Community Newsletter

Templeton Elementary School "Newcomers" Program 
A remarkable graduation ceremony took place in Riverdale on October 31st that perhaps can only happen in a handful of lucky places in our country! A group of twenty nine students from the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Islamabad, China, Afghanistan, Yemen, Nepal, Iraq, Jordan, Sierre Leone, Somalia, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan all graduated from a very intensive English Language Learning program that they were a part of since August.  The majority of the students could not speak any English when they entered the program and, are now able to speak, write sentences and communicate in English.  A couple of the children in the program have even taught their parents English. It was an amazing and very joyous occasion on this day to celebrate students and families prospering in our community. The Principal, Ebony Harris and Assistant Principal, Claudia Piper, of TES should be congratulated for seeing the need to incorporate such an intensive program where the children are in class all day with a focus on English, Reading and Social Studies.  TES is the only school in Prince George's with such an intensive program.  The students will be followed through the 5th grade and will continue ESOL. Through this program and the dedication of TES teachers and specifically Dr. Sonia O'Connell, chair of the PGCPS ESOL program, the children are ready to return to their classes, Pre-K to 5th Grade and work with their classmates. TES has many challenges, with 31 different languages spoken and some students speaking 3-4. What an amazing accomplishment by these "Newcomers"  and Templeton Elementary School leaders and educators who were so brave to look adversity in the eye and make a commitment to themselves, their children and furthermore their community! It is exactly this type of commitment to students and families from the public school system that make our children successful in the global marketplace and our communities strong! 
Riverdale Businesses Sign Up to Adopt A Family For The Holidays! Deadline Dec. 22nd!
CKAR Businesses are signing up to Adopt a Family for the Holidays! If your business has not yet signed up, please consider the opportunity to give to a local Riverdale Family this month, and to make this contribution on behalf of your company as a team! CKAR will provide you with the number of people in the family, their ages, genders and wish lists so that your gift may be more personal for you and your employees. CKAR's goal is for Riverdale Businesses to participate in this meaningful community effort to bring the spirit of the season to Riverdale family's in need. CKAR has partnered with the St. Bernard's Parish to identify the families your gift will serve. Please  Click Here to send us an email to Sign Up! Your business will receive acknowledgement of your donation in the next, January 2015 Newsletter. 
CKAR Nov. Business Meeting Review:  
Purple Line/Small Business Services 

A very productive community meeting with the Purple Line Outreach Team and the Prince George's County Small Business Services Division was held on November 18th at St. Bernard's Church School, located in Riverdale. Interested business and community leaders along with CKAR members received information about the Purple Line's commitment to the community in listening to business and resident concerns and ideas before, after and during the construction of the purple line. We learned about specific construction plans for the Purple Line in our area and the outreach efforts that have been completed along the corridor. While business profits and employment possibilities may come as a result of this project for our community, businesses and residents should become interested in this project now. There are specific businesses that will definitely be directly affected by construction plans and others that will be residually affected by certain changes, such as increased traffic in the area. We must be available to advise the Purple Line about our business and community needs. We were excited to hear about the Purple Line's interest in creating a community advisory team for our area at this meeting. This will be an opportunity for you or your business to contribute to the successful and responsible implementation of this project in our community. If you are interested in becoming a member of such a team, please contact CKAR. 

While Purple Line construction plans move forward, the services available to Small Businesses through the county Small Business Services (SBS) Division is even more important now than ever before! We know that preserving businesses and their identify is important to this community. Learning business techniques, such as marketing and business strategies, can be useful to business leaders. Trainings are available from the SBS Division on these topics and more for small and minority owned businesses , which is near 100% of those operating in Riverdale. They are free and may help businesses to promote and attract customers now and in the future during these times of change in our community. In order to be certain that your business is staying competitive not only in this community, but also via technology and social media for example is very important! CKAR encourages you to seek out the resources available from the Prince Georges County Small Business Division at their website vision of the Prince Georges County Economic Click Here for County SBS Division Website! 
CKAR Follow Up
: "Sustainable Communities Designation" Work Group
CKAR effectively collaborated an excellent working group of Riverdale community leaders that convened last month to begin the work of completing a "Sustainable Communities" application for Riverdale. The work completed by this group is extremely meaningful to the social and economic progress in our community, which will be more transformative and sustainable with this designation.  If granted, it will allow area non-profits and businesses to apply for grants and loans for which they would otherwise be unable to apply for in order to obtain support for their programming and business initiatives.  In the November meeting, the group was seriously tasked with identifying area boundaries of concern and community strengths and weaknesses with considerations such as access to affordable housing and economic opportunity as well as overall quality of life concerns, such as our community's "carbon footprint." Under the team leadership of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the group accomplished its application goals at the first meeting and will meet again this week for its final discussion to complete the application for submission in February. For more information about the benefits of the "Sustainable Communities" Designation, please Click Here!

