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The Starz Story

     As a middle school teacher, I taught about 150 students per day and saw over one thousand students per day engage in activities in and out of the gym.  I soon began to notice a strong correlation between students who did not engage in recreational activities compared to those students who were actively participating in athletics. I began to realize when students had a foundation or aptitude for sports and athletics, they had higher self-esteem, better friend relationships, and performed better academically in school. I made a mental note of these observations.  A few months later, I took my then, four-year -old son Vinny and his friend we will call “Bobby” to the park. I grabbed some t-ball equipment and off we went. Vinny grabbed the bat and hit a home run! His friend Bobby, who was also four, was next to hit. Bobby could not hold the bat properly, much less figure out where to stand at the plate. I could visibly see this child’s dejection and lack of confidence. There was definitely a cloak of sadness that came over him. I knew in his mind he was thinking how come Vinny could hit a homerun but he couldn’t. I sprang into action. I quickly stepped in and said, “Here Bobby, let me show you.”  After giving him instruction and practice in t-ball basic skills, he too was hitting the ball! The beam that was coming off of this young child was strong! He was glowing with pride and had a sense of joy and accomplishment! It was then I knew we needed to teach young children  the fundamentals of sports at an early age.   Doing so sets their self-esteem on the right path, and self-esteem leads to success in so many facets of life. I realized children needed early intervention, small group instruction, and in that moment, STARZ was Born! 

Sophia Wastler

Starz Program Founder

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