Press Release

Family Reading Program at Bloomington Public Library Focuses on Global Citizenship

CHICAGO, IL- February 20, 2014— The Bloomington Public Library will soon be hosting a family reading program that uses books to strengthen family ties and help youth understand their responsibility to their community and planet.  

Prime Time Family Reading Time®, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is designed to bring families into public libraries and to participate in a unique, humanities-focused, storytelling experience and will launch at the Bloomington Public Library for a six-week period of sessions beginning March 12, 2014. 

Each session 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 Bloomington Public Library 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 engage in productive discussions about social justice and environmental responsibility, and learn more about community resources by encouraging families to become more familiar with their local library.” 

The storyteller for the sessions will be Michael Lockett, acclaimed storyteller and educator. He will be teamed up with local scholar, Michael Theune, Associate Professor of English at Illinois Wesleyan University.  Together, they will lead families in the story-time and discussion. 

Sessions will take place at the Bloomington Public Library (205 E. Olive Street) in Bloomington, Illinois on Wednesdays beginning March 12 through April 16, 2014. To register, interested families can contact Rondalea Fish at (309) 557-8964, or Visit the Illinois Humanities Council’s website at 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 (IHC) is a philanthropic and educational organization dedicated to making the humanities a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities in Illinois, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. This year, it marks 40 years of developing or funding educational activities and programs throughout the state, including lectures, seminars, performances, exhibitions, films, library discussions, and written materials – all free and open to the public. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) supported by state, federal, and private funds. 

Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5587