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Price, offerings luring new members

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Price, offerings luring new members

Club members find a spot to watch a cartoon in the game room at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club at 545 W. Alameda Ave.

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POSTED June 26, 2017 2:01 a.m.

The Manteca-Lathrop Boys & Girls Club is enjoying a surge in first-time membership.

A stepped up outreach effort has brought families by the clubhouse at 545 W. Alameda St. in Manteca that have recently moved to the community.

“They look around and see all of the activity that is going on and what’s offered and can’t believe the cost,” said Mark McCool who serves as the program director for the club that serves youth 6 to 17 years of age.

The price of $60 a year comes down to $1.15 a week. 

Membership had taken a slight hit when the club raised it rates for the first time in close to a decade from $24 a year to $60 to address new minimum wage law requirements.

McCool said some families that have children going to the club for years initially balked but have been slowly coming back.

The increased fees did not impact youth from low-income families that qualified for free scholarships.

The fee covers all offerings including karate lessons from longtime instructor Robin Taberna twice a week.

The club offers homework assistance, computers for doing school work, and various character building programs. It also offers a variety of recreation games, dance classes, sports leagues, arts classes, or simply a safe place to spend time with friends.

Upcoming special events include water day this Wednesday — think water balloon toss —teen college trips, teen water day on July 6, Manteca Rotary serving breakfast on July 6, STEM Camp July 10-20, staff versus members dodgeball on July 12, National Hot Dog Month BBQ on July 14, watermelon eating contest on July 19, STEM Fair on July 21, and talent show on July 26.

There is also a teens only open gym time daily at 2 p.m. 

The club has stepped up its homework assistance and tutoring by securing volunteers with specific expertise in various subjects. Kids hit the computer lab to tackle school work before joining in other club activities that run the gamut from sports and arts to table games or just hanging around with friends.

The club works closely with members’ teachers and parents. They often have a representative at parent-teacher conferences so they can dial in on exactly what help a student needs. And in cases where there are single parent households and the parent can’t get off work, club volunteers will step in to meet with teachers.

Among the popular programs are the teen room, flag football in the fall, basketball in the winter, year-round karate lessons offered by Robin Taberna, and free music lessons conducted by GK Music.

During the summer, the club provides free breakfast and lunch to all kids — members and non-members — up to age 18. Breakfast is served 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch 12:30 to 12:50 p.m. in the club’s parking lot.

The club is closed Saturdays and Sundays. It is also closed July 4.

It will be closed the first week of school — Aug. 7-11 — for extensive cleaning and maintenance It reopens for school year hours that are 3:30 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 14.

For more information, call the club at 239-KIDS.

 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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