By Madina Toure
For years, Bayside mothers Beth Rivera and Kym Muscat have been involved in everything from the Parent Teachers Association to Girl Scouts of America in their communities.
After discovering Macaroni Kid, a nationwide e-newsletter and website that provides information on family-friendly activities for parents, they decided to operate the Bayside chapter and pursue their passion for community and families.
“It’s a chance for us to run our own business without a lot of the risk and to really dabble into what we really are excited about, and that’s our community and family,” said Rivera, 39, co-publisher and co-editor of Bayside Macaroni Kid.
Macaroni Kid covers a wide range of activities for kids, including classes, events, shows, book review, arts and crafts, cooking projects and activities that can be done at home. Parents can sign up to receive their free weekly newsletter by visiting www.bayside.com.macaronikid.com.
“Our goal and mission is to provide our readers with events and happenings in our local area and then more broadly across New York City so it would be sort of a one-stop shop … rather than Google, come to Macaroni Kid,” Rivera said.
Rivera, who has a 12-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, and Muscat, 42, who has two daughters ages 9 and 13, took over the Bayside Macaroni Kid website Dec. 1 after the previous publisher/editor moved to Florida.
The pair bought the URL from the corporate Macaroni Kid. They fund the website through online advertising. Subscription is free. Though the newsletter and website started in Bayside, it primarily targets northeast Queens.
When they first took over the website, it had about 240 subscribers, but as of Friday, they had 550 subscribers. Their Facebook page had 253 likes as of Friday.
The website features an events calendar that includes both free and paid programming and a business directory. Individuals can submit events and the pair will then determine whether the event makes it into the calendar. Subscribers can save events of interest on the “My Macaroni” page.
Bayside Macaroni Kid also tries to give back to the community. The owners are currently giving subscribers until Dec. 31 to submit their names for two free tickets to a Big Apple Circus performance at Lincoln Center Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Although the target audience is parents, Rivera said the website can help businesses in the area bring in more customers.
“From a business perspective, for businesses in our community who are looking to target families in our area — whether you run a sports program or put together birthday parties — our audience of 550 subscribers are your target audience,” she said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4566.