The last weekend of August is always one of the busiest of the year with back-to-school giveaways, community events, and block parties across Ward 4! Check out everything happening in our community and updates on school immunizations, the KIDS Ride Free program, public safety, and your final chance to vote on a Ward 4 Commemorative Project.
To all our parents and students out there: whether you’re a few days into the new school year or preparing to start school next week, we are rooting for you to have a great start to the year! I have been visiting our Ward 4 schools all month, so I know your teachers and staff have been working hard to prepare to welcome you back! Last Monday I got to greet our Ward 4 scholars returning to EL Haynes PCS, and this coming Monday I will be out and about welcoming back our DCPS Ward 4 scholars back to school, too. See you out there!
Back-to-School Movie Night on Kennedy Street
On Friday, August 25 from 5pm-10pm Uptown Main Street and Kennedy Street businesses are hosting a Back-to-School Movie Night at 716 Kennedy St NW. They are offering a family-friendly yoga class, games, music, vouchers for kids’ haircuts, and an 8pm screening of Minions: The Rise of Gru to welcome Ward 4 students back to school!
SOME’s Summer Concert at The Parks at Walter Reed
On Friday, August 25 from 6pm-8pm So Others Might Eat (SOME) will host a summer concert on the Great Lawn at the Parks at Walter Reed with DC Strings! The event is free and open to all, so bring a chair or blanket and picnic food to enjoy the show. RSVP on Eventbrite.
Enjoy Birding at Fort Slocum
On Saturday, August 26 from 8am-10am the Rock Creek Conservancy and DC Audubon are inviting neighbors for a stroll through Fort Slocum Park to observe and identify local birds. They will spend time learning how to identify a few of Rock Creek Park’s common forest-dwelling birds while enjoying the beauty of the park. Register online if you plan to be there.
Whittier Elementary Beautification Day
On Saturday, August 26 from 9am-1pm Whittier Elementary will host a Beautification Day, where parents, students, and neighbors can join the school community as they tend to the Whittier gardens and grounds ahead of the new school year. RSVP online to volunteer!
New Lafayette Elementary Family Popsicle Social
On Saturday, August 26 the Lafayette Elementary Home and School Association (HSA) will host a Popsicle Social at Lafayette-Pointer Park (5900 33rd St NW) for new students and parents to meet classmates and families from their classroom and grade. HSA members will be present to answer your questions. All Pre-K families are invited from 10am-11am, new Kindergarten families are invited 11:15am-12:15pm, and new 1st through 5th grade families are invited from 5pm-6pm. Learn more on the HSA website!
AKA Paving the Way to a Successful School Year
On Saturday, August 26 from 10am-2pm the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host a Paving the Way to a Successful School Year event at the Xi Omega Center (4411 14th St NW) in Sixteenth Street Heights to provide free school supplies, backpacks, undergarments, socks, uniforms, health exams, and gift cards for students returning to school. Lunch will be provided!
16th Street Heights Community Potluck
On Saturday, August 26 from 11am-1pm the Carter Barron East Neighborhood Association will host a 16th Street Heights Meet & Mingle and Back-to-School Potluck at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (4901 16th Street NW). The event will include food, drinks, and community — and neighbors can also bring school supplies to contribute for local schools.
Upper Georgia Avenue Summer Block Party
On Saturday, August 26 from 11am-2pm Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street will host an End of Summer Block Party on the 7700-7780 blocks of Georgia Avenue. Come enjoy local vendors, live music, live mural painting, community organizations, local restaurants, and the company of your neighbors. Learn more and RSVP on Eventbrite to attend!
“Back-to-School” Empower-Her Community Day at Emery
On Saturday, August 26 from 12pm-4pm Ms. Friday and Empower-Her will host a Back-to-School Community Day at Emery Heights Community Center. Come out for food, games, free backpacks, motivational segments, haircuts, and a firefighter safety training! Here is the flyer!
Six Months Moratorium to Stop the Killings! Cookout/Amateur Boxing Match at Upshur
On Saturday, August 26 from 1pm-8:30pm Cease Fire… Don’t Smoke the Brothers and Sisters will host the 16th Annual Six Months Moratorium to Stop the Killings! Cookout/Amateur Boxing Match at Upshur Recreation Center (14th & Arkansas NW). Come be in community and enjoy the cookout, music, entertainment, backpack giveaway, and amateur boxing (3pm-6pm).
Family Water Palooza at Northwest Community Church
On Saturday, August 26 from 2pm-5pm Northwest Community Church will host a Free Family Water Day with water slides, a slip-n-slide, hot dogs, snacks, and more for the whole family. Check out the flyer with all the details on this great event at 4100 16th Street NW!
