The Fellowship Baptist Church is the new home for the FUN Club of Manteca now in its 11th year of not only providing a safe summer haven for youth but providing them with a healthy dinner, a chance to make friends, and to learn skills needed to succeed in life.
The church at 1130 Pine Street two blocks off Cottage Avenue is hosting the Friday Unity Night in the Neighborhood (FUN) Club on Fridays from 4:30 to 9 p.m. through the end of August.
The free program is open to youth 6 to 17 who are registered by their parents.
There are numerous activities and games, a healthy meal served and programs aimed at empowering and educating youth. The FUN Club offers 12 sessions driven by three primary themes:
uJune is Health Education & Awareness Month, “You are what you eat, drink, and think.”
uJuly is Empowerment Month, “Say no to gangs, drugs, crime, alcohol, tobacco, bullying, and soda.”
uAugust is Back to School Month: “Be cool stay in school, you must be a high school graduate.”
The FUN Club offers clinical initiatives to help combat and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The program offers free access to health education, physical fitness activities, and healthy eating.
“Our main goals and purpose is to increase the overall health and well-being of our community and to live up to our slogan of ‘investing in our community one student at a time’,” said the Rev. Quincyetta McClain, founder and CEO of the FUN Club.
The new location at the Fellowship Baptist Church offers indoor space for the club’s health and wellness center, music center, arts and crafts center, game room, counseling room, career center, an auditorium for presentations, and a dining room. Outdoor activities include a bounce house, basketball, jump rope, Hula Hoop, ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and more. Special events will include a talent show, scholarship program, and the distribution of backpacks and school supplies.
There are also a wide variety of speakers from the community.
“For a while earlier this year, it was doubtful where we would hold the program,” McClain said. “But by the grace of God, we were able to strike an agreement with the pastor (at Fellowship Baptist Church), members and the board of directors. We are so thankful and we all feel very blessed to offer this program for our community at this location.”
The FUN Club was started by the Southside Christian Church congregation in response to the challenge Manteca Police issued to community and church groups over 10 years ago to help stem the growing influence of gangs in Manteca especially in the Southside Park neighborhood.
The church is located near the Southside Park neighborhood. Though most of the congregation does not live in the immediate vicinity, they felt they had an obligation to try and make a difference.
The object is to provide kids an alternative to the influence of gangs while at the same time steering them on a path to becoming responsible when they grow up. Manteca Police had expressed a desire to work with the community to reduce the potential for future gang members through such efforts that the church launched.
Last year, more than 200 youth had a safe haven to learn, play and be mentored thanks to the non-profit’s ability to rent the former Manteca News building at Yosemite and Fremont avenues. It marked a significant jump in attendance over the first five years as the congregation made do by temporarily converting their church at 314 Locust Ave. each week for the FUN club gatherings.
The FUN Club draws kids from throughout the community.
To contact McClain to ask about helping you can e-mail her at Q.firstname.lastname@example.org, call her at (209) 275-2154 or visit the website at www.funclubprogram.org . Donations that McClain said are very much needed and can be mailed to FUN Club Program of Manteca, P.O. Box 2371, Manteca, CA, 95366.
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