Created by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) in 1991, PRIME TIME became a distinct 501(c)3 in 2004. PRIME TIME offers a set of unique, humanities-focused, and outcomes-based programs designed to support children and families in inter-generational family reading and discussion. PRIME TIME programs are proven to generate long-term improvements in family engagement and student academic achievement. Programs partner with libraries, schools, museums, and other community service agencies to directly engage children, parents, teachers, educational administrators, and their communities in high-quality family-focused learning experiences.

  • Mission

    The mission of PRIME TIME is to create the precondition for future learning among economically and educationally vulnerable families.

  • Vision

    Creating a literate society where a quality humanities education is accessible to all.



PRIME TIME programs aim to create communities in which children and their families develop into self-directed, self-motivated learners who are eager to absorb the world around them through literature, questioning/inquiry, and meaningful interaction with others.

  • Increase reading frequency
  • Improve reading attitudes and behaviors
  • Increase library patronage and parental engagement
  • Increase key cognitive skills
  • Increase vocabulary
Programs Nationwide
Educators and professionals trained
Families Served

“My child doesn’t speak in school, but actually raise her hand & answered questions here. WOW! She has less anxiety during reading because PRIME TIME made it fun.”Parent from University Park Library, Florida

2016 Testing Results

ReNEW Charter Schools in New Orleans recently shared a study comparing the scores of students who participated in PRIME TIME Family Reading programs versus those of non-PRIME TIME participants.

The 2015-16 report shows that students who attended PRIME TIME outperformed their peers on two literacy assessments of students’ language and early reading and writing behaviors. Additionally, teachers who participated in PRIME TIME also benefited from the program. Students of the teachers who participated as PRIME TIME facilitators or coordinators in 2015-16 scored 10% above school average in the STEP end-of-year mastery of print awareness objectives.

Click here to download the report.

Ten Year Impact Study

Stemming the Tide of Inter-generational Illiteracy: A Ten-Year Impact Study of PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME, is a longitudinal analysis of the program’s impact on student achievement. The study concludes that students who participate in the PRIME TIME program during their early elementary years, first through fourth grades, performed at a higher level on grade level content areas of LEAP, iLEAP, and GEE.

The study compares statewide-standardized test scores of PRIME TIME participants to a control group and offers statistical evidence that PRIME TIME’s preemptive approach to addressing the problem of inter-generational illiteracy can significantly impact and improve student learning.

Click here to download report.

2011 National Evaluation

Over 6,900 individuals completed the program with a 94.2% family retention rate across programs. Libraries implementing the program saw a 23% weekly and 17.2% monthly increase in public library use among participants, and 78.5% participants reported a positive change in attitude towards library use. Participating families saw a
8.1% increase in daily reading frequency as a family, and
85% participants reported increase in positive family interactions, or bonding. Additionally, 80.4% of participants reported a positive change in attitude towards reading, 77.5% observed increase in discussion participation among the adults in site activities, and 85% observed increase in discussion participation among the children.



2017: Best Practices Award

Awarded by the Library of Congress for implementation of best practices of literacy promotion.

2003: Advancement of Literacy Award

Winner of the National Public Library Association’s Advancement of Literacy award for making a significant contribution to adult literacy.

2000: Outstanding Program of the Year

Honored by the National Federation of State Humanities Councils as the outstanding program of the year.

2000: Coming Up Taller Award

Winner of the prestigious Coming Up Taller award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.