Helen Diller Foundation calls for nominations

Nominations are open until Jan. 6 for the Helen Diller Family Foundation Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, identifying Jewish teens volunteering to make the world a better place.

Up to five teens from California will each receive $36,000, to be used to further their philanthropic work or their education.

Teens must be U.S. residents, 13-19, and self-identify as Jewish. They may nominate themselves, or be nominated by teachers, community leaders, rabbis, but not family members.

Go to www.jewishfed.org/diller/teenawards, call 415-512-6437, email dillerteenaward@sfjcf.org.

Ayers Elementary gift, craft fair set

Gift items and holiday decorations will be available for sale from more than 25 vendors at Ayers Elementary School's Holiday Gift and Craft Fair.

The sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the school, 5120 Myrtle Drive, Concord. Admission is free.

Proceeds from raffles and refreshment sales will benefit Ayers classrooms. Call 925-682-7686.

Holiday boutique at Highlands Elementary

Highlands Elementary School will host a holiday boutique from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6, at the school, 1326 Pennsylvania Blvd., in Concord.

All proceeds will support school programs. Seller tables are $25. Space is limited. For information, call Erin James at 415-640-1021.

High school students can 'Direct Change'

Student filmmakers throughout California are invited to "Direct Change" by submitting videos for a statewide contest to prevent suicide and change minds about mental illness.

The contest is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.

These initiatives are funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority, an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Contest requirements:

  • Open to high school students in California

  • Asks students to develop a 60-second public service announcement about suicide prevention or eliminating mental illness stigma during the 2012-2013 school year

  • Awards the winning team and associated school a $1,000 cash prize

  • Enters each school into a drawing for a free suicide prevention program

  • Recognizes students and schools at an award ceremony in Sacramento at the end of the school year.

    Students can download an entry form at www.DirectingChange.org before submitting their PSA. For each Intent to Direct form that is submitted, the student's school is entered for a chance to win a suicide prevention program.

    Entry deadline is midnight March 1.

    For information or questions, email jana@directingchange.org.

    DVC looks for hosts for international students

    The International Education Center at Diablo Valley is looking for families to host international students on a temporary basis while they improve their English skills (all students already speak basic English).

    Long-or short-term placements are available.

    Host families are paid a monthly stipend of $825 per student.

    Requirements include providing two meals per day (three meals on weekends) and a private bedroom for the student; being involved in the student's life and treating them as a family member.

    Single adults with or without children, and couples with or without children are welcome to participate.

    Families may also host multiple students, as long as they can provide the appropriate accommodations.

    For information, contact Fia Parker at 925-876-0080, or email fparker@dvc.edu.

    Families sought to host exchange students

    Host families are needed for incoming foreign exchange high school students. Students are 15-18 years old, are English-speaking, have their own spending money and carry health insurance.

    Families can consist of a single parent, a childless couple or a retired couple.

    Host families are eligible to claim a monthly charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month they host a sponsored student.

    Families interested in learning more about the program or to arrange for a meeting with a community representative, can call Pacific Intercultural Exchange at 866-546-1402.

    Items included on a space-available basis; not all submissions published. Email schoolscene@bayareanewsgroup.com or fax 925-943-8362.