News: Student program honors members, volunteers
Story by Cpl. Charles Clark
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - More than 200 base residents and guests attended the Hoops-N-Dreams program recognition and achievement banquet at Brewster Middle School gymnasium and cafeteria aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune May 17.
“The day of recognition was not only for the children, but for everyone,” said Shiana K. Barbosa, a Brewster Middle School teacher and Hoops-N-Dreams founder.
The Hoops-N-Dreams program set out to offer extracurricular activities during the calendar school year, between August and June.
The program’s beginnings sprouted from a need to provide mentorship to the Camp Lejeune students and youth.
The mentorship, now readily available to the children, comes from active-duty service members, teachers and other volunteers.
The inclusive program welcomes children from all backgrounds, also serving those with special needs.
“Hoops-N-Dreams is not a recess program, but a structured environment promoting education and social skills. Students are educated in their studies, character, as well as basketball skills,” said Barbosa.
The banquet was filled with Hoops-N-Dreams volunteers, participants, supportive community members and appreciative families.
The attendees also included top faculty members of the Department of Defense Education Activity and various MCB Camp Lejeune unit commanders.
“The ceremony brought the community of supporters and participants together to receive honor and recognition for their support and involvement,” said Barbosa.
More than 70 students from Bitz Intermediate School and Brewster Middle School received awards and medals during the ceremony, recognizing their participation in Hoops-N-Dreams.
“All students are team members,” said Barbosa. “They are all treated with equal respect and dignity as viable members of the team. They have to learn to work together to achieve success.”
The coaches, who also served as mentors for the children, received awards as well.
More than 50 volunteers made up the coaches corps, but most received orders to new duty stations, couldn’t continue coaching due to training, or their service ended.
In addition to the program’s own mission, Hoops-N-Dreams encourages students’ involvement in other programs.
This year, the program saw members join athletic teams at both school and base levels, as well as within the community.
As the banquet came to a close, Hoops-N-Dreams also came to the close of its season, but the program is schedule to resume at the start of the fall semester.
To sign your child up for the program, volunteer or receive more information, call Shiana K. Barbosa 451-2561 or email the Brewster Middle School principal through the school’s webpage at www.am.dodea.edu/lejeune/bms.