Ready, set … pet? Is your family prepared for an animal friend?

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Yadira Hernandez and her children get acquainted with Sadie, a 3-year-old miniature poodle, at the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame.

Your family may be eager for a four-legged furry friend who greets you at the door - wagging or purring - or perhaps a bird to bring a cheerful song to your abode.


Raising dough on a rainy day

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
When it’s wet and/or cold outside, making pizza can be a great indoor activity for kids. Adult supervision is advised.

The rain seems particularly self-assured on this day. Falling boldly and bouncing up from the ground with enthusiasm, the audible beat provides a rhythm to the day that seems to declare: Make pizza!


Happy families

Author Leo Tolstoy’s famous words from "Anna Karenina" - "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" - often comes to mind, because I think about families a lot.


Concussions in kids: What to know

Town Crier File Photo
The rate of concussions in kids playing contact sports like football is on the rise, according to the CDC.

The rate of concussions in kids from sports or recreation injuries rose 60 percent in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, more than 173,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.


Teachers tout value of music in schools

Ramya Krishna/Town Crier
Pinewood School choir students, from left, Becca Riches, Meghna Nanda and Carolina Rodriguez Steube rehearse.

With education budget cuts sweeping the nation, many question whether music programs are worth the cost. Local music teachers say they are, of course, because they help children develop in many ways.

Ben Taylor, director of educational programs for Music for Minors - a nonprofit organization that provides music education in Los Altos and Mountain View - said there are cognitive, social and physical benefits to what he and his cohorts do.


Los Altos camps mix tradition with trends

Courtesy of Los Altos Recreation and Community Services
Camp Shoup took an athletics-focused model and built an outdoor- based program full of traditional camp games as well as sports.

Boys and girls in Los Altos pick up hammers and saws - and rolling pins, laptops and soccer cleats - as part of the city’s year-round camp programming. They revive lost arts like carpentry and deepen their familiarity with the oft-forgotten redwood haunts in the city’s own backyard.


Summer theater camps build skills, confidence

Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Theater camp stretches beyond the stage to offer opportunities for set design and costume-making.

Peninsula Youth Theatre’s summer theater camps focus on more than just the final show, according to 14-year-old Mountain View High School student Olivia Cobb.

"I always liked the shop a lot," Cobb said of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a production.


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