CHICAGO, IL- September 19, 2013—A new family reading program in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood will be using books to strengthen family ties while helping youth understand their responsibility to their community and planet.
Prime Time Family Reading Time® is a new program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), designed to bring families into public libraries and to participate in a unique, humanities-focused, storytelling experience. It will launch at the Rudy Lozano Public Library on September 24, 2013, for a six-week period of sessions.
Sessions, presented in a bilingual format, will consist of a storyteller presenting an award-winning children’s book; after which, a humanities scholar facilitates discussion by asking open-ended questions about important themes presented by the texts. Each week of the series, participants will be able to take home books from the Prime Time syllabus to practice this model as a family.
The theme for the series will be Global Citizenship. Families will be discussing topics like social justice, peace and conflict, and environmental sustainability, as they read award-winning children’s literature with such titles as Tar Beach, Horton Hears a Who!, and The Great Kapok Tree. The families will be signed up for library cards upon registration, and, throughout the six weeks, they will be introduced to library resources, and build relationships with Lozano Branch staff.
“This program really does so much with something as seemingly simple as children’s books,” says Anna Burch, the program’s coordinator at the IHC. “Prime Time presents a model for parents and kids to raise important questions about what it means to be a member of a global community, engage in productive discussions about social justice and environmental responsibility, and learn more about each other in the process. Prime Time also promotes the importance of community resources by encouraging families to become more familiar with their local library. We hope it will give a new significance to story-time.”
The storyteller for the sessions will be Chicago-based, professional actor and storyteller, Laura Crotte, who has worked as an actress at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chopin Theatre, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. She will be teamed up with local scholar, Juana Goergen an Associate Professor of Modern Languages at DePaul University, who also teaches adult literature courses for the IHC’s other Pilsen-based program, Proyecto Odisea. Together, Juana and Laura will lead families in the story-time and discussion.
After its sessions in Pilsen, the program will visit the Carter G. Woodson Library in Chicago’s Washington Heights neighborhood and then to Bloomington and Peoria, Illinois. Visit the Illinois Humanities Council’s website at www.prairie.org for additional information about Prime Time. PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME® was created by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. National expansion to Illinois is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a cooperative endeavor with the ALA Public Programs Office.
About the Illinois Humanities Council
The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.
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