Community Newsletter

"20737 Back to Work " Initiative

As part of CKAR's "20737 Back to Work Initiative", CKAR is collaborating with the Prince George's Community College's (PGCC) workforce training program, TeamBuilders Academy (TBA), to offer job skills training in preparation for Purple Line Construction and Activities in Riverdale, Maryland. A draft Memorandum of Understanding has been developed and CKAR is in the process of finalizing this document. The Riverdale TBA Intake office is planned to be located at The University of Maryland's Center for Educational Partnership at 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale, MD 2073. Intake and Assessment Services are set to begin in late October. More information on this partnership will be announced in the coming weeks. 


This project along with the Riverdale Empowerment Center Project are part of CKAR's broad community effort to employ anyone seeking work in the 20737 zip code. We know that every individual in our community will contribute to his or her family and community in a more positive way if he or she has the stable employment they are seeking. Unemployment contributes to a long list of unstable factors for families and communities; including, increased individual health risks leading to higher costs in health care, mental health risks leading to depression, neglect or abuse, higher rates or foreclosures leading to blight,   lack of preparation of young children for kindergarten due to child care decisions based on limited income, increase in homelessness leading to further difficulty in finding employment due to an unstable home to live and foster one's well being. 

Hispanic Festival Feedback for
Riverdale Empowerment  Center
Many people visited the CKAR Table at this festive event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,  held at Lane Manor Park on Sept. 21st. CKAR engaged many 20737 residents in conversation about their programming ideas for The Riverdale Empowerment Center. Specific feedback was given regarding the type of training and resources needed at the center. Community input included GED classes, English and Spanish Classes , Citizenship, Computation, Legal Services, Classes to obtain certification in carpentry, engineering, electricity and general home improvement. CKAR is seeking to offer employment placement services and to create partnerships with already existing local agencies and businesses to put "20737 Back to Work."
What Impact will the Purple Line have on your Business?

Remember to attend the November Business Meeting to receive a project update from the Purple Line Outreach Team, details about the alignment in the area, construction phase outreach and business impact mitigation. Additionally, the Small Business Services Division of the Prince Georges County Economic Development Corporation will share county resources that are available to small, local and minority owned businesses.  
Our "Hallowed" History
Come to find out, October is a wonderful time to share our "Hallowed" or holy history and the notion that most of us are immigrants to this country. It is from ghosts from the past that we learn that Celtic, Roman, Irish, English and Mexican descendants contributed to the holidays, festivals and celebrations that Americans enjoy today during this month and into the very first days of November.  

On the Celtic New Year, November 1, Celts would dress up in costumes to scare away the dead spirits that rose up that night. They would also leave food on their doorsteps for good spirits. Ancient Romans held many Fall Festivals. Feralia in October was a time to honor the dead. They also honored the goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona, and her symbol was the apple. Ceres was another goddess of crops who was celebrated at a fall  Roman festival Cerelia. Our word for Cereal actually comes from "Ceres."  With time, mythical beliefs died off as Christian beliefs spread across Europe, but fall festivals, costumes and apples carried on. November 1 was made All Saints' Day by the Christian church to honor Christian Saints. It was also called All Hallow's Day and the night before was called All Hallow's Eve, and that became Halloween! The Irish and British held onto the customs and brought them to America. 

Behind these festivals and the fun is another interesting bond that ties many of us- a need to honor the dead. It presents itself across nations, religions and cultures today. For Christians, November 2 is All Souls'Day. And Mexicans celebrate El D�a de Los Muertos on this same day. Acutally a celebration of candles, flowers, photos and "caleveritas" (little skeletons) to celebrate a loved ones life. The Festival of the Dead in Japan is called Obon and celebrates the spirits return to visit their relatives. In Madagascar, the Festival of Famadihana, also known as the "turning of the bones" takes place about every 7 years after a loved one has passed. It is a tradition that practices exhuming the body of a relative, rewrapping them in fresh clothes and dancing with the body. This is said to be like a reunion between the living and the dead to help maintain ties with their relatives and show respect for their dead.   

Visit to the Cemetery on El D�a de Los Muertos
Christmas in April Applications Due November 1

Christmas in April*Prince George's County Homeowner Application for the 2015 program.


Christmas in April is an annual, one-day project to repair the homes of those who due to age, disability and financial hardship, cannot do the work themselves.  Christmas in April * Prince George's is NOT ABLE to replace roofs, repair or replace concrete, or replace windows.  Only minor repairs to existing roofs.  If you are in need of a new roof please contact the Department of Housing (301-883-5570) to request information / assistance from them. Click Here for the Christmas in April Application   


Business Highlight
Professional AUTOGLASS, located at 5601 Kenilworth Avenue in Riverdale, Maryland 20737 was founded in 1995 in Riverdale and has been providing full service auto glass delivery, installation, service and support to retail, fleet and commercial customers in the Washington, DC. area for over 20 years. The Riverdale location is led by Mr. Ben Sourabi who says that community is very important to their business. Customers appreciate the value pricing, timely delivery, quality installation and service and support they receive.

