As part of a new initiative designed to raise awareness about the state of school libraries in the U.S., James Patterson announced that he will make a $1.25 million donation to school libraries across the country this year. Scholastic will match each dollar donated with bonus points, which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms, at every school that receives an award.
The program will launch with $1.25 million in grants that will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year. As of March 9, those interested in participating will be able to nominate a school for a donation by filling out a form with their school’s information and a short description of how their school library would use the money. All schools in the U.S. that serve students pre-K through 12th grade are eligible to win a grant; donations will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school.
“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," said Patterson. "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 donation follows the $1 million in grants Patterson promised to independent bookstores over the course of a year, beginning in September 2013.
“James Patterson is such a champion of books and reading for all children," said Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic. "We are thrilled to work with him to support school libraries, which are essential for thriving school communities."