09192017Tue
Last updateTue, 19 Sep 2017 5pm

Politics as sport: Fight night, every night

I’m not a boxing fan by any stretch of the i...

MVLA discusses homework limits

MVLA discusses homework limits


Town Crier File Photo
Mountain View Los Altos Un...
Physicist illuminates deep concepts for TheatreWorks production

Physicist illuminates deep concepts for TheatreWorks production


Partridge

Richard Partridge is a physicist by...

LA History Museum hosts Smithsonian exhibition on Asian immigrants, laborers

LA History Museum hosts Smithsonian exhibition on Asian immigrants, laborers


Courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress
Japanese-Am...
Annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop cycles into town Saturday

Annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop cycles into town Saturday


Town Crier File Photo
Participants in last year’...

LA Stage Company's 'Crucible' continues at Bus Barn Theater

The Los Altos Stage Company’s production of “The C...

Los Altos resident realizes childhood dream of reaching 100

Los Altos resident realizes childhood dream of reaching 100

Ever since Muriel Perkins was 3 years old, she has...

MV Spartans take tourney

MV Spartans take tourney


Courtesy of Dave Winn
Members of the Mountain Vi...

News

"Green" office project clears latest hurdle

The color green made a triumphant return to the Los Altos council chambers Thursday as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission voted to recommend the approval of the First Street Green’s commercial design review application to the Planning and...

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Schools

Mentor Tutor Connection welcomes new hires

Los Altos moms Ann Wolff and Christy Flahavan have dedicated much of their time to helping students. Now they are furthering their involvement with the educational system by working for Mentor Tutor Connection, a local nonprofit organization that sup...

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Community

Community Briefs

Pancreatic cancer walk set for Saturday

The second Silicon Valley Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is scheduled Saturday at Shoreline Park in Mountain View.

Registration is slated to begin at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9 a.m. just beyond the park gates....

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Sports

Sports on the Side

LA native Bishop takes 4th in aquathlon

Los Altos resident Kevin Bishop placed fourth in the U23 division of the Aquathlon World Championships last month in Penticton, British Columbia. The graduate of Monta Vista High and Stanford University came ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

First Street Green offers ‘sensible growth’

Having had the experience of serving on the Los Altos City Council for approximately 12 years, I have reviewed many requests for approval of major projects. However, I have never witnessed the ...

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Special Sections

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

The creative writing assignment was two-fold: Personalize a story the teacher had read to the class about a bank robbery and then write something about herself that might be of interest to others. For the latter, Jeanette S. Arakawa wrote about her t...

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People

Wedding: Abby Damm and Kevin Conner

 

Abby Damm and Kevin Conner were married June 3 at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton.

The bride is the daughter of Barbara Althoff and Jack Damm of Los Altos Hills. She graduated from Mountain View High School and earned bachelor’s and mas...

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News

"Green" office project clears latest hurdle

The color green made a triumphant return to the Los Altos council chambers Thursday as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission voted to recommend the approval of the First Street Green’s commercial design review application to the Planning and Transportation Commission.

Representatives of Lo...

Readmore

Sports

Sports on the Side

LA native Bishop takes 4th in aquathlon

Los Altos resident Kevin Bishop placed fourth in the U23 division of the Aquathlon World Championships last month in Penticton, British Columbia. The graduate of Monta Vista High and Stanford University came in just 11 seconds behind the bronze medalist in t...

Readmore

Community

Community Briefs

Pancreatic cancer walk set for Saturday

The second Silicon Valley Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is scheduled Saturday at Shoreline Park in Mountain View.

Registration is slated to begin at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9 a.m. just beyond the park gates. The 5K route is accessible to strollers and those...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

First Street Green offers ‘sensible growth’

Having had the experience of serving on the Los Altos City Council for approximately 12 years, I have reviewed many requests for approval of major projects. However, I have never witnessed the review of a project with as many community benefit...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

LAUMC performs with Viva la Musica

Musicians from Los Altos United Methodist Church and the Viva la Musica choir and chamber orchestra are scheduled to perform a “Baltic Tour Farewell Concert” 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at the church, 655 Magdalena Ave.

