Plenty of changes, challenges ahead for CHAC

Longtime CHAC executive director Monique Kane is planning to retire in June.

Change – in more than one way – is coming to the Mountain View-based Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC).

Among them is a future leadership change for the 41-year-old agency, a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient since 2003 that provides a host of counseling services on a sliding pay scale to children and families in 33 Los Altos, Mountain View and Sunnyvale schools. Executive Director Monique Kane, who has spent 28 years at CHAC, announced her plans to retire earlier this year. Kane, who has served as executive director for the past 14 years, is slated to retire at the end of June.


CSMA students with autism find connection through art

Autistic students discover the freedom and fun that comes with expressing oneself during an Artistic Intelligence music class at the Community School for Music and Arts in Mountain View. Ellie VanHoutte/Town Crier

Like the magic of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, the Community School of Music and Arts helps autistic children and disabled adults uncover their artistic potential and connect to the world around them through creative expression.

The transformation is particularly evident in participants of the organization’s Artistic Intelligence program.


Reach Potential Movement empowers low-income families

Traci Newell/Town Crier
A volunteer helps a student in Reach Potential Movement’s Reading Readiness Program.

Amandeni Guzman, known by co-workers as the “child whisperer,” wasn’t always that way.

While still in high school, she attended boxing at the Gateway Neighborhood Center, where Reach Potential Movement runs some of its programs, and asked what the nonprofit organization’s students were doing in classroom areas of the center.


Couple spreads holiday cheer with Christmas tree deliveries

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Nick and Melissa French are busy this holiday season delivering Christmas trees to neighbors in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

A young Los Altos couple is spreading the holiday spirit by delivering preordered, pre-lit Christmas trees to neighborhoods in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Nick and Melissa French persevered against the rain last week to set up trees on the front lawns of homes throughout Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.


Downtown event aims to boost schools, merchants – and new app

Courtesy of Elissa Hull
Shopping, anyone? Elissa Hull of Los Altos is out to help merchants and schools with her upcoming “Favorite Things of Los Altos” fundraiser.

Elissa Hull has organized a fundraiser for local schools that she hopes will spread the word about her new social app as well as promote shopping in downtown Los Altos.

Hull’s “Favorite Things of Los Altos,” scheduled 5-8 p.m. Dec. 10, involves nine local retailers and restaurants offering extended shopping hours. Ten percent of all sales will benefit the schools of shoppers’ choice.


Temple Grandin offers firsthand perspective on autism

Courtesy of Kathryn Tomaino
Temple Grandin addresses the Morning Forum of Los Altos Nov. 18. Grandin’s life and achievements are chronicled in the award-winning 2010 HBO movie “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes.

Professor and autism activist Temple Grandin, Ph.D., addressed the Morning Forum of Los Altos Nov. 18, shedding light on children with autism in her presentation “The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s.”

Grandin has autism, as do many famous and accomplished people. While she wouldn’t label living persons, she cited Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla and Orson Welles.


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