and academic life skills.

• 2015 update: Mentor Tutor Connection’s first full year under its new name (formerly Partners for New Generations) was a busy one. MTC hired its first executive director, Carol Fisher, and welcomed three new members to the staff.


EPAK provides teachers with quick-turnaround microgrants

Photo Courtesy of East Palo Alto Kids Foundation
The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation helps the underfunded Ravenswood City School District serve its teachers and students through grants that fund everything from extra school supplies to field trips.

• Mission: The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK) is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that promotes educational opportunities and academic success for East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park public school students in preschool through 12th grade. By providing quick-turnaround microgrants, EPAK helps teachers of underfunded classrooms pay for supplies like books at varying reading levels and experiences like field trips. Each semester, teachers can apply for up to $600 to fulfill their classrooms’ most pressing needs.

• 2015 update: Already this school year, EPAK has distributed $145,000 to teachers. The Ravenswood Teachers Association recognized EPAK in May with its annual We Honor Ours award to honor the organization’s 20-plus years of dedication to students and teachers in the Ravenswood City School District.


Town Crier announces winners in the 2015 Spooky Stories Contest

Bullis Charter School first-grader Augustine Hwang won first place in the Town Crier’s 2015 Spooky Stories Contest.

Augustine was the leading vote-getter among readers for his terrifying tale, “Scary Creatures.”


Taaffe family descendants recall early days of Los Altos Hills

Above photo courtesy of Pam Walatka; Below photo courtesy of the Taaffe family
Members of the Taaffe family, above, share anecdotes and photos at an Oct. 11 presentation sponsored by the Los Altos Hills History Committee. Below is a Taaffe family portrait from the 1910s.

A crowd of more than 130 people packed Los Altos Hills Town Hall Oct. 11 to hear anecdotes about what life was like when the town was the Taaffe family’s private stock and grain ranch.

During a presentation sponsored by the Los Altos Hills History Committee, three generations of the town’s founding family shared letters, photos and stories from their lives in the Hills spanning 165 years.


Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos