In an effort to assist teachers and students during the coronavirus crisis, bestselling author James Patterson is donating $2.5 million through his Patterson Partnership program with Scholastic Book Clubs. As part of the initiative, 5,000 teachers throughout the U.S. will receive grants of $500 and 500 Scholastic Book Clubs Bonus Points to help create classroom and at-home libraries for students.

In addition, the partnership will offer support throughout the 2020–2021 school year via an online boutique featuring discounts on books and a monthly newsletter with tips for building classroom and at-home libraries. Participating teachers and students are invited to share their experiences using the hashtag #PattersonPledge.

This marks the sixth annual Patterson Partnership, created to support teachers and students in need of books and other resources. The 2020 installment drew more than 100,000 applications from teachers nationwide. To date, Patterson has donated $11 million to school and classroom libraries through his Scholastic Book Clubs campaign.

Patterson said in a statement, “Whether students are learning virtually at home or in the classroom, the importance of keeping them reading cannot be underscored enough. Reading teaches kids empathy, gives them an escape when they most need it, helps them grapple with harsh realities, and perhaps most importantly, will remind them that they are not alone—even if they’re unable to see their teachers, classmates, and friends in-person. Over the past six months, reading has certainly helped me cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and I can only hope it will do the same for kids and teachers everywhere.”

Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, added, “Every child deserves the chance to lose themselves in a good book, and now more than ever, students are in need of a rich selection of stories they can choose from and explore. At Scholastic Book Clubs, our mission has always been to support teachers day in and day out while they do the critical work of connecting their students to the quality books that will transform them into lifelong readers.”

Thanks to Patterson’s “tremendous generosity,” Newman said, “5,000 teachers now have the funds to build libraries both in the classroom and at home for their students, and countless kids now have the opportunity to discover the books that will make them fall in love with reading.”

For more information about the program, including the complete list of grant recipients, click here.