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September 2021 HyattsKIDS Life & Times

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Posted on: September 9, 2021
Comic byline: Mason Vosmek

The Zombies Are Coming!

By Ryan Blackerby

Zombies Naomi Behrens and Christine Blackerby begin last year’s run in Driskell Park.
Courtesy of Christy Regenhardt

It’s nearing October and Halloween is just around the corner — along with another big event, the Hyattsville Zombie Run! The Zombie Run fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Driskell Park. The events are the 1 kilometer run (1k), the 1 mile run (1m), and the 5 kilometer run (5k). However, this isn’t a competitive race, so feel free to take your time. And as always, make sure to have fun!


This event helps fund Hyattsville Elementary School, and when runners sign up they can also choose to support any other local school. Each runner will get a participant page on the Zombie Run website where they can ask others to donate. The Zombie Run is also a fun way for kids to support their schools because there are awards for the best costumes and a raffle where the money that kids raise for their schools gives them a chance to win a bike or a tablet.


Last year’s Zombie Run was held virtually because of Covid-19, but excitingly, this year it is going to be in person. For the virtual run, everyone who participated had to time themselves, thus it was hard to keep everything organized. But this year, the race is back to normal and we can run together again.


In other exciting news, the long-time organizers of the Zombie Run, Kevin and Christine Blackerby, are passing on the torch to Matt Gembecki and Krysten Marten. The last event was co-organized by all of them, but this year the new organizers are taking the wheel!


What do I like about the Zombie Run? Well, I like how lighthearted the Zombie Run is. Even though the mascot is a zombie, they are all so cartoony that they don’t even look real. It’s fun to do something as a community and for a good cause.

Graphic Novel Review: ‘Wings of Fire’
By Evan Muynila


“Wings of Fire” is a graphic novel series written by Tui T. Sutherland and illustrated by Mike

Holmes. It is based on the novels of the same name, also by Sutherland. “Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy” is about five dragons that are trying to fulfill the prophecy of ending the Great War. Every book tells you more about the dragons and their skills. “Wings of Fire” is a good series for kids that like action, fantasy, and adventure.


But heads up: There is a bit of blood!


PGCPS Schools Prepare for Reopening

By Beatrice Marx


On Wednesday, Aug. 25, the CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Monica Goldson, held a telephonic town hall to which all parents and staff of PGCPS were invited. Five minutes into the meeting, there were 9,400 attendees, 90% of whom were parents, and the number grew to over 36,000.  


Dr. Goldson said that the school board has bought electric sanitizers for every school in the county.  High contact spots will be hand-washed. Bathrooms will be cleaned frequently. The county has also spent much money on ventilation for windowless classrooms — $3,000 on air vents alone.


Buses will have normal capacity with two or three people per seat. However, all students are asked to wear masks on the bus, and the windows and the emergency exit hatch at the top of the bus will be cracked as much as the weather allows for circulation. The high contact spots will be cleaned between bus loads, and there will be a full cleaning at the beginning and end of each day.


There will be masks available at school and on buses. Currently, the plan is not to do temperature checks because, Goldson says, “[temperature] is not a clear sign of Covid,” but parents are encouraged to do temperature checks at home and to always be on the lookout for symptoms.


If any student has symptoms of Covid, they will be removed from the classroom and the parent will be required to pick up the child immediately, “which we understand doesn’t mean within 15 or 20 minutes,” said Goldson, because the parent could be working at an office in D.C., but as soon as possible. The CEO will also close down an entire classroom if any student has Covid. 


A parent from Hyattsville named Lisa asked why her pre-K child could not go to virtual school.  Goldson explained that pre-K students “have expressed extreme difficulty” with virtual school.  


Goldson also shared that all staff will be required to get vaccinated and show proof of it or otherwise take a test per week. There will be no lockers this year, because they can’t be spread out enough, but students may bring belongings to their classrooms. The county is following the state’s mask mandate for indoors and out. So if the state says masks at recess, there will be, and if not, there won’t.


Says Goldson, “I do expect a few bumps in the road, but when we come together as a community we can overcome any obstacle.”


Join Us! HyattsKIDS Seeks New Contributors
By Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey


Do you have a story or two to share? Ever dream of becoming a journalist, writer or artist some day? Well, you’ve stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime. Come work for HyattsKIDS! We could use the help of enthusiastic writers and artists of any skill level.


Get some real world practice in the frontlines of kids’ journalism. Being a HyattsKIDS member is quite an honor, but it is also a responsibility. The commitment level is not too high, but you write an article or draw a comic at least once every two months. We have online meetings every other month, just to go through the articles and comic ideas for the next edition. 


Having been HyattsKIDS members for over a year, we can say this without a doubt: It is a lot of fun! One of Claudia’s favorite writing assignments was writing about St. Jerome Academy opening back up during the pandemic. It was very interesting to write about something that she was a part of. As an editor, she really enjoyed helping with restaurant reviews, especially one about the Franklin’s “Quarantiki” room. 


By becoming a HyattsKIDS member, you will get to be a part of something extraordinary, and get to put articles and comics in the newspaper. Can’t contribute? We encourage you to submit ideas and leads for stories you are interested in reading. To join, contact Mary Frances Jiménez at mf********@ya***.com.



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