The school year is closing out across the nation, but for the second graders at G.W. Trenholm in Tuscumbia, Alabama, it ended on a bittersweet note.
“[We] try to have as much fun as we can, but sometimes we can’t have as much fun as we would have if she was here,” second-grader Mia Awwad told the news station.
Jaleia was killed three weeks after her 8th birthday in a car wreck. Jaleia’s dad, Jeremy Smith, wanted to honor his daughter’s memory and also give the rest of the second grade a chance to enjoy his daughter’s favorite activity. Jaleia and her friends had gone to the same SkyZone to celebrate her birthday, so he paid for all 111 students to go there again.
“Everything they helped me to get through my daughter’s situation; all the support they gave me,” Smith said. “So, I just wanted to thank G.W. Trenholm for being there with me through my sorrows.”
After Jaleia’s tragic passing, her classmates retired her student number at school and planted a tree in her honor.