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Kids jump on high-tech bus at Mantecas Best Buy
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Emily Crutchfield, 8, takes aim with her Best Buy digital camera.

Josh Galvez is often kept busy during the summer months.

Thus far, the 9-year-old has spent time at his grandmother’s house in San Jose and visited Great America theme park in Santa Clara.

“My mom likes to sign me up for stuff to do during the summer,” the incoming fourth-grade student at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Stockton said on Monday.

Galvez and Emily Crutchfield, 8, of Manteca – she’s the granddaughter of Give Every Child A Chance’s Vice President Chuck Crutchfield, an active member of the community – took part in the free Technology Outreach Program offered by Manteca Best Buy and GECAC.

The two-hour sessions are offered, respectively, to senior citizens, youngsters and adults aboard the TOP bus in the Best Buy parking lot. Kristina Van Depol, GECAC’s TOP director, indicated that the earlier class for seniors – they, too,  learned about taking photos, editing, and downloading the image on to the laptop  on the first day of the three-week program offered Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – nearly took up all 10 computer stations inside the distinct white bus.

 Galvez and Crutchfield had plenty of elbow room during their early afternoon class, with Best Buy customer specialists Sean Carson and Cameron Bashaw offering basic instructions on how to operate a digital camera.

Galvez, who has an e-mail account, has plans of taking what he’s learned from the class to download and share photos with friends.
A portion of Crutchfield’s summer is spent at the local Boys & Girls Club. The incoming fourth-grade student at McParland School is taking the TOP class for fun.

“I also want to take pictures of my cousins and me,” she said.

According to Van Depol, photos taken by these youngsters will be displayed at the local Best Buy store.

The adult class, meanwhile, was scheduled to meet at 6 p.m.

The informative session was to cover the effective use of parental control along with the advantages and disadvantages of social networking via Face Book and MySpace.

Adults also received digital photography instructions.

For more information, call Van Depol at (209) 825-7003 or email