Five states selected for national expansion of PRIME TIME family reading program

Contact: Lainie Castle

Program Officer, PPO


Dana Eness, LEH

For Immediate Release

N ovember 28, 2005

Five states selected for national expansion of PRIME TIME family reading program

CHICAGO - The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, selected public libraries in California, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and South Dakota to participate in the national expansion of the LEH's award-winning family reading and discussion program, PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME® .

National expansion of PRIME TIME is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which also supported earlier grants for implementation in Louisiana and initial national expansion.

In California, Ohio, and Georgia, the state library will direct the partnership with the public libraries. In Kansas and South Dakota, the Kansas Humanities Council and the South Dakota Humanities Council respectively will direct the partnership with the state libraries serving as partners.

Nine states applied to host the program. The five selected states – representing 19 community libraries – include:

  • California – Colusa County Free Library, Colusa; Stanislaus County Library, Modesto; Santa Clara County Library/Vision Literacy, Los Gatos; Riverside County Library System, Riverside.

  • Georgia – Three Rivers Regional Library/Wayne County Affiliate, Brunswick; Chattahoochee Valley Regional System (Columbus Public Branch, South Columbus Branch, and North Columbus Branch).

  • Kansas – Hamilton County Library, Syracuse; Newton Public Library, Newton; Dodge City Public Library, Dodge City; Dorothy Bramlage Public Library, Junction City.

  • Ohio – Tuscarawas County Public Library , New Philadelphia; Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Toledo; Dayton Metro Library, Dayton.

  • South Dakota – Yankton Public Library, Yankton; Huron Public Library, Huron; Sinte Gleska University Library, Rosebud Reservation; Oglala Lakota College Library, Pine Ridge Reservation.

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.

Selected states will receive grant funding and support materials to present the PRIME TIME series at up to four library sites. 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; engage in 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.

P RIME 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. Nearly 19,000 individuals have participated in more than 500 PRIME TIME programs in 36 states and the Virgin Islands. In addition to the five states selected for this grant, PRIME TIME programs are scheduled to take place in 2006 in public libraries throughout Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

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 about PRIME TIME, please visit or