The Office of Head Start, through the Designation Renewal System, has selected PRIME TIME, Inc. to provide Early Head Start and Head Start services within Lafayette and Iberia parishes. With this grant, PRIME TIME, Inc. will serve 747 children, from six weeks to five years old, through a diverse set of free, humanities-focused program options as part of providing Head Start services to the area.

Created by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in 1991, PRIME TIME initiatives promote humanities-centered learning, which focuses on the development of foundational skills related to reading, communication, perspective, logic and more. This approach also helps educators focus on developing inquiring minds and creative and critical thinking in learner-centered environments.

Since 2016, PRIME TIME has operated the Head Start program in Ouachita Parish, which currently serves 505 students. A strategic focus on community-based partnerships has led to strong working relationships with agencies such as the Ouachita Parish School System, Monroe City Schools System, the City of Monroe Housing Authority, Primary Health Services Center and CommuniHealth Services.

Through these collaborations, PRIME TIME Head Start delivers a comprehensive Head Start service model that is focused on and accountable to Ouachita Parish residents.

PRIME TIME’s experience with the Ouachita Parish program will allow the organization to seamlessly transition into the role of Head Start provider in the Lafayette-Iberia area, with no interruptions in services for families.

“We look forward to deepening our engagement in the Lafayette-Iberia region through this exciting development,” said Miranda Restovic, President and Executive Director of PRIME TIME, Inc. and the LEH.

“Our previous programs in the area—PRIME TIME Family Reading, our Bright Lights Awards Dinner, 64 Parishes stories and more—have engaged more than 210,000 Lafayette-Iberia residents over the last 50 years. We are ready to work with the current operator to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of services, and we are eager to build on our robust track record of service in the community and initiate an intensive, direct-service model for families in this community.”

To ensure the delivery of comprehensive educational and family services as required by the Head Start model, PRIME TIME will seek to partner with community organizations and agencies in the area, replicating the successful Ouachita Parish model.

“This program has been pivotal in growing the workforce in early childhood education, preparing preschool students to be ready for ‘big school’ and implementing literacy programming with families,” said Stalanda Butcher, the PRIME TIME Head Start director in Ouachita Parish. “We look forward to sharing lessons learned over the past four years and working alongside our new South Louisiana teammates.”

PRIME TIME Inc. will be hosting a series of community information sessions in the coming weeks to introduce its program and approach to prospective parents and Head Start team members. Enrollment information will be coordinated with community partners and shared as soon as possible.

Interested families may call (337) 347-6699 for additional information.