Sixteenth Street Heights Summer Block Party
On Saturday, August 26 from 4pm-7pm the 16th Street Neighborhood Association will host its annual Summer Block Party on the 1500 block of Allison Street NW. Join your neighbors for food, beverages, sprinklers, games, and kids activities. Check out the flyer for more details!
Van Buren United Methodist Church Community Day
On Saturday, August 26 from 4pm-8pm Van Buren United Methodist Church will host a Community Day at 35 Van Buren St NW. Come enjoy time outdoors, connect with Takoma neighbors, and celebrate our community with great Caribbean food and music.
Green New Deal for Housing Event at Petworth Library
On Monday, August 28 at 6pm the Green New Deal Coalition will host a listening session at Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave NW) focused on the Green New Deal for Housing Act, new legislation that would create publicly-owned, mixed-income, sustainable housing that puts our people and our planet first. The event will give residents a chance to share their thoughts on the bill and learn more about the proposal. RSVP online if you plan to attend!
DCPL Mobile Library on Kennedy Street
On Wednesday, August 30 from 4:30pm-7:30pm DCPL’s mobile library will be at 5th & Kennedy NW for a special event where families can play games, check out books, and meet ANC 4D Commissioners. Come enjoy DCPL services and games on Kennedy Street.
Jazz in The Parks at The Parks at Walter Reed
On Thursday, August 31 from 6pm-8pm the Parks at Walter Reed will host their fifth Jazz in The Parks concert on the Great Lawn — this time featuring the Alex Hamburger Quartet and José Luiz Martins. Bring your own picnic, blanket and refreshments, and enjoy popular local food vendors and giveaways. RSVP on Eventbrite if you plan to attend!
Last Summer in the Parks Event at Fort Slocum
On Thursday, August 31 from 6pm-8pm the Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service will host the final Summer in the Parks event at Fort Slocum with picnics, music, games, and other activities. Bring the family to this fun event in one of our best Ward 4 parks!
Community Movie Night at Emery Heights
On Friday, September 1 at 6pm-8:30pm Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW) will host a community movie night indoors in their media room. The movie shown will be chosen by the children present!
Uptown Block Party in Ward 4
On Sunday, September 3 from 12pm-5pm 7th Place neighbors will host the 2nd Annual Uptown Block Party on the 6500 block of 7th Place NW! The event will feature food trucks, snacks, games, a piñata, music, dancing, resources, and the company of your neighbors! Check out the flyer for this chance to celebrate our community. The rain date is September 9.
Visit Ward 4 Farmers Markets
Get your fresh goods, crafts, and dose of community at our Ward 4 Farmers Markets:
- Uptown Farmers Market at 5501 Colorado Ave NW on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Chevy Chase Farmers Market at Lafayette ES on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Petworth Community Market at 9th & Upshur NW on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Takoma Park Farmers Market at 6931 Laurel Ave on Sundays from 10am-2pm
Arrests Made in Ward 4 Armed Robberies and Carjackings
MPD recently announced the arrests of two suspects responsible for multiple armed robberies and armed carjackings across Ward 4, including Brightwood, Takoma, Manor Park, Riggs Park, Brightwood Park, and Petworth. The suspects were arrested within a few days or a month of these offenses taking place, helping prevent more such incidents in our community.
Don’t Forget Pediatric Immunizations for the New School Year
DC Health is reminding parents and caregivers across DC to ensure your children obtain the necessary immunizations that are required for school. The best place for families to get required childhood immunizations is through their medical provider. However, DC Health has expanded access to vaccination services to include: school-based health centers (for students ages 3 and older), District mobile medical units at various locations, and pediatric immunization clinics throughout the city. All pediatric immunization clinics are free, but insured families should bring their insurance cards to their immunization appointments.
Kids Ride Metro Free Program
The Kids Ride Free program allows students to ride MetroBus, MetroRail, and the DC Circulator for free while traveling within DC. The only requirement is that they live in DC, be between the ages of 5-21, and be enrolled in a public, charter, private, or parochial school in DC. For the 2023-24 School Year, DC students can collect their new Kids Ride Free SmartTrip cards from their school ID administrators at their respective schools, and last year’s Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards will remain valid through September 30, 2023. Learn more from DDOT.
