What a difference four months has made for parents in Central Ohio

Few of us could have imagined how dramatically life was about to change when we sent the Spring issue of Columbus Parent to the printer in late February. 

But on March 3, when Gov. Mike DeWine announced the cancellation of the Arnold Sports Festival’s trade show and the prohibition of spectators at competitions because of the coronavirus outbreak, Ohioans took notice. The rest of the month was a flurry of school and business closures, remote workforces, furloughs and anxiety. While Ohio has been gradually reopening, it’s still far from business as usual—and isn’t likely to be that way for a long time, if ever. 

Like many of you, we at Dispatch Magazines have been working from home since mid-March. The Summer issue you’re holding—or reading online—was produced entirely from real or makeshift home offices (mine is often the great room couch). 

Perhaps the bigger challenge, though, was what we should write about. The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the parenting landscape, and we couldn’t ignore it. But at the same time, after more than three months of living through it, we understand you want to read about other things, too. 

So, yes, as art director Alyse Pasternak wrote as a placeholder on a cover mock-up, “Summer is still happening, we promise.” Sure, it looks different, but there are still plenty of opportunities for family fun. We have ideas for spending time in the great outdoors, visiting state parks, exploring virtual activities and entertainment, and more.

One of my favorite stories, “A Different World,” features first-person perspectives from four local parents on how their families’ lives have changed since spring, and what they’ve learned about themselves and their children. There are definitely struggles, but also lots of silver linings amid the dark clouds.  

Finally, don’t miss the major feel-good story: our annual Teachers of the Year awards. The program, in its seventh year, recognizes outstanding Central Ohio educators in partnership with ThisWeek Community News. Our 2020 winners, chosen from 15 finalists, include a banker-turned-teacher, a middle school teacher who found her true calling while working as a styling instructor, and a U.S. Government teacher who led his school robotics team to two world tournaments. Meet them in our “2020 Teachers of the Year: Making the Grade” package.

Thanks for reading!

This story is from the Summer 2020 issue of Columbus Parent.

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