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School Parents Club Opens
Musicians of the Cardozo Middle School Band presented a concert, dancers of the local Ballet Folklorico took the stage and puppeteers put on a marionette show at the opening day of the Club CASA de California at California Avenue School on Friday.

Meanwhile, children's games and activities such as an old-fashioned sack race and skittles continued on the blacktop along with information booths about community resources.

CASA de California parent Elia Castillo, Community Resource Specialist Eva Nash, Riverbank Superintendent of Schools Ken Geisick, school district trustee Elizabeth Meza, California Avenue School Principal Laurie Sacknitz and Mayor Virginia Madueno were among the speakers in the opening ceremony.

Founded by the mothers of children in attendance, the new Club aims to give parents more of a voice and interest in the school and offer them classes to meet their needs.

Some of the classes available are computers, nutrition, English as a second language, cake decorating, citizenship and other information that will help the community progress.

It is an extension of the CASA del Rio Family Resource Center (located on the Rio Altura School campus) that was founded in 1999 for parents to have a place to express their opinions and the needs they see in the community.

Esther Rosario and others known as "parking lot moms" were the first to advocate for the establishment of the CASA del Rio that now has grown and expanded to form parents' clubs at California Avenue Elementary and Cardozo Middle schools that will benefit the whole community.

Organizers hope in the future there will be family centers on every campus in the district.