Language ambassadors serve new immigrants at Santa Rita School


Crystal Tai/Town Crier
Blaine Dzwonczyk, right, Santa Rita School’s English Learner program specialist, holds a lottery during a recent lunchtime meeting of the language ambassador program.

Santa Rita School has a culturally diverse student body, with 32 languages spoken on campus. Newcomers who are not yet fluent in English can seek help through the school’s language ambassador program, which had an all-member meeting right before the winter break.

A so-called language ambassador at Santa Rita is a bilingual student who can serve as an interpreter between a new immigrant or foreign visitor and an English speaker who doesn’t know that language. The school currently has 75 language ambassadors, all fourth- through sixth-graders, who cover a total of 20 languages, according to Blaine Dzwonczyk, the school’s English Learner program specialist.

Homestead High band to perform Thursday for young patients on way to Rose Parade


Courtesy of Jim Zumsteg
The Homestead High School Mighty Mustang Marching Band rehearses Dec. 9 for its appearance at the Rose Parade in Pasadena Jan. 1. On the way to Pasadena, the band plans to perform at a children’s hospital.

The Homestead High School Mighty Mustang Marching Band will do more in Southern California than perform in the 2018 Rose Parade.

The band plans to leave for Pasadena Thursday and make a stop to entertain patients at Shriners for Children Medical Center.

KCI keeps students, teachers tech-savvy with Makerspace


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Krause Center for Innovation supporters marking the Dec. 2 Undergound Makerspace opening include, from left, Martha Rubin, administrative assistant; Kyle Brumbaugh, director of the Professional Learning Network; Lisa DeLapo, innovator in residence; Clelia Villalta, student assistant; Elisabeth Sylvan, KCI maker in residence; County Supervisor Joe Simitian; Foothill College President Thuy Thi Nguyen; and KCI Director Gay Krause.

Staff at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College held a Dec. 2 ribbon-cutting and grand-opening ceremony for the new Underground Makerspace, which will serve K-14 teachers and students by providing hands-on learning programs using the latest technology.

“We had over 100 people visit the KCI Underground,” said KCI Executive Director Gay Krause of opening day. “Visitors created LED flashlights, paper circuit holiday cards and gift boxes using materials cut with our Cricut Maker. Additionally, we had three Dremel 3-D printers running, along with the new laser cutter, which created acrylic cut and etched keychains commemorating the event.”

Local Hanukkah events offer young families an intro to tradition


Marcia Lepler/Special to the Town Crier
Young families will gather at Congregation Kol Emeth Sunday to light candles and learn songs for Hanukkah.

Candles were lit across Los Altos Tuesday night for the first evening of Hanukkah.

Some residents draw on generations of remembered tradition as they bring out their hanukiyot and stud them with candles, but others are starting fresh as they learn or invent personal traditions to fit their changing families.

This race is no turkey


Photos Courtesy of Corrine Palacios
Five-year-old Liesl Nelson, with her stuffed-animal goat, races in the Spartan Turkey Trot’s 60-yard dash on Thanksgiving morning at Mountain View High.

Record attendance at this year’s Spartan Turkey Trot led to record revenue, which means more money for Mountain View High athletics.

Organizer Corrine Palacios said 1,352 people registered for the eighth annual event, held Thanksgiving morning at the school and on surrounding streets. That brought in $34,555 in registration fees, she noted. Add $585 in donations and $1,000 in sponsorships, and the turkey trot generated a record $36,140 in gross revenue, according to Palacios. The net proceeds will go to the Mountain View High Sports Boosters, earmarked for team equipment and field/facility improvements.

Los Altos music teacher Sherman makes album for kids and with kids


Courtesy of Kathy Sherman
Kathy Sherman, a longtime music teacher and musician from Los Altos, performs for a class. Sherman’s new album, “Let’s Sing,” features 16 kids as background singers.

The latest album by local music teacher and multi-instrumentalist Kathy Sherman isn’t just for kids – it features some of them as background singers as well.

“I have kids singing on it that I have been teaching for many years, and my hopes are that when a child listens to this album and hears the kids, they will be able to imagine themselves on there someday,” the Los Altos resident said.


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