The Patterson Pledge program, a partnership between bestselling author James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club, designed to aid school libraries, has announced its list of grant recipients for 2016. The winners’ list is comprised of 452 schools from around the country that will receive grants ranging from $1000 to $10,000. The funds come from Patterson’s personal pledge this year of $1.75 million. In addition to the grant money, winning schools receive a matching gift from Scholastic Reading Club in the form of “Bonus Points” that they can use to purchase books or other materials for their classroom.
Patterson first made his “Great Library Pledge” in 2015, citing the urgent need to support budget-strapped school libraries, which he has deemed “the heart of the school,” and to continue to promote books and the love of reading in kids’ lives. He kicked things off back then with a $1.25 million personal pledge and joined forces with Scholastic Reading Club, which boasts a network of more than 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers, making it the ideal entity to administer the grant applications.
Now in its second year, the school library campaign has seen growth all around, including Patterson’s increased financial commitment and a larger number of applicants. To date, the Patterson Pledge has received a total of more than 32,000 grant applications and has awarded funds to more than 900 recipients.
In a statement about today’s news, Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Reading Club, said, “Last year’s ‘Patterson Pledge’ showed communities nationwide how important school libraries are but also how gravely desperate they are for books to fill their shelves in the midst of steep budget cuts. The amazing outpouring from schools combined with the continued generosity of James Patterson helped us solidify a second year of grants to help more children have access to high-quality books and, ultimately, revive school libraries.”
A full list of the schools that received grants this year can be found on the Scholastic Reading Club site and Patterson is encouraging teachers and students to share their own schools’ experiences on social media via #pattersonpledge.