Los Altos | 06/17/2019-06/28/2019
201 Covington Road, Los Altos, CA 94024
06/17/2019 – 06/28/2019 (M-F, 9am – 3pm)
Supervised play available 8am-9am and 3pm-6pm for an additional charge.
Adventures in Writing Camp is excited to come to Covington Elementary this summer with all new curriculum! This location will have first grade, elementary, and middle school programs! Our team of credentialed teachers, musicians and college students is ready to help new campers build confidence and fall in love with writing, and help returning campers continue to develop as writers!
As a note, we group campers by grade level. If your child is attending with a friend and they are entering the same grade, they will be grouped together.
MEET THE TEAM
Meera Pamidi, Site Administrator
This will be Meera's 4th year working for Adventures in Writing and she is so excited to help kids fall in love with writing! In past years she has worked as a Camp Director and as a teacher, supporting campers in creating their E-books. Meera is currently in her 10th year of teaching at KIPP Summit Academy in San Lorenzo, California. She has worked as a Special Education teacher for all 10 years, supporting middle school students in all subjects, and has also taught intervention groups in Reading and Math. She has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Masters in Special Education from George Mason University. In her free time, Meera likes cooking, traveling the world, reading, yoga and Pilates, and spending time outdoors.
Anne Gibney, Writing Ranger (1st Grade)
Anne has been a teacher for 17 years, most of which have been at the elementary school level. She has taught everything from preschool through high school, but elementary school is by far her favorite! According to her students, Anne makes writing fun by inspiring them to use their creativity to create amazing stories. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, swimming, playing tennis, acting in plays, movies and on TV, singing karaoke, making craft projects, sewing, cooking, and reading. She has even published some poetry!
Alexander Tran, Writing Ranger
Hello, my name is Alexander Tran and I recently completed my teaching credential program at San Jose State University. I am currently a substitute teacher in the Evergreen School District. I have experience in teaching second and fifth grade. In addition to completing my teaching credentials, I also hold a Master?s Degree in Education from San Jose State University. While I am not teaching, I am researching day and night on how I can make writing more fun and creative for my students. Because I believe that you can make anything by writing.
Colleen Mahal, Entertainment Ranger
Colleen Mahal is a three time Grammy award winning recording artist and has been teaching K-12 music for bay area public and private schools for over ten years. She is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and radio personality. She is a published author featured on Yahoo! and Business Insider and has been featured on the radio show “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” in New York on Sirius FM with Mark Ruffin.
Teaching music to all ages for over ten years, Colleen received her B.A. in Vocal Performance and her B.M. in Music Education as well as her Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. A singer-songwriter from the bay area, she has performed alongside Tony! Toni! Toné!, Kool and the Gang, as well as many others. She is a recording artist and engineer with The International Studio based in Oakland, CA. She is an executive assistant to Phil “The Thrill” Arnold, president of Thrill Entertainment where her role is to assist with artist administration and festival production. Thrill Entertainment has represented multi platinum artists spanning over three decades. These include such artists as B2K, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Kool and the Gang, Con Funk Shun as well as solo artists such as Raz B, and past artists such as Ike Turner. This provides her a wealth of information about the music the industry and industry relations which keep her attuned to the opportunities available for student-musicians.
Colleen performed and arranged for Prime Time A Cappella, winners of San Francisco’s Harmony Sweepstakes. She has taught classes on songwriting, arranging and recording for public and private schools. She also teaches a series of workshops on integrating Music & Technology at Silicon Valley Giants such as Apple, Google, and PayPal.
A few of Colleen’s performing credits include performing at the 2017 RUMI International Fashion & Music award show hosted in Oakland. In 2009 Colleen participated in a recording of Mahler’s 9th Symphony with San Francisco Symphony which went on to win three grammy awards for best classical album, best choral performance and best engineered album.
Amber Gao, Adventure Guide (Counselor)
I'm excited for my first summer as an Adventure Guide at AIW camp! I recently graduated from Los Altos High and I will be attending NYU's Gallatin School in the fall, likely with a concentration in social economics. Ever since elementary school, my nose has been buried in books. Though I love and consume all sorts of literature, my favorite genre at the moment is dystopian fiction. Last summer, after attending the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, my passion for reading also developed into a love of experimentation with words. Writing-wise, I enjoy combining fiction and nonfiction, using my friends from the real world as characters in strange, fantastical realities. When not studying or reading, you can find me biking around the Bay, scoping out cool new coffee spots. I love travel of all sorts, and I can't wait to visit Israel this summer (and of course, NYC for the next four years)! I'm thrilled to meet the campers this summer and bond over a passion for writing!
Caitlin Bird, Adventure Guide (Counselor)
Caitlin Bird loves to travel- especially when she gets to travel into the minds of others through their imagination! Far off worlds and incredible adventures are waiting around every corner of a creative writer's brain, and she loves to explore every one of them!
She also loves to mix art, fun, and learning. Her favorite work so far has been putting together a giant portrait made entirely out of skittles, teaching students to translate their genetic traits into unique DNA bracelets, and helping budding authors participate in National Novel Writing Month every year! She also writes her own poetry books, and will brainstorm her next book on any available scrap of paper in her backpack during downtime.
During AIW camp this year, Caitlin is hoping to hear many tall tales from campers, and get in some fun in the sun as well! She hopes to plant the seed of creative writing in as many brains as possible, and see the roots of a confident, excited author take hold. When she is not encouraging kids to tell their stories, she can be found working on her Bachelor's in Health Promotion and Wellness at Purdue's Global Campus, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends.
Cynthia Moore Vandeneynde, eBook Ranger
This is my 2nd year teaching with Adventures in Writing and my 19th year teaching. I'm so excited to be a part of this amazing camp again! I first fell in love with teaching while spending a summer in China after college. I was asked to teach a conversation class at a local university and I was hooked. From there I went on to teach in Spain, Houston, Compton, Los Angeles and San Jose. I earned my Masters Degree in Elementary Education and my credential from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles while teaching with the program Teach For America. For the past 13 years I have been teaching in San Jose Unified. I have a special love for writing and helping students share their voice in their writing. On a personal note, I have a husband, two boys, two dogs, a cat, three rabbits, a parakeet and a tortoise! Here's to a great summer of writing together!
Amoreena Fidani, eBook Ranger
This is my inaugural summer as a Writing Ranger for AIW, and I’m so excited! Since 2001, I have worked in education with kids of every age and stage, from kindergarten to 12th grade, in a variety of roles. Currently, I am a counselor at Santa Clara High School. I have a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of La Verne and a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension. I love helping young people navigate through school and realize their educational dreams. As a part of the college application process, I help students brainstorm topics and proofread their personal essays, helping them find their voice and tell their story. I’m also passionate about character education, which I believe to be the most important type of learning. I volunteer in a 1st grade class as an ABC Reader for Project Cornerstone, a YMCA of Silicon Valley initiative that empowers children to become caring and responsible adults. I love using storytelling as a teaching tool, and my kids say that animated character voices are my specialty!
Lara Kerwin, Secretary of Shenanigans
Lara's joining Adventures in Writing for her first year as an Adventure Guide and Secretary of Shenanigans this summer! She loves writing, art, and music, and loves to perform. When she's not out playing with a jazz band or writing, she's a physics major at UC Davis. She loves to cross the boundaries between art and science, whether it's through exploring the physics of music or exploring the engineering of the future through writing! When she's not working on a new experiment, Lara loves spending time with her pets— a dog, a leopard gecko, and three birds (one of who's rather fond of the camera).