STARS Shine In Holiday Show; Children Perform For CommunityQueens Chronicle
Thursday, January 3rd, 2002
by Christine Ford, Chronicle Correspondent
Members of Striving To Achieve & Reach Success of Howard Beach recently presented their holiday show at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in Ozone Park.
Each year the STARS youth center, a non-profit youth organization servicing Howard Beach, Ozone Park and the surrounding areas, has an annual holiday show to allow the community to see what the group is all about.
The performance included cheerleading, drama and vocal productions, creative movement, the Esteem Performance Team and various styles of dance, such as hip hop, modern, theatrical and lyrical. For many of the children, it was their first time performing on stage.
The cheerleaders opened the show with their "Hello" cheer and proceeded with a few others.
The audience sang along as the theatrical class danced to "Santa Baby" and the hip hop class performed to a holiday song by Destiny's Child.
The vocal class sang a Chanukah song as some children lit a menorah. They also sang "Once Upon a December" while the creative movement class of 3- and 4-year-olds, danced.
The Esteem Performance Team ended the show with "S.T.A.R.S Christmas." The Esteem Performance Team is the newest class at the youth center and combines singing, dancing and acting while offering messages of value to youth.
This performance was about giving, whether helping an elderly person cross the street, giving blood or donating to a local charity.
Marylou Teri, the hip hop teacher at the STARS youth center, was both nervous and excited. She said the kids knew the routines and they would do fine, but "you can't help but be nervous before a performance."
Teri said the children worked hard at each practice and they were very proud of themselves.
"It was a lot of hard work and concentration," Teri said. "But when I saw their smiling faces and their parents' faces swell with pride, it was all worth it."
The drama class did a winter rendition of "The Emperor's New Clothes," with "Jane Frost" in the title role.
"It turned out to be a cute performance," Sara Kaye, one of the drama instructors, said. "The kids tried their best and it came out looking great. I was very proud of them."
This was a special year for STARS because Joseph Addabbo Jr., who is vice president, became City Councilman for District 32. He resigned from the organization's board of directors.
The existing board will nominate and elect a new vice president but it will still be lacking members. One requirement for membership is that the nominee must reside or work in Howard Beach, Ozone Park or the surrounding areas.
Those interested in volunteering time may contact Frances Scarantino at the Youth Center at 845-6956 for more details, or visit STARS's Web site at, www.starsyouthcenter.com.
The youth center, located on Colman Square, across from the Howard Beach train station, has been closed for the holiday season and will reopen on Monday, January 7th. The performance classes will be preparing for the spring showcase.© Queens Chronicle - South Edition 2002