Music program offers kids afternoon alternative to gangs

Posted on: December 1, 2009

“Reformed gang member Anthony Hutchinson has found a way to pay it forward: with music,” writes John Terauds in Saturday’s (11/28) Toronto Star. “At 15, he was already a hardened thief, had his own .22-calibre pistol, and was a member of a street gang in Burnaby, B.C. Little more than two decades later, the professional social worker with a PhD is the head of the Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre. He credits a high-school mentorship and music lessons for his radical turnaround, and is doing everything he can to pass these benefits on to at-risk children in Brampton. That includes partnering with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra to deliver free violin lessons every Tuesday night. Hutchinson’s efforts are part of a giant invisible web of music programs—both during and after school—spreading to children and teens across the GTA every day of the week. … Beyond 3:30 is meant to connect middle-school children with meaningful group activities that range from basic literacy (Indigo is a sponsor) and a junior-chef course (coordinated by George Brown College) to music (taken care of by the non-profit Regent Park School of Music).”

Posted December 1, 2009