Community briefsAfrican film fest at CSMA
The Third Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival is returning to the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View from Oct. 12-14, bringing African culture to local residents.
In partnership with Oriki Theater, CSMA will host the festival throughout the weekend at 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View.
The opening ceremony begins Friday, Oct., 12 at 5:30 p.m. Events include workshops, a flag parade, African drum and dance performances, panel discussions, post-screening discussions with filmmakers, food and an African market.
Film screenings will begin at 11 a.m. both days. The African Diaspora Forum is Saturday evening at 4 p.m., followed by a closing awards ceremony the next day, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. There will be a combination of feature films, animations and shorts offered to viewers.
Mountain View Mayor Mike Kasperzak will be attending the opening ceremony and presenting a proclamation declaring the three-day event "Silicon Valley African Film Festival Weekend." California State Assembly member Paul Fong will be at the opening ceremony as well.
Veteran filmmakers will be attending the three-day event, such as Tunde Kelani, who will also be receiving the top award at the festival, the "2012 African Reel Award."
Kelani's new film, "Maami," is set to screen on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.
Oriki Theater is a nonprofit performing arts company based in Mountain View committed to promoting Africa's heritage through dance, music, folk stories, chants and drums.
Haunted farm tour
Who needs a haunted house? For those who want to get into the Halloween spirit, Deer Hollow Farm and Friends of Deer Hollow Farm offer Spookfest, a haunted farm tour on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Guests will be able to do hands-on children's activities and crafts as well as meet the farm tenants — sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs and Luna the cow.
Entrance is $7 per person, $5 if in costume and free for babies under one year old. The event is open light rain or shine. All profits from the event go toward providing care and feed for the livestock.
Deer Hollow Farm is located at 22500 Cristo Rey Dr. in Los Altos, in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Reserve, and is partly funded by the city of Mountain View.
The educational farm is 150 years old and sells fresh eggs and seasonal produce when available.
Friends of Deer Hollow Farm is a non-profit organization that supports the Farm's educational programs to the community and schools by raising funds through donations, grants and public events.
Two years ago Google co-founder Sergey Brin along with his wife, Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, donated $35,000 to the farm to help keep it open.
Summer reading pays off
Third-grade Mountain View resident Ethan Xie won a $529 check towards his college education from ScholarShare, California's 529 College Savings Plan.
Xie was awarded the money as a part of Think Big! Save for College! Summer Reading promotion.
ScholarShare gave a total of $20,000 to 40 children in California during the first week of October. The program partnered with California public libraries to organize an annual summer reading program, with children from preschool through 8th grade participating.
The winners were selected at random and there were over 3,600 entries by the end of the summer. Besides donating the money towards college education, ScholarShare is matching the winning amount and donating it to the Mountain View Public Library for reading programs.
Local music program expanding
Mountain View based Music For Minors is in the midst of a major expansion, thanks to a new partnership with the San Mateo-Foster City School District.
The organization aims to maintain musical education by offering affordable and comprehensive music programs to Mountain View and neighboring areas.
With the new partnership, Music For Minors' number of students will increase by over 15,000. In the past three years, the program service has grown above 130 percent — the biggest growth spurt came with the new partnership.
"We are thrilled with this opportunity to reach more kids, " said Sanja Palmer, the organization's executive director, in a press release. "Music is a vital part a well-rounded education that should be available to every young student."
In addition, the nonprofit organization offers education programs to students in the San Carlos and the Redwood City school districts.
Fifteen more schools, from San Jose to Pacifica, participate with Music For Minors. The organization has also worked with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in order to provide a well-rounded education.
According to Music For Minors, musical education has been shown to enhance academic growth and helps with problem solving and teamwork, as well as improve a student's success in math, science and reading.
The programs offer hands-on experience in singing, theory and appreciation, movement and dance, use of rhythm instruments and musical games.
Music For Minors teachers are composed of professional educators and volunteers.
Outside of the classroom, the organization offers interactive assemblies and special programs separate from school, such as choral groups and recorder lessons. It is also collaborates with the Ives Quartet and West Bay Opera.