Green Pond Bible Chapel is currently registering boys and girls in Kindergarten through eighth grade for the upcoming 2005-2006 season of Upward basketball. This is the third year the church has offered this national program in the community. Originally developed in 1986 by its current President, Caz McCaslin, Upward basketball was developed in an effort to promote and to develop character and self-esteem. This philosophy is an attempt to change the face of youth sports by focusing on the value of the individual child despite pressures associated with competition. Not only is the goal to instill values and confidence in each player, but for participants to learn individual and team skills while having fun. Last year, the 270 players participated and over 1,000 people attended the closing ceremony in Green Pond Bible Chapel. More than 75 percent of the kids and their families were from the community and did not attend church services at Green Pond. Program Director, Lou Benfatti, stated that "This was a tremendous outreach for Green Pond Bible Chapel and we are very blessed to see the positive impact this unique basketball program has made on a lot of people. This program truly embraces the Upward basketball theme that every child is a winner." Teams are separated by gender, age and skill level to ensure each child is placed in the best spot to challenge, motivate and encourage them individually. Everyone in grades 1-8 must attend one evaluation located in the gym to ensure proper team placement. Evaluations will be held at the gym from 6 p.m - 8:30 p.m. as follows: Grade 1-4 on Thursday, October 27 and Grades 5 - 8 on Friday, October 28. Practices begin on Monday, November 28 and are held once a week. The early bird registration deadline is October 28 for discounted rates of $60 for the first child, $40 for the second and $130 maximum for more than two children per family. After October 28, the fee increases by $10 per child. Shorts, t-shirts, reversible jerseys, music cd, car magnet, magazine, individual award after each practice and end of season awards are all included in the registration fee. People can register in person at the church located at 1083 Green Pond Road, Rockaway Township, or mail in their checks along with names, addresses and phone numbers to Green Pond Bible Chapel, PO Box 99, Newfoundland, NJ 07435. For more information, call 973-697-0990, ext 27 or Program Director Lou Benfatti at 973-697-7034.