Connect with us


What to do with all those kids?




Monday, Gov. DeWine announced K-12 schools will not be returning to the classroom and will finish the school year at home. As parents struggle with ensuring their school-aged children have the resources and attention needed to complete their school work remotely, another challenge looms for many parents.

The state is inching closer to the May 1 date when some businesses will begin to reopen under strict guidelines. That means some parents being called back to work. However, in the same Monday press conference, DeWine says “we are not ready yet to open up any daycare facilities.”

“As you have a number of kids together, and then you have them going back to their respective homes, which is a perfect recipe for spread,” he said. “That’s true with whether it’s the flu or whether it’s COVID-19.”

This leaves parents without daycare options in a tough spot as many will not be able to go back to work even if offered the chance. This is an especially difficult choice for single moms who may have no option but to stay home and not work.

One strategy may be to look for temporary babysitters or nannies using the wide-variety of online apps built for just that. Think Lift or Uber but for babysitting. Most feature background-checked sitters and some even reference your social media friends to suggest sitters your friends have booked before.

These sites offer everything from last-minute sitters to regular, every day au pair. Local rates range from $10-$20/hour based on experience, scheduling and frequency. A few of the top sites include:


Sittercity (app)

Bambinositters (app)

Sitter (app)


If you have a friend in a similar situation, you also might think about joining forces to split the cost of temporary childcare until normal daycare operations resume. If readers have any other resources or ideas they would like to share, please leave them in the comments below.

BBQ got its deep hooks into me when I had a business in Austin, TX – you know, the home of dry rub, beef and sausage. I’ve indulged on pulled pork in NC topped with slaw and drenched in vinegar sauce and the savory of Memphis-style ribs to the sweetness of Kansas City. Columbus has its own mix of styles, like so many other cuisines that find a home in our midwest oasis.

Continue Reading


Columbus libraries, other local organizations step up to serve community lunches, education




The system is broken when children need to go to school in order to be nourished for that day. Even in uncertain times, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, along with other Columbus organizations, stepped up to fix a broken system.

The Summer Lunch program has been bringing Columbus-area kids meals between June and August since 2002. 2020 has been a bit different, however, in that we’ve seen the true giving spirit of Columbus organizations.

“Everybody really stepped up. This year, everybody's rolled up their sleeves to provide food.”

Kathy Shahbodaghi, public services director at CML

The CML–in partnership with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and Children’s Hunger Alliance–are once again supplying a much-needed service. CML usually partners with the Hunger Alliance for a snack program, though they recognized the need to supply meals en masse to students this year.

Columbus City Schools also served lunch outside of many of their schools during the months when students were out of school due to COVID-19. The Columbus YMCA partnered in feeding Columbus kids during school months as well.

Due to COVID-19, grab-and-go meals are to be eaten at home. Meals include either breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack. Meals are available Monday-Friday for ages 1-18.

Summer Lunch will be distributed in the parking lots of these nine Columbus Metropolitan Library locations until Aug. 14:

  • Barnett Branch – 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
  • Driving Park Branch – 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
  • Karl Road Branch – Noon-1 p.m. 
  • Linden Branch – 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
  • Marion-Franklin Branch – 1:30-2:30 p.m. 
  • Northern Lights Branch – 1:30-2:30 p.m. 
  • Shepard Branch – 3-4 p.m. 
  • Southeast Branch – 3-4 p.m. 
  • Whitehall Branch – 10-11 a.m.

Click here for a full map of available meals for kids.

Continue Reading


City council aims to give youth opportunities this summer




Walking down Weber Rd. toward I-71 this week, something was happening that most probably thought wouldn’t for at least another year: a group of kids playing basketball and being mentored by adults.

With the 2019-20 school year canceled, children have been confined to home, with most basketball hoops being boarded up. Summer camps were postponed and parents were starting to wonder, “What am I going to do with all of this bottled-up, youthful energy that’s been bouncing against my walls for the past few months?”

That answer was partially given on June 15, when Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced legislation to provide funds to programs for Columbus youth. The $2 million in grants was supported by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. 

“Providing a safe place for our kids to learn and grow during the summer is vital for them and for working parents everywhere, and Columbus children deserve every opportunity to access enriching services that connect them to nature, wellness, and creativity,” Brown said in a press release.

In mid-June, the Columbus Recreation and Parks opened a select number of programming and camps with adjusted group sizes and increased safety protocols. With funds from the CARES Act, Columbus can expect to see more opportunities arise over the next couple of months.

To find a full updated list of programs that the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department will be offering this summer, click here.

Continue Reading