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May 8, 2008

Smith serves as scholar for bilingual Prime Time Reading Time at local West Monroe library

Dr. Ruth E. Smith, head of the ULM Department of Foreign Languages, served as the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities scholar for the first bilingual Prime Time Family Reading Time at the Ouachita Valley Library in West Monroe. The series ran on Mondays March 17 – April 28.

Prime Time was developed by the LEH and is designed for families with children six to 10 years old who are at risk of experiencing difficulty in reading. The program targets parents who may have low literacy and who are concerned about their children's reading abilities.

The storyteller, Jennifer McSween, and scholar, Smith, presented several selections from children's literature in both English and Spanish. The discussion that followed was conducted in both languages, with the goal to provide an enjoyable interaction among participants, discussion leaders and staff, and to encourage children to read and parents to be involved in their development of reading skills.

The bilingual programs have been conducted in southern and western Louisiana, and the series in West Monroe was the first for this area of the state. A second program will take place in October at the main library on Stubbs.

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