The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation recently awarded a $25,000 gift to the LEH, renewing its support for PRIME TIME Family Reading Time programming across Greater Baton Rouge in 2014. A total of four PRIME TIME programs will be implemented in East and West Baton Rouge schools and libraries during the spring and fall 2014 cycles, impacting an estimated 160 3-10 year-old children, as well as their parents or guardians.
The PRIME TIME/Pennington partnership is aimed at reducing the Greater Baton Rouge region’s numbers of poorly performing elementary students in English Language Arts (ELA) test scores. Statewide, the 2013 average percentage of students scoring “below basic” in ELA on standardized tests was 23 percent; however, the average score for East Baton Rouge was 27 percent (WBR scored better, at 20 percent). Therefore, the region’s need for proven, outcomes-driven family literacy programs remains both significant and urgent.
“The Pennington Foundation is one of the Baton Rouge area’s largest and most consistent supporters of the LEH’s PRIME TIME program,” stated Miranda Restovic, LEH Interim President and Executive Director and LEH Program Director. “I want to express my personal gratitude on behalf of the dozens of Greater Baton Rouge families that have and/or will benefit from our important partnership with the Pennington Foundation. Thanks in particular to the Foundation’s President & CEO, Ms. Lori Bertman, as well as Program Officer Ms. Rachel Ayn Pickens.”
The PRIME TIME program’s most recent Pennington Foundation grant, completed on June 30, 2013, successfully implemented four six-week, afterschool family literacy programs in East and West Baton Rouge, at Chamberlain Elementary School, EBR Parish Carver Branch Library, Cohn Elementary School, and Broadmoor Elementary School. Total attendance across the four programs was 260, which exceeded estimates by 100 individuals (60 percent). The four programs brought the total PRIME TME has implemented in the two parishes to 56 since program inception in 1991.