Friday, January 29, 2010

Collington Square Student Ta’Shawn Miles Meets President

On January 20th Ta'Shawn Miles, a 6th grader at BCP's Collington Square School of the Arts, had the experience of a life time. He visited the White House and met the President and First lady as part of a National Mentoring Month celebration.

Ta'Shawn participates in the Higher Achievement Program at Collington Square School, which provides mentoring in addition to an after-school academy, summer academy, and a high-school placement program for middle school children.

Sarah Pitcock, Director of Program Quality for the National Summer Learning Association, is Ta'Shawn's mentor. Below is a post from Ms. Pitcock about Ta'Shawn from the Higher Achivement Program Blog (

Memoirs of a Mentor - Shared by Sarah Pitcock, of Higher Achievement Baltimore

I have mentioned a few times my love for mentoring at Higher Achievement and for my mentees. They have really brought so much joy into my life in such a short time. I am very blessed to spend time each week with Ta’Shawn Miles, a sixth grader at Collington Square with hopes and dreams that far exceed the small radius of East Baltimore he knows.

Since the first day I met him, Ta’Shawn has been talking about President Barack Obama (he always calls him by his full title). Seeing an African American man become President has truly changed Ta’Shawn’s concept of what he can do with his life. He talks about him ALL the time!

When I went to mentoring on Tuesday, the Center Director told me that Ta’Shawn’s mom had picked him up early that day to go buy him a suit because he was going to the White House to represent Higher Achievement and United Way for a National Mentoring Month event the next day. I nearly fell over, and I’ve had chills ever since just thinking about what the experience would be like for him.

I wasn’t sure if the President would actually be there or if Ta’Shawn would have any contact with him, but I got the full update this morning and the picture above says it all. Ta’Shawn is front row, second from left.

I am just bursting with pride today and wanted to share. Here is Ta’Shawn’s official quote about the experience, for historical record: “It was so exciting. I never thought a day in my life I’d get to meet the first Black President of the United States. It was an honor for me to walk into the White House, because so many people will never have that experience.”
We would like to congratulate Ta' Shawn on this honor and thank Ms. Pitcock, Collington Square Principal D'Andrea Chapman, Higher Achievement Program, and EBDI for making opportunities like this possible for our kids.

View the video of the President’s speech here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

BCP President Muriel Berkeley to Co-chair Rawlings-Blake Education Committee

On Friday January 22nd incoming Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake named BCP President Muriel Berkeley as co-chair of her Education and Youth Services Transition Committee.

Dr. Berkeley will co-chair the committee with Ralph Moore, Director of St. Frances Academy Community Center. Ronald Daniels, President of The Johns Hopkins University, will also serve on the committee.

Read the Baltimore Messenger article ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hampstead Hill and City Springs Featured on WJZ TV's Manic Monday

Hampstead Hill Academy Students Perform

On Monday, January 11, 2010 WJZ TV Channel 13's Manic Monday featured students from Hampstead Hill Academy signing the song "Manic Monday" in Fells Point. WJZ reporter Ron Matz joined Principal Matt Hornbeck and HHA staff for this fun-filled segment.

The following HHA Middle School students sang their hearts out: Kirsten Branham, Justina Burris, Alexis Caraballo, Naiha Dozier-El, Zachary Hewins, Sarah Ibrahim, Mason Johnson, Cheyenne Jones, Sabrina Lankford, Jenna Lockamy, Stephanie Miles, Alex Nestor, Theresa Newell, Alexandra Rojas, Allison Smith, Elizabeth Stachlinski, William Thomson, Diamond Thomas, James Wells, and Brittany Wisniewski.

Mrs. Claudia Easton, Mrs. Lisa Free, Mr. Larrivey, Ms. Gerri Swan, Mr. Johnathan Swann, and Ms. Deb Smith were also there to support our Middle School students.

After the performance parents, students, and staff dined at Jimmy's where Ron Matz invited some well spoken students and staff to speak on the Ravens Fan cam.

You can catch the performance on the HHA website:

Congratulations to the Middle School Choir who will be performing on the WJZ Manic Monday Meltdown in November where they will be competing against groups from all over Maryland for the Valentino Trophy!

105.7 The Fan visits City Springs School

The Manic Monday segment also featured a video of 105.7 The Fan's visit to City Springs School on Friday, January 8th. Students and staff were delighted to welcome 105.7 The Fan's Ed Norris and Maynard along with WJZ-TV's Ron Matz and Craig from Maryland Screen Printers, who stopped by to spread some Purple Pride! They walked from room to room giving every child and teacher a Baltimore Football T-shirt and car flag - over 600 total.

We would like to thank Ed Norris, Maynard Edwards, Ron Matz, Dave Burgess, Dave Tart, and Craig Pfiefer for their support and generosity.

View the video of the Manic Monday segment here

Monday, January 4, 2010

DBFA Helps Wolfe Street Families

Thank you to the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA), DBFA member families, and others throughout the area for holding the 2nd DBFA Annual Adopt-A-Family Program. DBFA received more requests from their adopting families than they were able to match with adoptees from their partner school, Wolfe Street Academy. In addition to their partnership with Wolfe Street Academy, with whom DBFA matched over 100 families, they also partnered with Healthy Start of Baltimore to match an additional 30 families. Thank you to all who participated in making Christmas merrier for so many area families this year.

To view photos of the event click here.

To learn more about DBFA visit: