2021 Children’s and Teens’ Connection

2021 Children’s and Teens’ Connection

Welcome to our 2021 Children’s Connection sections. While submissions were still short of the pre-pandemic avalanche of children's and teens’ art and writing, in 2021 students have delivered a delightful, sometimes unusual, panoply of expression. I’ve enjoyed the art and writing as we’ve downloaded it over many many hours in the last two weeks. And I hope you will also.

You can find digital copies of the papers, including the Children’s and Teens’ Connection at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/PDFs/. The papers should be posted by Thursday, Dec. 16. We deliver tens of thousands of papers to homes, businesses, public libraries and community centers, plus thousands more in email and digital. We will print extra copies, and restock at libraries and community centers. But also feel free to print out pages from the PDFs or take a digital copy to a photo center to print out larger, high resolution copies of your child’s art if you desire many copies.

It feels like a small, or not so small, miracle to have made it to the end of 2021 and be looking forward into the New Year. The pandemic has been a bear, financially and otherwise. Revenue plummeted at the beginning in 2020. More recently we have seen the return of advertising for events and Grand Openings. Some beloved advertisers have stayed the course supporting us throughout, and many more have done what they can. Revenue is still short of our greatly curtailed costs.

At the end of 2020, we didn’t have any idea how we would keep going. But our readers responded overwhelmingly to our Go Fund Me, bringing us within reach of our goal of $50,000. PPP funding, “forgivable loans,” made our survival possible. Now we are still hoping for a grant from Rebuild Virginia to help get us into 2022. We applied almost a year ago, but it seems possible that our application might be reviewed while there is still money in the fund. 

I think we can be characterized as pathological optimists. While there are forces out there that could make it impossible for us to keep going, we continue to push forward. While I have said this a few times without yet making it happen, keep your eyes open for our membership drive, which would hope for readers, sources and community members who would be interested in supporting us on a monthly basis.

One of the magical elements that helped us get this far was the presence on our staff of an international journalism legend, Kemal Kurspahic, who served as managing editor and guiding light for decades. Kemal died tragically and unexpectedly this fall, having a stroke after minor surgery. We miss him daily. Keeping everything going has been harder since. You can read Kemal’s obituary here: http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2021/sep/22/courage-journalism/

We haven’t done everything we aspire to do, we always aspire to greater community service. But we do know that the community is better off for Local Media Connection continuing to publish.

Now that we’ve told you how we’re doing (ha!), let us know how you are doing, what you think about the state of our communities. 

Thank you.

— Mary Kimm, kimm.mary@gmail.com