DPMLI is established in honor of David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of New York City and in memory of Dr Bernadette Penceal who taught expository writing at New York University for 29 years.  Her work in education included teaching at the Greenhaven Maximum security facility in Stormville, New York, serving on the New York Urban League’s education policy committee and initiating several programs that benefited students in underserved communities. She was a founding member and past president of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education.

DPMLI’s mission is to promote the love of reading among emerging readers through the distribution of 10,000 books to after-school programs, community-based organizations and programs frequented by parents of children aged birth through 12 years of age. Children will choose the books that interest them and then recommend their favorite books to their friends. Emerging readers have little choice in what they read during structured classroom lessons, often resulting in high frustration and a lack of effort to learn to read. Books will be delivered by men who will read to the children and deliver the message that being literate, the ability to read, write, speak, listen and think critically is not only essential for success but is also cool! Parents play an integral part in this process by assuring that their children pass books on to their peers and by recruiting other parents to join this effort. The aim is to establish lifelong positive literary experiences between parents and children that will be enjoyable and motivational.

Participating programs are encouraged to include reading to the children for at least 15 minutes several times a week. Assistance in how to most effectively and seamlessly integrate reading into the programs will be provided.

Dr. Bernadette Penceal