The Evolve Foundation has partnered with Bowie Town Center to host their annual outreach event, Teaching Tikes. This is a free event for family and friends for fun, food, and games. Games include; bike riding, yoga, jump rope, giant Jenga, and bowling, just to name a few. Also, joining in on the fun was the Parks and Recreation organization, teaching kids bike riding safety habits and going through the bike obstacle course.
“Teaching Tikes is a fun, fun field good day for the kids, for the families of all ages, mainly for the kids, but a little something for the adults as well. It’s really all about the community. It’s all about togetherness”, said Kyle Arrington, Founder of The Evolve Foundation.
Dave Ricklin, Marketing Director of Bowie Town Center has been working with The Evolve Foundation to put this event together for the past two years.
“We’re just excited to be hosting for the second straight year Teaching Tikes. It’s a free event for anyone who comes and we have events like bike riding and yoga. We got all sorts of little fun activities. We’re just inviting all the kids to come out and have a great day, learn a lot. We have a magician here performing so it’s going to be a great time”, said Ricklin.
Bowie Town Center, “Candy Crawl”, event is happening on October 30th. They will be handing out toys and candy to everyone who comes out. This is an opportunity for families to come and enjoy the fun and also receive candy from the retail stores.
Supporting Teaching Tikes and The Evolve Foundation is Prince George’s County Chairman Calvin S. Hawkins, II. He learned of the foundation about a year and a half ago when Evolve was in the community giving away clothes and toys to needy kids and families.
“They were out in the community doing significant things”, said Chairman Hawkins, II.
During the height of the pandemic, Evolve was paying it forward. Raising the money themselves, and giving food to the needy. Evolve was seen at Tanger Outlets giving needy families bags of toys in order for families to have a great Christmas. This type of dedication and handwork caught the attention of Chairman Hawkins, II, which made him want to support The Evolve Foundation in any way he could.
A native Washingtonian from Oxon Hill, Maryland, Chairman Hawkins, II was the first in his family to go to college, Bowie State University. Soon his life took a different turn and he ended up in prison. While in prison he realized what a father should be to their children. After serving six years in prison, he made it his mission to serve in his community to be the father he needed to be for his daughter and for his community. From Prison to Chairman, he was elected Chair and At-Large Council Member in November 2018.
“When I went back to my jail cell I said, Lord if you give me an opportunity to come out into the community again, I’ll be the father my daughter needs and I’ll be the responsible citizen this community needs. So that’s the passion that drives me”, said Chairman Hawkins, II.
The Evolve Foundation and Chairman Hawkins, II share a similar passion. Their love for the community is what drives them to push their community to be all it can be.
“They’re doing great things throughout the region and we are always honored and humbled when it comes to Prince George’s County”, said Chairman Hawkins, II.
The Evolve Foundation has gone in and transformed libraries and departments in public schools. They have recently renovated Gwynn Park High School Athletic Department by remodeling the entire weight room and athletic room. From painting to new equipment, all from their own funding.
“When you have an organization like that you can’t help but be involved if you care about your community”, said Chairman Hawkins, II.
Outside of supporting the Evolve Foundation, Chairman Hawkins, II takes part in the Christmas in April program, designed to renovate the homes of senior citizens or individuals with physical and mental challenges. This organization helps families in many ways, from ordering a new refrigerator, yard work, to renovating basements. This program does whatever it takes to leave families in good hands.
In honor of Clarence Wright, a prominent individual involved with Kyle Arrington and the foundation, The Evolve Foundation has started another program called #TheWrightWay. This program supports initiatives for community groups and individuals supporting their community.
“Clarence was always about the community. He was always about giving back. He was always upbeat, positive, and a part of supporting causes that improved and advanced our community. And his life was one of making our community better than they found it”, said Chairman Hawkins, II.
Facilitator for Self County Community Roundtable and veteran, Andy Holloway, has worked for P.G. County for ten years. He originated from Alabama and came to Maryland after serving in the military. After retiring, he engaged himself in the community.
“We make sure all the communities communicate across each other to see what’s going on and how can we help our community. I try to do what I can to give back and engage what I can”, said Holloway.
Holloway thinks The Evolve Foundation is great! He believes when information is put out it encourages and involves the community because it’s really talking about the kids.
“If you get the smaller kids normally the adults come out”, said Holloway.
The first Teaching Tikes occurred in 2020. At the height of the pandemic, there were doubts as to how the event would function with not fully understanding COVID-19, but that did not stop Arrington and his team from continuing the mission to bring the community together during a horrific time.
“We had some folks who didn’t think we could pull it off because where we were with COVID; protocol restrictions and stuff like that. We needed a break. It’s been a lot these last two years. It’s just a blessing to put this on for the second year. We’re still in a pandemic, but as long as we’re in it together we’re going to be ok”, said Arrington.
Teaching Tikes is all about laying the foundation for children to get them involved in their community and to make a difference.
“The earlier the better”, said Arrington.
Bowie Town Center celebrates its 20th Anniversary with more free events. November 6 from 1:00 – 5:00 P.M. is the 20th Anniversary block party; a family-friendly, kid-friendly event with activities including; a balloon sculpture, character artist, live music, and a lot of fun for adults as well.
“We’re very excited that’s it our 20th anniversary. We’ll have a corn hole tournament and all sorts of fun things. We certainly invite everyone out for that. The day before Halloween we have our candy crawl, where we will be giving out free toys and candy to all the kids who come out and a lot of the retailers here will be giving out free candy as well”, said Ricklin.
Teaching Tikes ended with prize giveaways of amazon cards, a new bike, a Nintendo switch, and the celebration of Chairman Hawkins, II’s birthday with singing and laughter. Arrington and his team represented domestic violence awareness month by adding the color purple to their logo.
To donate to The Evolve Foundation, visit them at www.theevolvefondation.org. This event was made possible by the support of the following sponsors; The Evolve Foundation, Party HQ, Prince George’s County, and Bowie Town Center.
Watch the full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3PWXihAquE