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Spring break at YMCA

School is out. The YMCA is in.

As students look for activities to fill their spring break away from school, the Claude C. Brown YMCA is making sure to keep them busy.

Playing basketball is a nice diversion from the homework Daruis Shaw, an eighth-grader at CHAT Academy, needs to do.

“I’ll do a little studying because we’ve got some tests coming up when we get back from school,” Shaw said.

Between his studying this week, he will also catch up on sleep.

Shaw and Quedarious James, a ninth-grader at Selma High School, also visited the YMCA Tuesday to attend a session of TEAM mentoring.

This program brings adults in the community to mentor young men. It is an initiative of District Judge Bob Armstrong, the Children’s Policy Council and the YMCA.

“It’s still important even though we’re out of school,” James said.

Classes are each Wednesday. Students attended Tuesday to make up for a missed session.

Sitting in the stands, cousins Quontavous Thompson, a second-grader at Payne Elementary, and Darius Thompson, a fifth-grader at Clark Elementary, talked and watched others play basketball.

Quontavous likes spending time at the YMCA because he enjoys playing basketball and seeing his friends.

“It’s fun because some of the people make you laugh,” Quontavous said.

But Darius finds that time away from school is the best part of this week.

“We don’t have to do a lot of work and homework,” Darius said.

He may also go on a vacation with his family, although he does not know where. Until then, he will spend time at home playing videogames or at the YMCA.

Xavia Smith, a seventh grade student at CHAT Academy, spent the afternoon making and teaching how to create key chains with plastic string.

“I watched my sister do it,” Xavia said. “She’s learned it from one of her friends at school.”

Along with the other girls making key chains, she also helped to prepare for Kids Café. “The girls are going to help out with the cooking,” said Brown YMCA program director Sonya Ross.

The program has existed for six months. Students are given dinner once a week, a meal provided by the Selma Area Food Bank and Calhoun foods.

About 85 to 100 students were expected to attend Tuesday.

“I’m just happy to be out of school,” Xavia said.