Hyattsville kids welcome Brood X
By Bella Romero
You’ve probably seen the many cicadas that are arriving this summer. This particular brood of cicadas is named Brood X, and is one of the largest groups of periodical cicadas. Periodical means that Brood X emerges all at once, after 17 years of living underground.
HyattsKIDS interviewed many local children and found that they had very different reactions to the sudden arrival of the cicadas.
The Vaidyanathan family doesn’t mind them much, although Marta Vaidyanathan does not like climbing trees anymore.
Paul Dickson thinks the cicadas are cool, and killing them is sad. And in the eyes of Lucy Dickson, these large insects are cute!
One young boy had an interesting view of the cicadas. Gus Gibbons is fascinated with them, and enjoys catching them and holding them. He and his little brother Basil can often be seen in their yard looking for cicadas.
Whatever your feelings about the cicadas, there is nothing to be afraid of about these insects. They do not bite or sting, and despite common beliefs, the cicadas do not eat our plants. Instead, try to appreciate this amazing spectacle we can only witness every 17 years.
Cicada Saturday at Joe’s
By Evan Muynila
May 22 was Cicada Saturday at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier. “Cicadas! What A Bug!” invited families to learn about the Brood X cicadas and participate in bug-related fun. There were songs, stories, and a booth for making your own pair of paper cicada wings.
The idea for the show was from Brooke Kidd, founder of Joe’s, and Toni Salmi. Salmi said they were talking one day and thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat to celebrate the cicadas? We could do a show for kids!” Kidd and Salmi organized a 45-minute program about these bugs. Salmi added, “It’s very important for Joe’s to teach everybody about the environment. … Since this happens every 17 years, we thought we should celebrate it through the arts.”
The show had four parts. Children’s stories were shared and performed by Rakeem Delwin, who encouraged kids to move and interpret the stories in their own way. There was a song about cicada anatomy and a song by Sam McCormally for folks that enjoy cicadas as a meal. Kids were very enthusiastic when it was time to ask entomologist Kay Taub questions about cicadas. Taub taught the audience about the cicada life cycle, the different sounds cicadas make, and even how the bugs eat. Popular questions were, “Why now?” and “Why every 17 years?” Taub answered, “Scientists still don’t know exactly why this happens! Maybe someone in the audience will study cicadas and help answer it in the future!” No program at Joe’s is without dance, and Brooke Kidd led the audience in a nature-themed interpretive dance.
Cicada Saturday had its own mascot: the larger-than-life Cecily Cicada. Cecily says, “There’s all kinds of ways kids can make art and dance about anything in nature. You could ask your local park about programs or borrow books from the library about anything that’s interesting and write a song. You could probably go up to a tree and try to draw and paint me if you see me!”
Reflections on a pandemic school year
By Delia Silva
I want to share my experience with hybrid learning at Cesar Chavez Dual Immersion School.
My experience had its ups and downs. When the county announced that there would be an optional hybrid plan for students, I was excited to go back. What I like about this plan is that I get to see my teachers in person and I get to be at school. What I don’t like about this plan is that I can’t see all of my classmates in person. At the moment, I only have seven classmates.
My school has assigned color-coded outdoor areas for safety and social distancing at recess. Only a few kids, depending on your grade, can be in one spot.
My teachers each have an opinion about this plan. My homeroom teacher, Dr. Ronda, said that the hardest part of doing virtual learning is that the learning space and teaching processes were changed. Another one of my teachers, Ms. Busch, said that virtual learning has been a challenge for her because she never used Zoom before the pandemic. But she said that it also provides some fun options, like scavenger hunts and seeing each other’s pets. My last teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, said that the major thing that she misses about in-person learning is that she gets to have social interactions with the students.
Saturday soccer is back
By Maggie Ross
Every Saturday morning in the spring and fall, there are soccer games in the fields by Driskell Park (aka Magruder Park). Last year, there was not a spring or fall league because of COVID. Players and coaches have safety restrictions this year, but at least we can still play.
The players of the Hyattsville soccer league are from ages 4 to 14 with girl, boy and co-ed teams. The league has about 30 teams this season because of COVID restrictions, but usually there are twice as many or more. Players do not have to socially distance, but they have to wear a mask. Lillian Hicks plays on a third-fourth grade team, and says, “I dislike wearing masks because it is always hot and sunny.” Some players on my team (LUP) dislike wearing masks too while playing soccer, but we do it to help stop COVID.
Coaches in the league are volunteers. Coach Valerie Woodall has been a soccer coach since 2006. This year she is leading a first-second grade team. She says, “For me, coaching is not more difficult this year. While it’s no fun to play or coach in a mask, I would call it an inconvenience rather than a difficulty.”
Lillian Hicks and Coach Woodall have given me some advice for players. Lillian says, “When the other team has the ball, don’t be afraid to kick the ball out of their way.” Coach Woodall says, “Play defense on their side of the field and not in front of our goal, stay goal side, and when in doubt, kick it out!” When on offense, “steal the ball, dribble and be ready to pass and score.” For both, “Don’t flinch!”