Applications available for PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME® reading and discussion series

Contact: Lainie Castle, ALA


Dana Eness, LEH
For Immediate Release

August 23, 2005

Applications available for PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME
® reading and discussion series

CHICAGO - Applications are currently available for PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME
®, an award-winning reading, discussion and storytelling series offered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Statewide organizations including state libraries, state humanities councils, centers for the book, and library associations are invited to apply.
The receipt deadline for applications is October 31, 2005.

Based on illustrated children's books, PRIME TIME is designed to help low-income, low-literate families bond around the act of reading and talking about books. It models and encourages family reading and discussion of humanities topics , and aids parents and children in selecting books and becoming active public library users. PRIME TIME received the 2003
Advancement of Literacy award from the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the ALA, and the
Coming Up Taller award from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2000.

This year, PRIME TIME will add up to 20 sites to its national roster by working with five state-level organizations to present PRIME TIME at four libraries in each state. State library and humanities organizations are encouraged to partner with public libraries in their states and apply for this grant opportunity. Previous PRIME TIME award recipients are eligible to apply. Libraries interested in participating in PRIME TIME are encouraged to contact their state library, humanities council, or center for the book, or library association.

Selected states will receive grant funding and materials to work with library staff to present the PRIME TIME series at four library sites. Sites that target English language learners are encouraged, as PRIME TIME training and materials have been adapted to support service to this population. Each series will meet once a week for six weeks at participating libraries. Through a discussion leader and a storyteller, children ages 6 to 10 years and their parents or guardians will hear classic children's stories; watch reading aloud demonstrations; discuss humanities themes in each book and learn about library resources and services. Younger siblings, ages 3 to 5 years, will participate in separate pre-reading activities. Adapted PRIME TIME training and materials are also available for libraries targeting English language learners.

A state project director will work with local project teams to present the series. Each local project team will consist of a library coordinator, a humanities scholar, a storyteller and pre-school coordinator to present the activities for younger siblings.

Selected states will receive:

  • Travel, lodging and most meals to attend a
    mandatory training workshop in New Orleans on January 13-15, 2006 for the project staff (state project directors, local coordinators, scholars and storytellers). Pre-school coordinators are not required to attend the training. Project directors also will also be required to attend a planning meeting of state project directors in New Orleans on January 12, 2006 (travel, lodging, and most meals are covered by the grant).
  • Stipends for each site's scholar(s), storytellers, and preschool coordinators ($1,800 total per site).
  • Twenty-two sets of reusable books and book bags and up to $100 to ship books and bags to the next site.
  • Training materials including State Project Directors' Manuals, Preschool Coordinator's Handbook, and Site Support Manuals with an introduction to the project and humanities themes, discussion guides for scholars and storytellers, instructions for publicizing the series, recommendations on recruiting families, sample publicity materials, evaluation instruments.
  • Promotional materials including posters, brochures, flyers, registration forms, and gift books and certificates of completion for participants
  • Up to $100 per session per program for transporting participants.

PRIME TIME is based on a successful series of the same name that was created by the LEH in 1991 at the East Baton Rouge (La.) Parish Library and has spread nationally with funding from NEH. To date, 525 programs have been conducted in 37 states and the Virgin Islands. In 2005 alone, 112 programs were conducted in 11 states.

The ALA Public Programs Office fosters cultural programming by libraries of all types. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.

For more information and to download an application, visit Questions about PRIME TIME should be directed to Dana Eness, LEH, at or Lainie Castle, ALA Public Programs Office, at