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Students lead Cincinnati Public Schools pedestrian safety vote

Posted: 8:47 PM, Sep 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-23 20:47:43-04

CINCINNATI — Jeremiah Thornton was just trying to get an "A."

He and his Covedale classmates created a rap about pedestrian safety.

Last year, 13 students from Cincinnati Public Schools were hit walking to or from school.

“That really, I was like, ‘Wow!” Thornton said. “People that I've known, people that are my peers are getting hit by cars.”

So Thornton decide to tackle the problem. He didn’t just get a good grade, he ended up winning a national contest and is now a public service announcement called “It’s Lit to Not Get Hit.”

For Sands Montessori sixth-grader Madelyn Gerker, it was her daily walk and a letter to Mayor John Cranley and City Council.

Her street doesn’t have a sidewalk, so she requested one.

“We just go into the grass or go into other people's driveways. We'll just like walk in a single file line to avoid the cars,” Gerker said.

Now there’s grant money for a sidewalk.

J.T. and Madelyn co-chair the Youth Pedestrian Safety Task Force and were cheering a Vision Zero vote by the school board Monday night.

They’re out to stop students from getting hit, hurt or killed walking to and from school.

“We are looking for more young leaders to help the community,” J.T. said.

WCPO's ongoing series, Move Up Cincinnati, tracks regional growth and how our community is working to uplift those left behind. To contact the Move Up Cincinnati team, email us at moveupcincinnati@wcpo.com .