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Prime Time’s Podcast Airing Now

January 2, 2024

The second season of Prime Time’s “Little Voices, Big Ideas” podcast is now live, with vignettes of each episode featured weekly on Red River Radio in Shreveport and WWNO in New Orleans and WRKF in Baton Rouge. Produced by Prime Time, a subsidiary of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), in partnership with WWNO/New Orleans Public Radio, “Little Voices, Big Ideas” explores the rich and often surprising content of children’s books and provides caregivers with ways to have meaningful conversations with children.

Originally developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the podcast has allowed the LEH and Prime Time to expand its award-winning literacy program to the airwaves and the internet. The second season of the podcast, which will be available to download free on all podcast streaming services and at, is based on the Prime Time book series “Of, By, and For the People” and examines themes of American democracy and civic participation.

Each of the six episodes is hosted by mother of two and LEH Director of Curriculum and National Partners Sarah DeBacher, with contributions from humanities scholar Dr. Thomas Wartenberg, historian and children’s book author Freddi Evans, The Reading Life host Susan Larson, and early childhood literacy scholar Kyley Pulphus.

“Each episode offers historical, philosophical and cultural connections, as well as practical advice that help listeners go beyond the bedtime story,” said DeBacher. “We also include recorded conversations between children and caregivers that illustrate how the books can turn families into philosophers who engage with concepts and ideas relevant to the business of being human.”

Together, the group breaks down the structures behind the stories and interrogates the messages the stories seem to send, asking questions of one another and the story. This humanities-centered approach is proven to help children develop critical-thinking skills and the foundational skills necessary for a lifelong love of learning.

Prime Time has provided award-winning, humanities-based programming to more than 53,000 families in Louisiana since its creation 30 years ago. Each episode of “Little Voices, Big Ideas” follows the structure of the discussion portion of a traditional Prime Time Family Reading program, where participants are asked questions about the book and engage in dialogue about its major themes. The books included this season are “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater, “Sophia Valdez, Future Prez” by Andrea Beaty, “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom, “Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box” by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type” by Doreen Cronin, and “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson.

Episodes, which run between 20 and 30 minutes, will be released weekly for the next six weeks after the four-minute vignettes have aired. Listeners in Southeast Louisiana can hear vignettes on Thursdays in the afternoon during All Things Considered on WWNO 89.9 FM in New Orleans and WRKF 89.3 FM in Baton Rouge Dec. 21 through Jan. 25. In Central and Northwest Louisiana, the vignettes will be airing on Red River Radio on Wednesdays Dec. 20 through Jan. 24. Full episodes will be available wherever listeners find their podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more and also online at

The podcast is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Community Foundation of Northwest Louisiana and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with WWNO New Orleans and Red River Radio.

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