The faith-based news site, Metro Voice, will celebrate a milestone this February – 30 years of publishing its popular K-12 Christian Education Guide & Directory.
The directory is part of a full-service marketing campaign that the site provides to Christian schools and homeschool organizations in Kansas City.
“I saw a need for some kind of resource in the Kansas City area that would help parents choose how to best educate their children,” said Dwight Widaman, who publishes Metro Voice alongside his wife, Anita.
“We’ve always just seen ourselves as real partners with Christian education. Our children went to Christian school, and with the changing needs and challenges that schools and parents are facing, especially with culture, we just think it’s important now specifically that people have these options available to them.”
Widaman said one of the most rewarding aspects of publishing the education guide and directory has involved hearing how useful it has been to families.
“We’ve had people come to us and say that they used the directory to help when their child was going into kindergarten, to help them decide where to go,” he said. “And then it became a resource again, 12 years later when they were shopping for colleges for their child!”
Additionally, Widaman said, parents who used the directory decades ago have told him their grown children are using it again for their own families.
“It’s been a generational benefit too, at a time when so much focus is on education today,” he said.
The directory’s print edition reaches over 700 KC-area churches, bookstores, retail outlets, and libraries. Another element of the marketing plan involves a poster featuring every school’s open house dates for the winter and spring.
“Schools have said that’s really assisted them in reaching parents specifically for events tied to their schools,” Widaman said, noting that parents also have more options by comparing open house dates with their schedules.
Because the Metro Voice newspaper has gone digital, he said, many geographic barriers have come down for them in reaching their target audience.
“We’ve been able to reach families that may go to a church [that] may not be as supportive of Christian education or homeschooling, but that family desires it,” he said. “So we’ve been able to…go straight to the parents who have an interest in private education.”
The Widamans also run a nationwide Christian college directory where students can take college courses directed toward their interests across state lines.
For any schools interested in advertising with Metro Voice, the deadline to receive the school logo and open house dates for its open house poster is Jan. 15.
All marketing elements for the K-12 Christian education guide must be received by Feb. 6.