Students at Riverview East Academy start their day with lots of smiles, waves and high-fives.
As they approach Kellogg and Stanley avenues, a smiling face with kind words is there to greet them every day and help them cross the street safely. Come rain, snow, sleet or shine, Richard Ferguson is standing on the corner wearing his safety vest and carrying his big red Stop sign and assisting students from one side of Kellogg Avenue to the other.
"They [students] give me so much joy," the school crossing guard said.
Cincinnati Public Schools designated March 20 as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. About 200 River East Academy students from grades K-6 wanted to express their gratitude to Ferguson and Timothy White, the other crossing guard at the next intersection of Kellogg and Congress avenues. So they grabbed their signs and marched across Kellogg Ave to present the two crossing guards with gift cards and, of course, more high-fives.
As they reached the other side of Kellogg Avenue, the students said thank you and presented the crossing guards with their hand-drawn signs of a crossing guard, donning a brightly colored vest and holding a stop sign.
Before reaching their crossing guard posts near Riverview Academy, Ferguson and White start their day near Mt. Washington School. They are at that location from 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. and then head to their next assignment at Riverview Academy from 8:20 - 9:05 a.m.
They have the same assignments after school. They work from 2:10 - 2:45 p.m. at Mt. Washington School and then from 3:55 - 4:20 p.m. at Riverview Academy.
For any motorist stopped at the Kellog and Stanley intersection, chances are Ferguson is there waving from the corner. Many motorists wave back. The truckers sound their horns.
A total of 94 crossing guards are at their posts throughout the city when Cincinnati Public Schools is in session. "If the kids come to school, then I come to school," Ferguson said with a chuckle.