Crucian Kids Rock! is a new afterschool program to be offered by Community Music Inc. in 2020.
The free program will be offered from January to June 2020, to coincide with the school year calendar, Monday through Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., at D.C Canegata Recreational Center on St. Croix.
Crucian Kids Rock! will bring together eager youngsters, musically talented teen mentors, and master musicians of St. Croix for the continuation of Quelbe — the official traditional music of the Virgin Islands. The afterschool program will also have an infusion of Afro-Caribbean, Latin, and Jazz music, which seeks to reinforce our multi-ethnic roots and culture.
How will it work?
Crucian Kids Rock! will recruit eight qualified mentors that are excellent music students of local high schools and the University of the Virgin Islands to teach and mentor for class credit up to 28 at-risk youth ranging from ages 8 to 13.
The program’s 28 youngsters will be broken into four groups — seven youngsters to a group – to form student-Quelbe bands that will include instrumentalists on banjo, guitar, bass, horn, drums, conga and triangles. Throughout the course of the program, the budding student bands will learn and master at least two traditional Quelbe songs, and the program will culminate with two major performances for family, supporters and the community at-large.
Crucian Kids Rock! will be guided by retired music educator and trumpet virtuoso Edwin “Eddie” Russell. The program also will feature weekly interactive presentations from master musicians, such as Stanley Jacobs, Olaf “Bronco” Hendricks, and Eldred “Edgy” Christian, as well as monthly field-trips to “Jazz in the Park” in Christiansted.
Why will it work?
Many studies have shown that learning and practicing a musical instrument benefits a young person’s psychological, emotional, and moral development
Crucian Kids Rock! works to introduce not only the skills of learning a new instrument, but it strives to convey the cultural heritage of the Virgin Islands to underprivileged youth. By gaining a better understanding of the local history of Quelbe, Afro-Caribbean, jazz, and Latin music, children become more focused on participating in and fostering their cultural heritage and less on engaging in criminal activity.
Additionally, Crucian Kids Rock! will benefit its high school student “staff” with an educational mentor activity to add to their college applications, while providing its college student “staff” with a mentor activity to add to their resumes.
Crucian Kids Rock! strives to improve students’ work ethic, boosts their motivation to do well in school, brings families of all kinds together in support of their children, and gives our students skills that will last a lifetime.
Join us as we reach out and give back to the Crucian community we love! For more information on this pilot program and how you can help, contact Eddie Russell at 340-277-3914 or Makeda Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To volunteer your time or donate a new or gently-used instrument to the Crucian Kids Rock! program, email email@example.com. To make a financial contribution, CLICK HERE.