The Old Man of Anacostia


For those of us concerned about the rise in juvenile crimes—particularly carjackings—we should feel challenged to offer new, productive and safe activities for our youths to engage in.  The only bowling alley east of the Anacostia River is the Potomac Lanes Bowling Center (PLBC) on the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

The Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC) has met with the leadership of that military base and has made arrangements to organize a youth bowling program that will be targeted to middle and high school students east of the river. The youths who engage in the bowling program will also be given the opportunity to connect with other activities on JBAB. The bowling project is being co-chaired by ACC board members Thomas Byrd and Kim Ford.

The JBAB bowling alley is ultra modern and has 30 lanes, making it one of the largest bowling facilities in DC.  If the program is to be successful, the support of the community is immediately needed. ACC would like to kick off the project this fall and needs significant funding to cover all aspects of the program, particularly in the area of transportation. They are looking for organizations, companies, faith based groups or anyone who may have buses or vans.  The idea is that each school would be a stop where the kids would meet, get on the bus/van and be driven to the base.

A successful youth bowling project can be beneficial on several levels.  By being on JBAB, it is probably in the safest location east of the river.  Bowling, in addition to being an enjoyable recreational activity, can also lead to college scholarship opportunities.

The JBAB military leadership has opened its doors to an exciting program for our youth.  Please let us take full advantage of it.  Your help is urgently needed.

If you are a parent who wants to learn more about the program, or if you are in an organization that can help with transportation, please contact Kim ford at or Thomas Byrd at If you are a parent with a child at Ballou or Anacostia High, there will be a specific point of contact that will be announced at the school.

Long-time Ward 8 community activist Philip Pannell can be contacted at Pannell is the Executive Director of the Anacostia Coordinating Council. Help Make Wards 7 & 8 Great! Become a Member of the Anacostia Coordinating Council: Visit