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Community organizations can apply for free books for families

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Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 15:30:07-04

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ PRIME TIME Family Reading Program invites organizations in the community to sign up to distribute Spark Boxes to local families. The program is geared to help spark a love of reading, fire up imaginations and bring books into the homes of families.

A Spark Box contains carefully chosen children’s books accompanied by an easy-to-use Grown-Up Guide that supports discussion and activities.

“The past year has reinforced the importance of family interaction and the ability to embrace learning from our own homes,” said Miranda Restovic, president and executive director of the LEH and PRIME TIME, Inc. “Spark Boxes are a way for families to connect with each other and the world around them by not only reading a story but going further to share their ideas, express their emotions and to spark a love of literature that we hope children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

In response to the 2016 historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Spark Boxes were developed to share the PRIME TIME Family Reading program when meeting in person was not possible.

According to LEH, 40 percent of Louisiana students still lacking access to the Internet, and the COVID-19 pandemic, reaffirmed the importance of children’s need to access books at home.

“Seeing our PRIME TIME First Aid Kits evolve from an emergency response to the floods of 2016 to families’ changing needs in this unprecedented pandemic year is incredibly exciting,” LEH Vice President of Education Programs Shelley Stocker said. “We are looking forward to all the ways families will increase the love of reading and discovery for their children with the books and engaging learning tools included in every PRIME TIME Spark Box.”

For organizations wishing to distribute Spark Boxes, apply now at primetimefamily.org. The deadline to submit an application is June 30. Decisions will be announced in mid-July, with distribution sites receiving Spark Boxes by the end of that month.