The Port Covington Development Team and the South Baltimore Seven (SB7) Coalition partnered with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation to host the first Walk to School Day event at Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School on March 7.
Part of the TARGET 180 campaign, Walk to School Days join community members with students for a walk around the school to celebrate students’ attendance and get them excited about being at school.
Event organizer Alexandra Mills, of the Port Covington Development Team, said, “Across Baltimore City, schools are struggling to maintain high student attendance in the winter months. The goal of the TARGET 180 campaign is to build a shared culture of attendance in which whole communities invest in getting students to school every day. Through incentives, events, and community outreach, we are working to create spaces where our students feel special and want to be. While it was cold, snowing and dark outside, we definitely brought the sunshine to the children in Cherry Hill that morning!”
Maryland State Delegates Lewis and Brooke Lierman of District 46 were in attendance to cheer on the students as they entered the school. Representatives from the City Council including Councilman Edward Reisinger also attended in support of the students.
Assistant Principal Lenora Taylor said, “It means so much to not only myself, but to Principal Tracy Garrett and to our school to have this TARGET 180 initiative happening here. We just want our students to come to school every day and this event encourages them to come – and most importantly, to come to school safely. We are grateful to everyone that’s working together to ensure that our students can come to school safely and learn at a high level.”
After a “razzle dazzle” welcome to the school by student cheerleaders fit with pom-poms, high-fives and balloons, each student made their way to the auditorium to receive a warm, knitted hat donated by the Baltimore Orioles as a gift. After a short pep rally, the students made their way through the hallways of the school parading toward the cafeteria where breakfast was served.