Kids march against gun violence in Chicora Cherokee neighborhood

Children from Metanoia's summer program marched in Chicora Cherokee Friday afternoon. (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

By Natalie

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A neighborhood that's used to gunfire heard something entirely different Friday afternoontwo school buses dropping off nearly 100 kids.

The kids were gathered on Success Street in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood, many carrying signs representing messages against gun violence.

Since March, two people in the area have been shot and killed and a third shot and paralyzed, according to North Charleston police officials.

The children are part of Metanoia's Freedom school, a summer literacy program in North Charleston.

"Every summer we do a social action project. The last few months there's been a slight uptick in violence in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood and the surrounding areas and the students wanted to do something saying that's not the community they want to live in," Metanoia CEO Bill Stanfield said.

Friday after covering a cross with flowers, the group left it at the site of the last shooting. Despite what some may think, a lot of the kids know what's going on in their neighborhood.

"A lot of people I used to see, I don't see them no more. They're either dead or in prison for shooting somebody," 15-year-old Michael Mazyk said.

Mazyk, a participant at Metanoia, says he knows he doesn't want to end up like that, he says he'd rather be an engineer. At 13, Shaquel Wright wants to be a lawyer.

"Come back and let everybody know I came from here and did something with my life," Wright said.

Despite the recent violence North Charleston police say the number of shootings at Chicora Cherokee have dropped 65 percent since 2008.