MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Twenty Methodist pastors are stepping out in faith to get more involved in Montgomery Public Schools.
Tuesday, the Pan Methodist group met at E.D. Nixon Elementary School to plot out a plan to get more involved.
Dei-Jha Triplett welcomes the idea of local ministers becoming part of their world in the coming weeks.
"The people come in and help children and change their behavior and become a leader. They grow up and become independent," said Triplett, a fifth-grader at E.D.Nixon Elementary School in Montgomery.
Students like Triplett were part of a nearly two-hour discussion on how the community can get more involved with public schools. In this case, men and women of the cloth. The Reverend Jeremy Pridgeon spearheaded the Pan Methodist group meeting. The group chose to have its quarterly meeting at E.D. Nixon.
"We shared needs and resources intersect. We really see that as our cross," said Pridgeon, Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church.
This is what the group decided. The churches will visit their closest public school and get to know the kids one-on-one and tutor them in areas of difficulty.
"We have the ability to help those on the front lines of teaching," said Pridgeon.
With part of the school district under an intervention plan by the state, Dana Williams is more than pleased the pastors have taken on this assignment.
"If they can encourage their congregation members to become more involved in the schools and have ministers walk the halls, then maybe that would encourage the students to do better," said Williams, Principal of E.D. Nixon Elementary School.
Teachers there say one of the biggest challenges is getting students to fall in love with learning.
"If they can love learning, then all that behavior of course would be out the window," said one teacher at the school.
No one here proclaimed they had the silver bullet to cure all that afflicts public education, but they are convinced this approach could very well bear good fruit in due time.
E.D. Nixon Elementary School has a student population of 420.