Los Altos family helps correct misconceptions about Hindu-Americans

Courtesy of the Shah Family
Los Altos residents Dr. Neha Shah, left, and her daughter, Devi, helped change the way Hinduism and ancient India are portrayed in California textbooks.

When the Shah family of Los Altos spotted misrepresentations of their Hindu faith in their son Keshav’s sixth-grade textbook, they were appalled.

“It was really quite disturbing,” said Keshav’s mom, Dr. Neha Shah. “Considering the many contributions to humanity that Hinduism and India have made, it was disproportionate.”

Photographer brings "Portrait of the Cuban School of Ballet" to Foothill

Courtesy of Rebekah Bowman
Rebekah Bowman’s exhibition at Foothill College, “Portrait of the Cuban School of Ballet,” shows dancers practicing, above, performing and resting.

While Cuba is known for exporting sugar and tobacco, photographer Rebekah Bowman reveals in her new exibition that the country also produces plenty of world-class ballet dancers.

In “Portrait of the Cuban School of Ballet,” which opened last week at Foothill College and runs through March 21, Bowman captures the dancers and their teachers in a series of photos featured in a book of the same name published in 2014.

High marks: Trio of LASD teachers earn National Board Certification

While most teachers were giving out homework assignments, three Los Altos School District teachers were on the receiving end as they worked to attain their National Board Certification.

According to a Los Altos School District press release, the certification is the “most prestigious recognition in the field (of teaching).”

JustREAD: Nonprofit tutoring organization seeks volunteers

JustREAD, a local nonprofit organization, is recruiting volunteers to work with students for one-on-one literacy and math tutoring on campus during the school day.

There are tutoring opportunities at Mountain View High School, as well as at elementary and middle schools in the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Budding artist uses vivid imagination as force for change

Courtesy of Aria Luna
Aria Luna’s exhibition “Fusion Tide” takes a fantastical look at a real issue, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Her monster creation, Bogo Mogo, above, has a hunger for plastic and must be stopped by the mythical protectors of the sea.

In the middle of a cafe on a late Saturday morning, Aria Luna is plopped on a white cushioned chair, doodling. She has a lavender-colored meringue cookie in one hand, green marker in the other. Her hazel eyes are fixated on her notebook, and her wispy brown curls gravitate toward the paper.

Aria, an 8-year-old Los Altos resident, has a penchant for art. But she is a package deal, also a lover of sweets, video games, math and making sense of the world and its flaws.

Silicon Valley schools reject tech

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Canterbury Christian School students do not use computers or tablets in the classroom until sixth grade.

At most elementary schools, iPads and laptops abound. Children create PowerPoint presentations to showcase their work, and they search for sources online for research papers. But at Canterbury Christian School in Los Altos, laptops, tablets and cellphones are not welcome in the classroom.

The small elementary school of 90 students is distinctly religious: Each school day starts with a service, and each student memorizes a Bible verse each week. But what draws some Silicon Valley families to the school is that computers are left out of the classroom.

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