YMCA's all-inclusive Dance for All engages families with special needs

Courtesy of Teresa Maldonado Marchok
Students in the Dance for All program work out during a recent class at the El Camino YMCA.

The El Camino YMCA’s Dance for All program offers a space for young and old alike to experience the joy of movement to music with no judgment, no criticism and no fear.

The all-inclusive classes encourage parents to dance with their children with special needs alongside kids labeled “normal.” All levels learn at their own pace and are given the freedom to express themselves with no preconceived ideas of perfection.

Local mother and daughter perform at Estonian music festival

Courtesy of the Barnetts
Elizabeth, left, and Margaret Barnett of Los Altos recently traveled to Europe to perform in front of thousands of people at the Estonian Song Celebration.

Mother and daughter Margaret and Elizabeth Barnett of Los Altos recently traveled to Europe to perform in front of thousands of people at Laulupidu, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Estonian festival’s Song Celebration.

The Barnetts sang with the Estonian Community Choir of San Francisco, one of eight American choirs in a festival that featured 1,020 of them. To qualify, the choir had to undergo a two-part selection process that involved learning the festival set list – in the Estonian language.

Rotary Club scholarship recipient teaches deaf to read

Irwin Hatfield

The key to reading is not using your eyes, but your ears. That’s what Jean Irwin Hatfield explained to the Rotary Club of Los Altos at its July 18 meeting.

Irwin Hatfield, a 30-year instructor who teaches deaf students to read, received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for study at the University of Nottingham in England under the tutelage of Professor David Wood at the school’s Learning Sciences Research Institute. She shared how Wood’s research enabled her to teach the deaf with more successful outcomes.

Hold on to your hats - here comes First Friday

Courtesy of Jamie Lucia
First Friday supporters don a variety of hats to promote Friday’s downtown event.

This month’s First Friday festivities are scheduled 6-9 p.m. Friday on the Downtown Green on Third Street between Main and State streets in Los Altos.

With the theme “Hats Off to Los Altos,” attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite hats and join in the group of “Mad Hatters.”

Friday's activities coincide with the start of the Los Altos Village Association-sponsored Summer Sidewalk Sale, running through Aug. 11.

Friedman's book relates dance, garden experiences


Dancer and choreographer Leslie Friedman, founder of the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley and artistic director of The Lively Foundation, recently released a book, “The Dancer’s Garden.”

The book features short essays on dance, life and starting and maintaining a garden in Mountain View. The gardener, Friedman said, faces the challenges of native plants, persistent invasions by world-conquering weeds and rain.

Diabetes program yields results for CSA clients

Community Services Agency’s Challenge Diabetes Program, funded by El Camino Hospital for the past four years, aims to improve the health of vulnerable members of the community who are diabetic or prediabetic.

The program includes clients at CSA, West Valley Community Services and Sunnyvale Community Services.

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