BALTIMORE — As the Baltimore International Academy prepares to bring more students back in the building, one of their 5th graders is trying to help as much as possible.
Sha'Miyae Hinton-Knight is collecting school supplies, masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for the students and teachers. She's also collecting monetary donations which she'll turn into the supplies for her school and a few others in the area. She decided to do this because she always loves to give back to her community.
She started her own charity, Gifted Hearts, when she was eight-year-old and now she's the 2021 International United Miss Maryland Preteen.
"I really appreciate the work because as a teacher in the school building we see that a lot I children are in need of things she’s collecting and donating so it’s really refreshing and inspiring coming from one of my students that she’s helping a lot of the other students," said Shebrae Dixon, one of Sha'Miyae's teachers.
She explained how this is important especially now because of the pandemic. Fourth and fifth graders are coming back into the classroom after an entire year of virtual learning.
"Parents may have lost jobs or students may be displaced so it’s refreshing that they can come into the school building and get the things that they need without having to go search somewhere else and having it readily available when they get back in the school building," said Dixon.
The donation of supplies helps the students and the school in general. Baltimore International is a public charter school and with such a unique program, being the only language immersion school in the city, they have more expenses.
"Baltimore City does support us but we have to supplement what they're doing because of us being a public charter school," said Jasimon Boyd-White, the Community Engagement Coordinator.
The school principal, Elena Lokounia, explained how they're responsible to provide all the resources necessary for the school community. During the pandemic, they had to supply a lot more technology.
The resources they supply their students are crucial for their success. They believe Sha'Miyae is excelling there.
"That's a true caring attitude that she’s taking from the school as taking into the community with it," said Jules Mbami, one of her teachers.
Sha'Miyae is collecting donations for the next few weeks and will drop off the donations at the end of April.
If you'd like to help, call or text 667-207-4722. She's also starting to get other young people involved in her mission to give back. She has a zoom call scheduled for May 15th with another queen in the community.
Sha'Miyae was also recently recognized for her accomplishments by Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott.