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Mobile program part of GECAC offerings at Sequoia
Participants in the Give Every Child a Chance summer camp at Sequoia School touch an African Leopard Tortoise during a Micke Grove Zoo mobile education program on Wednesday.

More than 100 youth in Manteca and Ripon are spending the first seven weeks of summer vacation at camps conducted by Give Every Child a Chance designed to enhance the learning experiences of participants.

And instead of simply hitting the books, lessons are being provided in ways that pique curiosity. 

Such was the case Wednesday when the Micke Grove Zoo program visited GECAC’s Manteca summer camp being conducted at Sequoia School.

Kids from kindergarten through eighth grade learned about animals, amphibians, birds, insects, and more by interacting with zoo educators who allowed hands on experience with furs of exotic animals that law enforcement recovered from poachers as well as being able to touch giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches to an African Leopard Tortoise.

Such summer camps — including one taking place at Ripon Elementary — are the legacy of the late Antone Raymus who founded the community-based tutoring program that has been an effective partner working with Manteca Unified and Ripon Unified educators as well as schools in nearby communities to help struggling students plus provide enrichment education.

In 2018 GECAC worked with 3,370 students ibn various programs in Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon and the Weston Ranch neighborhood in Stockton.

That included 764 students in the free one-on-one tutoring program where 75.5 percent of students showed a marked improvement in at least one subject.

The After School Advantage Program — designed as a safe, structured and fun after school program — is open to any student attending the school where the program is conducted meaning they do  not have to be struggling in school. Seventy-four percent of participants in 2018 showed improvement in at least one subject .

Weekly activities for the summer camps now in session through July 19 include academic assistance and refresher instruction, character building, outdoor activities, project based learning, Girl Scouts, health education classes, farmers markets, cooking classes, art, walking field trips, community presentations, reading challenge, education enrichment, and more. 

For more information on school year programs or to volunteer with the one-on-one tutoring program call the GECAC office at (209) 825-7003.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email