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Los Altos History Museum hosts student tours beginning this week


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Students can view the colorful paintings of Los Altos artist Annie Knapp Fitz during third- and fourth-grade tours of the Los Altos History Museum in April and May.

The Los Altos History Museum Education Committee has scheduled educational tours for third- and fourth-graders.

Tours for third-graders are slated 9-11:45 a.m. weekdays Monday through May 15. Students will participate in three stations.

• The permanent exhibition “Crown Jewel of the Peninsula” teaches students about local history, from the Ohlone up to the founding of Los Altos. Sitting in a vaquero’s saddle brings the Rancho period to life. Spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” and selecting either a set of dishes or a lot in Los Altos brings alive the vision of Los Altos’ founding fathers and the Altos Land Co.

• During their tour of the J. Gilbert Smith House, students see the furnishings of a farmhouse from the 1930s, including a child’s room and toys from the olden days.

• Students view the colorful paintings of local artist Annie Knapp Fitz and learn the stories behind the pictures. Students sketch an “Annie” picture and take a bit of history back to their classrooms.

Tours for fourth-graders are scheduled 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays May 13-27. Fourth-graders will experience California history through four stations.

• During a tour of the permanent exhibition “Crown Jewel of the Peninsula,” students learn about the explosive growth of Los Altos following World War II and its incorporation in 1952.

• Outside the museum, students cut apricots and explore the old farm equipment at the “Cal Aggie” station.

• Students re-enact a 1953 city council meeting in the Los Altos Council Chambers. Budding thespians become former councilmembers, the former city attorney, the building inspector, the police chief and audience members speaking in favor or against Ordinance No. 33, a dog-licensing regulation that was a hot topic at the time.

• Students “visit” Southern California through the “Los Angeles Story: Take Me to the Movies,” where they learn how the Los Angeles basin changed from oil production to orange groves to the home of the entertainment industry. Film clips of old movies and Abbott and Costello complete the tour.

Public, private and home-schooled third- and fourth-graders from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are invited to take a tour.

To schedule a tour and for more information, call Grace Perry at 948-9427, ext. 14.

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