Kidsburgh’s village is growing with new ways to support parents. Here’s how you can join us.

Photo by Dimitri used by permission via Unsplash.

Back when Kidsburgh was first coming into existence, I was the overtired mother of a rambunctious 5-year-old and an equally energetic 2-year-old. My husband and I were both working full-time and beginning to take care of his elderly mom and dad. We’d been apartment dwellers for most of our adult lives, and suddenly we were grappling with his family home — a multigenerational, 50-year-old house in need of some serious love and repair. 

I was new to Pittsburgh, homesick for New York, perpetually feeling like there were never enough hours in a day. When we focused on our jobs, we felt guilty about how much time our youngest was spending at childcare and how much TV our kindergartener was watching. When we focused on the kids and on my in-laws, the house slid into chaos. Laundry piled up. Dishes multiplied in the sink. 

We needed a village. And in our first years here, we hadn’t quite built one yet. That made the days long and the nights often sleepless. 

New Kidsburgh Executive Editor Melissa Rayworth, back in 2008 with her sons. Photo by her husband. ©2021, Ted Anthony.

I didn’t know back then that a remarkable group of people were busy dreaming up what would eventually become But I’m so very glad they did. 

I also couldn’t have imagined then that I’d get the chance to work with them. But I’m grateful to be stepping in this week as Kidsburgh’s new editor. 

If the world learned anything over the past year and a half, it’s that even in the best of circumstances, parents shouldn’t have to go it alone. We all need support and encouragement and solid information as we make countless daily decisions for our children and ourselves — and try to have some fun along the way. 

That’s why Kidsburgh is here. 

As we move into what Kidsburgh director Lyn Krynski called our “next chapter,” we have many plans. 

  • This week, we welcomed our first guest editor, Dr. Tom Ralston, and we will be welcoming a range of additional educators, child development and mental health experts, and other community leaders who will serve as guest editors in the coming months.
  • Kidsburgh is launching the Great Learning Conversations this month, along with our partners in the Parents as Allies project — the Brookings Institution, IDEO and HundrED. These public conversations between parents, teachers and school administrators are meant to build on the growing connection we’ve seen between schools and families during the pandemic. 
  • We’re planning to create more resource guides to help you navigate the most important (and often most challenging) aspects of parenting, like maintaining your family’s mental health and supporting your child’s learning.

In short, we’re ramping up with all kinds of fresh ideas to enrich the lives of parents and kids in western Pennsylvania. Some will, we believe, be great. Some most certainly won’t. And we’re looking to you to guide us toward what you find most useful. 

Looking to you: That’s an important new theme for us.

Along with the projects we’re launching and the ones we’ve got in the planning stages, we want to connect more fully with you. We want to use our social media channels to ask what kinds of support and information you need and want. We want to include your voices in the stories we publish — and, more broadly, in the ways we think about parenting and writing about it. 

What would make your days and nights easier, less stressful and hopefully more fun? What kinds of local resources would you want to learn about? What questions would you like us to ask the many brilliant researchers and experts at Pittsburgh’s colleges and universities? 

And which Kidsburgh Kind Kids can you tell us about?

Reach out — on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email — and share your thoughts on what you need and how we can serve you best. 

We’re grateful that you’re part of our family. And we’re excited to find new ways to make life better for yours.