Article & Images by Alex Villella, founder of Shooting Stars
I wanted to start the Shooting Stars Program since I was in 6th, but my dad said I was too young. What made me think of starting the Shooting Stats is when I played basketball and softball for Deep Run Valley Sports Association. Their softball teams have a program called Everybody Hits which was for kids with Special Needs and I knew there was nothing in the area for basketball. We finally started the program when I was a junior in High School (Pennridge). The program is now in its 4th year.
My Parents were very supportive and thought it was a great idea. It always made me smile seeing those kids get a chance at something that others might not give them. No matter how hard their life may be, not one day did I see any one of the kids not smiling. All they care about is playing and doing something that makes them happy and that’s good enough for me. I was so proud watching them grow each time I saw them and I was proud of my teammates for making them feel like just another kid.
I would like to continue with the shooting stars in the future, hopefully graduate from college and have a full time job and at night still get to walk into the gym and see a set of all new faces ready to play. This program is really important to me and I would love for it to continue.
The Deep Run Shooting Stars basketball program was designed for Special Needs children/teens in the Pennridge School District. The program will provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants. It will provide an opportunity to participate in a recreational program and experience an atmosphere where the emphasis is on building friendships, confidence and self-esteem. The program was developed in conjunction with the Pennridge High School Girls Basketball Team, with the players serving as the program instructors.
The goal of the program is to introduce the fun of playing basketball and to give everyone a chance to play regardless of their abilities. It is a skill based learning program tailored to individual abilities. Each child will be paired with a buddy.
The program is open to children/teens in the Pennridge School District between the ages of 6 – 16. Children outside of Pennridge will be eligible to participate if space is available. All sessions will be held at the Pennridge High School White Gym.
For more information or questions, please contact Alexandra Villella at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.