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September 2020 HyattsKIDS Life & Times

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Posted on: September 19, 2020
Teddy Romero, Age 4, SJA Montessori





Marisa Patel, Age 7, Friends Community School

Created by contributors in grades K-8, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, art, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists.  This issue was produced under Editor Claudia Romero Garvey.  To participate or offer story leads, contact adult adviser Mary Frances Jiménez: mf********@ya***.com.


New library construction adjusts to Covid-19

By Delia Silva and Marta Vaidyanathan


The new Hyattsville Public Library was supposed to open in spring 2021. However, with the changes that Covid-19 has brought, have the plans for the library changed too? The original library plans were impressive. The plan was to have eight study rooms, two meeting rooms, a cafe, a history and genealogy room, and more. Besides that, the plans said that the new library would hold 85,000 books, and cost $35.5 million.


Michael Gannon, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System’s Chief Operating Officer for Support Services, is in charge of the construction of the new library. Reporter Marta Vaidyanathan asked him for details on how plans have been changed due to the coronavirus. Gannon stated that the library’s main features were not changed, but some small things have been altered to help people stay safe. There will be less furniture and more space for people so that they can socially distance better. 


But even before the library opens, the construction staff need to stay safe. To learn more about what precautions workers are taking, reporter Delia Silva spoke with Winston Williams, the project manager for PGCMLS, and learned that about 100 to 120 people from construction company Tuckman-Barbee are working on the project at any given time. Williams stated, “Some of the many precautions that we are taking due to COVID-19 are wearing masks, doing social distancing, and following the construction safety measures held by the OSHA.” Although coronavirus has pushed the finish date from January to March, the library should still be done in spring 2021. 


Williams also shared that the footprint of the library is going to be 42,000 square feet. It will have a children’s room, a reading garden, 74 public computers, and a reading terrace. All in all, it will still be possible to go to the library and read. So, even though it will be different in some ways, the new library means life is going back to normal.

Hyattsville’s new library will be finished in 2021
Photo credit: Delia Silva

An epidemic of lost pets?
By Jackie Daniels


It seems like more pets have been getting lost in Hyattsville during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are a lot of “lost pet” signs hanging on telephone poles.  Between March and August 31, more than 70 messages were posted on the local HOPE listserv about lost and found pets.  “In the spirit of the large number of lost dog posts recently, I thought I’d add another lost creature to the list serv – a lost chicken,” said one listserv message.


However, Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, State Director at the Humane Society of the U.S., says in Prince George’s County slightly fewer pets have gone missing over the last few months than normal.


To avoid losing a new cat or dog, keep it inside for at least a week and get a microchip for your pet.  If you find a lost pet take it to a veterinarian who can check for a microchip.


Stray pets include exotic animal
By Harriet Marx


On August 25, Sacha J. Talisman saw a bearded dragon loose on 43rd Avenue.  It was spiked on its head and all over.  It had a white belly.  Talisman’s neighbor was trying to catch it.  Then it went under the house.  It was as fast as a squirrel.  Talisman went for a walk with his net the next day and did not find it.  It was a weird sight, because they do not live in this environment.

My family’s life during coronavirus
By Bella Romero


Because of COVID19, my family is having a summer that’s very different from what we expected. The local pools are only letting a limited number of people in, and my sisters and I don’t see friends as often as we would during a regular summer. St. Jerome Church has limited capacity as well. Although we’ve been through many struggles due to the pandemic, we’ve also realized how much we took for granted before everything happened.  My mom now works from home instead of her office in Arlington, and we’re a lot less scheduled and busy. I’m grateful for the extra time we’ve gotten to spend together.


In addition to the pool, my mom came up with a lot of ways to have fun even during coronavirus. For example, we played with water balloons, went on the “Slip and Slide,” and cooled off on the water trampoline. My family has also been partaking in a fun book, “The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition.” This book is filled with scratch-off adventures and activities. One fun activity was called “Russian Roulegg.” We added two dozen raw and boiled eggs in a bowl. Then we had to pick an egg blind folded from the bowl and crack it on our head! If the egg is boiled, you get 1 point. If the egg is raw… well, you get a head full of yolk! My family has also been baking a lot more. Our favorite is chocolate chip banana muffins! 


Even though Coronavirus has been tough, Hyattsville is a great place to be.  We are able to meet up with friends at Magruder Park, bike ride on the trolley trail, or eat dinner outside at Franklin’s. Our amazing town enables my family to still be social and have fun even during the pandemic.


Evan LeFevre’s 15 Minute Lo Mein  

With all of Hyattsville stuck at home, kids are running out of things to do. Cooking a meal is a great way for kids to have fun and help out at the same time. Here is a dish that is easy enough to make at home, yet still special, delicious and impressive. 


Lo Mein is a Chinese dish made with stir fried vegetables and ramen noodles. For protein, kid chefs can add shrimp, leftover steak or chicken strips. 


For the sauce –

  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar


Lo mein –

  • 4–6 oz. uncooked ramen noodles
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil (or vegetable oil, for chefs allergic to sesame like the writer)
  • 3 green onions, chopped (use only the white parts)
  • 2–3 c. vegetables like carrots, red peppers, cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, or broccoli cut julienne style (thin strips)
  • Shrimp, chicken or steak (optional)
  • 1–2 Tbs. mirin


Directions –

  1. Make the sauce by whisking all the ingredients together.
  2. Cook and drain the noodles according to the package.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet. Add the green onions and vegetables to the hot pan. Stir fry until easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Add the mirin to loosen the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Add the cooked noodles and about half of the sauce (and meat, if using).  Toss around in the hot pan to combine. Taste and add more sauce if needed. 


Recipe adapted from –



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