After-school drum line takes kids off the street and into the beat

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Getting kids off the street and into the beat is the goal of a new after-school drum line program in North Charleston.Founded by local musicians Kris Manning and Braeden Kershner, the program teaches kids the power of music and aims to set them on a path to a positive future."There was a need for programs for students after-school, especially middle school students, in the area so we thought this was a fantastic way to do it," said Manning. "We know drums, we know marching, we know what this kind of program can do as far as your self-esteem , discipline how great it is to work with other people and be something bigger than just yourself."The Music Battery is a 501c nonprofit and is held at the Ferndale Community Center in North Charleston from 4-7 p.m. after school gets out. This is the first year of the program and resources are still limited."The goal for the first year is to find the funding to help us fund the staff right now. Braeden and I are working two jobs so we can fund the staff and have snacks for the kids."

Students finish their homework and all school work before playing. The after-school program is in its first year. There isn't enough money to buy instruments for all the kids yet, so the students are learning drum line techniques on paint buckets. The lack of instruments is not slowing the dream down.

"I am shocked an amazed at how fast kids can pick something up and they've grasped the concept and you can truly see some true leaders popping out of the group," Manning said."It is interesting how drumming exercises your soul it is joyful and joyful noise and you put it all together with a whole bunch of kids in a unit and I can't even describe the feeling that it gives you."{}Instructor DeAndre Lee was once in the drum line at Fort Dorchester High School and now spends his time passing on the craft to the next generation."It's a privilege to learn the discipline of being in a drumline and being together on one accord and seeing where it takes us," Lee said."Now that we got their attention we are going to lead them in a positive direction."

To donate to The Music Battery and find out more click here.