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Kids learn & play every Friday night

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Prabhnoor Kaur goes for her personal Hula Hoop record during last Friday’s opening evening at the FUN Club.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED June 13, 2014 1:34 a.m.

The Friday Unity Night in the Neighborhood (FUN) Club is again providing the youth with a safe haven on Friday nights this summer.

It runs through the end of August at 602 E. Yosemite Ave. on Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The second session is tonight. The program is designed for youth 6 to 17 years of age.

It was launched seven years ago by the congregation of the Southside Christian Church in response to a community challenge issued by Manteca Police to find ways to provide youth with healthy and safe alternatives to combat gangs.

The Rev. Dr. Quincyetta McClain, founder and CEO of the FUN Club and pastor of the Southside Christian Church, opened the summer program last week with a memorial tribute to Zachariah Gomez, a former 14-year-old FUN Club student who was recently killed by a distracted driver.

The program functions like a mini Boys & Girls Club.  It is driven by three primary themes: 

• June is Health Education and Awareness Month “You Are What You Eat, Drink, and Think”.  

• July is Empowerment Month: “Say No to Gangs, Drugs, Crime, Alcohol, Tobacco, Bullying, and Soda”.  

• August is Back to School Month: “Be Cool Stay in School, You Must be a High School Graduate”.  

There are clinical initiatives are to help combat and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.  

“All of these awful chronic diseases are plaguing the community, and affecting our young people at an earlier age.  The FUN Club Program’s goals are to provide free access to health education, physical fitness activities, and healthy eating,” McClain said.

The FUN Club this year has added a medical director, Career Center, and a spinning wheels bicycle room for the older students.  

The building includes a Health & Wellness Center to track students’ height, weight, body mass index, and activity and nutritional levels. 

Weekly activities include basketball, jump rope, hula hoop, and bounce house, pool table, ping pong, foosball, air hockey, table games, art and crafts. The electronic game offerings include Play Station rock band section.  

The first hour each Friday is an educational program.  The students hear from a wide variety of great guest speakers from many professionals and experts in the community. Included are the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Manteca Police, Valley Oak Dental, and many others. The second hour is dedicated to a dining and nutritional experience. Students enjoy watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, grapes, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery, and pizza from Little Caesar’s. The third hour students engage various activities of their choosing. The program goals are to connect young people with community resources, involve them in good clean fun, and provide a local place in their neighborhood that they can call “their own”.  

 “We want to help prepare our young people to live long, live healthy, and live free from gangs, drugs, and crime,” McClain said. “ We can only do this by the community coming together for a common cause. “ 

The program is free of charge.  Registration is required, and students must receive their parent’s permission to attend.  Volunteers support the program for supervision and to reinforce program themes.  Volunteers must be 16 years old and older.  

The FUN Club Program of Manteca, Inc. is a Nonprofit 501(c)3 Public Benefits Organization.  Donations are tax exempt according to IRS regulations. For more information contact McClain, by calling or texting 209.275.2154, or by email at, or visit their website at:  Donations of any amount, which are very much needed, and can be mailed to: FUN Club Program of Manteca, Inc., P.O. Box 2371, Manteca, CA, 95336.

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