St. Paul, MN – Dec 13, 2021 – Planting People Growing Justice™ Leadership Institute (PPGJLI) announced that it partnered with D.E.L.O.R.E.S. Works and the Links, Inc., Minneapolis/Saint Paul Chapter, for a Leaders are Readers program to promote literacy and diversity in books. The non-profit organization donated 414 books and 380 Build-A-Bear® toys to children in Saint Paul Public Schools.
“Reading is the building block to success. We would like to express our gratitude and thank our supporters, Vela Education Fund, Full Circle Publishing, Build-a-Bear Foundation, and Sheletta Brundidge, for joining us in working to end Minnesota’s reading crisis by investing in the lives of our children,” said Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of Planting People Growing Justice.
During the event, PPGJLI visited Maxfield Magnet Elementary School, Jackson Elementary, and Hazel Park Preparatory Academy in the St. Paul Public School District. An assortment of books was distributed that included the highly-acclaimed “Justice Makes a Difference” and “Kofi Loves Music” written by Dr. Artika Tyner and published by Planting People Growing Justice Press and Bookstore.
The partnership is one more way in which the PPGJLI is working to address Minnesota’s literacy gap. The PPGJLI has helped thousands of students discover their leadership potential and find joy in reading through diverse representation.
“Reading is the premise for one’s future; as it sets the tone in leading to success. I believe reading is the key to opening doors for our children, their families, and the collective community to secure the future. Literacy will facilitate the development, empowerment, and leveraging of occupational readiness to ensure economic sustainability to positively impact the lives of our youth, families/caregivers, and the global community” said Dr. Delores Henderson, founder of D.E.L.O.R.E.S. Works, Incorporated.
Literacy levels across the U.S. have dropped significantly over the years. One in 4 children have never learned to read and students that haven’t learned to read by the 4th grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.
The repercussions of those figures are staggering and have lifelong consequences. Children that aren’t literate have far fewer opportunities in life as an adult. A full 85 percent of children in the juvenile justice system are not literate and that helps to feed the school-to-prison pipeline.
To address those problems and more, the PPGJLI offers youth education programs, read-aloud events, and donates multicultural books to schools and community organizations. PPGJLI also conducts book drives throughout the year and publishes books focusing on leadership development, career exploration, and cultural appreciation. The organization also has an online bookstore of children’s books.
One of the most effective ways to encourage literacy is through books that enable youth to see themselves represented in the pages and it’s a goal to which PPGJLI is committed. PPGJLI’s partnership is another way that the organization is working to improve literacy, promote leadership, and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.
About Dr. Artika Tyner
Dr. Artika Tyner is a passionate educator, author, and advocate for justice. She is the founder of the Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute. An engaging speaker and dynamic presenter on leadership, civil rights, diversity, and social justice topics, Dr. Tyner has helped audiences and organizations across the globe gain new tools for leading social change. Her goal is to teach, educate and inspire.