NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Children in the Lowcountry are taking a stand against gun violence in one North Charleston neighborhood.
On Wednesday, more than 200 people marched in the Chicora Cherokee neighborhood as part of a National Day of Social Action.
Their message is “Protect Children, Not Guns.”
The children marching in North Charleston are part of a summer reading program that helps children to fall in love with reading.
Student Dajia Hart, is a rising 8th grader apart of the program.
“Today we are going to be marching for all lives that have been lost," Hart said. "It makes me upset it drags me down.”
They’re uniting with others across the nation who are also part of more than 180 Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools in 87 cities and 28 states in the country.
The students are apart of Metanoia, a nonprofit Community Development Corporation serving the North Charleston community in various ways including through after-school and summer programs for children.
The CEO of Metanoia, Bill Stanfield, says the children come up with the social action project each year.
"They've done a lot of thinking," Standfield said. "It's not just showing up and going for a walk today. They've done a lot of thinking for this moment about what gun violence means and what they can do to prevent gun violence and this walk is a culmination of all that."
Several people from community came out to show support including parents, community leaders and the North Charleston police chief.
“It’s a real inspiration to all of us who are here to support them to see them using their voices. We really work to help our students understand that they have agency that they don’t have to wait until they become adults to make a difference in their community,” Stanfield said. “So the students have done things in the community that made a real difference.”
According to Metanoia, a child or teen is killed with a gun every 2 hours and 34 minutes in the United States. They say 3,410 children and teens were killed by guns in 2017, that’s enough to fill 71 school buses. They also report that guns kill more children under the age of 5 each year than law enforcement officers in the line of duty.