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About the Announcements newsletter

Berkeley Parents Network > Help & Frequently Asked Questions > Announcement Newsletter

Questions about the Announcements newsletter Related Pages

What goes into the Announcements newsletter?

There are five sections in the Announcements newsletter that subscribers can post a message to:

  1. Connections & Playgroups (all BPN subscribers may post)

    BPN subscribers who are looking to join or start a playgroup can post here, as well as those seeking & offering other kinds of parent-to-parent connections such as walking buddies, book clubs, and carpooling. We define a playgroup as a get-together for both parents and kids whose sole purpose is socializing. Playgroups posted in this section can be casual parent-initiated get-togethers as well as more organized fee-based groups (please include fee information in this case.)

    • What to post: All kinds of playgroups as well as other parent-to-parent connections.
    • Examples: playgroups, car pools, exercise partners, book clubs, neighborhood friends, lost & found
    • Not accepted:
         - Get-togethers that promote a business
         - Classes (post under Kids' Classes)
         - Childcare co-ops (post to the Childcare Newsletter).
         - Chicken Pox Parties - BPN does not accept these.

  2. Family-Friendly Events (all BPN subscribers may post)

    This section is intended as a way for BPN subscribers to find out about family-friendly community events that children and families would enjoy, such as fairs, concerts, performances, and the like. Postings for this section should announce events that are 1) family-friendly and 2) whose primary purpose is to entertain/edify, rather than to promote a business (see examples below.)

    • What to post: Events that are suitable for kids with their parents
    • Examples: concerts & performances, dances, street fairs, festivals & carnivals, child-friendly community gatherings
    • Not accepted:
         - Events primarily targeted to adults such as lectures, health fairs, political fundraisers and art openings (sorry, but these are beyond the scope of BPN),
         - Events whose main purpose is to promote a businesses (sorry, BPN cannot accept these),
         - Events that are designed to solicit new customers for a business (sorry, BPN cannot accept these),
         - Classes and workshops (instead post to one of the Classes sections, if appropriate),
         - School admissions events (instead post these to the Schools Newsletter),
         - Garage sales, rummage sales, and the like (instead post these to Marketplace)

  3. Kids' Classes, Groups, Teams & Choruses (all BPN subscribers may post)

    This section announces local classes and groups for children. All postings must announce either a class/lesson such as art, music, academic tutoring, gymnastics, etc. or a group such as soccer, swim teams, chorus, social skills groups, etc. Promotional postings for other types of services for children are not accepted, including offers for therapy, clothing stores, portraits, etc.

    • What to post: Classes & lessons for kids, and organized groups for kids
    • Examples: Classes & lessons for music, art, gymnastics, dance, cooking, academic tutoring, foreign language, etc. Groups for kids such as chorus, soccer, swim teams, support groups and social skills groups.
    • Not accepted:
         - Online classes or non-local classes
         - Summer camps and schools (post instead to the Schools Newsletter)
         - Parent reviews of classes (sorry, we don't accept unsolicited reviews)

  4. Parenting Classes, Parenting Groups & Parenting Workshops (all BPN subscribers may post)

    This section announces local classes, groups and workshops for parents. Classes must SPECIFICALLY TARGET PARENTS, including parents-to-be, and mothers' or fathers' groups and classes. Other kinds of classes and groups that have equal interest for non-parents are not accepted, as they are beyond the scope of BPN. Local businesses that subscribe to BPN as well as parents and non-profits may post to this section. Because of BPN's no-advertising policy, postings for this section are limited to a very brief description. See Posting about classes and groups below for more information.

    • What to post: Classes for parents and parents-to-be
    • Examples: parent support groups, childbirth classes, parenting skills workshops, postnatal yoga classes, college planning seminars, etc.
    • Not accepted:
         - Online classes or non-local classes
         - Classes, workshops, lectures, or groups that are open to the general adult population. This means that we do not accept announcements about music lessons for adults, adult choruses, writing workshops, cooking demos, womens' groups, health lectures, yoga classes, meditation, drumming circles, financial workshops, or any other posts about classes, workshops and groups that are not exclusively for parents.

  5. Other Announcements for Parents (postings from parents, non-profits, and public media only)

    This section is a catch-all for other postings of interest to parents:

    • media: books, TV, and radio of interest to parents
    • journalist inquiries and research studies (more info)
    • volunteer opportunities for parents & kids
    • jobs available
    • product recalls
    • Not accepted:
         - Announcements that promote businesses such as photographers, authors, therapists, clothing stores, etc.
         - Marketing surveys
         - Requests for votes for online contests and the like
         - Multi-level marketing opportunites
         - Job offers that do not have a salary or hourly wage
         - Job offers from a third party such as a recruiter
         - "Seeking a job" postings

The Announcements newsletter also contains two other sections added by the moderator: "Notes from the Moderators", which contains news about the BPN and other notes, and "Welcome to New Members" which contains a list of new subscribers from the past week.

What isn't accepted for the Announcements newsletter?

The Announcements newsletter DOES NOT accept:

Posting about classes and groups

Announcements about classes, groups and workshops are restricted to a maximum of 300 characters, or about 4 lines of text. This allows for a brief description of the class, the age group it is targeted to, the location, and a phone number or website for more information. This change was made in Fall 2007 to make the Announcements newsletter shorter and easier to read, and also to conform to BPN's no-advertising policy. Parent recommendations for classes and groups are always welcome in the Recommendations newsletter if they are posted in response to a question.

Here is an example of a posting for a class that meets the 300-character maximium:

Fencing Lessons in N. Berkeley for K-3 ($45/hr)
I am offering private fencing lessons in my home near the Gourmet Ghetto for K-3
kids. I can pick your child up in Berkeley and they will be given a hot snack
and a nap after the lesson. Lessons last 1 hour; equipment is provided.  For
more information, send email or see
Submitted by: Jane Dough (

Are postings limited to non-profit organizations?

No. We accept postings from businesses in the community about kids' and parents' classes and groups, as well as for events such as performances and concerts. However, these postings are limited to a few sentences that briefly describe the class and provide a web site or phone number for more information. All postings must follow the policies about advertising and repeated postings about the same event.

Can I post about this important cause?

As with political announcements, it is OK to post information about an issue that parents would be interested in, but it needs to be a personal note you have written yourself rather than a message that has been mass-mailed to many email addresses. Please include the web address of the organization if applicable so other subscribers can get details, and so the moderators can check to make sure it is not an internet legend/scam/hoax. (See Chain Letters.)

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