05282017Sun
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to...

Readmore

Loading...

Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 20...

Readmore

Loading...

Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities ...

Readmore

Loading...

Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in ...

Readmore

Loading...

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

Readmore

Loading...

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maure...

Readmore

Loading...

Business

A familiar face takes the

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin ha...

Readmore

Loading...

People

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

3/30/31 - 5/17/17

Shirley Hemphill Magarian, age 86, passed away in Pasadena, California.

Readmore

Loading...

News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to see that vision with a new wayfinding program the...

Readmore

Business

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar

A familiar face takes the

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin had the option of leaving Los Altos when First &...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis

Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Los Altos High ma...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities such as the Center for Age-Friendly ExcellenceR...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Courtesy of Sara Boadwee
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna began her ministry at Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos in February.

Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos enters a new era with the calling of the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, who serves as the ninth rector of the church.

Ranna began her mi...

Readmore

Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 201 Almond Ave.

A second meeting is slated 3 p.m. ...

Readmore

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen Wadiak has worked in the Silicon Valley communi...

Readmore

Stepping Out

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

Photos Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Blachappella, above, is set to perform at “Arts Razzle-Dazzle.”

Los Altos Stage Company will highlight performing arts in the community with its “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” event, slated 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Proceeds will support youth edu...

Readmore

Magazine

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Seniors sing carols at the Grant Park holiday party. The Senior Commission aims to expand such programming.

 

Gary Anderson is a former member of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. Following is his update on local senior services a...

Readmore

Art with heart Los Altos Art Docents create a masterpiece in the classroom


Courtesy of Los Altos Art Docents
The Los Altos Art Docents teach art appreciation and hands-on art lessons in the Los Altos School District, skills they wove into the mural they painted at the district office.

Volunteers with the Los Altos Art Docents teach art with heart.

Founded in 1970 to offset funding cuts to art instruction in public schools, the Los Altos Art Docents comprises 80 volunteers who teach nearly 800 visual art lessons annually to elementary-school-age students in the Los Altos School District.

Although the nonprofit program has thrived for more than four decades, no two years are alike. There are no dramatic shifts in the curriculum from year to year but rather a series of continual tweaks. This year, docents will introduce new lessons for students as well as educational and social activities for themselves.

According to director Kimberly Dickerson, one recent change involves presenting lessons that include instructional strategies for areas in which teachers have been trained.

For example, sixth-graders work in groups, studying ancient works of art and figuring out where they originated. Such assignments not only encourage collaboration - a skill docents are instructed to weave into their lessons - but also complement the social studies curriculum.

"We’re really excited, because it’s a different way for us to bring appreciation lessons to the students," Dickerson said.

But it’s not just the oldest students whose curriculum is being updated - kindergartners will also see a change. This year’s plan includes the full rollout of a drawing and watercolor lesson partially introduced to students the previous year.

"(It) incorporates some techniques to help them draw and do a little bit of painting … and incorporate some of their social studies curriculum - the study of animals and their habitats," Dickerson said "We do this underwater sea scene with them, and that’ll be fun."

The benefits of volunteering

Los Altos Art Docents volunteers reap blessings that go beyond the joys of teaching art and art appreciation to young students - the volunteers enjoy the classroom engagement and the social and educational benefits of the program.

"It makes you smile when you think about the program, because it’s not just about going into the classroom and teaching the kids, it’s also about (docents) learning a bit more about art and having a good time together as well," said publicity coordinator Kristine Bardman.

Over the summer, docents attended a series of art-related camps where they practiced working with wire sculptures and clay. At one camp, docents threw darts to pop paint-filled water balloons attached to a canvas. Volunteers also sharpen their art history and creative skills via field trips throughout the year, most recently to the San Jose Museum of Art.

Bardman said one of the things she likes most about the program is that it’s a group of like-minded people who really enjoy the arts and one another’s company.

"So we see each other socially, we see each other in the classrooms," she said.

Making a mural

One of the larger projects docents have worked on is an 8-foot-by-10-foot mural outside the district office on Covington Road. What started as a team-building exercise in 2012 turned into a yearlong project that took four months to complete. Once they decided to create a mural, docents invited a local muralist to discuss the process with them.

Docents faced several obstacles before they could begin painting, including funding the project. The group applied for a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Donor Circle for the Arts and their outreach paid off. After securing funding, they had to agree on a design for the mural.

"Because we teach hands-on art lessons and also art appreciation lessons, we were struggling with how to combine both into one mural," Dickerson said.

Docents wanted to include their signature red apron in the design, which Dickerson described as a "strong symbol" of the program. They also wanted to make sure that it was a project to which many people could contribute.

In the end, the group painted squares with images from many famous works of art, arranged them in a grid pattern and overlaid a picture of the red apron.

Group members set up boards in their office so that docents could drop in and out, each painting different squares. Docents who weren’t able to paint a square for the mural completed other tasks, such as applying a layer of varnish over the final product.

Bardman said students will recognize many of the works of art depicted in the mural, because docents discuss the artists and their masterpieces in their classroom lessons.

New year, new lessons

With a new school year, new lessons and new activities, docents are excited to step back in the classroom.

"The reason why I joined the program, and I think most of the docents joined the program, is because we love being in the classroom with the kids," Bardman said. "So it’s exciting for us to get back to school and get back to teaching lessons."

The Los Altos Art Docents seeks new recruits. No experience or artistic talent is required - the group provides training. Volunteers are asked to commit to teach once a week in the classroom during the school year.

To volunteer, call 947-1195 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, visit losaltosartdocents.org. n

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Reader Comments

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos