STUDENT PRODUCTION Mount Madonna School will present “Into the Woods” on Jan. 27 and 28. Photo: Courtesy of Mount Madonna School

Registration is open for Community Police Academy

The Community Police Academy (CPA) provides community members with an up close and personal look at local police work, according to the City of Morgan Hill. The program is designed to inform community members about Morgan Hill Police Department policies and procedures, foster community partnerships, and provide safety awareness by allowing community members to participate in practical police training and education.

The next session of the CPA, in English, will be held in the winter and spring of 2024. Apply online on the city’s website at

The CPA meets one night each week for approximately three months. Registration is free and open to community members. The registration process consists of submitting a CPA application and consenting to a criminal history check. Applicants who have been accepted into the CPA will be notified by the Program Coordinator and specific session details will be given at that time.  

At the conclusion of the CPA, community members who have completed the program are given the opportunity to become a member of the Volunteers in Policing (VIP) program, says the city’s website. The VIP program is an active partnership between the Police Department and community members. VIPs are utilized for crime prevention programs and various community services.

The next session of the CPA in Spanish will begin in the fall of 2024. 

For more information, email [email protected].

Mount Madonna School to present ‘Into the Woods’

On Jan. 27 and 28 at 2pm, Mount Madonna School (MMS) will present its high school production of “Into the Woods.” 

“The story’s theme is to be aware of the influence you have on others, whether it be your own children, or simply other individuals you interact with,” said senior Bella Sol Padilla. “I will be playing the role of Little Red Riding Hood, a young girl who is trying to navigate her way through the woods. Similarly, I am also a young individual trying to make my way through life as I transition from high schooler to college student.”

“The production of ‘Into the Woods’ delves into the depths of darkness, morality and humor,” said Director Chelsea Otterness. “This play is as multifaceted as the human experience itself. We venture beyond archetypal characters, delving into the repercussions of pursuing selfish agendas. Our talented students infuse their roles with years of experience, pushing the boundaries of characterization and showcasing their prowess in both acting and musical performance.”

“Into the Woods” is a work by American composer/lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who died in 2021.

“Sondheim’s works are both clever and lush and lead the listener into profound thoughts and feelings,” said Holly Ota, MMS performing arts music director. “This story challenges students—and the audience—to consider what they wish for, what means they are willing to employ to pursue those wishes and what the true value of receiving those wishes may be.”

Student Bella Sol Padilla said she recognized the benefits of being onstage beyond the experience, itself.

“Performing arts helps people come out of their shell,” Padilla said. “When I started at Mount Madonna School, I would never have sung in front of an audience. With encouragement and a safe environment, I was able to blossom. Now, I will be performing a solo and multiple songs in a show.”

Tickets are on sale at Adult tickets are $15; $10 for 18 and under; all seats are reserved.

Silicon Valley Reads prepares to kick off

The community reading engagement program, Silicon Valley Reads, is back in 2024 with the theme, “A Greener Tomorrow Starts Today.” 

The program will focus on environmental sustainability with a selection of books and programs that explore the challenges and opportunities of creating a more sustainable future, not only in Santa Clara County but worldwide. 

Registration is now open for the Silicon Valley Reads kickoff event. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo will moderate a conversation with the featured authors and contributors: Heather White (“One Green Thing”), Lily Brooks-Dalton (“The Light Pirate”), and Favianna

Rodriguez, president of the Center for Cultural Power, and teen climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor (contributors to “All We Can Save”).

The kickoff is on Jan. 31 at the Visual Performing Arts Center at De Anza College at 7pm. It will be simultaneously live streamed by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley. 

To register for the in-person event, visit To register for the live-streamed event, visit

“All We Can Save” shares the experiences of dozens of women actively contributing to environmental initiatives in the United States. 

In “One Green Thing,” environmentalist Heather White offers a guide to taking action for a more sustainable world.

Set in a world where Florida faces the relentless onslaught of extreme weather and rising sea levels, “The Light Pirate” is the story of a small coastal town preparing for a powerful hurricane. 

Throughout February and March, Silicon Valley Reads will offer a range of free virtual and in-person public programs for all ages. Programming will cover a range of environmental and sustainability topics that include author talks, panel discussions, educational events, demonstrations, home and garden, outdoor events, activities for students, storytimes and more. 

For information about Silicon Valley Reads, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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