Los Altos, LAH honor their volunteers

Joint Volunteer Luncheon” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The 2019 honorees receiving Community Volunteer Service Awards are, from left, Sharleen Thorson, Andy Danver, Sue Marrion, Ray Piontek, Lindsay Carpenter and Mark Vasser.

One runs a nonprofit organization that provides used furniture to people in need. Another is an umpire for local youth baseball. The pursuits of these local residents vary greatly, but they’re bound by a common trait: selfless volunteering in an effort to help others.

Six such volunteers were recognized Friday during the 37th annual Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Joint Community Volunteer Service Awards luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto. The event is hosted by an awards committee comprising members of both communities. The six volunteers honored this year are among more than 330 individuals and groups recognized since the awards began in 1983.

Town Crier names Ed and Pamela Taft Los Altans of the Year for 2019

Ed Pamela Taft” width=
Courtesy of the Tafts
The Town Crier has named Los Altos Hills philanthropists Ed and Pamela Taft as the Los Altans of the Year.

The Los Altos Town Crier has named Ed and Pamela Taft its 2019 Los Altans of the Year.

The Los Altos Hills residents have made a major impact locally, nationally and internationally, giving their time and money to a multitude of good causes.

Longstanding Los Altos Art Club open to new members

The Los Altos Art Club seeks to expand its membership by reaching local artists in all media categories.

The club meets 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month at the Grant Park Senior Center, 1575 Holt Ave., Los Altos.

Downtown College Prep: Helping first-generation students thrive in college


Courtesy of Downtown College Prep
Downtown College Prep runs two charter high schools and two middle schools.

• Mission: Downtown College Prep prepares students who will be the first in their families to attend college and equips them to thrive at four-year universities.

DCP runs two charter high schools and two middle schools. The singular goal for all students is that graduates are accepted to and enroll in four-year colleges. The DCP community has created a learning environment that helps students and their families chart a course for college beginning in fifth grade.

MERIT program at KCI: Offering professional development for teachers


Courtesy of The MERIT program Program at KCI
The MERIT program is the Krause Center for Innovation’s premier professional development initiative for teachers.

• Mission: The MERIT (Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching) program is the Krause Center for Innovation’s premier professional development initiative for teachers. MERIT is in its 18th year of transforming how teachers teach to transform how students learn. As KCI’s flagship program, MERIT is the program teachers apply for if they want to focus on changing their teaching practice to become more student centered. MERIT focuses on innovative teaching practices and is designed to help teachers bolster their curricula with technology-enhanced learning activities to motivate, challenge and inspire diverse learners, with students who are college- and career-ready as the end result.

• 2019 update: A total of 42 educators from across the Bay Area, California and beyond (coming from as far away as Hawaii and El Salvador) gathered at KCI on the Foothill College campus for a two-week summer intensive in July. This marked the beginning of a 10-month professional learning journey, which will include four follow-up days spread throughout the school year, professional development opportunities and additional KCI classes.

Child Advocates: Providing a voice for foster children


Courtesy of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley recruits, trains and supports Court Appointed Special Advocates, who are matched with foster children.

• Mission: Child Advocates of Silicon Valley recruits, trains and supports Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), adults who are matched with foster children they help steer through the Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court System.

These relationships provide the children with much-needed consistency and emotional support. They also promote educational success; 98% of foster children with CASA representation completed their high school graduation requirements in 2019, compared with just 50% of California foster children without CASAs.


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