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Boys & Girls open with COVID-19 protocols in place
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Novina Monroe, who is a fifth grader at Joshua Cowell Elementary School, gets help with her studies from Boys & Girls Clubs Education Coordinator Stephanie Zamora.

It was a refreshing vibe in the air at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca last Friday.

For one, it was Fun Friday for youngsters age 6 and up.

"They got to make their own slime," said Program Director Loretta Huerta.

It's been a tough go during the past six months for the local Boys & Girls Clubs.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many of the procedures, with safety being first and foremost.

There's a limit of club members allowed per day. "Our limit is 24 but the most we've had in one day was about 22 to 23," said Huerta, who has been involved at the Manteca club since 2016.

Each person entering must comply with the coronavirus safety protocols.

Everyone must wear a mask at all times at the facility located at 545 W. Alameda St.

Front office personnel are required to do a temperature reading on each person at the entrance.

Members and guests, who must social distance during their stay, are also directed to wash and sanitize their hands. Likewise for any equipment used during club activity.

No more six are allowed in the Teen Room. The ratio in the Kids Room is eight youngsters per one adult or 16 per two adults, according to Huerta.

Families can pick two days out of the week to book their youngsters here.

Basketball games are prohibited. But members can play shoot-around, knockout or Horse. On this day, they used the outdoor courts to shoot buckets.

All doors are open throughout the premises to allow for air circulation.

The Boys & Girls Clubs were closed for several days due to poor air quality caused by the recent wildfires.

"We finally reopened yesterday." Huerta said.

The Boys & Girls Clubs has been a refreshing getaway for many of the young members during tough times of staying at home away from school while having a second go at distance learning.

"We have kids who will walk to a place where they can interact with others and enjoy themselves," said Huerta.

She added: "The biggest thing (about distance learning) for kids is homework."

The Boys & Girls Clubs offer assistance via the Education Program.

Stephanie Zamora, who is the Education Coordinator for the past year, has two high school volunteers help her with students seeking assistance in their studies.

"We can give them one-on-one tutoring or help them with any computer problems (needed for distance learning," said Zamora, who is a 2017 graduate of Manteca High.

She recently finished up at a junior college and is looking to transfer to Stanislaus State to major in Psychology.

For now, she's enjoying her work in helping out youngsters. "I really love my job," Zamora said.

More information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca can be obtained by logging on to