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Excel By 5 PRIME TIME Family Reading

Partnering with the Mississippi Humanities Council

Post Date:02/08/2019

The City of Hernando has received a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) to host a new family literacy program, known as “PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME®. “The program, coordinated through the city’s Excel By 5 coalition, targets children ages 5 to 7 who experience difficulty or reluctance with reading and families who are looking for opportunities to foster a lifelong love of learning through reading,” said Denise McOwen, Early Childhood Services Coordinator, Hernando Library.

PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME models reading skills and discussion techniques that stimulate interest in the books’ content—helping foster a lifelong love of learning through reading. The programs use Mississippi Humanities Council storytellers and discussion leaders to present history, cultural values, and literature in enjoyable ways and relaxed settings. Participants experience animated story telling and open-ended questioning that lead to meaningful conversations and higher-level thinking skills, thus assisting families in moving from basic, functional reading to thoughtful literacy. The MHC is pleased to partner with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, through a subgrant from Shell Oil, to present Prime Time Family Reading at various sites across Mississippi.

 PRIME TIME, a six-week series of reading and discussion programs, includes values-based lessons on fairness, greed, courage, cleverness, and determination.  Each Wednesday at 5:30 pm, parents and children meet with  Dr. Rebecca Jernigan, MHC storyteller and Dr. Elaine Gelbard, MHC discussion leader to explore different children’s books, learn good read-aloud and storytelling techniques, and engage in group discussion.  Participants are also introduced to the many resources and services available to them at the Hernando Library. 

 “This year with started PRIME TIME as a pilot program.  There are approximately six families who attend each week, and they are very enthusiastic about participating.  We are pleased with the response to the program by the participants and the support of the community organizations and businesses,” adds Gia Matheny, Hernando Community Development Director, “With continued support from our local partners we look forward to increasing the number of participants in 2020.”

 The PRIME TIME program is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council,  the National Endowment for the Humanities, Hernando Excel By 5, Hernando Library, Dominos, Families First for Mississippi, MSU Extension- DeSoto County, Optimist Club of Hernando, Stars in Motion, and Walmart.

 The Mississippi Humanities Council is a private, statewide, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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