Pastors Watch Over Youngsters Heading to School in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood

Pastors Christopher Washburn, left, Jimmy Gates, center, and Robert Dix, right, monitor school children crossing at E. 93rd Street and Union Avenue
Pastors Christopher Washburn, left, Jimmy Gates, center, and Robert Dix, right, monitor school children crossing at E. 93rd Street and Union Avenue
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 It’s barely sunrise, but six ministers have already gathered at the corner of 93rd and Union. They’re guardians, ensuring students make it safely from the bus stop to the school building.   It’s an effort local ministers launched after Alianna Defreeze was abducted and murdered nearby says Rev. Jimmy Gates of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church

 “What the pastors did was form a plan called ‘Safe Schools, Safe Streets’ and we’re using as a scriptural basis Matthew chapter 25 where Jesus asked his disciples,'Could you not pray with me for one hour?' So our children are crying out, ‘Could you not walk with me? Could you not encourage me? Could you not protect me for one hour?’” 

The ministers aren't the only ones watching out for students. 

On the corner of 93rd and Kinsman avenue, Dylan Sellers stands beside his car, filming traffic with his smartphone. He's there when the children head to school and when they're returning home. Sellers is a member of the Cleveland Community Police Commission, and he lives in the neighborhood. Sellers says he's noticed a change in the two weeks he's been on the street.

"I've been seeing a lot of parents with their children, getting off the buses with them, making sure they're getting on bus safe." 

Both Sellers and the pastors say they plan to be monitoring the children until summer vacation. 

 

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