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PPGJLI’s New “First Educator” Campaign Aims to Inspire Adults as Children’s Learning Champions

Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute Launches Community Initiative to Boost Early Literacy Among Children in Minnesota

A new community-based initiative is calling on caring adults to embrace their critical roles as “first educators” in supporting the learning and literacy development of Minnesota’s youth. After the success of the Leaders are Readers program, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute launched the “First Educator” campaign to inspire parents, caregivers, and community members to actively engage children in reading and educational activities from an early age.

The campaign highlights the tremendous impact that primary influencers can have on a child’s academic trajectory and lifelong achievement. Research shows that children’s earliest experiences profoundly influence their brain architecture, establishing a solid foundation for all future learning, health, and behavior. Positive engagement with trusted adults through reading, conversation, and exploration helps children build essential literacy and critical thinking skills.

“Our goal is to inspire caring adults worldwide to support our youth on their learning journeys,” said Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of the Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute. “When children have a strong literacy foundations from an early age, it fosters future academic success.”

The “First Educator” campaign is a direct response to troubling literacy statistics in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, 31 percent of Black students are at or exceed the grade level standards in reading. White students in comparison are at 58 percent. 

Drawing from the personal experiences of PPGJLI founder Dr. Tyner, the campaign celebrates the transformative power of reading and its ability to unlock a world of possibilities. “Growing up, the library was my home; books were my refuge and strength. I traveled the world through books. I visited the Serengeti National Park, walked along the Great Wall, and enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Sierra Leone,” Dr. Tyner reminisced. “This was an amazing adventure for a young girl, especially since my daily life did not expand beyond the mile radius of my Rondo neighborhood.”

The “First Educator” campaign acknowledges the often overlooked and undervalued role of parents and caregivers as the fundamental primary educators in a child’s early development. Through community engagement, free resources, workshops, and community events focused on fostering early literacy skills, the initiative aims to equip these “first educators” with the knowledge and tools necessary to nurture a love for learning among the little ones from the earliest stages.

Community partnership and engagement will be vital components of the “First Educator” campaign. The Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute aims to collaborate with schools, libraries, community centers, businesses, and local leaders to amplify the message that every caring adult can play a pivotal role in shaping young minds.

“Imagine a future where every Black child in Minnesota excels at reading and writing,” Dr. Tyner challenged. “What type of communities and society will we create? The possibilities will be endless when we collectively embrace our roles as ‘first educators’ from the start.” Community members are encouraged to get involved and support local youth on their learning journeys.

Media Contact
Company Name: Planting People Growing Justice® Leadership Institute
Contact Person: Jacklyn Milton

Phone: (651) 303-6566
City: Saint Paul
State: Minnesota
Country: United States


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