Across several parishes in northwest Louisiana, families of 3-5 year old children will gather in schools and early childhood centers to participate in PRIME TIME Preschool, a project of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities focused on improving literacy and well-being outcomes for underserved preschool-aged Louisianans. The donation from BHP, totaling over $286,000, will fund 34 PRIME TIME Preschool programs, as well as professional development for 120 teachers across Caddo, Bossier, Red River, and Bienville Parishes.
Sites offering PRIME TIME Preschool in the spring include the Galilee Learning Center, 81st Street Early Childhood Education Center, and the Multicultural Center of the South in Caddo parish, and the Stonewall Learning Center in Bossier and Pine Belt Head Start in Red River parishes. Each program is free to participating families, takes place in the evening for 90 minutes weekly over six weeks, and includes a nutritious meal and books for families to add to their permanent home library.
PRIME TIME Preschool is one of a suite of programs offered by the LEH that focus on addressing intergenerational illiteracy through story-sharing, open-ended discussion, and book-themed center-based play. Developed in 1991, PRIME TIME Family Reading has reached over 40,000 families across the U.S. In November, the LEH was named a Library of Congress Best Practice Honoree for its national support of literacy promotion.
Miranda Restovic, President and Executive Director of LEH, shared her excitement about the BHP donation: “The LEH is endlessly grateful to BHP for its continued support of the Louisiana families we serve through PRIME TIME. Their donation will help us have meaningful positive impact in a state that ranks 48th in childhood well-being.”
Sarah DeBacher, LEH Vice President of Education, stated, “The kinds of humanities-based educational experiences families take part in at PRIME TIME programs should not be available only to elite audiences. BHP’s donation will allow us to increase access to high-quality early childhood education where it’s badly needed.”
Families interested in signing up for a spring PRIME TIME program should visit www.primetimefamily.org for more information and to register for the free programs, which have start dates ranging from February to April of 2018 and will continue throughout northwest Louisiana over the next three years.
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