Comic by Talika Gorski
Created by contributors in grades K-8, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Our editors are Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey. To participate, contact adult adviser Mary Frances Jiménez: firstname.lastname@example.org. We also invite readers’ questions for our “Ask a HyattsKID” advice column.
The Spotlight is on Ms. Conrad
By Tes Schooley and Evan Muynila
Hyattsville Elementary School would like to shine a spotlight on our music teacher, Ms. Conrad. Throughout her college years at Lebanon Valley College, Ms. Conrad played the saxophone in the concert, jazz, and marching bands. She became a music teacher 7 years ago because she knew she loved working with kids and she loved music. She says, “Being a music teacher is the most fun job in the world! Every day I get to play music and work with some really awesome kids!”
Ms Conrad decided to make YouTube videos once a week when Covid started. She wanted to be able to let kids sing along to fun songs even though we were not in person. Some of the songs were “Stand by Me” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Ms. Conrad says, “My number one goal is to instill a love for music in children.” Third grade student Andriel Siyaka loves Ms. Conrad’s music class. He said, “I really enjoy when she is teaching us how to play instruments like the drums.” As you can see, this is our shining spotlight on Ms. Conrad.
Hyattsville Hopes and Dreams for 2021
By Delia Silva
2020 was a hard year for all of us. People’s lives changed in a way none of us expected. Reporter Delia Silva interviewed three local Hyattsville kids about how last year changed their lives and what they hope this year will bring. These kids have similar hopes and different hopes too.
The first kid she asked was Lillie Bangoura, age 6. She said that she didn’t want to wear a mask in 2020. She hopes that there’s no Coronavirus and she doesn’t have to wear a mask in 2021.
Gabriel Melara, age 8, told Delia that last year, “I really wanted to socialize more, play in public places, and go to friends’ houses. I also wanted to check out my new school.” In 2021, he wants the pandemic to end, to stop wearing masks, and to “visit Six Flags!”
The last kid was Eliza Munks, age 10. She said that last year, “I wanted to go on a field trip with my class that I’ve been waiting for for 4 years.” This year, she wants everyone to get the vaccine and things to go back to normal. Finally, she said that she looks forward to hanging out with friends and not worrying about Covid-19.
Ask a HyattsKID: Talking to Kids During National Crises
By Ryan Blackerby
Dear HyattsKIDS, On top of the pandemic, our family has been stressed by all the news surrounding the 2020 presidential election and the mob violence at the Capitol that followed in January. Hyattsville is very close to D.C. We visit often and many kids have parents who work downtown. How can families talk about events like these in a way that will be honest and reassuring?
As they watched events unfold on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol, most parents were distressed and feeling some strong emotions.
Though the events at the Capitol were felt by adults everywhere, kids were impacted too. Our parents were talking and listening to the T.V., and the kids didn’t know what was going on. Kids are interested in what their parents feel and think. Parents are our role models. So, especially in moments of crisis, it is a good idea to keep kids updated on what is going on outside our homes and let them think for themselves about topics.
When I was watching the storming of the U.S. Capitol unfold, I was in disbelief that this had happened. Many kids felt this way, and many parents may have wanted help introducing these more mature topics to their children.
Some good ways for parents to introduce difficult topics include:
- Be patient
- Be kind
- Let them think about it
- Don’t rush
- Convey the severity of the action accurately, so kids don’t over or underthink it
- Keep them interested
Kids should remember that parents are always there for you. If you want to talk to someone about something then just know you can talk to them.