NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In some of the city’s most under-resourced areas, parents do anything they can just to make ends meet.
But one local after-school program is helping kids enrich their lives through free music education, CBS2’s Chris Wragge reported Monday.
For an hour a week during her free violin lessons, 13-year-old Bethany Delarosa feels liberated.
She doesn’t have to worry about helping her single mother take care of her younger siblings.
“I help out a lot and so when I go to violin, I’m excited because it’s not just a little time away from them, but I am getting to learn,” Delarosa said.
Bethany is one of the thousands of New York City public school students who has little to no access to music programs since she lives in a low-income area in the South Bronx. So she’s grateful for the non-profit After Schools Rocks.
“These are kids that have never seen a guitar. They have never seen a violin. They’ve never had access to an actual lesson, one on one,” After School Rocks founder Daniel Powers Jr. said.
Through grants and donations, Powers and his teachers provide free weekly private and group classes to children who live in supportive housing in the South Bronx, called Services for the UnderServed, or S:US.
“It’s just life changing and I believe the secret of living is giving,” Powers said.
The mission isn’t just to provide music lessons, but to teach them that hard work pays off.
“That is something that we really want put in the community,” Services for the Underserved child life specialist Cari Feingold said. “What is going to make them the change that we want to see in society? What is going to make them successful?”
One single mother of five said the classes have helped her daughter learn that whatever she puts her mind to she could achieve.
“She is somewhere where she is good, and she is going to improve,” Marisol Rivera said.
“You get to learn something else and then it just pushes you closer on how to really get better,” Delarosa said.
Music lessons are turning into life lessons for these kids.
The kids actually get to bring home the instruments so they can practice on their own. Each session runs for 20 weeks at a time and at the end they all put on a concert.