Table Talk

Project Partner:
Friends of the Lake Worth Public Library
Contract Period:
September 1, 2017 – September 1, 2018
Amount Awarded:
$5,000
Region Served:
South Florida

Supported by a $5,000 Community Project Grant from Florida Humanities, the Friends of the Lake Worth Library hosted Table Talk, an educational program designed to promote family meal time as a valuable space where discussion of the humanities can flourish and awareness of one’s community can grow. The family dinner table offers a priceless opportunity for elder generations to discuss community topics with younger generations. Family discussion on the meaning and implications of events, both local and national, has the ability to promote civic engagement and allow citizens within a community to better understand and advocate for positive change.

Spanning from January to March 2018, the 12-week Table Talk program brought families together for six free meals at a local school. With discussion aided by the Lake Worth Herald, Lake Worth city’s weekly newspaper, each meal was moderated by a bi-lingual volunteer to facilitate a family dialogue on community events. On the off-weeks, families were encouraged to eat a meal together and discuss the local newspaper or a book, recording these discussions in a log. Hailing from underserved populations within Palm Beach County, the attendees were primarily of Hispanic descent, with English as the second language in most households.

With the city of Lake Worth bringing the poorest zip code in Palm Beach County and the local high schools experiencing the highest drop-out rate, the program sought to provide a vital educational and literacy opportunity for underserved communities to learn not only how to effectively engage with one another through community awareness, but to gain understanding of their own vital role within the community. Furthermore, parent literacy behaviors, which involve reading and providing books to one’s children, are highly effective at generating an enduring interest in education and reading within children. Through reading and discussing the newspaper together, children will grow to value literacy and knowledge, lending to their ability to become civically engaged citizens, graduate high school, and improve their communities.

The Friends of Lake Worth Library hope to repeat the program in coming years and expect that Table Talk can act as an inspiration for other communities to improve literacy, community awareness, and family connection.

Table Talk is a program designed to promote family meal time, literacy, and community involvement.

Partner Spotlight

Partner: Friends of the Lake Worth Public Library

Project Director: Cindy Ansell

About the Partner Organization: Founded in 1988, the volunteers of the Friends of the Lake Worth Library have been working alongside the Lake Worth Library to provide funds to improve the Library building, its collection, and its services. Funds are raised through membership dues, book sales, and donations. Lake Worth Library is a public library in Lake Worth, Florida that provides free access to information, resources, programs, and technology for Lake Worth residents.


“Table Talk would never have happened without the grant from Florida Humanities. It is an expensive program to administer with meals and books for the families and stipends for the table facilitators, but the rewards for this program are priceless! We build relationships with families that would never have entered our doors. People respond when you make an investment in their lives and Florida Humanities did just that.”

“Table Talk would never have happened without the grant from Florida Humanities. It is an expensive program to administer with meals and books for the families and stipends for the table facilitators, but the rewards for this program are priceless! We build relationships with families that would never have entered our doors. People respond when you make an investment in their lives and Florida Humanities did just that.”