Jeanie Ritchie Grant award winners announced
The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) is awarding teachers $45,000 this school year through its Jeanie Ritchie Grants for projects at the Menlo Park City School District such as learning about bioluminescence to an indoor/outdoor wellness center at Upper Laurel School in Menlo Park.
The annual grants, which range from $222 to $3,820 this year, are going toward 31 projects.
"We received a record-breaking 44 applications this year, the largest amount ever! There were many creative and inspiring ideas and we are very pleased to say that we are able to fund 31 of the grants, with 11 grants focused on social-emotional learning and mental health" said Francie Maletis and Katie Rottier, co-chairs of the Jeanie Ritchie Grant Committee.
Other projects include: connecting body systems with comic book creations at Hillview Middle School, a reading at recess program at Encinal School, a second grade poetry project at Oak Knoll School and a sensory self-regulation project at the Early Learning Center.
The grant program began in 1984 to honor Jeanie Ritchie, one of MPAEF's founders.
For more information, go here.
Menlo Park's tree lighting ceremony is Friday
Menlo Park's tree lighting ceremony is returning Friday, Dec. 2, for the first time since 2019 to celebrate the holiday season. The event is "winter wonderland" themed and will feature family-friendly entertainment, performances by local children, photo opportunities, free hot chocolate, and the annual lighting of Menlo Park's evergreen tree. The event will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fremont Park.
Menlo Park wine walk returns for the first time since 2019
Menlo Park's Taste of the Mountains Wine Walk is returning for the first time in three years on Saturday, Dec. 3. The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation and the Menlo Park Design District are hosting the event and ticket sales will benefit the education foundation.
The offered wines will come from wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the event will take place on Santa Cruz Avenue. Tickets are $50 in advance and $59 at the door, with check-in at 12:30 p.m. at 643 Santa Cruz Ave.
COVID testing center closed at Hillview
After two years of partnership with Menlo Park City School District, Curative has informed the district on Nov. 25 that it is ending COVID-19 testing at its Hillview Middle School location due to low turnout. The testing site has been located in the school's parking lot.
For other local Curative testing locations and information, go here.
Las Lomitas toy drive
The Las Lomitas Elementary School District is participating in the Good Tidings Toy Drive. Toys may be dropped off at the front offices at Las Lomitas Elementary School, located in Atherton at 299 Alameda de las Pulgas; or at La Entrada Middle School, at 2200 Sharon Road in Menlo Park, by Friday, Dec. 9, or donate made here.
Apply to be a PV Architectural and Site Control Commission or Planning Commission by Dec. 22
The Portola Valley Town Council is seeking two volunteers to serve on the town's Architectural and Site Control Commission (ASCC) and two volunteers to serve on the town's Planning Commission.
To apply, submit a letter of interest to the Town Council to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22. The Town Council will conduct interviews at a scheduled meeting on Jan. 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. This time is subject to change, dependent on the number of interviews to be conducted. Contact the Town Clerk Melissa Thurman at [email protected] for more information.