Last updateTue, 25 Oct 2016 5pm

College students make progress on African storytelling endeavor

Courtesy of Michael Bakan
Los Altos native Michael Bakan, left, spends time with a friend in Soweto. Bakan and fellow Bellarmine College Preparatory alum Drew Descourouez founded The Simunye Project, aimed at telling the stories of South Africans.

Los Altos residents Michael Bakan and Drew Descourouez in June traveled 10,000 miles to Soweto, a township in South Africa where the aftershocks of apartheid still reverberate throughout the community.

The college students are still there, implementing their Simunye Project. It’s aimed at telling the stories of Soweto residents and generating dialogue in the U.S. about the struggles in post-apartheid South Africa. The project was first featured in the June 29 Town Crier, prior to the students’ departure.

Battle back-to-school nerves with end-of-summer reads

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Santa Rita School fifth-grader Jenna Wakimoto browses the shelves at the Los Altos main library with her mom, Karen Buynan, last week.

You can still feel the sun beating down, hear the kids splashing in the pool, taste the barbecue fresh off the grill, yet somehow the school year is already looming. With it, parents’ minds turn from water slides to the dreaded “summer slide,” the loss of the previous year’s reading and math skills.

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp

Traci Newell/Town Crier
Tech Trek campers study the contents of a baby albatross’ stomach to understand the effect plastic can have on the marine ecosystem. The American Association of University Women provided scholarships that enabled seven local middle-school girls to attend the camp at Stanford University.

Seven local girls had the chance to meet female scientists, build rockets and discover the amount of vitamin C in energy drinks at the American Association of University Women’s Tech Trek camp at Stanford University earlier this month.

Tech Trek, a weeklong, live-in science and math camp, is designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in girls set to enter eighth grade. The camp features hands-on activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Hofmann boys reel in customers with their new fishing business

Courtesy of Amy Hofmann
The Hofmann brothers – Grady, from left, Hayden and Baylor – fish three to five mornings a week from their family’s boat, “Party of Five,” docked in the Santa Cruz Harbor.

Three to five times per week, the Hofmann boys get up much earlier than most teens do in the summer. The three Los Altos brothers rise at 4:30 a.m. to start work as fishermen.

They own the Point Fish Co., headquartered at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. The Hofmanns – Hayden, 16, Baylor, 14, and Grady, 13 – launched their company last spring.

El Camino YMCA aims to bridge educational summer gap

Courtesy of El Camino YMCA
YMCA camper Suriah Torres, 7, watches as her summer camp leader Henry Terlep shows her how to attach a wheel during a LEGO lesson last month. The El Camino YMCA runs two summer camps for underserved children.

While the YMCA has promoted physical fitness for years, its less-heralded educational programs support underserved students during the summer.

Through two programs – Challenger Camp and the Summer Learning Program – the El Camino YMCA aims to close the academic achievement gap for local low-income students.

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