By Kerry McNally, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you’re a kid, sometimes all you hear from adults are negatives. Well, one afterschool music program in North Minneapolis is changing kids’ lives one track at a time.

The North Community YMCA’s afterschool program, Beats and Rhymes, at Nellie Stone Johnson is taking positive re-enforcement and good behavior and turning it into a little swagger for its very talented kids.

“We don’t get to rap unless we do our homework.  So it’s like, you want to get to your home work so you can rap,” eighth grader Kieara Hunter said.

Beats and Rhymes meets twice a week during the school year, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It’s for junior high students and it’s not just about music, as Hunter said.  Students have to complete an hour of homework before they get to do an hour of music.

Classmate Alvonte Dillard-Turner added that if he wasn’t in the program he’d be, “sitting at home being bored.”

Joseph Anderson, a ninth grader, summed up the importance of having a place to learn and grow after school, saying, “There’s a lot of bad things out here that I could easily adapt to, so, Beats and Rhymes really kept me out of there, so [without it] I would probably be nowhere.”

The North Community YMCA runs a number of afterschool programs, including Beats and Rhymes, which is fully funded by the Y.  Students in this program do not have to pay to be a part of this program.

If you are interested in donating your time or resources to the program or to the North Community Y, call 612-588-9484.

Comments (5)
  1. Neil says:

    Could they possibly think of anything less productive. Dumbiest thing I’ve ever heard of.

    1. Heather says:

      Neil, you’re an idiot. Anything that keeps kids off the street and under supervision by responsible adults, not to mention encouraging their study habits, sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Grow up.

  2. TakeMeAway says:

    You should check out their CD. Its amazing. They take The Three Little Pigs and turn it into something that should be on the radio. They rap about social change and inspire. These kids are changing the world. Check them out!!!!!

  3. shirley miller says:

    I am especailly proud of the YMCA for the accomplishments they have achieved through the beats and rhyms program. This program has lifted the self=esteem of many children and eventually, will create self=reliant adults. I am very excited and proud of my Grandson Dameon Jones Jr. who is one of the YNRich kids from the beats and rhyms program produced at the YMCA. I just want to say to him, keep up the good work and continue to stirve towards your goals and dreams. Shirley Miller

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