Fill your summer with fun


Provided by Steve Sheridan

Participants of the SSPA act out a scene together.

James Farley, Staff Writer

Whether you are interested in acting, playing basketball, or discovering the journalism world, this summer, Westford Academy organizations are offering a variety of programs of your interest.

Summer School of the Performing Arts:

This summer, Westford Academy Theater Arts is holding their annual summer program, the Summer School of the Performing Arts (SSPA).  The program is open to students from third to eleventh grade, giving them the chance to be in the spotlight on stage or behind the scenes.  

The SSPA will be held for six weeks, lasting from Tuesday, July 6, to Saturday, August 14, here at WA.  Towers, along with theater professionals, will collaborate in offering their participants a beneficial experience. 

“[The program is] not just for performers, but for designers, technicians, and people who like to build and collaborate [with each other],” WATA teacher and Artistic Director of the SSPA Michael Towers said.

The camp will take place outdoors due to COVID-19, but Towers is confident the program can handle the challenge. 

“We will be heavily relying on outdoor performance venues,” Towers said.  “[However], it is not new to us; for years, we have been performing outdoors in site specific locations around the campus.”

While the circumstances are different from the past, the SSPA will provide their students a safe, welcoming, and educational environment this summer.

“[Our program] gives these children a place where they can be safe while thriving,” Towers said.  “Being able to see our students grow is an incredible thing to watch, it is absolutely priceless.”

WA Basketball Camp:

Improving your basketball skills is another option this summer, thanks to the WA Basketball summer camp.  The camp runs from June 22 to June 24, and then from June 28 to June 30, for a total of six days.  The girls camp takes place on the outdoor courts at Blanchard Middle School, and the boys camp is held at the Stony Brook Middle School outdoor courts.  Students from second grade to ninth grade are welcome to join the program. 

Players will practice several drills throughout the camp with the instruction of seniors from the basketball teams, helping them to develop skills for game-type situations.  

“Our clinic is very good because people know their kids are going to be taught something but also have a really good time,” WA Girls Varsity Basketball coach and head of the camp Russell Coward said.  “They [have a chance to] become better players.”

While participants will be growing as players throughout the summer camp, having a good time is another major aspect of this program.

“One of my favorite [parts of the camp] is the $20 half court shot,” Coward said.  “Everybody goes crazy when someone hits it. It is a lot of fun.”

The WA Ghostwriter Camp:

The WA student newspaper, The Ghostwriter, is offering their summer camp this year from August 23 to August 27.  On these days from 9 A.M.-12 P.M., participants will receive direct instruction here at WA.  

Last year the club was held virtually, but camp coordinator Keertana Gangireddy is looking forward to the in-person interactions coming this summer.

“We will be able to interact and get to know everyone much better than last year, when we conducted the camp online,” Gangireddy said.  “Our campers will also get to experience our newsroom, and interact with WA’s environment before they are high schoolers.”

Westford middle school students and rising freshmen are welcome at this week-long summer camp, providing them an opportunity to meet new people while grasping a diversity of journalism concepts.  Learning many different articles, graphic design, and videography techniques will all be headlines of the program.

Editors of The Ghostwriter will be mentoring the students, with Gangireddy leading the way in introducing the world of journalism.

“Whether it be through writing news articles or taking pictures, [our goal is to have participants] fall in love with journalism,” Gangireddy said.