LACF’s Community Impact Update July 2014 – June 2015

Los Altos Community Foundation just completed its fiscal year on June 30th. Annette Graff and Ruth Patrick at 2015 Gardner awardsWe’re proud of the Foundation’s accomplishments and its local impact, thanks to the contributions of our many generous donors. Following is a brief impact summary of the LACF programs and grants enhanced our community over the last year.

 LACF: Making a Difference in our Community

Our programs and grants address the needs of our youth, seniors, women and vulnerable populations within our community:

  • E3 Youth Philanthropy Program engaging local high school students in philanthropy
  • MVLA Scholars providing college scholarships to local high school students
  • Community Services Agency in support of their Senior Fall Prevention Project
  • Day Worker Center kitchen upgrade to bring up to commercial code
  • Mentor-Tutor Connection providing tutoring and mentoring at elementary and high schools
  • Westwind 4-H Handicapped Riding Program
  • Animal Assisted Happiness to assist special needs children in LA/LAH
  • Center for Age Friendly Excellence (CAFE) advocates for senior friendly communities
  • Child Advocates of SV for Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children
  • Community Health Awareness Council for their Teen Talk Program
  • Family & Children Services programs benefiting youth and young adults
  • SV Faces enabling local high school students to attend diversity-awareness camp
  • Heart2Heart Teens helping high school students graduate and become leaders
  • Krause Center of Innovation supporting their Merit program at local schools
  • JustREAD and JustMATH in-school tutoring programs at MVLA middle and high schools
  • Bullis Boosters Camp for under-served 2nd-4th graders
  • Mountain View Police Activities League to help fund mentoring program
  • KLD (Kick, Lead, Dream) Summer Soccer Camp for at-risk students
  • Family Engagement Institute for tuition-free summer school kindergarten-readiness program
  • Friends of Deer Hollow supporting environmental education programs for our children
  • RotaCare (El Camino Hospital) for gynecological services for the uninsured
  • CarbDM for the Annual Bay Area Diabetes Summit
  • WOMEN/SV supporting victims of domestic violence in our community

Joe Eyre and Dennis Young (LACF honoree)

LACF supported community building programs, events, and organizations:
  • Los Altos Block Actions Teams (BATs) connecting neighbors and preparing for disasters
  • Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAD) developing future community leaders
  • Los Altos Dispute Resolution Service (LADRS) helping neighbors resolve disputes
  • Annual John W. Gardner Awards recognizing exceptional volunteerism our local non-profits
  • Morning Forum of Los Altos supporting distinguished speakers series in our community
  • Community School of Music and Arts to support the free Community Concert Series
  • City of Los Altos Summer Concert Series
  • Los Altos Stage Company community theater
  • Ye Olde Towne Band free community concerts
  • Festival of Light Parade float refurbishment and sponsorship
  • Los Altos History Museum funding for the “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends” exhibit
  • Los Altos Forward sponsoring City Council Candidates’ Forum and Community Conversations
  • Los Altos Forward building downtown vibrancy with First Fridays
  • Los Altos Village Association for the sponsorship of Los Altos Movie Nights
  • Glorious Fourth of July Community Picnic
  • GreenTown to make Los Altos more environmentally healthy and vibrant
  • Neutra House preserved historic building and offering a beautiful non-profit meeting center
  • Peninsula Symphony for the Summer Pops Concert in downtown Los Altos


Your support of the Los Altos Community Foundation makes our community a better and more desirable place to live, work and play. If you have any questions or suggestions on how LACF could better serve the community, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Thank you for your support,
Joe Eyre
Executive DirectorZoey at Glorious 4th 2015
650 949-5908

Read more about LACF on our Blog

LACF helps sponsor Friday Movie Nights Downtown

Los Altos Community Foundation is pleased to announce that we are one of the sponsors for Friday Movie Nights.

This has been a very popular community building event and we hope to see you there.


Read more about LACF on our Blog

Community Grant Recipient Profile: Stretch To Kindergarten

Gabriel was in a shell of fear and shyness as he approached kindergarten according to his mother.

“After just six weeks my son Gabriel feels more confident and now is comfortable raising his hand to ask and answer questions in front of the class”, said Gabriel’s mother Cynthia.  “He is coming out of his shell of shyness.”

Gabriel is in a class this summer with a number of other children starting kindergarten in the Los Altos School District this fall.

Stretch To Kindergarten (STK) is a program of the Family Engagement Institute, a recent LACF Community Grant recipient.

STK offers a tuition-free, parent-participation, spring and summer kindergarten readiness program for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

STK works to cultivate strong, enduring partnerships among families, schools and the community to give children, most of whom have not attended preschool, the skills and support to help them successfully transition into kindergarten.

STK works with children in small groups to develop their English language skills, self-regulation and social skills, as well as reading and math skills.   Children also learn to separate themselves from their parents and to advocate for themselves, something kids without preschool experience may not yet have had the opportunity to learn.

It’s not just the kids who learn.

