Created by contributors in grades K-12, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Would you like to see your art or writing on our page? Send submissions to

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Summer Solace By Evan LeFevre, age 15

HES Planting Party

By Josie Gembecki, age 6

We had a fun day at the Hyattsville Elementary School spring planting party, and we are excited to come back to a busy garden when school starts soon.

The PTA and “Love and Carrots” worked together and picked out the plants. It makes our school prettier. Alison Jones, the designer from Love and Carrots, explained that “the plants were selected to attract pollinators, to tolerate a bit of shade, and to bloom in the spring and fall when students are in attendance.”

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The Hyattsville Elementary School garden is now filled with flowers planted in the spring.
Courtesy of Kristen Wares

Grown-ups and kids worked together to help the community. People helped dig out the old plants and made room for new plants. Leota, a pre-K student, said, “It was so hard to dig out the big, big bush! The butterflies will like to come to the milkweed we planted in the garden because milkweed is very important for butterflies.”

Nola, the Hyattsville Police Department’s community dog, heard there was digging and she came to join us! Opal, also in pre-K, said, “It was so funny when Nola put my shovel in her mouth. It’s like she was going to help us plant!”

Now it’s a beautiful school! Dr. McKee, our principal, told me, “The students and staff at Hyattsville Elementary School have been using the outdoor learning space since it was installed by our amazing PTA this school year. Multiple grade levels helped to establish the plants by creating an alternating watering schedule. The students made sure they picked weeds, cleaned up the area of debris and trash, as well as maintaining the plants. It offers a wonderful learning opportunity for staff and students as well as an urban oasis for our students to enjoy. For the upcoming school year, we plan to continue our use of this space as an outdoor classroom and expand its use to include county-provided environmental lessons and to hopefully release butterflies and ladybugs into.”

Students and volunteers plant a rain garden at Hyattsville Elementary School.
Photo 1 byline: Courtesy of Kristen Wares

Kids Learn and Play at National Night Out

By Delia Silva, age 12

Hyattsville’s event for the National Night Out Against Crime took place in Driskell Park on Aug. 2. At the event, the community could talk and interact with our police officers. I talked to Officer Luca about the purpose of the event, along with some things that kids could do. Officer Luca told me, “Our National Night Out is designed to bring police and community together to build a better relationship and to let people know that police officers are real people, too, behind the uniform and the hat.” 

Activities for kids at the event included an obstacle course, face painting and balloon twists. Some activities I really liked included going into a police officer’s car and pretending to drive it and honk the sirens. You could also go inside the fire truck. The event had free hot dogs, snow cones and ice cream. 

Kids at the National Night Out also got to learn about safety. A very interesting demonstration showed what happens in a car accident if you are unbuckled. Did you know that one in 10 Marylanders don’t buckle up while they are driving? The safety dummy in the crash came out of the car into the grass, which would injure or even kill a real person. 

Summer Fun at ArtWorks Now Camps 

By Lyric Henry, age 9, with mom, Charmaine Jones

Lyric Henry has been attending ArtWorks Now summer camps for three years. She shares with us daily a new art skill she has learned from her art teacher. For example, during “Art and Emotion” week, they made moving mobiles. 

Lyric says making art-inspired robots in Ms. Harper’s class was one of her favorite things to do. She loved how she got to build the robot’s look and how it had a mind of its own to create beautiful patterns. Another one of her favorite weeks was “Painting My Truth,” where she learned the fundamentals of how to paint with watercolors, shades and tints. She shares that, in Ms. Gabby’s class for this theme, they encouraged the campers to express themselves and walk in their uniqueness freely. The “Bubble Notebook” is one of her favorite projects. She now uses this notebook as an outlet for creative writing, inspirational quotes, and drawings. 

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ArtWorks Now student Lyric Henry shares a camp project.
Courtesy of Charmaine Jones

As a parent, my experience with ArtWorks Now has been phenomenal. The staff is welcoming and genuinely loves what they do. The camp culminates in art shows every Friday to show what each camper created during the week. This allows parents to meet the teachers and staff and see the campers’ beautiful creations.