In support of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work with literacy and their own commitment to social responsibility, Penguin Random House is donating 1,600 copies of Age Happens: Garfield Hits the Big 4-0 to PRIME TIME Family Reading, a program of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) that supports literacy development through intergenerational family reading and discussion. These books will be donated to families attending more than 80 PRIME TIME programs across nine states this fall, including Louisiana, Georgia, Nebraska, and others.
“Reading Garfield as a kid changed my life,” said Miranda. “It made me laugh out loud and my world was never the same. Reading about this ironic, detached cat taught me the importance of humor and the limitless possibilities of the universe. When Jim Davis asked me to pen the foreword to Garfield’s fortieth-anniversary collection, I accepted—for free—without hesitation, on one condition. The condition that copies of the book would be donated to kids and families with the hope that my favorite lasagna-loving, curmudgeon of a cat would stimulate the imagination of even just one child to the possibilities of what the world could bring. Like he did for me all those years ago.”
In 2017, Miranda received the Capitol Hill Historical Society’s Freedom Award. It was then that he first learned about PRIME TIME, which was featured in a showcase of five humanities programs during the awards ceremony. Founded by LEH in 1991, PRIME TIME interrupts cycles of illiteracy by leading open-ended discussions of humanities themes found in children’s literature and modeling at-home reading and conversation strategies for underserved and marginalized families. The program has been held in 40 states, has reached over 50,000 families, and was a 2017 Library of Congress Best Practices in Literacy Honoree.
In addition to thanking Jim Davis and Random House, Miranda said, “Thank you to PRIME TIME for prioritizing the importance of literacy and illustrating to children (and adults) everywhere that reading is fun, enlightening, and life changing.”
For more information on PRIME TIME or to learn how to become involved, visit www.primetimefamily.org.