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Kids anxious to get back to school
Maliah Watson and Ricky Artery share a laugh while playing a game of foosball at the Boys and Girls Club on Friday. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/ The Bulletin
The lazy days of summer aren’t something that 12-year-old Ricky Artery is going to miss.

On his last weekday before the start of the Manteca Unified 2010-11 school year, Artery joked with friends at the Boys and Girls Club and talked openly about how excited he was about getting the chance to see some of the classmates he hasn’t talked to since school broke for the summer in late May.

While spending the days with new friends and playing games like bumper pool and foosball is something he says he’s going to miss, getting back into the routine of school has its strong points according to the middle-schooler.

“I’m looking forward to going back,” Artery said. “I’ve had a pretty good summer – getting to go places like Raging Waters and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But I miss my friends, and not even homework makes me not want to go back to school.”

And he wasn’t alone in his desire to fall back into a routine.

Fellow Boys and Girls Club member Maliah Watson – who will start her eighth grade year at Neil Hafley on Monday – also noted that she was looking forward to school and all of the challenges that come with it.

“I’ve had a good summer, but I miss my friends – there are a lot of people in my class that I haven’t seen since school got out,” said Watson – who credits going to the movies, swimming, and taking a trip to Monterey as the highlights of her summer. “I want to be on the honor roll for the entire year, and I’m ready to start working at that.”

Friday also marked the last day of normal operations for the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca before their annual fall improvement week. Shortly after closing at 6 p.m., contractors began the process of kicking off a multitude of projects that are only feasible when the building isn’t buzzing with kids on a daily basis.

But Friday also marked the beginning of the end of the summer for future McParland 8th grader Devin Burnett.

“This is really the first year that I’ve ever gone to the Boys and Girls Club, and I’ve had a lot of fun with the people here playing basketball and other games,” said Burnett. “But I think I’m ready to start school so I can get good grades and move on to high school.”