At 112 pages, this week's issue of Seven Days is back to its pre-pandemic size. Not because the crisis is over, but because we've inserted the April issue of Kids VT, our award-winning monthly parenting publication. We made that decision in order to conserve resources — after all, money is the theme of this week's Seven Days! And because many of the regular Kids VT drop-off spots — schools, childcare centers and other family-focused venues — are closed.
The combo issue is a sign of the times. Tens of thousands of young Vermonters are suddenly stuck at home with overtaxed parents and caregivers desperate to keep them occupied.
The April 2020 Kids VT will help. It's full of homeschooling tips and resources, as well as gardening ideas and first-person accounts of parenting through a pandemic. One regular columnist works at a local grocery chain; she shares what life has been like on the front lines. Find an April-showers-themed coloring contest on page 34.
This issue of Kids VT also celebrates the 215 young Vermonters who completed the 2019-20 Good Citizen Challenge. The interactive civics project, funded by the Vermont Community Foundation, launched last October and concluded on March 6. Participants completed quizzes and activities in five subject areas: History, Government, Community Engagement, Advocacy and News Literacy.
Though that Challenge is over, a new one begins this week: the Good Citizen Coronavirus Challenge. It invites any K-12 student to complete activities to be entered into a weekly prize drawing. This Challenge will focus on learning history, helping the community and practicing news literacy. Find more info and sign up for email alerts at goodcitizenvt.com.
Meanwhile, Seven Days' long-scheduled Money Issue has taken on new relevance. Can anyone explain what just happened to our economy? Can it be saved? Seven Days is one of hundreds of thousands of small businesses around the country applying for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, created by the newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. There's no guarantee that we'll get it, of course, but we had to try — right, Community Bank? As Vermont's largest circulation newspaper, we will do everything humanly possible to keep the news coming and our talented staff employed.
Many thanks to the advertisers who are still doing business with Seven Days — and paying their bills — during this crazy time. And we could not be more grateful to the 1,300-plus Super Readers whose donations are paying for everything from reporter salaries to printing and hand sanitizer. If you appreciate our efforts, please join them.
As we like to say: Seven Days is free; making it isn't. We hope you find this week's issue useful, informative and entertaining. And, starting this week, look for a new, second crossword puzzle — sponsored by New England Federal Credit Union.