“I can’t underscore enough how important books and reading are to a child’s development — better readers make better people, and ultimately better citizens. I’m so grateful for the teachers who are doing imperative work with students every day, in every school in the country. These grants are my way of acknowledging their extraordinary efforts.” James Patterson
I LOVE James Patterson! Not only is he an odds-defying author who’s built a hugely successful writing career out of nothing but sizzling plot ideas and grit, he’s also a book angel who’s donated millions to help schools and indie bookstores. He’s done it again! James has swooped in, an enthusiastic and grateful angel, and donated funds to help teachers across the country bring more books to their kids.
“I was humbled to see the overwhelming response to last year’s grant campaign, and I’m happy to reach even more teachers this time around,” said Patterson, who’ll donate $2 million to help teachers build classroom libraries this year, in the fourth installment of his School Library Campaign. Working with Scholastic Book Clubs, Patterson plans to give 4,000 teachers around the country $500 each, along with 500 Scholastic Book Club Bonus Points. Last year, Patterson gave $1.75 million to school libraries; this year he upped this amount to “address the dire need for funding exemplified by last year’s campaign,” which received nearly 83,000 applications.
The Patterson Pledge launched in 2015 as an ongoing campaign to keep books and reading a priority for children in America. It’s huge issue: Scholastic’s research found that 31% of teachers reported having fewer than 50 books in their classroom libraries and 56% of teachers purchase classroom books out of their own pocket to help kids
Any teacher in the U.S., from pre-K through 12th grade, is eligible, and can apply online until July 31. The grants will be awarded on September 6, 2018. This year’s Patterson Pledge grants will bring the total amount of money Patterson has given to school libraries to $7.25 million.
Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, commented on the key role classroom libraries play in how students discover books, “which they need to develop vocabulary, skills, and a love of books and reading. Unfortunately, teachers often have to find their own funds and use their personal money to buy books and build fresh classroom libraries. This is why we at Scholastic Book Clubs are truly inspired by James Patterson’s commitment to offer real help to teachers in this work.”
“I’m the most emotional and passionate about getting kids reading in late elementary and early middle school because if they don’t, how are they going to get through high school?” says Patterson. Bravo, book angel – write on!