Rosedale residents read stories to students in honor of Dr. King

Volunteers with the Rosedale Development Association are reading stories to students at five Rosedale neighborhood schools as a way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year the ninth annual Reading Inspiring Stories to Empower is being held virtually.

In a typical year Rosedale volunteers would go to the schools in person to read stories, but this year, because of the risk of COVID-19, the volunteer readers are interacting with classrooms through pre-recorded videos and live Zoom events, according to a spokesman.They are reading books that highlight community change-makers and civil rights leaders.

“We are grateful to have so many options for community members to come together virtually and teach one another,” RDA Executive Director Erin Stryka said in a news release. “RISE is helping us stay connected and support each other in working for change in our community.”

This year’s theme is “Moving for Change” and will encourage students’ to make positive change within and advocate for their communities.

After reading the stories, students will identify and discuss pressing issues, and share ideas on how to improve their community. They will then be invited to write to their elected representatives about their ideas and concerns, channeling their discussion and ideas into an action of change. Through this, students may come to understand that their voices carry importance and that even the smallest of actions can lead to progress, according to a spokesman. As Dr. King Jr. said “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Rosedale residents cleaning up parks, one person at a time

Erin Stryka and the Rosedale Development Association are cleaning up the parks in the area, one by one. (Photo from Erin Stryka)

As a stay-at-home order is in effect, the Rosedale Development Association had to cancel its annual cleanup day on April 18. But that doesn’t mean that the community cleanup can’t go on, according to executive director Erin Stryka.

The RDA now is sponsoring “Working Wednesdays” for residents to get out and clean up their parks and neighborhood, one by one, she said.

“This is a very strange and difficult time for everybody,” Stryka said. “In Rosedale, we have a lot of helpers.”

Community members help each other and the neighborhood on a regular basis, she said. “Working Wednesdays” is a way for everyone to do that – while making sure they are not gathering in a group of 10 or more and not closer than 6 feet apart, she said.

Besides the parks, residents may clean up their yards and sidewalks. They will be doing the individual cleanup every Wednesday in April.

The stay-at-home order does not include going for a walk, a bike ride or a hike, as long as people are at least 6 feet away from others, and they don’t gather in a group, she said.

“It is definitely OK to go to Rosedale Park or Fisher Park and walk around and enjoy the outside,” she said.

Stryka was at Fisher Park this morning, picking up trash and cleaning up, she said.

“It’s a beautiful day,” she said.

The RDA has cleanup supplies available for Rosedale residents who want to help, she added. Rosedale residents may call 913-677-5097 for information about the cleanup supplies.

Rosedale residents also may call the same number if they need groceries delivered, supplies delivered or somebody to check in with, she said.

Job board connects employers, job seekers in Rosedale

A job board is connecting employers and job seekers in the Rosedale area.

Launched in December by the Rosedale Development Association, the online job board features mostly jobs available in Rosedale, according to Erin Stryka, RDA executive director.

“We are finding out, first of all, that we have lots of Rosedale businesses that want to hire local folks and are really excited to be posting on a job board for Rosedalians, and for everybody,” she said.

Just recently, the job board had postings for jobs as a community garden assistant, chimney technician apprentice, landscape technician, kitchen staff, bilingual customer service representative and other positions.

The job board may be accessed by anyone, and there is no charge to view the job listings or to place a job listing, she said.

“It’s by and for Rosedalians, but it’s available for everybody,” Stryka said. There are a few jobs listed that are located outside of the Rosedale area, she added.

Job seekers may create a profile on the website and submit their resumes. Employers may list their open positions and look through resumes on the website.

The Rosedale job board was developed by the Rosedale Development Association’s business communications intern, Jada Escobar, with support from the RDA staff.

“This is something we’re doing for the community’s benefit,” Stryka said.

The Rosedale job board is online at