The musicians will join forces under the baton of Shulami...

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People

Wedding: Abby Damm and Kevin Conner

 

Abby Damm and Kevin Conner were married June 3 at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton.

The bride is the daughter of Barbara Althoff and Jack Damm of Los Altos Hills. She graduated from Mountain View High School and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University. She is...

Readmore

Schools

Mentor Tutor Connection welcomes new hires

Los Altos moms Ann Wolff and Christy Flahavan have dedicated much of their time to helping students. Now they are furthering their involvement with the educational system by working for Mentor Tutor Connection, a local nonprofit organization that supports area schools.

Readmore

Special Sections

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

Survivor shares Japanese internment experience

The creative writing assignment was two-fold: Personalize a story the teacher had read to the class about a bank robbery and then write something about herself that might be of interest to others. For the latter, Jeanette S. Arakawa wrote about her time in Rohwer internment camp in Arkansas.

 ...

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Stepping Out

Pops performs Sunday at Flint Center

Pops performs Sunday at Flint Center

Courtesy of California Pops Orchestra
California Pops Orchestra and the Black Tie Jazz Band reunite Sunday for “Tribute to the Big Bands.”

California Pops Orchestra, the country’s only all-request pops orchestra, joins forces with the Black Tie Jazz Band for its season opener, ...

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Obituaries

ROBERT (BOB) NEWELL WORCESTER

ROBERT (BOB) NEWELL WORCESTER

IN MEMORIUM

(1-Year Anniversary)

June 18, 1922 - September 13, 2016

Cupertino, CA.

Bob leaves behind many family members and so many friends, all of whom greatly miss him on this 1 year anniversary of his passing... September 13, 2016.

“Milkshake Bob” was one of his favorite nicknames (from h...

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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...

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Service-based Learning: Local schools, organizations empower youth to effect change

Photo Photo Courtesy Of Amy RomemLos Altos students work on a variety of charity-based events during the school year. At this event, Oak School students and members of the FLOW club participate in a backpack drive, gathering supplies for less-fortunate children.

Los Altos boasts top-performing schools, and students are learning more than math, English and history. Many of them are also getting a hands-on education in community service.

Beginning in elementary school, students have opportunities to lend a hand and absorb better-to-give-than-receive lessons through school organizations, community non-profit groups and a local author who is inspired to empower youth.

Schools: Children helping children

In the Los Altos School District, students learn leadership skills and becoming globally aware through programs that raise money for needy children.

Last fall, the district gathered the student councils for a Student Leadership Summit. Free the Children, a network of children helping children through education, hosted the event, which encouraged students to sponsor programs and fundraisers that help the less fortunate.

Throughout the year, several student councils and clubs raise funds for charities of their choice, including Free the Children.

At Oak School, students and teachers created FLOW (Future Leaders of Our World). Members raised money and suggested ideas for organizations to support.

“I think (service-based learning) really enriches our school and gives kids leadership skills,” said Oak Principal Amy Romem. “They get to be a part of something from beginning to end.”

Funds children raised a few years ago helped build a school in Sierra Leone, Romem said. Last year, students purchased supplies for the African school.

Students also think locally, said Romem, who told of a student approaching her about supporting Humane Society Silicon Valley. She said teachers attempt to balance the students’ local and global perspectives.

At Covington School, students who learned the plight of children in Sierra Leone organized a Change for Change drive and several bake sales, raising more than $3,000.

“I think it is so important when we are blessed with so much that we just understand where we are,” said Erin Zaich, a Covington sixth-grade teacher who incorporates lessons on global awareness and social activism. “We are wanting to build up children who have empathy for others. It is empowering for them to understand that they can make a change, even if it is small.”

Non-profit groups: Giving back

Local non-profit organizations, including the Los Altos Kiwanis Club-sponsored K-Kids program at Loyola School and the local chapter of the National Charity League, have made it their mission to teach children the value of community service.