Family and Community Mourn Loss of Mother and Injured Child


On Monday, September 1, 2014, the community of Riverdale Park and neighboring communities suffered a tremendous loss when a mother, 31-year-old Thelma Fernandez Flores was struck and killed as she and her 3-year-old daughter, Isavela, were crossing the street in the 5800 block of Riverdale Road around 4:20p.m.  Isavela was transported to Children's Hospital where she suffered serious injuries and, remained in critical condition for some time.  She is now recovering at home with her family. Thelma and Isavela were en route to their home after shopping for a few items at the Megamart, an international grocery store across the street.  Witnesses and family members said Flores and Isavela were walking in the crosswalk at the time when a driver speeding in an SUV hit them.  Flores ran to protect her daughter and was struck.  The driver of the SUV was not hurt and stayed at the scene.  The communities were in shock and, held two vigils, and continue to mourn the loss.  Senator Paul Pinsky and District 3 Councilman Eric Olson has contacted the State Highway Administration (SHA) and, established a working group consisting of District 22 delegates, Mayor Vernon Archer, community leaders, Prince George's County Transportation Dept., and school officials.  The working group has been tasked with reviewing all options for the areas of 410/Kenilworth/Riverdale Pedestrian traffic.  It was learned that a crossing guard was struck at the same location one year ago and, another accident occurred two years ago.  Mayor Archer and Councilman Olson both sent letters to SHA last year relating to the intersection and requesting improvements for pedestrians.  The working group will continue to meet and have requested immediate improvements.  Additional information will be shared in the next newsletter.  

University of Maryland Extension 
100th Anniversary Open House 

Thanks to the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, Land Grant Universities continue to be transformative in providing professional expertise to communities through college extension activities. This community based approach merges college professionals and students with the communities where they work, live and go to school. Among other things, the Riverdale UMD Extension office runs the Sheridan Street Community Garden Program, the Extended Food and Nutritional Education Program and the UMD Legacy Leadership Institute. 

On Monday, October 13, 2014, from 4:30pm to 7:30pm, Celebrate 100 years of service and cooperative education at the University of Maryland Extension office in Riverdale, located at The Center for Educational Partnership at 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale,MD 20737. 

There will be nutritious & delicious food tastings (while supplies last), Nutrition and Fitness games for the family, 4-H Youth activities, interactive games to increase Financial Literacy, Aquaculture in Maryland, Gardening tours & tips and give-a-ways.

Click for Details: 100th Anniversary Flyer

Click hear to view a long list of Extension Programs!
  Jane S. McKimmon gave women roles within their farming families and the Extension Service that were equally as important to those that the men were doing. Her community education model served as an example for Extension Service.   

Community Happenings
October/First of November 2014
  • Transforming Neighborhood Initiative, November Meeting- contact lmnick@co.pg.md.us
  • Oct. 9, Riverdale Community Walk

    Meet at 6:15PM 

    Riverdale Plaza Shopping Center Parking lot

    5601 Riverdale Rd, Riverdale, MD 20783

    For more information call 240-695-7493

  • Nov. 5, Ventanilla de Salud, St. Bernard's Church, 3-6pm
  • Every Wed. and Fri. SEED Food Distribution, 6201 Riverdale Road, 1st floor, 12-3pm
  • Foreclosure Prevention and First Time Homebuyer Workshops Monthly in Riverdale at Centro de Apoyo Familiar 301-328-3292   and Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development 301-458-9808 and 240-206-6704. 

  • Baby Boomer Senior Expo, October 22 and 23, Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • County Executive, Rushern L. Baker III, Legislative Listening Sessions
    Thursday, October 16, 2014
    1) Flowers High School
    10001 Ardwick Ardmore Rd, Springdale, MD 20774     2)Oct. 9, Oxon Hill High School
    6701 Leyte Dr, Oxon Hill, MD 20745                    
     Click Here for Flyer: Legislative Listening Sessions
  • Oct. 7, Re-Entry Town Hall, 6:30pm 
    Suitland Community Center, 
     5600 Regency Parkway, Suitland MD
  • Saturday, October 18, 2014, Clean Up, Green Up Prince Georges County, Students can earn community service hours, contact Samantha Vannaseng (301) 499-8523, SVannaseng@co.pg.md.us
  • Oct. 11. Free Flu Shots, Prince Georges County Health Department, Largo High School

