BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Pastor Darius Pridgen held an unconventional Easter Service at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo. He used the platform to motivate parents to be more active in their child’s education.
“Every time we come together like this, it’s a time for us to think of how I can do better” said Darius Pridgen, Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church. “The most basic fundamental thing to our success is our children getting a great education”.
Pridgen is targeting parents of children in the Buffalo School District. He wants to address the low graduation rates and lack of parent participation.
“Parents have to begin advocating for their children and we have to do it as a community”. He said everyone, including himself needs to be held accountable.
Pridgen said the recent denial from the State Education Department motivated him to do this. Last week the state rejected the district’s plans to turn around Bennet High School and Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Institute.
Pridgen explained that it’s time to focus on helping others so their lives are better.
“We are living in a Buffalo now that we keep talking about cranes rising and I’m very thankful for cranes rising. But what about the little people under the cranes?” said Pridgen. “Will they be working on the medical campus? If things keep going like they are, the answer is no”.
During the service the pastor announced his Parent Power initiative. He passed out t-shirts with the slogan on it. Proceeds from it will pay for billboards to spread their message.
Pastor Pridgen is asking parents to advocate for their children, make home the first classroom and go higher up if they don’t get their questions answered. He’s also asking guardians to hold their children accountable.
District Parent Coordinating Council President Sam Radford agrees loved ones need to stand up for their kids. “Twenty-seven thousand children are in a failing school. Ultimately the only person that’s going to change that is parents. No one else can come save us. We have to do this ourselves” said Radford.