Tag Archives: Milpitas

Golden Knights Debate Their Way Through the Pandemic

As more summer programs were being canceled, I saw there was a need for keeping students engaged and stimulating their creativity. Being a high school student myself, I could only imagine that those younger than me must be struggling. With COVID-19 bringing in a new distance learning environment and a summer lockdown for students, a group of eight middle school students (Milpitas Golden Knights) with my active volunteer guidance came up with a creative plan to spend the summer holidays safely indoors and socially connected – engaging in Public Forum Debate.

How did this idea begin?  

Eight 6th grade Merryhill school students showed interest in practicing and learning techniques for public forum debate.  With my assistance and leadership as the debate Advisor and judge, the debate club was formed and sessions were organized.  I helped design the debate classes and practice sessions every week for 12 weeks with the idea to keep the students connected, stay mentally healthy, and keep connected during challenging times.

About the Debate Sessions

With dedication, we started to practice from the end of May and the kids continued to learn and acquire the skill that would assist them through middle school. Every week, the team gathered in a virtual meeting session and reviewed through debate materials/rules, watched debate videos, and practiced speeches.  The program was executed as four teams with two members in each team. For every debate topic, the team members were regrouped to support each other. The debate team independently handled work sessions between themselves during the week to prepare for the debate and keep connected. This helped the students to learn and practice teamwork. At the end of each debate, the group voted for the next debate title and continued to challenge themselves. In addition to debate sessions and in the spirit of rewarding and motivating the students, the program was expanded to include a general knowledge quiz, which covered topics like science, history, geography, politics, and sport, at the end of each debate session.

Reward

By the end of the debate session, the kids were able to meet at a local park to celebrate their achievements, while social distancing. It was their first time meeting in real life since the start of the summer and the kids enjoyed catching up. They were presented with trophies and medals to congratulate them on their progress and improvement in debating. Team pictures were taken and speeches were given to thank everyone for their participation in the program.

Presenting to the Mayor of Milpitas

The final debate session was attended by the Principal of MerryHill School, Ms. Quinn Letan who recognized the effort put together by the students.  The students were also given the opportunity to present the program to Mayor Richard Tran of Milpitas. In the end, the credit really goes towards all students of this program – Nalika, Diya, Saatvika, Aadya, Sohan, Adithya, Hrithvik, and Katthir. 

If you would like your child to join the debate team, contact sundramr@hotmail.com for more info!


Meghaa Ravichandran is a high school sophomore at Notre Dame High School is the leader and coach for the Milpitas Golden Knights team.

Free, Easy COVID-19 Testing in Santa Clara County!

Residents in Santa Clara County can now get free and easy COVID-19 testing in their neighborhoods.  The county just launched six new and expanded drive-through and pop-up locations at community centers, parking lots, and county health system in Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View and San Jose.

People get who get tested at these sites pay nothing for the test.

“It’s fast, free and you don’t need insurance,” said Cindy Chavez, President of the Board of Supervisors, urging residents to advantage of the opportunity to get tested in their neighborhood.

“The County is bringing testing capacity to where it’s needed.”

The locations were chosen based on data showing a higher rate of recent cases in these areas compared to nearby areas. By adding six new locations, the county now has at least 46 sites offering COVID-19 viral detection testing.

Frontline Workers  Need Monthly Testing
The county recommends that essential workers (grocery store clerks, food delivery workers, retail associates, first responders, and other frontline workers), who regularly interact with the public to get tested at least once a month going forward, even if they have no symptoms at all. Testing can identify the infection before a person feels unwell or before they spread it to another person with potentially deadly consequences.

“I encourage everyone to protect themselves and their family by scheduling a test at one of our test sites throughout Santa Clara County,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian. The tests offered are viral detection tests, which diagnose a person who currently has the infection.

Mobile testing services will be available at Rengstorff Park in the City of Mountain View. “We need everyone – including cities, the County, and private healthcare providers and labs,’ noted Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, “to do their part to help us get through this crisis.”

WALK-UP TESTING SCHEDULE
Walk-up testing at outdoor “pop-up” sites will be available available without an appointment, insurance or doctor’s note, at Mountain View (May 25 & May 27 and in San Jose (May 29).

Monday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040

Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040

Friday, May 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
La Placita Tropicana Shopping Center parking lot, 1630 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

DRIVE THRU TESTING SITES 
Drive-thru testing will be available 7 days a week at four county health system locations in Milpitas, Morgan Hill and San Jose. These require appointments which can be made online at sccfreetest.org or by calling 888-334-1000.

  • 1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035 (location subject to change)
  • 18550 De Paul Dr., Morgan Hill, CA 95037
  • 777 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95112
  • 1993 McKee Road, San Jose, CA 95116

For more information on testing go to www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/covid19-testing-learn-more.aspx#types.

For information on test sites call 211 or go to sccfreetest.org. The site is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog.

 

 

Some Libraries Offer U.S. Passport Services

Just in time for summer vacation planning, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is adding passport services to the long list of reasons
to visit the library. Starting April 2 at the Milpitas Library and April 3 at the Cupertino Library, new passport acceptance facility offices will be open to the public during specified hours. Pre-book an appointment now at www.sccl.org/passport

“Our libraries provide high value to the community,” stated County Supervisor and library Joint Powers
Authority board member, Joe Simitian. “Bringing passport services to the Cupertino and Milpitas
libraries is just another example of how we are always focused on providing important and relevant
services to our residents.”

The new Passport Acceptance Facilities will assist patrons to obtain first-time passports for adults and
children, renewals for passports issued before the applicant was 16 years of age, renewals for expired
passports issued more than 15 years ago, replacements for lost, stolen, or damaged passports, and
provide passport photo services. An SCCLD library card is not required for the passport services,
although one is recommended to utilize all of the travel-related information available from the library.

“Customer service is a cornerstone of the Library District,” according to County Supervisor and
Chairman of the library Joint Powers Authority Board, Mike Wasserman. “There are few places that
offer a welcoming space, resources for lifelong learning, and extended open hours. Planning your travel
and applying for a passport at the library is a natural fit. I’m very happy to bring this level of customer
service to our residents.”

To book an appointment, go to www.sccl.org/passport and select a time and location. Cupertino’s
service will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-7 pm and Wednesdays, Fridays and
Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm. Milpitas’s service will be available Mondays and Wednesdays 1-7 pm
and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 4 pm.

Once submitted, passport applications typically take between four to six weeks to be processed, with the
option of paying a $60 expedite fee to cut that time down by two weeks. Passports will be mailed
directly to the applicant by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.
SCCLD has many free resources on travel, cultures, international food, and Rosetta Stone to learn
another language. For a sample of SCCLD’s digital and hard copy tour guides: