According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. Reading to your child promotes language acquisition and is linked with literacy development, reading comprehension and overall success in school. And for those of us lucky enough to live in Edmonds, there’s a world ready to be explored through reading right outside our doors.
Reading around Edmonds is a fun way to take a story off the pages of a book, and link it to the real world around us. It also teaches children that reading is an activity that can be enjoyed anywhere – fostering a lifetime of healthy reading habits.
On a bright sunny day, sit on a log at Brackett’s Landing or climb into the rowboat statue to read a nature-themed story with the lapping waves and squawking seagulls providing background music. Or hop aboard the Kingston-bound ferry to read a story about adventures on the high seas with the engine’s deep rumble adding atmosphere. The dappled green woods of Yost Park set the stage for rugged outdoor stories and the Old Milltown shops provide the perfect backdrop for tales of the Old West.
After story time is complete, look for parallels between the story and the environment surrounding you. Or expand upon the story by acting out scenes and making up what might have happened next.
Luckily, you don’t have to search far to find new stories to share. A great place to start is our own Edmonds Library on Main Street. Besides having an amazing selection of children’s books to check out, the Friends of the Edmonds Library section near the front door maintains a large and frequently updated supply of used books you can purchase for just 50 cents or $1. The children’s section also features cushy chairs (big enough for parent and child) for curling up and reading quietly together. The library also has weekly story times for Baby & Me (Wednesdays, 10 am), Toddlers (Fridays, 10 & 11 a.m.) and Preschoolers (Tuesdays, 10 a.m.).
A short walk down 5th Avenue, you’ll find the Edmonds Bookshop. To me, bookstores smell better than a bakery and this one does not disappoint. Though small, this bookstore has a wonderful children’s section (as well as books for tweens and teens) plus a kind and thoughtful staff to help you locate the latest and most popular children’s books. And if they don’t have it, they’ll gladly order it for you (much faster than Amazon!).
There is a saying, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” So, get out and explore Edmonds with a book and your child will be well read indeed.
David W. Edgerton is an Edmonds resident, parent and author of “Tear-Free in Disneyland,” A parent’s guide to less stress and more fun for the whole family – available at Edmonds Bookshop and Amazon.com. You can read our interview with Edgerton about that book here.