Boys and Girls’ Club kicks off summer session

Merced’s Boys & Girls Club has officially opened its summer session, offering a number of educational and recreational activities for children.

The summer program runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be open for enrollment until Aug. 1.

According to Denise Bates, office manager at the Boys & Girls Club, more than 80 children have enrolled in the nonprofit’s summer session. Children are placed in activity groups according to their age, Bates said. The program is open to children from the first grade to eighth grade.

The club has a computer lab, gym, teen center, arts and science room, game room and “junior room” for educational activities. Volunteers and staff organize field trips to local parks or skating rinks where children can engage in exercise, Bates explained.

“Instead of kids staying at home with nothing to do, they can come here,” she said. “From what I see, kids really do enjoy their time here. The first couple of days they may be a little shy, but as soon as they meet other children and make friends, they want to keep coming back.”

Children who attend summer session can also benefit by getting a head start in academics, as instructors aim to improve reading levels and review learned material.

“The goal is for children to leave this summer session as better readers,” Bates said.

To enroll in the program, parents must visit the club, 615 W. 15th St., and fill out a registration package. Parents can choose to pay weekly or several weeks at a time.

The cost for the daylong program is $75 per week. Families can opt to pay $40 a week for a half-day program. First-timers must pay a $20 registration fee.