By Chris Jones

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Fredericksburg Parent & Family magazine.

I first came into contact with FredParent, as it’s known, in the fall of 2000. I worked as a production artist at the Culpeper Star-Exponent. My job was to download the publication from our server, proofread the pages, and then send it to the pressroom for printing.

My second contact came in 2005 when I wrote stories and blogs as a freelancer. I even remember my first assignment, a story on the nonprofit organization Youth in Philanthropy, which teaches teenagers the importance of giving and serving in the community and acting on important issues.

In 2012, I became the magazine’s editor in my third stint with Fredericksburg Parent, where I remain to this day.

I can’t say enough about what this magazine means, first to the community and then to the staff. To be a daily part of your parenting journey online and then to share a monthly print magazine with you is an honor. It’s our heart’s desire to keep you informed about news, tips, and strategies relevant to your life as a mom or dad. Of course, we love the humor and engagement on social media too.

But none of this would be if not for our publisher, Leigh Anne Van Doren. Her steady hand and leadership has guided this magazine through the “print is dead “noise of the mid-2010s into the robust world of digital content.

Since our inception, FredParent has won many Parenting Media Association awards for our redesigned website, magazine design, blogs, editorial content and more. Our Baby, Educational and Cool Things to Do eletters are read far and wide as our large digital audience continues to grow and expand.

In the past five years, we’ve started an annual Summer Camp Fair, a Harry Potter Fair and a Children’s Business Fair. Our Family Favorites have been a staple that businesses and readers look forward to each summer. And our Ask the Expert Facebook interviews bridge the gap between the community and the businesses who serve within it.

Despite all of this, we have more to give; call it a continued desire to equip parents in an ever-changing world. And with the current COVID-19 event in play, it’s a job we’ve all rolled up our sleeves to tackle.

I invite you to subscribe to our newsletters, join our Facebook group (FredParent at Home Together Support Group) and peruse the COVD-19 section on our website to stay current during this changing climate. We’re making an effort to tell you about what’s going on within the community, provide parenting resources and give you ways to entertain your children. All that to say, we’ve got your back.

Lastly, I’d like to hear from you. When was your first contact with Fredericksburg Parent and why do you still love the magazine after all of these years? Email me at fredparenteditor@gmail.com. I’d love to publish some of your responses in our June issue as we continue to celebrate this great milestone.