Celebrating MacKID Publishers Making a Difference On Our 15th Birthday

Our local publishers are the heart and soul of our company

By Jamie Ratner, President and CEO of Macaroni KID November 1, 2022

Macaroni KID is turning 15 this November, and I truly believe there's never been a better time to become part of our team!

We are nearly 400 Macaroni KID publishers strong, each of whom is an invaluable member of their community. Our publishers'  jobs are to provide parents with the scoop on the best things to do and places to go with kids in their towns. They do that — and so much more! We're so proud of the ways Macaroni KID publishers make a difference in and showcase their communities. Read below for some recent examples of our publishers' efforts and adventures. Their impact on their communities, local businesses, and millions of families is enormous and so inspiring to see. 

Fifteen years is a long ride! I've only been around for over two years now, having taken over as Macaroni KID owner and CEO in 2020. I believed so much in Macaroni KID that I took the reins in the midst of the pandemic, when life was so uncertain. Leading Macaroni KID and integrating it with CertifiKID — the company I started in 2010 — instantly created one of the largest digital media platforms for families in the country. Now, after an extremely challenging two years, all I can see ahead of us is excitement, continued growth, and opportunity. 

Are you interested in becoming a Macaroni KID publisher? We are actively recruiting — find out more now! Then read on to learn more about how just a few of our publishers — the heart and soul of our company — are impacting their communities:

Kara Ault, Arkansas publisher of Macaroni KID Fayetteville and Macaroni KID Rogers-Bentonville

We all know it takes a village to raise a child, but what if you don't have one? 

"A message I've seen over and over from moms on Facebook is asking how to meet other moms and make friends, and even moms who say they are lonely and need friends," Macaroni KID Fayetteville, Ark., publisher Kara Ault says.

That was the motivation for Kara to host a mom-friend speed friending event in her community of Fayetteville, Ark. The idea? To give moms a chance to chat with other moms one-on-one through a "speed dating"-like format.

 Read 'Speed-Friending' Event Gives Moms Opportunity To Make Connections 

Heather Griffin, publisher of Macaroni KID Franklin, Tenn.

More than 80 kids turned out for the chance to be trained by a real Ninja Warrior at the inclusive Ninja clinic at We Rock the Spectrum Gym Franklin. Heather Griffin, the publisher of Macaroni KID Franklin, Tenn., organized the event featuring Elijah "The Boss" Browning, a contestant on America Ninja Warrior in 2021. 

"This was a perfect example of two local brands and businesses coming together with a unique value proposition that served our communities here in Middle Tennessee," says Steve Komarnitsky, the owner of the gym.

Read Tennessee Macaroni KID Publisher Hosts Inclusive Ninja Warrior Event

Annie Young, California publisher of Macaroni KID Santa Ana and Macaroni KID Newport Beach

California Macaroni KID Publisher Annie Young gave the young people in her town a chance to shine at her Children's Business Fair. She invited kids ages 6 to 14 to bring handmade or homemade products to sell at the fair, held at a local museum. Annie asked parents to let children be responsible for setup, sales, and interaction with customers. That made the day a valuable learning experience for kids.

Read Macaroni KID Publisher Hosts Children's Business Fair in California Santa Ana, Calif.

Holli Carlin, publisher of Macaroni KID Cherry Hill, N.J. 

Kids love the magic of holidays and Macaroni KID Cherry Hill, N.J., publisher, Holli Carlin, gave the kids in her town that on St. Patrick's Day ... and more!

Holli scattered "gold" — rocks spray painted with gold paint — at local parks and playgrounds in her community. Then she invited her readers to bring their kids to find the treasures. 

"I really love the fact that this will be a memory kids will look back on when they have their own children," Holli says. "I love doing things with my kids that I enjoyed doing as a little girl. You’re never too old for a little magic.” 

Read Macaroni KID Publisher Goes For the Gold In Her Town For St. Pat's Day

Kristen Wright-Matthews, former publisher of Macaroni KID College Park, Ga.

Kristen Wright-Matthews, who recently left Macaroni KID to pursue philanthropy full-time, co-founded a nonprofit called Blankies 4 My Buddies with her son Chris "CJ" Matthews, 14. The organization donates blankets to kids dealing with traumatic situations, from chronic illnesses to homelessness. The family hosts annual blanket drives and food giveaways and also provides parents, caregivers, and educators with resources for helping kids cope with grief. Kristen and her boys have been featured on CBS Evening News and other national media outlets.

Read Macaroni KID Publisher and Her Kids are Ambassadors of Good

Stephanie Horton, publisher of Macaroni KID Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Stephanie Horton has used Macaroni KID since her children were tiny and she was looking for things to do around town. So when she saw her local site was in need of a publisher, she decided to apply.

The year since she has become publisher has been a whirlwind ... and this homeschooling mama wouldn't have it any other way.

"I love the company so much, it's been an overall very positive experience and a great addition to our family because it just fits in so well with what I already do with my kids," she says.

Read Homeschooling Mom Makes Publishing a Family Affair

These are just a few examples of Macaroni KID publishers making a difference in their communities. Each and every one of our publishers has their own story to tell! Join our community now and maybe we'll be telling your story in this space next year. We can't wait for you to come with us on this journey!