GateHouse News Service's syndicated callout for April is for Easter photos. You'll see this in your carousels and on your Local Loop sites starting Sunday, April 1.
Easter is the following Sunday, April 8. Here are some ideas for covering how your community celebrates the holiday:
-- Easter Bunny mall visits are just as prevalent as those by Santa. Be specific with your Easter photos callout by asking for Easter Bunny photos -- or Scary Easter Bunny photos. Some kids will cry on EB's lap just as they will be startled by Santa.
-- Ask kids what Easter is all about. How many will talk about the religious aspect of the holiday, versus the chocolate and candy? If your schools are on break this week, go to libraries, local YMCAs or playgrounds, or community centers where younger kids will be keeping busy.
-- Passover is also celebrated this time of year. Does your community have a Jewish population? If so, how do they celebrate? What are the similarities and differences between Passover and Easter?
-- Many animal advocates say it's a bad idea to adopt puppies and kittens around holidays. How about bunnies for Easter? Ask local rescues and vets what they advise.
-- This week, get a paragraph or two from some of your local pastors' Easter sermons, to run in print before Sunday. You can use the opportunity to profile these church leaders with our Religious Leader CPJ template.
-- Easter is full of its own recipes. Ask readers in a callout which are their favorites, ask local bakeries, grocery store delis and caterers what they're preparing loads of for Sunday (and ask for any recipes they'll share) and -- of course -- provide lots of tips on cooking ham.
-- Eating out? List where readers can go for brunch on Sunday, and what specials will be available.
-- Remember that the season started with Ash Wednesday and people giving up something for Lent. How many readers stuck with it? What did they give up, and why? Who's planning this weekend to gorge on chocolate or junk food, or do something else they've waited 40 days to do?