RISE Inc. offering youth programs for the 2022-23 school year

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The Gardening Club will give youth an opportunity to grow foods they can cook with in the Duel Fuel program. These programs are part of the RISE, Inc. youth programming for the 2022-23 school year. (Crystal Apilado/Winter Express)

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The Winters RISE, Inc. office is launching new after school programs to foster connectivity, homework help, and life skills to Winters youth.

Starting next week, RISE will begin its Girls and Boys Clubs for students at Winters Middle School.

Girls Club is exclusively for eighth grade girls and runs as a two-part session two days a week. The Girls Club program is on Mondays from 3–5 p.m. On Wednesdays, The Girls Club Homework Help sessions are from 1:30–3 p.m. Both sessions take place on the WMS campus.

Maira Galvan, RISE Youth Coordinator, said the Girls Club program gives eighth grade girls an opportunity to meet and connect others in their grade, provides a positive role model to help empower and uplift them, and on Wednesdays they receive homework help.

Galvan said the Girls Group focuses on their wellness and development as they get ready to transition into high school. Some of the activities include outings around town and the participants have opportunities to meet with high school seniors to learn tips and about their experiences in classes.

The Boys Club is for any boy in sixth through eighth grade to attend on Tuesdays from 3–5 p.m at the WMS campus.

Brandon Villegas, Mental Wellness Specialist, said the program’s mission is to provide an opportunity for boys to get together throughout the week, have fun activities, and be able to express themselves and be mindful in a safe space.

Boys Club attendees will also be able to receive social and emotional support on daily events, go out outings, and connect with others they may not regularly get to meet.

Boys Club starts on Tuesday, Sept. 6 and Girls Club starts on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The RISE Duel Fuel program is back for its second year. The program was launched last year to teach students how to cook with what they have in their pantries.

Duel Fuel is open to youth in fourth grade through high school and runs on Mondays from 3:30–5:30 p.m. at the Winters RISE Inc. office. The program launched on Monday.

“Duel fuel is providing kids the necessary opportunities to learn how to cook,” Villegas said.

Students learn how to use fresh produce and pantry items to create nutritious meals, as well as tips and techniques on how to cook and prepare a meal.

New this year is the Gardening Club which is open to kids in third grade through high school and runs on Wednesdays from 1:30–5:30 p.m. at the Winters RISE Inc. office.

Villegas said the Gardening Club is currently being developed through a partnership with the Winters Joint Unified School District. He is working with Cathy Olsen, Winters JUSD Food Services Director, 

“It (Gardening Club) was something I always wanted to do with the original Duel Fuel program,” Villegas said.

The goal is to have students learn how to grow fruits and vegetables in the garden plot outside of the RISE Inc. offices and then utilize them in the Duel Fuel program. Villegas encourages youth to participate in both Duel Fuel and Gardening Club for the full experience.

“I wanted to have students learn the basics of being self-sustainable. To take care of themselves so that when they’re on their own they have a good idea based on our programs on how to take care of themselves,” Villegas said.

The Gardening Club start date has yet to be determined, but will be released as soon as the program’s details are finalized.

Applications for all four programs are available at the Winters RISE office at 200 Baker St. Applications for the Girls and Boys Clubs are also available at the WMS office.

Villegas is accepting recipe book and cooking equipment donations  for Duel Fuel. Villegas said for the cooking equipment he is looking for camping cooking gear or mobile cookware.

To donate items, contact Villegas at brandon@riseinc.org or call 530-794-6000.

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