The K-Kids Club – which boasts up to 20 second- through sixth-graders – is concerned more with shaping young minds than collecting money for charity, according to Howard Bischoff, Kiwanis adviser to the K-Kids Club.

“We’re trying to teach the kids to give back in a way that’s not necessarily writing checks,” Bischoff said. “We’re trying to teach these kids that not only is (community service) fun, but that it’s easy and rewarding. And that it makes you feel good inside.”

Founded eight years ago, K-Kids does little fundraising, instead encouraging children to give through service.

To date, members of K-Kids have crafted handmade greeting cards for patients at El Camino Hospital, collected toiletries to donate to the Community Service Agency, picked up trash at Loyola and cleaned the school’s library. Its largest project, an annual eyeglasses drive, has netted more than 1,200 pair of glasses for Direct Relief International.

The K-Kids Club meets twice a month to choose community service activities and participate in projects. Members run the meetings – not the adult advisers – to encourage leadership, interest and initiative.

Bischoff said the club is an important part of the community, not just for the children.

“I wish there were more charities like this around town,” he said. “We’re very fortunate in this area, and not everybody has what we have. I think everybody needs to give back something in some way to help make our world a little better.”

Like K-Kids, the Orchard Valley Chapter of the National Charity League works to engage youth in community service.

The club comprises 200 members – all mother and daughter duos – primarily from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

The charity work focuses on philanthropy, leadership development and cultural experiences in the community.

“It teaches them about community service, because it makes them appreciate everything they have and appreciate the community they live in,” said immediate past president Laura Rogers.

The mothers and daughters work with 12 philanthropies, including Acterra, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Reading Partners and the Los Altos Community Foundation. Their work serves a variety of needs, such as teaching children to read, building houses, making placemats, serving meals and collecting toiletries.

“It’s very hands-on,” Rogers said. “They can really see what they’re doing.”

The program’s benefits extend beyond the community – it also provides an opportunity for mothers and daughters to bond. Open to girls beginning in seventh grade, the six-year program takes place during a critical age.

“Mothers are always looking for something to do with their daughters that is meaningful,” Rogers said.

Among the National Charity League’s core values are honoring the mother/daughter bond by learning, growing and modeling responsibility and graciousness together; empowering women with the skills and confidence to lead others; nurturing others through mentorship; and inspiring a legacy of social awareness and compassion.

“People don’t always see what the benefit (of community service) is, because they don’t always get a grade,” Rogers said. “It’s about growing as a person.”

 

Local author: One man’s mission

To encourage youth to give back to the community, Los Altos author Adrian Mikolajczak – pen name Wali Waza P.E. – wrote the children’s book “From Rabble to Riches” (WaliWaza LLC, 2010).

“I really wanted to teach kids how important it is to be persistent in their explorations and to really think about giving,” he said.

Inspired by his son, Mikolajczak’s book chronicles the life of Wali, an engineer who sets out to transform his community and the world.

“I hope it will inspire (my son’s) interest in learning, his creativity and most importantly, an interest in true, thoughtful giving,” he said. “I also wanted to pass on lessons from my own life, including the importance of persistence and constant exploration.”

“From Rabble to Riches” is written for children 4-8, Mikolajczak said, but the book’s website (waliwaza.com) welcomes readers of all ages. While the graphics and language may be geared toward young children, the story’s themes are not.

“Channeling your energy in ways that you can help the world” is an important theme in the book, according to the author’s website. “It’s about how an entire community advances together: It’s a ‘They’ not ‘I’ – story.”

The book is Mikolajczak’s first literary endeavor, but it’s not his first experience with charity. He is a member of Rotary International and serves on the board of the Mikolajczak Foundation. In the spirit of giving, he has donated copies of his book to Rotary and other organizations. But money is the last thing on his mind.

“I hope a lot of kids get a lot of value out of it,” he said.

Staff Writer Traci Newell contributed to this report.

Reader Comments

The Town Crier presents:
The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

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.

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