MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Students, families and volunteers gathered for the 2nd annual Hoops-N-Dreams Jamboree at the Goettge Memorial Field House aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 14.
The event is designed to bring children together and teach them the importance of acceptance and teamwork, both in the classroom and on the basketball court.
During the jamboree, participants gathered to honor community members who mean the most to them.
Shiana Barbosa founded the local Hoops-N-Dreams Program in 2012 to encourage teamwork and student success through basketball and mentorship with the assistance of service members and community leaders.
Barbosa, a medically retired Marine, uses the program with hopes of bringing the community together.
“The jamboree is meant to be fun,” said Barbosa. “We get to watch these children come together and work as a unit. When I medically retired from the Marine Corps, I had several people who were there for me and mentored me through that tough time. I’d like to see the same mentoring happen for all of these children, especially those with disabilities.”
Barbosa hopes the program is something all children can turn to.
“My son has a disability,” said Donna Lambrecht, parent of a participant. “Children with disabilities aren’t usually accepted in sports teams and seeing him be a part of this team means a lot to both him and I. He looks forward to it every week, and so do I. Hoops-N-Dreams has done a wonderful job with the children.”
During the event, children played two basketball games and participated in family friendly events, like basketball shoot-outs and family feuds after the games.
“All children can learn,” said Emilio Garza, the principal of Brewster Middle School. “Hoops-N-Dreams is proof that we have many special needs students, but they’re learning. They’re demonstrating the capability to learn, and it’s important for the other students to see that these children can be part of a team.”
During the jamboree, participants also recognized community members who have served
Isaiah Iglesias, a participant of the event, read a letter about his stepfather, who is currently deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162.
“Reading the letter was very important to Isaiah, because he wanted to express how much he loves and misses his step-father,” said Sarah Moore, Isaiah’s mother. “This program has been such an influential experience that he jumped at the opportunity to honor his step-father in hopes that he would be home in time to see it.”
For more information about Brewster Middle School and Bitz Intermediate School Hoops-N-Dreams, call 904-318-3705.
Find us on Google + (http://gplus.to/camp.lejeune)
Follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/camp_lejeune)
Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/camp.lejeune)