By DENNIS WYATT
The names read as an honor roll of sorts for individuals families, service clubs, and businesses that have been active supporters of Manteca’s youth over the years.
Walk to the front entrance of the Manteca Boys & Girls Club at 545 W. Alameda St, and you’ll walk across names such as Antone Raymus, Sunrise Kiwanis, Doctors Hospital of Manteca and others. The latest to be added include Rick Wentworth and Family, Dell’Osso Farms, River Islands at Lathrop, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Carol Davis, as well as Larry and Arleen Sevor among others.
The club that serves more than 1,500 youth is getting ready to expand the Path to the Future again in order to help fund programs that help keep teens and younger kids off the street by providing a safe environment with numerous endeavors to help them grow from homework assistance and sports leagues, to a games room and art classes.
Small Path to the Future spaces are $1,500, medium spaces are $3,000 and large spaces are $6,000.
Space is limited with the more higher profile locations along the sidewalk to the main parking lot in front of the club expected to go first.
The Boys & Girls Club has been relying on community support for 39 years to provide a safe haven for kids.
That support has turned out endless success stories.
uHundreds of youth with the club’s homework assistance effort and life skills programs have become the first in their families to go onto college.
uCountless youth have stayed out of trouble after school and in the summer by accessing the club’s offerings.
uYouth from single parent families have benefitted from mentoring.
The club that serves youth 6 to 17 years of age has an annual membership fee for families that can afford it of $60 a year comes or $1.15 a week. Those that cannot are able to attend thanks to scholarships funded in part by annual donations by such groups as the Sunrise Kiwanis, Soroptimists of Manteca, and Manteca Rotary. The $60 fee does not cover the cost of providing programs that come to a per member cost of $240 a year. The balance is covered by donations, fundraisers, and private sector grants hence the Path to the Future campaign.
The $60 fee covers all offerings including karate lessons from longtime instructor Robin Taberna twice a week.
The club offers homework assistance, computers for doing school work, and various character building programs. It also offers a variety of recreation games, dance classes, sports leagues, arts classes, or simply a safe place to spend time with friends.
The club has stepped up its homework assistance and tutoring by securing volunteers with specific expertise in various subjects. Kids hit the computer lab to tackle school work before joining in other club activities that run the gamut from sports and arts to table games or just hanging around with friends.
The club works closely with members’ teachers and parents. They often have a representative at parent-teacher conferences so they can dial in on exactly what help a student needs. And in cases where there are single parent households and the parent can’t get off work, club volunteers will step in to meet with teachers.
Among the popular programs are the teen room, flag football in the fall, basketball in the winter, year-round karate lessons offered by Robin Taberna, and free music lessons.
During the summer, the club provides free breakfast and lunch to all kids — members and non-members — up to age 18.
For more information, call the club at 239-KIDS.