San Jose’s Citywide 2011 Teen Talent Show Finale in Almaden Valley

logo: Teen Talent ShowWatch teens ages 12-18 compete in the 2011 Teen Talent Show finale. Performances may include singing, dancing, comedy, magic, or other special talent.

All performers are the first and second place winners of the six local branch competitions. Each individual or group contestant will perform for up to 5 minutes.

Performances will be judged on a 10-point scale in the following four categories: (1) stage presence, (2) originality, (3) audience response, and (4) professionalism. Winners receive cash prizes of $250 for First Place, $150 for Second Place, and $50 for Third Place.

San Jose’s Citywide 2011 Teen Talent Show grand finale is at Almaden Branch Library in the Community Room on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 3-5pm. Come early and bring your family and friends to cheer on your favorite performers.

Spring 2011 Parenting Programs at Almaden Valley Counseling Service

logo: Almaden Valley Counseling ServiceJoin Almaden Valley Counseling Service (AVCS) for its popular parenting programs. Two different programs are being offered this Spring.

The S.T.E.P. Positive Parenting program is for parents of preschool, school age, and teenage children. Learn to understand yourself and your child, build your child’s self-esteem and instill responsibility, implement discipline versus punishment, and so much more.

S.T.E.P. Positive Parenting classes begin the week of April 18, 2011, and are held one night a week for 7 weeks from 7:15 to 9:15pm. The price is $125 for one parent or $175 for a couple (includes class materials). Get more information about AVCS’s S.T.E.P. Positive Parenting program.

The Cooperative Parenting and Divorce program is for parents who are either divorced or in the process of divorcing. Learn how to parent as a team when you are no longer a couple. The class focuses on shifting roles from former spouses to co-parents, managing anger and resolving conflict, and understanding the factors and issues that influence a child’s post-divorce adjustment.

Cooperative Parenting and Divorce classes begin the week of April 18, 2011, and are held on Thursdays for 8 weeks from 7:15 to 9:15pm. The price is $165 per person (includes class materials). Get more information about AVCS’s Cooperative Parenting and Divorce program.

For more information, call 408-997-0200 or email

Almaden Cares Meeting to Discuss Smart Driving for Teens

image: almaden caresAlmaden Cares meetings are open to all who want to help save the lives of kids on the streets and roads in Almaden Valley.

At the meetings the group provides an update on the most recent accomplishments, discusses plans, and talks about how it can increase community involvement. The meetings are open to all adults and students.

Almaden Cares is a small group of community members who have joined together in response to the many tragic and horrific car collisions involving teenage drivers in Almaden Valley.

The goal of Almaden Cares is to raise the consciousness of pre-teens, teens, and parents regarding the causes of catastrophic accidents involving teen drivers.

The organization wants everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car and everyone who rides as a passenger to make good decisions about their own safety as well as the safety of those around them.

Almaden Cares invites you to join them in this community effort. The next meeting is at the Offices of Alain Pinel, 1071 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, from 7-8pm. Along with a special guest speaker, the group will discuss recent progress with community partners, its new website, and related issues. Help make this endeavor a continuing success – go and share your ideas and thoughts.

Below is a new Almaden Cares advertisement promoting the theme of smart driving for kids:

ad: almaden cares

Internet Safety Seminar for Parents in Almaden Valley

logo: Common Sense MediaCommon Sense Media is providing an Internet Safety Seminar in Almaden Valley. This seminar will address issues such as cyberbullying, texting, and social networking. The event is for parents only.

The Internet is social for preteens and teens. Kids at this age still need parental guidance on how to conduct themselves online. You will learn how to help your child become responsible digital citizens, which will ultimately keep them safe online.

Common Sense Media is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that provides trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.

The seminar is at Bret Harte Middle School in Almaden Valley on March 16, 2011, from 7-8pm. Mark your calendars!

View the Internet safety tips and resources from Common Sense Media.

Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra Performing in Almaden Valley

logo: Firebird Youth Chinese OrchestraBring in the New Year and celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a live musical performance by Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra (FYOC).

In the past few years, FYCO’s concerts and performances have received exceptional praise from audiences, including arts organization observers. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) declared FYCO as “one of the very few ensembles in the United States dedicated to educating young people, their families and communities through traditional Chinese music, and is carrying out its mission with great success.”

FYCO was founded in 2000 by Gordon Lee along with thirteen musicians. FYCO currently has about one hundred musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments. Most of the students are American born Chinese youths ranging from nine to seventeen years of age.

The mission of FYOC is to train young musicians and promote Chinese music as an integral part of Chinese-American culture, thereby strengthening the Chinese community and enhancing the cultural diversity and richness of American Society.

The performance is at the Almaden Community Center on Saturday, February 12, 2011 from 2:00 to 3:00pm. No pre-registration required. Just go and enjoy!

Almaden Valley Counseling Service’s Winter 2011 Effective Parenting Program

logo: almaden valley counseling serviceLearn how to really STEP up to the challenge of parenting. Join Almaden Valley Counseling Service’s seven-week effective parenting program.

The program is based on the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) model. Classes are for the parents of pre-school age, school age, and teenage children. You will learn how to:

Read more

Underage Drinking and Driving Community Forum in Almaden Valley

Leland High School, in collaboration with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Traffic Safe Communities Network, will be holding a community forum in Almaden Valley to discuss a number of topics and issues related to teen drinking and driving.

The event is for students, parents, and interested members of the community. The forum will include presentations by representatives of medical response teams, police officers, the District Attorney’s office, and counseling services. A major component of the forum will be a question and answer segment.

Motor vehicle crashes are the major cause of injuries and deaths for teens, and alcohol is one of the primary causes for the collisions. This community forum was organized in response to the recent fatal motor vehicle accident that occurred on September 21, 2010, involving two 2010 Leland High School graduates.

The forum is at Leland High School on Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at 7pm.

4th Annual / 2010 Harvest Festival in Almaden Valley

photo: pumpkin in fall leaves

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

Bring the entire family to the 4th Annual / 2010 Harvest Festival in Almaden Valley. There’s something for everyone.

The festival will feature arts and crafts from local artists, pumpkin patch, haunted houses (for kids and teens), games, craft-making, story time and puppet show, raffle prizes, and delicious food. Children are invited to wear Halloween costumes.

Save the date for this fun event that the whole family will enjoy. Harvest Festival is at the Almaden Community Center on Saturday, October 23, 2010, from 11am to 4pm. General admission and parking are free.

Drawing & Painting for Teens in Almaden Valley

Leonardo da Vinci's Self-Portrait

Line drawing in sanguine by Leonardo da Vinci

Drawing & Painting for Teens is focused on developing specific skills in representational drawing and painting. Participants will learn through teacher demonstrations, individual instruction, and class critiques.

You will get to choose from acrylic paints, water-soluble oils, and drawing instruments and materials. Each student will also use his or her own choice of subject-matter photos, pictures, etc. to use for inspiration.

You will gain confidence to take on greater challenges in painting or drawing, so you can go on to produce great works of art!

The class is for teens ages 13-18. All levels of experience are welcome. The instructor is Nancy Franck.

Drawing & Painting for Teens is at Almaden Community Center in AL Room 3. Class will be held every Thursday, from 4:30-6:00pm, beginning November 16, 2010 and ending December 21, 2010 (6 meetings). The price is $88 per participant. Register online.