Community Briefing

LATINO INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS HONORED: The first Heritage Awards honoring Latino individuals and organizations who have exemplified the spirit of bettering life for Latinos in Stanislaus and Merced counties were awarded Thursday night at The Bee. The ceremony was sponsored by Vida en el Valle, the weekly bilingual publication of McClatchy Newspapers. Similar events have been held in Fresno and Stockton; a fourth is scheduled for Sacramento. People in the community nominated individuals in July, and a panel of judges selected the winners. They are:

Amigo: Scott Salazar Myers, president and chief executive officer of Del Valle Homes

Business: Lourdes Pérez, operation manager for the Ceres Flea Market/Drive-in

Education: Jessi Reyes-Murray, project director for Student Support Services for California State University, Stanislaus

Health: David Rivera, information and referral specialist for the United Way of Stanislaus County

Volunteer: Dale Butler, retired Stanislaus County purchasing director

Youth: María Guadalupe Garníca, a Riverbank High School graduate and freshman at the University of California at Merced

Organization: El Concilio Community Center

OPEN HOUSE AT OUTDOOR SCHOOL: Foothill Horizons Outdoor School will host an Open House on Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Operated by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, the event is geared toward parents whose children have attended or will attend Foothill Horizons' Outdoor Education Program. Foothill staff will take participants on tours of the facilities and answer questions regarding curriculum, health care, discipline, meals and supervision. There is no fee to participate. Participants should wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes. Jackets or sweaters are recommended. To R.S.V.P. and for directions, call 532-6673.

RIVERBANK DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTED: The Stanislaus County Office of Education announced Wednesday that one of its Project SAFE (Supporting Afterschool for Everyone) consortium sites, the Riverbank Unified School District, will participate in the Eighth Annual Lights On Afterschool national celebration. Lights On Afterschool is an event that highlights the importance of after-school programs. The celebration is slated for Oct. 18 at Rio Altura Elementary School, 2400 Stanislaus St., Riverbank, from 3 to 7 p.m. It will include food, bounce houses, a dunk tank, pumpkin decorating and more. All students enrolled in after-school programs at California Avenue Elementary, Cardozo Middle, Rio Altura and Riverbank High are invited to participate. In addition to Riverbank's celebration, the education office will highlight after-school programs throughout Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties in a special insert in The Bee on Oct. 18. For more information about Riverbank's Lights On Afterschool event, contact Esther Rosario or Angela Claassen at 869-0468. For more information about after-school programs, contact SCOE at 238-1375.