The first edition of “The Carpool,” a parenting and education e-newsletter newly produced by the News + Record, was sent to more than 5,000 people last week.
The Carpool is the newest digital product from the CN+R, produced by Web Editor and Education Reporter Hannah McClellan.
“We developed the idea for a parenting newsletter in the UNC Table Stakes program we’ve been a part of since last fall,” said News + Record Publisher Bill Horner III. “But we really developed a stronger vision for it in the Facebook Accelerator program we just completed. The goal is very simple: to give parents in Chatham County a comprehensive resource, a tool to provide critical information, news, advice and more.”
The News + Record’s coach in both the Table Stakes and Accelerator programs, Cierra Hinton, played a major role in the development of the project, Horner said. But McClellan, who has covered education for the newspaper for the past year, was the creative force behind it.
“Hannah’s not a mother, but ‘The Carpool’ is really her baby,” Horner said. “The feedback we’ve already gotten about it from education-related groups and organizations shows that there’s a real appetite for something like this in Chatham County.”
Three Chatham county organizations — Communities In Schools, the Boys & Girls Cubs and the Chatham Education Foundation — are working with the News + Record to continue to develop and distribute the newsletter.
The Carpool’s sections include:
• “Morning announcements,” a summary of school- and parent-related news
• A “Bulletin Board” with a listing of local events
• “The Fridge,” a chance for local parents to showcase their children’s accomplishments, artwork, or to share “brags” about their children, including artwork and projects
• “Required Reading,” featuring recent stories related to parenting and education
Additional content includes a “A Meme A Day” and Kid Scoop, the weekly educational resource geared toward young children and provided in the weekly print edition of the News + Record. The newsletter will eventually be a paid, semi-monthly product.
McClellan said she hopes the project will serve to highlight resources available to parents and families in Chatham.
“Like I said in the introductory Carpool email, I’m not a parent, but I’ve gotten to know a lot of really impressive and kind parents and students over the last year reporting in Chatham,” she said. “During a year of covering and consuming a lot of really difficult news, learning and writing about all the people helping to make Chatham a better place — especially for its students — has been such a rewarding part of my job, and I’m excited to see that continue through this newsletter.”
The News + Record is looking into providing Spanish translations of The Carpool in the future. The newsletter joins the stable of other CN+R digital products, including “The Chatham Brew,” a thrice-weekly newsletter named best email newsletter by a community newspaper in the last two N.C. Press Association News & Editorial contests. The Brew is sent to nearly 4,000 readers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Another newsletter — a special “Brew” edition featuring the front page of each edition and a story of the week — is sent each Thursday morning.
A number of additional newsletters are planned and will be announced this summer, Horner said, with Reporter Lars Dolder and Sports Editor Victor Hensley each developing projects that will launch later this year.
For more information about The Carpool or to subscribe, email email@example.com.
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