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, students who did not do well academically, and students who consistently got in trouble more than 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 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