Aetna Foundation

Donates $40,000 to   

GapBuster, Inc. in East Riverdale. 


On Dec. 4th, GapBuster, Inc., one of the most innovative non-profit youth development programs in the state, was honored with a remarkable donation of $40,000 from the Aetna Foundation by County Executive Rushern Baker, III and new Prince George's County Council Member Dannielle M. Glaros (District 3). This donation speaks to the success and commitment of the local youth program participants and their  families, as well as its Executive Director, Dr. Yvette Butler, who tirelessly works towards the promotion of her students success. The donation was given at the Center for Educational Partnership, located at the GapBuster Program site in Prince Georges County at 6200 Sheridan Street in Riverdale. The donation will help to fund GapBuster's after school bike repair program.This is an innovative and youth engaging program that ultimately serves a wonderful social purpose while teaching students concepts of engineering in a way that interests and engages youth. Participants learn about and rebuild old bikes then donate them to families (parents and children) in need from local schools and living within the Transforming Neighborhood Initiative (TNI) areas of East Riverdale and Bladensburg. If you are interested in more information about GapBuster, Inc. or would like to know how to get involved, please visit their website: Click Here to visit GapBuster.org!
Become A Member!
Now you can learn more about CKAR's community development plans and how to get involved by visiting our New Website at CKARCDC.org, follow us on Twitter@CKARCDC or friend us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CKARCDC20737. To speak with CKAR, please contact us at 240-608-CKAR.  

Riverdale Civic Association :

During this holiday month, please contact the following civic leaders to verify the next meeting date. 

Riverdale Heights/Riverdale Hills and Crestwood Civic Association: Please contact Cindy Daymont  at cindydaymont@yahoo.com

Templeton Knolls Civic Association: 

Templeton Knolls Civic Association (TKCA), Holiday Pot Luck Affair, Fri., 12/12/14,

6-8pm, Templeton Elem. School Gym, 6001 Carters Lane!  Join us to break bread and play games with family and neighbors. Bring a favorite dish to share and, then -- PLEASE help to make the special upcoming day, Dec. 25 a delight for our less fortunate children.  Bring an unwrapped toy or book that they can enjoy with a glow of excitement in their beautiful eyes and face!  If you cannot attend, call Alice at 301-927-3603 to make arrangements for the donation(s).

Eastpines Civic Association: Please Contact John Arrington at 1jarring@gmail.com.  

Career Fairs and Current Employment Opportunities as of 12/8/2014

Remeber when searching for a job, enter the below job title, location and company name to find it at online. Popular job search websites are Monster.com, Indeed.com, Idealist.com, SimplyHIred.com etc...Article about the Best Top 10 Job Sites 2014!
Community Happenings
December 2014

  • Wednesdays, SEED Food Pantry open from 12-3, located at 6201 Riverdale Road, enter building through back door
  • December 27th, Calverts by Candlelight, 6:00pm to 9:00pm, Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, RiverdaleMD 20737
  • Foreclosure Counseling and Home Buyer Education available locally through the following agencies: Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development 301-458-9808 and Centro de Apoyo Familiar 301-328-3292. 
  • Youth Development Programming and ESOL Education, GapBuster, Inc., Riverdale, MD. 301-779-4252
  • ESOL Education, Templeton Elementary School, Riverdale, MD, 301-985-1880

Become a Member of CKAR and Discover the Magic of Community:

Get to know CKAR during this season of giving by  investing just a little bit of your time into visiting with a committed board member of CKAR. Discuss your community ideas and concerns and how you can contribute.  CKAR's membership consists of leaders representing various local industries; including, education, business, non-profit, religious, legal, civic associations and more.  

Our mission is to bring together a diverse multi-lingual community to promote the social, economic and business interests of the Riverdale community.