Consumer Alert: Avoiding Home Improvement Scams and Disputes
The DC Attorney General issued a consumer alert warning DC residents planning to upgrade or remodel their homes to beware of scams and unreliable contractors. They ask residents to beware of contractors who show up at your door unannounced, say they can offer a lower price using surplus materials, pressure you to hire them immediately to receive a discount, demand payment upfront, or offer to arrange financing for you. These are all signs of potentially deceptive and unethical business practices. Read the full consumer alert on how to choose a contractor with confidence, protect your investment, and avoid being scammed.
Cannabis Cultivation Center on Upshur Not Moving Forward
The August 16 special ANC 4C meeting to consider the license application for a Medical Cannabis Cultivation Center at 821 Upshur Street NW was cancelled earlier this week after the proposal for the cannabis cultivation center at this location was withdrawn.
September 1 Deadline: Vote on a Ward 4 Commemorative Project
Residents have until September 1 to cast their vote to decide which Ward 4 individual, event, or group will be commemorated as part of the Ward 4 Commemorative Project. The nominations include the DC Caribbean Carnival on Georgia Avenue, the Highway Revolts, Neighbors Inc, United Blacks Against Discrimination, the Founding of DC Youth Orchestra, Ms. Vanilla Beane, and Mr. Stephen Whatley. The winner will be commemorated on public space in Ward 4. Visit the DC Office of Planning’s website to learn more about each nomination, the potential locations, and to cast your vote.
Ward 4 in the News
Washington Post: DC’s red-flag gun seizures are low. Officials hope to change that.
DCist: DC Students Improving In Literacy And Math, But Are Behind Pre-COVID Levels
DCist: Metro Says New Faregates Are Reducing Fare Evasion By More Than 70%
Associated Press: At March on Washington’s 60th anniversary, leaders seek energy of original movement for civil rights
Urban Turf: Raze Application Could Pave Way For 35 Affordable Senior Units at Phi Beta Sigma Headquarters on Kennedy Street
Washington Post: Echoing and reflecting their African roots (Featuring Zenith Gallery)
Channel 7: Northwest DC apartment fire displaces 12 adults, 4 kids and pets
Washington Informer: Ben’s Chili Bowl Turns 65
DC Public Library: Dinosaur Roaring Contest Best Submissions Video!
DCist: Cleaning Staff Walk Off The Job Downtown, Alleging Mistreatment For Unionization Effort
Washington City Paper: Best of DC 2023, Featuring Many Ward 4 Favorites: Zenith Gallery Winning Best Gallery, Chacho, La Coop Coffee, Art of Noize, Tara Hoot, and More
Petworth News: Petworth local offers Zumba classes designed for busy parents
Ward 4 Dispatch: School Readiness, Traffic Safety Improvements, and New Restaurants
As we begin a new fiscal year, we are adding to our Ward 4 Council team to serve our growing Ward 4 community. Please share these job openings with someone who would be a great fit!
In Loving Memory of Cesse Ip
I am devastated to share that our beloved Ward 4 neighbor Cesse Ip passed away this week. If you didn’t know Cesse, she was the kind of person who transforms a place into a community. She was kind, caring, and endlessly dedicated to improving her neighborhood. Cesse helped plan community events and block parties. And she was a fierce advocate for affordable housing, small businesses, and bringing a public library to Kennedy Street.
Cesse was a brilliant contributing writer for Petworth News, where she shined a light on issues that impact our community deeply — from addressing blighted buildings to preventing gun violence. She was also a devoted parent leader at Dorothy Height Elementary on the Parent Teacher Organization. And last year, Cesse served on our Ward 4 Redistricting Task Force, where she worked collaboratively and thoughtfully to update Ward 4’s ANC boundaries.
Above all, Cesse was a loving neighbor, wife, and mother to her two sons. Ward 4 will always remember and honor Cesse for the incredible person that she was and all that she did. We are so grateful for her lasting legacy in our community. May her memory be a blessing.
In memory of Cesse, I encourage everyone to take some time during this last August weekend to be in community, reach out to a neighbor, visit a local business, or do something to support your school or neighborhood. We have more than a dozen back-to-school events, block parties, and community celebrations in Ward 4 this weekend to connect with your neighbors.
I also want share a quick word of thanks to all our Shepherd Park neighbors, residents at The Parks, the Weed Warriors, DC Youth Orchestra, our dedicated DC agencies, and our amazing ANC 4A Commissioners Joan Hoyte, Paula Edwards, Zack Bolton, and Christian Hara for joining us at our Ward 4 CARE Day this week. It was a beautiful day of community building, resource sharing, and connecting with neighbors.
Have a great weekend, Ward 4!
Yours in Community,