March 9, 2015 — New York, NY — As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States, James Patterson has announced that he will donate $1.25 million to school libraries this year. In the first-ever partnership of its kind, Patterson is joining forces with Scholastic Reading Club to administer funding applications to their network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers. Scholastic will match each dollar with “Bonus Points,” which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms, at every school that receives an award. Applications to nominate a school library for a donation can be found here:www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.
James Patterson is donating this money because he believes that fewer children are growing up in a household full of books – and that the effects of this absence could have a profound impact on a child’s future, and on the future of our country. Every child in America should have access to books and a functioning school library, and he believes that improvements in school libraries will foster children’s love of reading and boost their academic achievement overall.
"James Patterson is such a champion of books and reading for all children. We are thrilled to work with him to support school libraries, which are essential for thriving school communities,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company. “James’s incredible generosity is moving and inspiring. With our tremendous ties to teachers and school librarians across the country, Scholastic is the perfect partner to help James impact children’s and educators’ lives in a lasting and meaningful way."
James Patterson said, “Scholastic’s conviction that learning to read is the gateway to success in school and life is something I couldn’t feel more passionate about, and I’m honored to work alongside them on this donation. Together, I hope we’re able to increase awareness about the vital role that school libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and fostering a love for learning.”
The program will launch with $1.25 million in grants that will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year. Anyone can nominate a school library; donations will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school. James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club will accept nominations of all types: for repairs to a computer system, for example, or for a school project focused on books and reading. Patterson hopes teachers and students will share their experiences in their communities using #pattersonpledge. All funds are being personally donated by James Patterson.