Playtime: Homework help at library, Try Hockey for Free, LGBTQ storytelling

Jennifer Marx

When all my parenting was hypothetical, my biggest perceived school-age deficit was math. With the invention of apps like Photomath (it’s free, shows you not only the answer, but the steps, and I already depend on it for 5th grade math), it hasn’t been as tough as I expected. (Though to be fair, I co-parent with a “math person.”) In actuality, writing assignments have been the hardest at our house — I’m just talking about schoolwork-related challenges, because managing video games, phones, even without social media, and fruit-flavored smoking out of tiny machines would not have made my hypothetical parenting worry list, mostly because they didn’t even exist back then. Book reports are the most frequent version, for now — in fact, I searched My Edmonds News for “Book Report” and of the few matching articles, the first three were me talking about them over the last year.

Between an informative writing assignment on the horizon and seeing the “Homework Help” posters in the library, I got excited about sharing resources that people have shared with me! Whether it be recommendations from friends or other parents you meet or seeing Facebook events your friends are “interested” in, I’ve grown to really depend on the “it takes a village” style of sharing events and resources. If we’ve met and your student is in band or heading into middle school, you’ve likely heard my whole spiel about Summer Music School or Middle School STEM camp. This week, I am going to share info on local events including LGBTQ Storytellers, trying a new sport, drug and alcohol prevention, and of course, the online “Homework Help” from the library.

This week, I needed to be at the library to find a hard copy of a book my youngest son will read/listen to for his next book report. This time we also needed the audio version of the book, and I was able to find it on CD, which he’ll listen to on an alarm clock/CD player I got him a Goodwill. When I was there, I took pictures of the two “Homework Help” signs posted in the library, one in the teen section and one where the fish tank used to be.

There are two different destinations for Homework Help — one for kids, and one for teens, I first found out about this kind of Homework Help when my youngest son was in the first grade and doing a project on Italy. We were in the library looking for books, and the librarian showed us where we could find “CultureGRams on the “Kids” link listed above. This was a quick way to obtain all the information we needed in one place. There are book suggestions, facts and photos of over 4,000 species of animals, science experiments, and New York Times articles from 1851 to 2014. If there is something else you are looking for, I always suggest a call to the library. While sometimes it helps to catch the Children’s Librarian, I’ve had pretty good luck when calling for help. You can reach the Edmonds Library by phone at 425-771-1933, the Mountlake Terrace Library at 425-776-8722 and the Lynnwood Library at 425-778-2148.

This weekend, you can check out Try Hockey For Free Day on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace. This is a great opportunity to let your child, between the ages of 4 and 9, give hockey a go with zero commitment. A friend recommended this event to us after hearing about it from their then ice skating coach. My now 13-year -old did his Try Hockey For Free Day over nine years ago, and he was sold. It was nice to see if he liked it before investing in gear, which Seattle Junior Hockey will also rent to you if you decide to join. I always have mixed feelings leading someone to hockey because as they get older, and certainly if they are playing competitively, it can be very expensive. Our son plays house, which they would call “rec” in most sports, and it’s definitely less than the “rep” team, but it is still much more than the lacrosse season my younger son plays. For my older son, it has been the only sport he connected with and he, and we, have made great friends along the way. If you’d like to register for the event you can do so at

After writing about the library last week as a free option for a group you might have to meet up and further about the local events they were sharing, I hesitated to include even more library events. But when talking about community resources, the library is bound to make a couple of appearances. The Facebook Event page for Under the Rainbow Storytelling invites you to “Join us to listen to LGBTQ storytellers, join in with stories of your own, and meet people from our community.” On Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m., you are invited to the Edmonds Library for LGBTQ storytellers for Under the Rainbow Storytelling. This free, all-ages event starts with “snacks and socializing” at 6 and storytelling and group conversation from 6:30 to 7:45 pm. The event listing on the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition page says that Gretchen Peterson’s storytelling will be featured on the 12th and that “storytelling is reserved for LGBTQ+ guests; allies are welcome in the audience and to participate in the post-story conversations.” For more information you can visit or the Facebook Events page for Under the Rainbow Storytelling.

When I started this column six years ago, I still had a kid in preschool, and I’m sure seeing a friend share the link to Drug & Alcohol Prevention Night didn’t spark the same response it does now. With a tween and teen, I think about how quickly the terminology changes and how many options kids have to hide their correspondence – even in a Google doc – and how the options for getting high have expanded. The Edmonds School District is inviting parents and guardians of middle and high school students to attend Drug & Alcohol Prevention Night, presented by Edmonds Student Support Advocates, on Thursday Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm. This event, held at Edmonds-Woodway High school in Room F103, will “will engage parents in a discussion regarding drug and alcohol trends among students, review signs of use and what steps parents and guardians can take toward prevention.” No RSVP is required for this event and refreshments will be provided. For more information you can call 425-771-5725.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

  1. We do not need LBGTQ storytelling at our libraries. This is nothing more than a ruse to indoctrinate our children. This is part of the agenda to brain wash children and what better way than to get to them at an early age. As a taxpayer, I resent my money going to this radical agenda. Shame on the libraries for being on board with this.

  2. Thomas,
    Once again, if you don’t like someone’s opinion you call it hateful. Stating the obvious is not hateful. We are all entitled to our opinions and we should practice civil discourse when we don’t agree with someone or something.

    1. @Linda: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. You can make all the excuses in the world, but it is still a duck. And you are still a hateful person spouting hateful rhetoric.

      1. Thomas, You come off as the hateful person because you cannot handle the fact that someone does not agree with the library’s program. You are entitled to your opinion as I mine. You must be tolerant of a different opinion as you will want people to be tolerant of your opinion.

        1. @Linda: No one should be tolerant of hate. Stop pretending that what you posted was anything but hateful rhetoric.

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