Five SLO County residents to be honored for their work with young children

People throughout the community who help children will be honored by organizations that look after youngsters from before birth through age 5, as well as their families.

First 5 San Luis Obispo and Early Learning for All, with other groups, have named the 2013 recipients of their 3rd annual “hands-on heros” awards, given to individuals for their “outstanding contributions that make a positive difference in the lives of children, prenatal to five, each and every day.”

The winners are:

Children’s Health Hero: Linda Hogoboom, district nurse for the Lucia Mar Unified School District;

Family Support Hero: David Litchi, Innovations play therapist with the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County;

Early Care & Education Hero, for working with children in a center-based program: Michael Hardridge, teacher & behavior interventionist with the Child Development Resource Center;

Early Care & Education Hero, for working with children in a family child care program: Marie Kelmis, child care/preschool owner, provider and teacher; and

Volunteer Hero: Bobbie Loomis, former board member with Sexual Assault Victim Education.

First 5 and ELFA collaborated with Dignity Health, the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and the Local Child Care Planning Council to select the honorees.

Organizers received 22 nominations.

Winners will be honored April 19 at a ceremony that also will include the unveiling of the new county Children’s Bill of Rights. Festivities will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mountainbrook Community Church, 1775 Calle Joaquin, San Luis Obispo.

For more information on the Hands-on Heroes Awards, Children’s Summit, or the Children’s Bill of Rights, go to First 5 SLO County.