South Dakota awarded family reading grant

South Dakota awarded family reading grant
The South Dakota Humanities Council was recently selected to participate in the national expansion of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities award-winning family reading and discussion program, Prime Time Family Reading Time. National expansion of PRIME TIME was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

South Dakota was one of five states to be selected to host the program. The Yankton Public Library, Huron Public Library, Sinte Gleska University Library in Mission and the Oglala Lakota College Library in Pine Ridge will host the program.

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, a division of the American Library Association, and the Coming Up Taller award from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2000.

South Dakota will receive grant funding and support materials to present the Prime Time series at each site. Each series will meet once a week for six weeks at the library.

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.

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 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, Louis-iana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

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