Parents and caregivers volunteer in the classroom and attend parent/child workshops which provide information on transitioning to kindergarten, family literacy, parenting, children’s academic and social development, nutrition and physical health, emotional well-being, volunteering in the schools, and community resources.

STK Director Carmen Ponce said she is dedicated to creating a nurturing community to engage the whole family in making this important transition to school.

“It really lays a solid foundation for the students’ long-term success if the parents are involved with their children’s school and are connected to teachers, administrators and other parents so they can reach out for support.”

Stretch to Kindergarten, founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Simons, a former teacher of Spanish bilingual elementary school classes and now president of the Heising-Simons Foundation, is now a cornerstone of the Family Engagement Institute at Foothill College.

STK serves families of children registered for kindergarten in nine local school districts, including Mountain View Whisman and Sunnyvale, in addition to the Los Altos School District.

Los Altos Community Foundation is proud to support the work of the Family Engagement Institute and Stretch to Kindergarten.

2015 Glorious Fourth in Photos

Thanks to all who made the 2015 Glorious Fourth a smashing success.






Volunteer for Glorious Fourth

We have lots of volunteer opportunities for you at and before the Glorious Fourth. If you are interested in helping, please email



Please join us for the 14th Annual Glorious Fourth!

Pictures from the 2015 Summer Solstice

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Next LACF community grants cycle starts soon

Los Altos Community Foundation is about ready to begin its next Community Grants cycle.
If you are interested in applying for a grant, please submit an application by June 23rd.
The application and guidelines is located at:
Although not mandatory, grant priority is given to non-profits that:
  • Provide at least some service to Los Altos or Los Altos Hills
  • Have not received a grant from LACF in the last year
The average grant size is about $5,000.


2015 Glorious Fourth

Please join us for LACF’s Glorious Fourth. Should be a great time for all.

Join us for Glorious Fourth!



2015 MVLA Scholars


This year 29 seniors from Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools received multi-year renewable scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000/year, and a personal collegementor, from MVLA Scholars.

“We wanted high achieving, low income, first-generation-to-college applicants, and we received a huge response! Of the 70 qualified applicants, 29 received scholarships – morescholarships awarded than ever before, thanks to the generosity of last years’ donors,”saif Dee Gibson, Co- chair of MVLA Scholars.

“This group of students was incredibly impressive and accomplished”, adds JanetTornow, also Co-Chair of MVLA Scholars, “They all have powerful life stories and a proven resiliency. I am in awe of their ability to overcome even profound obstacles. Many have worked 20, 30 + hours a week to help their families, maintained high (over 3.5) GPAs, and still participated in sports, theater, church, and community service.”

Meet the new stars of the program: Jose Amaya, Genesis Arreola, Jocelyne Marin-Melo, (UC Merced), Lawrence Antiporda (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo),

Alejandro Chavez, Jorge Farias, (CSU Chico), Sharon Wachuka (Cal Poly Pomona), Anamaria Gomez, Victor Macias, Edgar Sanchez Lopez (San Jose State University), Katherine Hamilton, Alexa Lopez (University of California Santa Barbara), Liliana Maldonado, Jose Morales, Vanessa Villavicencio (Sonoma State University), Blanca Casillas, Alexandra Zaragoza-Chavez (San Francisco State University, Elaine Jennings (CSU Long Beach), Perla Luna, Maria G. Munoz Yepez (Santa Clara University), Asaysha Session (CSU East Bay), Edgar Tapia, Jhosseline Guardado (UC Davis), Rita Alejandra Villanueva (UC Berkeley), Michael Viray (UC Santa Cruz),Akemi Yoshida (CSU Sacramento State), Mirella Acevedo Perez, Lesleiy Sandoval, Jamaila Padaong (Foothill, De Anza Colleges). Students hope to enter careers in engineering, nursing, law, teaching and journalism.

MVLA Scholars is a program of Los Altos Community Foundation, a 501(c)3. Visit our website to learn more about our programs.

Community Roundtable 33 local high school seniors head to college

33 high school seniors from 5 local high schools have been awarded college scholarships through the Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable and MVLA Community Scholars program.

LACF convened these organizations to work together to streamline the scholarship application and evaluation process.

The Community Roundtable program enables students to fill out a single online scholarship application which is then considered by the seven local organizations offering scholarships. By eliminating the need for students to apply separately to each individual organization, the application and evaluation process is more efficient and results in a more balanced distribution of scholarships.

“We are proud that these organizations collaborate on their scholarship programs”, said Joe Eyre, Executive Director of the Los Altos Community Foundation. “A single online application makes it easier for the students as well as school administrators submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts. Also, this process leads to better distribution of scholarships among the applicants.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Community Roundtable, formed in 2003, comprises several service organizations including the Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Quota Club, and Lions Club of Los Altos and Mountain View. Included as well are the MVLA Scholars and other Los Altos Community Foundation-hosted scholarship funds.

If local residents would like to establish a scholarship fund or bring an existing fund into the Community Roundtable, contact the Los Altos Community Foundation for more information.