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Food & Wine

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Session beers offer an alcohol content low enough to sustain sipping through a long, lazy picnic. Local breweries are celebrating the citrus hop style now in vogue with other fruit-forward influences.

With the h...

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Your Health

Reading in sign,  ink and song

Reading in sign, ink and song


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A baby girl learns sign language during a program offered Wednesdays at the Los Altos Library.

Visit Los Altos Library’s community room on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see its plain gray expanse descend into ...

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Your Home

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Succulents are a good choice for a small, low-maintenance garden that needs minimal water. Combine a variety of interesting colors and shapes.

If aches and pains are starting to limit your ability to garden, then g...

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On The Road

A different kind  of driving school

A different kind of driving school


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The Andersons observe Bixby Bridge – located on Highway 1 near Big Sur – from a dirt road during their recent Land Rover Experience Driving School lesson.

It is always exciting to do something youR...

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Senior Lifestyles

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids


Photo Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Senior Program volunteers – affectionately known as The Monkey Toy Ladies – make sock monkeys to comfort sick children.

Last year, nearly 400 children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital received a special ...

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Wedding To Remember

The Veils of Time

The Veils of Time


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum

For a new spin on the Town Crier’s “Peek into the Past,” the Los Altos History Museum has been gathering historical local wedding photos and the stories behind them.

Frances Elizabeth Shoup, second...

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Your Kids

Back to School

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?


Courtesy of Hollis Bischoff
This chart compares the rate of Early Decision acceptances with the overall acceptance rate at various colleges.

As students apply to an ever-increasing list of schools, colleges are challenged to predict accurately whether ...

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Beating back-to-school jitters: Tips from Los Altos teachers


Photo by Monique Schoenfeld, Town Crier

New teachers, new classmates, new course work - all ingredients that can make the first days of school overwhelming for students.

With many schools in full swing this week - today is the first day of school for the Los Altos School District - Los Altos teachers offered the following tips to parents to help their children beat the back-to-school jitters:

Start off with a positive attitude. Carol Raymond, fourth-grade teacher at Springer School, described what many students feel the first days of school as "good jitters." She said parents should make sure their children keep a "positive attitude and a smile."

Gloria Hardwick, a sixth-grade teacher at Loyola School said "don't panic" if things don't fall into place the first day. "It takes about a month for a class to gel," she said.

Nisa Leone, fourth-grade teacher at Almond School, said the first weeks of school can be difficult at any age because each grade level presents change and a new environment.

"Parents should plan quiet, calm activities the first few days of school," she said. Leone suggested having a relaxing dinner and getting children to bed early.

"If parents are calm, kids pick up on that and it makes for a smooth transition," said Mary Ellen Lynch, third-grade teacher at Almond School.

Familiarize children with school, new challenges. Jennifer Fink, first-grade teacher at Loyola School, said the start of school can be an especially "anxiety-ridden" occasion for first graders since it's the first time most of them will be attending a full day of classes.

"It's nice if parents can come to the school and familiarize them with the playground and the school to ease some of their anxieties," she said.

Fink said parents should talk about school with their children. "Build school up as something exciting and wonderful," she said.

Fink suggested getting children together outside of school.

Establish a study routine. Hardwick said efficient time management is key.

She said parents should establish a regular study routine for their children, but they "should try not to over-program the child after school with too many scheduled activities." Keep school a priority, she said.

Get organized. Jean Golden, sixth-grade teacher at Oak School said organization is essential.

"Morning can be a scramble," she said. "Make sure everything is in its backpack the night before. They'll be less likely to leave their math on the kitchen table or a book under the bed," she said.

Georgette Oppezzo, sixth-grade teacher at Oak School, said parents should buy school supplies from the teacher's list of required class materials in order to ensure their children have the correct items.

Golden offered a final tip. "Get them to bed early and feed them a good breakfast, and we'll do the rest," she said.

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