Author James Patterson is pledging to donate $2.5 million in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs to help teachers build their classroom libraries. This is the sixth year that Patterson has supported school libraries with grants. This year doubles his commitment in 1999 to give $1.25 million annually and will bring his total donation to school libraries to $11 million.

Teachers may apply for the grants now through July 31. The grants are fixed at $500 each and matched with a further 500 bonus points from Scholastic Book Clubs to be used to purchase books. A total of 5,000 grants will be given; this year’s winners will be announced in September.

“Parents are more appreciative of teachers right now perhaps more than ever. In the past month of homeschooling, teachers have become heroes to many, who are seeing just what it takes to teach kids day in and day out,” said Patterson, whose own mother worked as a teacher for 45 years. “I hope that my partnership with Scholastic underscores that appreciation and acknowledges the vital work they do.”

Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, added, “Teachers are always at the front lines of educating all our children and introducing them to books and reading—no matter what else is going on in the world. As the Covid-19 crisis has shown, the hard work and dedication of America’s teachers—and what is demanded of them—cannot be overstated.”