Welcome! From KidsOutAndAbout Publisher Debra Ross
In addition to publishing KidsOutAndAbout.com, I am the mom of Madison and Ella. Our family lives in Rochester, NY. That's us in the photo below.
KidsOutAndAbout.com is a unique parent-to-parent resource that shows you the wealth of opportunities available for you and your kids in your area. We are not a blog (though we do have a great free weekly e-newsletter that provides scintillating wit and penetrating insight in addition to lists of things to do), we are not exactly a community calendar (we have too much event information to fit in a calendar program), and we are not one of those flashy commercial sites that are trying to push their advertisers in front of your nose. We do accept advertising to make a living, of course, but we do so in a way that enhances your reading experience rather than detracts from it, and we only accept advertising from those who provide valuable resources for parents. (You'll never see one of those hideous "local mom discovers teeth whitening secret!" ads on our site!)
In early 2001, when Madison was one-and-a-half and I was just about to have Ella, I realized how helpful it would be if there were some web site that gathered all of this information in one place. So on my maternity leave, I created the Rochester site of KidsOutAndAbout.com, with the help of several great programmers, a graphic designer, and a terrific nanny who helped me gather information.
Over the course of time, as word about the site spread, others in the greater Rochester community began to donate articles, information, resources, and suggestions. In 2010, we launched sites outside the Rochester area in Albany, Buffalo, and Fairfield County, CT. Those were so warmly received that in 2012 we added sites for Salt Lake City, Houston, Ann Arbor - Detroit, and Saint Louis. Many more are planned for 2013!
How does KidsOutAndAbout work?
Any organization in a local region that provides kid- and family-friendly activities and resources can have a FREE listing on KidsOutAndAbout.com. We have three exclusive calendars: Events, classes, and summer camps, and it is absolutely FREE to post as many activities as an organization can, to any of these calendars. (Click here for more information about how to get a login, add an organization, and add activities.)
Parents can check out our local calendar located at the top of any KidsOutAndAbout.com page. In the seasonal boxes on the top left, they can find the most popular things to do that time of year. They can peruse our resources linked on the left, or search for any subject in our search box at the tope. They can (and should!) sign up for our free weekly newsletter in the upper right-hand section.
Each site has a local editor whose job it is to help organizations learn about how to post and be visible on our site. That local editor also compiles a weekly newsletter so that parents, grandparents, and caregivers in the area can learn what is going on "out and about" for their kids and families.
Why is it free?
People have been amazed when we tell them that not only is the KidsOutAndAbout web service free for parents and caregivers, but also that organizations in our area get free listings for any event, class, or camp they want to post. There are several reasons for this. First, we wanted to remain objective in our listing, and did not want to feel pressured exclude our sponsors' competitors. Second, many of the activities listed here are sponsored by nonprofit organizations who could not otherwise afford to pay for the service. Our goal is to list all of the available activities we can find, which means we did not want to exclude any organization based on its ability to pay.
What about enhanced listings?
Organizations can pay a small monthly fee to enhance their organization listing. In that case, they get more information they can list on their "landing" pages within KOA, links to Facebook and Twitter, logos, photos, and an easier time listing events. Moreover, their listings will pop to the top of any search list on which they appear. (Contact me for more information if you are an organization that is interested in additional visibility.)
Who makes all of this happen? Real people!
Debra Ross, Publisher & Rochester, Salt Lake, and Ann Arbor editor
June Santini, VP of Operations
Steve Gordon, Chief Technology Officer
Katie Beltramo, Albany/Capital District editor
Helena Robin, Buffalo area editor
Helena Robin, also our Fairfield County CT editor
Chelle Dohrmann, Saint Louis editor
Stacy Curtis, Houston editor
Kathleen McCormack, Ann Arbor and Nashville editor
Help us provide this community resource!
Please let us know about events and organizations that we haven't yet listed on the site! Click on the name of the editor where you live to send over the information.
Do YOU want to be one of the people behind a KidsOutAndAbout site in your area? Email me your resume and I'll tell you what it takes to make it happen!
Who writes for KidsOutAndAbout.com?
Mostly, we do. But we have a number of community contributors, and we are always happy to consider articles for publication that would be of interest to parents in greater local areas. We do not pay for articles. Please email me if you have questions or would like to suggest an article or review.
Spread the word!
Almost all of our growth has been due to word of mouth, so please tell your friends and colleagues about KidsOutAndAbout.com. Thank you very much, and we hope you enjoy using KidsOutAndAbout.com!