The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) is pleased to announce that global resources company BHP-Billiton has committed $540,000 over three years to support our innovative PRIME TIME Preschool program. More than 2,500 children and their parents will be directly impacted across 19 sites in seven parishes, via the new “BHP-Billiton/PRIME TIME Preschool Early Literacy and Healthy Lifestyle Initiative”. The seven parishes benefitting from the new partnership include Orleans, Terrebonne, Lafourche, Caddo, Bossier, Red River, and Desoto.
“I want to thank BHP Billiton for its generous and uniquely strategic investment in early childhood education and healthy lifestyle promotion,” said Miranda Restovic, LEH Interim President/Executive Director. “A vast and expanding body of research demonstrates that pre-K is one the most proven and effective areas of education, in terms of return on investment over the life of a child. Thus, through its investment of more than half a million dollars in PRIME TIME Preschool, BHP Billiton is demonstrating a long-term commitment to improving educational and health outcomes for youth and families across Louisiana.”
Approximately 100 PRIME TIME Preschool programs will be implemented at 19 different sites across these parishes, including early childhood centers, Head Start facilities, and diverse public and charter schools serving preschoolers. Developed and implemented by the LEH since 2010, PRIME TIME Preschool is an outcomes-based early literacy program designed to enhance long-term, life quality outcomes for 3-5 year-old children and their families. The initiative’s primary goals are as follows:
- Increase the school readiness and nutritional awareness of preschoolers,
- Enhance parent/caretaker skills for facilitating school readiness and healthy eating, and
- Increase positive attitudes about reading and healthy eating with adult participants.
Steve Pastor, Conventional Asset President for BHP Billiton’s Petroleum business commented, “BHP Billiton has a clear vision for the company’s core values and how our efforts can impact the communities in which we live and work. Every child needs a support system, and as an extension of that system, we are proud to partner with the LEH PRIME TIME Preschool initiative in making such a widespread difference in children’s lives across the state of Louisiana.”
The PRIME TIME Preschool model builds upon more than two decades of successful PRIME TIME Family Reading Time program experience and impact, including more than 1,700 programs implemented in all 64 Louisiana parishes, as well as 40 other U.S. states (see: primetimefamily.org). Founded in Louisiana in 1991 and recognized today as a national leader, PRIME TIME is the only humanities-based family literacy program in the United States that is proven to positively impact both family reading behaviors and long-term academic performance in children, across all disciplines, including math and science.