LEH Award Banquet Honors 25 Years of Family Literacy

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The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Consulate General of France in Louisiana Gregor Trumel, hosted it’s annual humanities award event, Bright Lights, on April 7th at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. Each year, this event honors Louisianians who have made outstanding contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities. The event was made even more special by the presence of Governor John Bel Edwards, First Lady Donna Edwards, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Mayor Moon Landrieu, and all of the awardees and celebrants who were entertained and feted during a French circus-themed, picture-perfect spring evening. For photos of the festivities, click here.

This year the award event highlighted the 25th anniversary of PRIME TIME. Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) received the Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) received the Chair’s Institutional Award for its support of PRIME TIME Preschool, and nonprofit organizations throughout the metro area. BCM’s commitment to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has grown significantly over the years, totaling more than a half million dollars. This year BCM awarded the LEH a three-year $350,000 grant for its PRIME TIME Preschool program. Also, in light of PRIME TIME’s success as a literacy initiative and the importance of reading to the humanities, the LEH awards offers a deserving individual and/or organization the Light Up for Literacy Award. This award is given in partnership with the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana and the Library of Congress. This year’s recipient is Herreast Harrison, Program Director of the Guardian Institute, a Ninth Ward community organization established in 1988 that promotes education and local cultural traditions.Harrison has devoted her life to encouraging literacy through book giveaways and community reading initiatives. Harrison, age 78 is the founder of the Guardians Institute, a community center which campaigns for the development of youth through literacy.