The community organization Los Altos Friends for Life has scheduled a social mixer Aug. 6 on the Downtown Green, aiming to help local families break out of their usual routines and meet new friends.
Los Altos Friends for Life organizer Sandesh Mouli said he first noticed a frustrating trend at a downtown Los Altos event one summer. Watching local residents rush past each other, he saw that parents were preoccupied by keeping an eye on their kids, and that moments for personal connection were being lost.
“If you look closely, there are lots of families walking around with little kids, but these families are focused on going to the next booth,” he said. “Nobody talks to anybody.”
Inspired to shake things up, Mouli posted to Nextdoor.com seeking other Los Altos parents of young children. Along with those who responded to his inquiry, Mouli formed the group Cradle to Covington, comprising parents living within the attendance boundaries of Covington School whose children were not yet school-age but one day would be classmates.
Now 35 families strong, the Cradle to Covington group has met throughout the spring and summer for outings that enable both parents and kids to bond, in a region where busy schedules can make social connection a challenge.
“Neighbors who live on the same street have met, which is kind of ironic,” Mouli noted.
Following the success of Cradle to Covington, the group collaborated with the city of Los Altos to launch Los Altos Friends for Life. The new group expands the community-building concept to include all Los Altos parents, regardless of the schools their kids will attend. The mixer was conceived to connect families whose young children have yet to enter kindergarten, but all, Mouli said, are welcome.
“I think the more events there are just to get people to interact out of their busy lives, the better off the community will be,” he said.
It’s a chance, Mouli explained, for families to form bonds that transcend individual elementary schools, helping kids make friends from across the city with whom they may eventually attend junior high or high school.
The upcoming mixer will feature kid-friendly activities, prizes, face painting, picnicking – bring your own dinner – and family networking activities styled after speed dating.
“Think of it as Match.com for Los Altos families,” Mouli said.
The inaugural Los Altos Friends for Life event is set for 4 p.m. Aug. 6 on the Downtown Green, located on Third Street between Main and State streets. The mixer is free and open to the public.
Visit goo.gl/5CvmGT to sign up.