Bloomington Public Library has been selected as one of four sites representing Illinois for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois Humanities Council Prime Time Family Reading Time family literacy program.
The other three sites that were selected in Illinois are the Chicago Public Library (Carter G. Woodson Regional and Lozano Branch) and the Peoria Public Library.
Prime Time Family Reading Time is a family literacy program. It was created by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and has been offered at nearly 1,500 sites nationally, serving over 55,000 children and families.
The program encourages families to connect with literature and educates children as they continue to learn and appreciate reading. Studies have also shown that participation in the Prime Time program can significantly improve the performance of young students.
“We’ve invited 25 families from local elementary schools to take part in the program,” Rondalea Fish, children’s services librarian and coordinator of Prime Time, said.
The program will take place from March 12-April 16, meeting every Wednesday night from 6:30-8.
“We’ll provide dinner to the families, and then there will be a short library commercial followed by storytime.”
A storyteller will read well-known and loved children’s stories, such as “Horton Hears a Who” and “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.” Then a humanities scholar will guide the group to connect with the literature on a deeper level, while younger children enjoy their own storytime.
The theme of the program is “It’s a Small World After All.” The focus will be global citizenship, and many of the stories selected for the program go along with this theme.
“One of our goals is to encourage a lifelong love for learning,” Fish said. The library also hopes that the families taking part in the program will become lifelong library users, as the two go hand in hand.
Prime Time encourages education throughout a lifetime as well as parental involvement in the education of their children.
Bloomington Public Library’s Prime Time Program is a collaboration of team members Mike Theune, a humanities scholar from Illinois Wesleyan, professional storyteller Mike Lockett, Bent Elementary School Media Center Specialist Karen Riccio, Little Jewels Learning Center Lead Teacher Amber Prather, and Rondalea Fish.