EDCI brings families together with Story Hour, both in English and Spanish


Parents and children of Durham are coming together once again with the help of the East Durham Children’s Initiative.

Patty Melendez has some fun after reading Spanish-language stories and brings out some bubbles for the kids to enjoy. Everyone tried to pop the bubbles as they floated through the air.

Patty Melendez has some fun after reading Spanish-language stories and brings out some bubbles for the kids to enjoy. Everyone tried to pop the bubbles as they floated through the air. (Staff photos by Claire Queally)

On a regular basis, EDCI hosts Story Hours where parents can bring their kids for an hour of stories and fun.

EDCI not only caters to English-speakers, but Spanish speakers as well.

There are three Story Hour sessions scheduled for December:

• Fri., Dec. 13, 10:30 a.m., 107 Driver St., for Spanish speakers.

* Tues., Dec. 17, 20 a.m. at the Hoover Road site, for English speakers.

* Thurs., Dec. 19, back at the Driver Street site, for English speakers.

For the January Story Hour schedule, consult the EDCI website or call EDCI Manager of Community Engagement Kate Elander at 919-699-6873.

Aimed at those in the early childhood age range, these monthly story hours are made possible with the help of Healthy Families Durham and the Durham Public Library. EDCI has been working with these organizations since 2011 to make this possible.

“Healthy Families Durham, Durham’s Partnership for Children Early Childhood Faith Initiative and the Durham County Library worked together to offer the first few Story Hours in English and Spanish,” said Cate Elander, community engagement manager at EDCI.

“Everyone volunteers their time for the initiative, and EDCI continues to source donations for new and used books.”

The books provided are bilingual books, which adds even more learning value for the participating families.

Held right in the EDCI offices at 107 N. Driver Street in Durham, Story Hour give families easy access to this event, and therefore, EDCI sees a steady turn-out at each reading.

As the kids work on their paper turkeys, Patty Melendez looks on and offers up additional materials for them to use. When they were finished, the kids were very proud of their work and held it up for everyone to see.

As the kids work on their paper turkeys, Patty Melendez looks on and offers up additional materials for them to use. When they were finished, the kids were very proud of their work and held it up for everyone to see.

However, EDCI also utilizes other spaces to hold even more Story Hours each month.

“Story Hour occurs once a month at EDCI, once each in English and Spanish,” said Elander.

And an additional Story Hour is held once a month at Hoover Road, which is a Durham Housing Authority site in the EDCI Zone.

The Durham Housing Authority aims to provide low-cost housing to East Durham families and also works with various outreach programs, including EDCI to make more of a positive impact on the lives of residents.

Story Hours allow parents to connect with other native Spanish-speaking parents while their children bond as well.

Patty Melendez, from the Durham County Library led the reading on Nov. 22. after reading a few stories, she had the kids make paper turkeys for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Melendez said she wanted to demonstrate that it is important for the children to learn to give thanks for the opportunities they have.

“Parents and children who participate in the Story Hour have an opportunity to meet and spend time with other parents and kids in the neighborhood,” said Elander. “And this builds community and support networks among families in East Durham.”

EDCI works with community members and other partnering organizations in order to coordinate services to meet the needs of all residents of the East Durham community. In targeting not only English-speakers, but Spanish-speakers as well, EDCI is furthering their reach and prevalence in the community.

Staff Writer for the Durham VOICE


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