Friday, February 25, 2022
Jennifer Franciotti, WBAL
Students at a West Baltimore school received new shoes thanks to a volunteer event that brought out some familiar faces.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament is more than about basketball, it’s about giving back to the community.
The scene was staged Friday at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School to help students take a step in the right direction with a brand new pair of shoes.
Volunteers from WBAL-TV and WBAL NewsRadio joined other community members, Samaritans Feet International and the CIAA to donate new shoes and a pair of socks to every student in the school.
“Now I’m going to suggest you get up and walk around to make sure they’re the right size,” 11 News anchor Stan Stovall told a student.
“They’re really comfortable and soft. It feels good to walk around in them because it’s really important to me to have the right kind of shoes because in class we walk around, we walk around a lot. So, it’s really important for the shoes to be comfortable,” said student Jacia Bass.
“(It) affects your overall health, your confidence in the classroom, your social awareness and your comfort. So we think it’s great that kids can feel comfortable and strong,” said Katie Meyers, head national programs at Samaritans Feet. International.
“We have a lot of student-athletes who come from schools in an area like this. So just showing them how to give back is the main thing. It’s not about you at the end of the day. It’s about helping other people,” said Kisha Middleton, assistant director of athletics at the University of Lincoln, who is in town for the CIAA basketball tournament.
It is also about connecting one to one. It’s what Stovall says he enjoys the most when it comes to getting out in the community.
“(It’s about) being a positive role model for kids, being able to spend time with them, talking with them, finding out what their goals and dreams are, helping them share those goals and dreams with them and encouraging them to be whatever they want to be,” Stovall said.
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