MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A movement that's taking over Horry County, started by locals. It's called Rock the Stop. Communities are gathering to wish kids a great day of school and get them off on the right foot. Rock the Stop started on the first day of school, August 17th, in Myrtle Beach. But it's popularity inspired the organizers to continue it every day since.
Alfreda Funnye, the founder of Rock the Stop, said that her goal is to promote peace at bus stops and she wants children to show up to school with smiles on their faces. Rock the Stop was thought of by Funnye and friends in July as a response to recent juvenile violence in some neighborhoods.
"My circle is very small, but we do big things," Funnye said. She described the event as like a neighborhood potluck, where anyone can bring food, school supplies and a good attitude for the kids to take with them as they start their day.
"There's a lot of bullying going on…and a lot of problems tend to happen at the bus stop, it's a social ground before you get to school. So we all decided how come we can't just stand outside? Most of us don't have children. So we decided that we'll all get together, you know, help promote peace, and kind of prevent a lot of the problems that tend to go to school in the morning that tend to happen at the bus stop," Funnye explained.
Organizers added it also gives some relief to parents who have tough work schedules. The event also puts accountability on the kids to show up for school.
"The most positive comments I've heard are that normally kids at the bus stop are smoking. And for the past few days nobody at the bus stop was smoking," Funnye said.
Dozens of people have gathered at various Rock the Stops throughout Myrtle Beach and Horry County. Kids from elementary to high school take part. So far, the concept seems to be working.
The people involved also plan to be a resource to the kids, and provide 'confidence building cards' to write down their goals for the school year.
Not only is the movement helping kids, but it gives the adults something new to look forward in the morning.
Fellow Rock the Stop-er Tonya Gore explains. "It's a wonderful feeling, I love this, I'm just so ecstatic. I'm full of energy and I just want to show the kids that we love them," she said.
Other participants described what they're doing for the kids. "We are not only rocking the stop but we're showing positivity, giving them something to eat, giving them a boost to have a good day, giving them a boost to enjoy school and get the best out of it," they said.
Funnye said they're accepted all volunteers and anyone can get involved. or start a Rock the Stop in their own neighborhood. Participants told WMBF News the idea has spread to other parts of South Carolina as well as the northeast, inspired by positive social media posts and friends here in Myrtle Beach.
Contact Alfreda Funnye at (843) 455-9339 to get a Rock the Stop in a neighborhood, donate food for other stops or find out what it's about.
Watch WMBF News stories above for more about the movement and how it benefits local kids.