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New Orleans, Louisiana
Promoting Family Reading Across the Country
Participants in a PRIME TIME Family Reading program listen to a storyteller. Image courtesy of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Participants in a PRIME TIME Family Reading program listen to a storyteller. Image courtesy of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

PRIME TIME offers literacy programs to underserved children and their families across the United States. The organization was created by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities—the state affiliate of the NEH—in 1991 and became an independent organization in 2004. The NEH has helped PRIME TIME bring their family reading model to new locations and states through several grants. In each family reading program, families borrow and read books at home before meeting at a library or school for a healthy meal and discussion. Storytellers model techniques for reading aloud, ask questions, and guide a discussion that helps people engage with the story. Aimed at parents/caregivers and their 3-10 year olds, PRIME TIME’s family reading programs promote academic achievement, positive attitudes toward learning, family bonding, and library use. In a 10-year impact study of the program, researchers found that 3rd graders who participated in PRIME TIME performed higher on 95.5% of the Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program. And in a 2011 national assessment, researchers found that participants increased their public library use by 17.2% each month, while 80.4% of the participants reported a positive change in their attitudes toward reading.

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