    505 Largo Road in Largo, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon  

    Additional Date:  10/23/2014, Springhill Lake Recreation Center, 6101 Cherrywood Lane in Greenbelt, 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  

  • Oct. 10, FREE Diabetes Education Classes, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Good Luck Community
    Center, 8601 Good Luck Rd., Lanham, MD 20706, Register at 301-883-3545 
  • Nov. 8, FREE 7th Annual College Park Blues Festival,Ritchie Coliseum (4533 Rossborough Lane in College Park) from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. 
  • Oct. 18, Bladensburg Day, 1-4pm The Town Hall Park (Town Green)

Early Voting Begins Oct. 23-Oct. 30

College Park Community Center
5051 Pierce Avenue
College Park, MD 20740

Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Center
 8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785

General Election Nov. 4th 

CKARCDC@live.com Become A Member!

Purple Line Update Meeting for Riverdale and Corridor Businesses 

Tuesday, Nov. 18th @6pm

Updates from the Purple Line Outreach Team and the Prince Georges County Economic Development Corporation's Small Business Division
Where and When
Meeting will be held @ 6pm at: 

Centro de Apoyo Familiar
6801 Kenilworth Avenue
Suite 201
Riverdale, MD 20737
We really hope that you will attend this meeting. Please simply let us know you are able to come at CKARCDC@live.com

Click Here to Email!            

CKAR was pleased to have your attendance at the September Town Hall Business Meetings! Thank you for sharing your perspectives, ideas and concerns about operating your business along the Corridor and in Riverdale! We had excellent representation from the municipal and county governments and are grateful for this opportunity for community engagement!
Mr. Lee, Owner of Choptank Deli/Beer/Wine, 5430 Kenilworth Ave., Riverdale, MD 20737. Sitting Beside Mr. Lee is Ms. 

Nicole Jackson-Young, Prince Georges County 

Office of Community Relations



Update from the 
Civic Associations

The East Pines Civic Association will be dedicating an outdoor bench at their next meeting to the late Russell Dillard for his dedicated service as the treasurer for the association and help in maintaining the community building.  We are always looking for volunteers to help provide community service in the community building. 
Please contact John Arrington, East Pines Civic Association 
President at 301.775.0086.

Riverdale Heights, Hills and Crestwood Community association (RRC)  is participating in Prince George's County "Clean Up Green Up initiative.  RRC will be cleaning up Briars Mill Run.  They are meeting in the parking lot at Wm Wirt Middle School, 6200 Tuckerman Street, Riverdale Md Saturday October 18, 2014 at 900am.  
School kids will be able to receive Community hours for this event as it is sponsored by the county.  Please register online at WWW.anacostiaws,org/calendar.
Hope to see a lot of folks coming out for this great event. 

Contact Templeton Knolls Civic Association to get involved in the "Clean Up Green Up" Initiative at ambishop@umd.edu. 

Next Meetings:

Riverdale Heights/Riverdale Hills and Crestwood Civic Association: 
Saturday, November 8th, 11:00am at the Center for Educational, 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale Hills. 

Templeton Knolls Civic Association: Tuesday, 
October 21, 2014. Templeton Elem. School, 6001 Carters Lane. Contact Alice Bishop at ambishop@umd.edu

Eastpines Civic Association: Thursday, October 16, at 7:30pm.Eastpines Community Building, 5819 Eastpine Drive, Riverdale, MD 20737

Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness - for then The spirits of the dead, who stood In life before thee, are again In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee; be still.
From Spirits of the Dead by Edgar Allan Poe

"Caleveritas" Little Skeletons, a popular Day of the Dead Candy
Career Fairs and Current Employment Opportunities as of 10/6/2014

To look up any of these job openings, copy and paste or type the job description into your Internet search engine bar. Popular job websites you may like to visit for your search are Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Monster.com, Idealist.org. 

Don't forget about the many opportunities available through the Maryland One Stop Centers. The nearest location to Riverdale is:  1801 McCormick Drive, 1st Floor, Largo, MD 20774. 

The One Stop Center has resource areas equipped with internet access, a variety job search resource materials, and resume writing software. On-line computer access, audio-visual libraries, free faxing, copying and telephone services for job search, and a variety of workshops are also available to assist you in finding employment. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Children
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks; use sidewalks whenever possible
  • Look Left, Right and then Left again when crossing the street
  • Keep electronic devices down and keep your head up; make eye contact with drivers before crossing
  • Wear reflective tape on your costume or place tape on the bag of treats 
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights
  • Drivers be especially attentive when driving through residential areas between the hours of 5:30pm and 9:30pm 

Become a Member of CKAR this Fall:

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
By Albert Camus

We hope your leaf will "blossom" this season! Get to know CKAR and schedule a visit from a member to learn more about the organization, its accomplishments and goals for our community, contact: