Avondale Breakfast Ministry in Jeopardy - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Avondale Breakfast Ministry in Jeopardy

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - A local couple we introduced you to last year may have to change their bus stop breakfast ministry.

The Hamilton County School Systems now calls the bus stop dangerous at the Avondale Center.

The school system claims children are running back and forth across this busy street to get breakfast, catching the bus late and making other children late.

Each morning Dorothy and Christopher Rolle make, then serve nearly 70 children waiting at the Avondale school bus stop located across the street from their home.

"We have children as early as 5 o'clock in the morning waiting on our front steps for us to serve them," said Christopher Rolle. "We don't start serving until 6 but they're sitting right there as young as 5-years-old."

The Rolles started their breakfast ministry to stop the cursing fighting and bullying across the street and over the last year their home has grown to be a safe haven for at-risk kids.

"We have children come here crying 'can I wash and dry my clothes in your house?' We had an 8-year-old about a week ago come to the table with no shoes, she was going to school that way," said Christopher Rolle.

The ministry is more than breakfast, shoes, socks, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes fill buckets each morning outside for children in need. A letter the school system sent last week could be the beginning of the end.

"Some students are standing out in the road, holding up the bus keeping the bus from going so that the other kids eating can finish eating or come out," said Benjamin Coulter, Transportation Supervisor, Hamilton County Schools.

Transportation Supervisor Benjamin Coulter says while the Breakfast Ministry serves a good purpose it makes the other children on the bus late for their free breakfast at school.

"I'd rather them to have that breakfast then a student get injured or killed," said Coulter.

If the bus continues to be late, school officials say they may move the bus stop farther from the Rolles.

"I think it would be a devastating blow to this community," said Dorothy Rolle.

The Rolles say they walk children from 4-years-old to 18-years-old across the street to the bus and never once have seen children holding up the bus or standing in the middle of street.

"As far as the children standing in the streets they used to do it, but I haven't seen them since we've served breakfast. We have a no tolerance zone here, you don't curse, you don't fight, you don't bully or pick at each other because we don't allow it," said Christopher Rolle.

The Rolles told Channel 3 they end the breakfast 15 minutes before the bus arrives to help children be on time. Before a final decision is made the Rolles say they welcome anyone to come see the breakfast and the children's behavior for themselves.
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