Reading is deeply important to every child’s development and success as adults. To ensure a love of reading, the Prime Time Family and Preschool Reading programs go well beyond a typical library story time by inspiring families to read, think, discuss, and learn together.
Held at libraries, schools, museums, or other eligible youth-serving organizations throughout the state, each six-week Prime Time models reading and discussion techniques that families can easily engage with, transforming homes into learning environments and giving children strong foundations for becoming lifelong learners.
Since the Prime Time Family Reading program launched in Washington State in 2014, over 3,200 families have participated statewide in over 80 Washington communities.
In response to pandemic learning loss, both the Prime Time Family Reading program and the Prime Time Preschool program are expanding to serve more families throughout the state during 2022 and 2023. For eligible organizations, this means financial support and resources to serve more communities with Prime Time programming.
Prime Time Family Reading
Prime Time Family Reading serves children from six- to ten-years old and their families. Meeting for 90-minute weekly sessions for six weeks in the evenings, families share meals and participate in reading and discussion sessions guided by skilled discussion facilitators. These activities give families the tools to dig deeper into the big ideas in children’s literature, inspiring them to read, connect, discuss, and learn together. Prime Time enhances family engagement and builds critical thinking skills, constructing a strong foundation to support a lifelong love of reading.
Prime Time Preschool
Prime Time Preschool serves children from three- to five-years old and their families. Meeting for 90-minute weekly sessions for six weeks in the evenings, families have meals together and engage in story sharing, discussion, and play-centered learning activities. The program creates a rich, humanities-based learning environment and promotes family engagement, school readiness through development of reading, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Using beautifully illustrated, award-winning books with culturally diverse stories and themes, trained facilitators model reading, discussion, and interactive learning activities for young children and their caregivers, encouraging meaningful at-home reading sessions for families.
Prime Time is proven to positively impact families and children. Of the families who have participated in Prime Time Family Reading programs since 2019:
95% have increased the amount of time they read together
93% have experienced a positive change in their attitudes toward reading
98% are demonstrating improved critical thinking skills
98% now visit their local libraries more frequently
97% are now more likely to use library services
Prime Time Family Reading was developed by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Read the organization’s 10-year impact study on how Prime Time supports students’ long-term academic achievement.
Prime Time Family Reading has also been the recipient of multiple awards, including an Advancement of Literacy award from the Public Library Association, and the Coming Up Taller Award, which is given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The program is also a Library of Congress Best Practices in Literacy Promotion Honoree.
Listen to a radio story that features a local Prime Time series.
“The Prime Time program has been one of the most meaningful and rewarding opportunities I have experienced in the 10 years I have been a children’s librarian. One mom said that her son decided that they need to continue visiting the library every week. She requested a consistent day off from work, and now they plan on visiting the library every Monday!”
– Washington State Librarian and Prime Time Team Member
“Honestly reading was a chore before. It was something I dreaded because it was one more thing after a long day. After this program though I’ve learned how little it takes to get her engaged and it’s becoming a really enjoyable time.”
– Port Hadlock adult Prime Time participant
For more information about Prime Time, please contact our Prime Time Team, at email@example.com or 206-682-1770 ext. 104.
Prime Time Family Reading Time was developed by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Prime Time is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, State of Washington via the Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Library, Washington State Legislature, Washington Library Association, Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Discuren Charitable Foundation, Fordham Street Foundation, Bamford Foundation, BNSF Railway Foundation, Norman Raab Foundation, D.V. and Ida McEachern Charitable Trust, Stocker Foundation, Helen Martha Schiff Foundation, Allison Foundation, and other businesses, foundations, and individuals.
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