An historic milestone in the LEH’s 43 year history was recently achieved, via the fourth year renewal of the “The Shell-LEH National Gulf States PRIME TIME Initiative.” This unprecedented multi-year initiative is delivering outcomes-driven family literacy/critical thinking (PRIME TME Family Reading Time) and teacher professional development programming (PRIME TIME HomeRoom) to thousands of children, parents, and educators across Louisiana, as well as in four other Gulf South states: Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The Shell Oil Company and Foundation’s latest gift of $175,000 for Year Four of the partnership brings the company’s total investment in PRIME TIME to $808,000. When combined with more than $400,000 in matching support from the LEH and its partnering institutions, the initiative easily surpasses the $1 million mark for total investment and impact.
“On behalf of Interim President/Executive Director Miranda Restovic and the entire staff and Board of the LEH, I want to express my sincere and deep gratitude to Shell for the company’s longstanding support, which is improving educational outcomes for hundreds of children—literally transforming their lives for the better—as well as improving the classroom skills and strategies for teachers,” stated Dr. Jeff A. Hale, LEH Vice President for Institutional Development. “We are honored that Shell, an exemplary corporate citizen in Louisiana and across the Gulf South, has become the largest private donor in LEH history, and certainly among the nation’s largest corporate supporters of elementary education and teacher professional development. This is the definition of visionary philanthropy dedicated to measurable results.”
“Literacy is a critical building block for academic achievement. The humanities-rich literature used by Prime Time keeps young children interested in reading, which not only improves language and cognitive skills but also influences their success in math and science.”
—Frazier Wilson, VP Shell Oil Company Foundation and Manager Shell Social Investment
A few recent highlights from the partnership include:
- The successful pilot implementation of a PRIME TIME HomeRoom teacher professional development workshop in Shreveport, attended by 40 teachers and school administrators from five partnering schools.
- The renewal of PRIME TIME programming in Mississippi (commencing in the fall of 2014), following a 15 year hiatus, implemented through the Mississippi Humanities Council.
- As part of its robust delivery of PRIME TIME programs statewide, the Florida Humanities Council implemented a unique Bilingual English-Creole/Haitian French program in Miami, via the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
- In Carrizo Springs, Texas, two inaugural PRIME TIME programs received accolades from the School Board, as well as the enthusiastic endorsement of participating teachers and families. Two additional programs are scheduled for the fall of 2014.
- In the fall 2013 and spring 2014 program cycles, a total of 15 Shell-funded PRIME TIME Family Reading Time programs were implemented in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. These programs directly impacted more than 1,000 children and parents.
- In Louisiana alone, Shell support leveraged in excess of $200,000 in matching public and private funds in the following parishes: Orleans, Ascension, Caddo, Bossier, St. Bernard, Lafayette, Desoto, and Sabine.
The LEH’s award-winning, research-based, and outcomes-driven PRIME TIME Family Reading Time program is the only humanities-based family literacy and critical thinking program in the United States that is proven to positively impact both family reading behaviors and long-term academic performance in children, across all disciplines, including math and science. For additional information on the program, see: primetimefamily.org.