DRIVE TO SAVE KIDS’ LIVES
ST. PETERSBURG — Tanyga Johnson walked door-to-door through the Childs Park neighborhood on a mission.
She stopped to preach to two men sitting on a porch.
“This is about getting those weapons out of children’s hands and putting books in their hands,” she said.
They offered “yes, ma’ams” before they high-fived her and agreed to let her place a yard sign.
“Now we are rolling!” she yelled. Johnson, from the Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church, was championing a campaign called “Not My Son.”
The goal is to make African-American males between the ages of 12 and and children to programs such as Cohort of Champions and Arts Conservatory for Teens.
The Rev. Kenny Irby, community intervention director with the St. Petersburg Police Department, said city leaders wanted to stop the violence. The appeal to parents, he said, is simply “how can we help you?”
St. Petersburg City Council chairwoman Lisa Wheeler-Bowman said parents sometimes don’t know where to turn. That’s where volunteers like Johnson come in.
In Childs Park, Johnson held up the yard signs to passing motorists and encouraged them to honk.
She was planting seeds, she said, and now “we will watch them grow.”
Tanyga Johnson encourages motorists in St. Petersburg’s Childs Park neighborhood to honk in support of her cause.