Humanities Texas received grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to hold Prime Time Family Reading Time programs in Arlington, Diboll, Canyon, Beaumont, Houston, Longview, and Humble, Texas, from 1991–2002. A grant from the Ernest L. Kurth Jr. Charitable Foundation made possible sessions in Diboll and Huntington.
Prime Time Family Reading Time centered on families and rooted in the humanities. Guided by a storyteller and scholar, families read and discussed award-winning children’s books that introduce participants to the universal themes found in tales from history, fairy, and folk tales from around the world, and stories about the problems that children encounter. The books were grouped according to themes such as fairness, courage, greed, honesty, dreams, determination, and cleverness.
The programs lasted between six and eight weeks and participants discussed a new topic each week. At the end of the series, families who attended each weekly session received special prizes and each family selected one gift book to keep.
Prime Time Family Reading Time offered an educational experience that literacy programs teaching only basic reading skills did not. It reinforced the role of the family, encouraged parents and children to read and learn together, and taught families to become active library patrons. By providing a high-quality humanities experience, Prime Time Family Reading Time also helped parents who may have low literacy skills to build confidence in helping their children learn to read.