Notice anything different about this month's Kids VT? We hope you do. Just after they published the December/January issue, Susan Holson and Kim Kropf sold Kids VT to the Burlington-based weekly newspaper Seven Days.
The new Kids VT team, pictured here, has spent the past two months reenvisioning "Vermont's family resource" — with help from a lot of people who didn't make it into this picture! We've been asking ourselves: What kind of information do Vermont families want and need? How do we package it to appeal to our families, friends and neighbors?
The result of our inquiries is in your hands. This month's Kids VT is substantially different from what came before. For one thing, we've changed sizes. This new format is the same as Seven Days, which makes our production process more efficient and allows us to invest in creating local content.
And everything in this magazine is written by Vermont writers we know and trust. We asked them to craft stories about local people and places, and to reflect on their own experiences of raising families here.
We also redesigned the logo. The previous one showed a cartoon family consisting of a mom, a dad and a child. That image represents many Vermont families — but not all of them. There are families with one mom or one dad and blended families with stepparents and stepsiblings. Vermont has families led by grandparents or other caregivers, and families with two dads or two moms, like mine. We want Kids VT to speak to them all.
As different as our families may look, we have one thing in common — kids. We're all doing our best to raise healthy, happy, well-rounded children. We're all scrambling to make a decent dinner, or plan a memorable birthday party, or find fun ways to be active. We're struggling with questions about our children's future, from college-saving strategies to finding classes and camps that nurture their creativity.
We're also trying to help kids navigate a rapidly changing world. As I was working on the cover story this month, I talked to a number of parents about the wisdom of letting their children use smartphones. All of them commented on how much technology has changed in our lifetimes. Over and over again, I heard them say, "It blows my mind."
How do you cope with all that? We think Kids VT can help. We don't have all the answers, but we hope that by asking questions and sparking conversation, we can engage Vermont parents in a dialogue that benefits us all.
So, please, read this issue and tell us what you think. Next month's Kids VT will have a letters-to-the-editor section, and we hope to fill it with your rants, raves and suggestions for how we can improve. We'd love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or tell us in person. Stop by the 14th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Burlington. We'll all be there.
Cathy Resmer, editor