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Free Internet & tech session aboard bus
Maggie and Joleen Schoell can’t help but smile while learning how to navigate digital cameras during a hands-on session with Best Buy staffers on the Give Every Child a Chance Technology Outreach Program bus Tuesday morning. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
A collaboration between Manteca’s non-profit tutoring agency and its largest electronics retailer is making it easy for both kids and adults to polish their technological skills.

The Give Every Child a Chance Technology Outreach Program bus – which travels around to various sites to teach students about how to incorporate technology into their education and their studies – will be moored in the Best Buy parking lot today and Thursday to provide mini-seminars on everything from basic computer operations to networking.

And while sign-ups are required to attend the sessions, spots are still available for the three daily sessions that are offered.

Experts from Best Buy will be on hand to help lead a basic computer class from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., a brush-up on social networking for adults from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., and a kid’s camera camp from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both today and Thursday.

“I think it’s something that I’m going to sign-up for and come back to later this week,” said John Ratner who stopped in the Best Buy parking lot to check out the large bus that dwarfed the cars parked around it. “Everybody today seems to be on sites like facebook, and I don’t know a whole lot about it, so if I can learn about how to get plugged into it maybe I can figure out how to get in touch with some of my old classmates.”

On Tuesday afternoon, sisters Joleen and Maggie Schoell each had their own Best Buy tutor to show them the ins and outs of today’s digital cameras – giving the girls the opportunity to take pictures of things outside of the bus and then teaching them how to navigate through the menus to zoom in, lock or delete the photos that they’ve taken.

According to on-site Give Every Child a Chance staffer Kristina Van De Pol, the response from the people who have signed-up so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“People seem to enjoy it because it’s free and they get the chance to learn things that they didn’t know before,” Van De Pol said. “This morning they got to take apart a computer tower and learn about the parts inside.

“We even had a couple of adults that have done it in the past and liked it so much that they came back.”

For additional information, or to sign up for one of the available sessions, contact GECAC at (209) 825-7003.