James Patterson will personally donate $2 million to teachers to build classroom libraries this year, in the fourth year of his School Library Campaign.
In partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs, this year’s Patterson Pledge program focuses once again on teachers: 4,000 individual recipients will receive grants of $500 and 500 Scholastic Book Club Bonus Points to enhance and supplement their classroom libraries.
[Our emphasis] James Patterson has increased his pledge from $1.75 million in past years to $2 million in 2018 to address the dire need for funding exemplified by last year’s campaign, which drew a record 82,622 applicants – more than three times the amount received in 2015 and 2016 combined.
James Patterson said, “I was humbled to see the overwhelming response to last year’s grant campaign, and I’m happy to to reach even more teachers this time around. I can’t underscore enough how important books and reading are to a child’s development – better readers make better people, and ultimately better citizens. I’m so grateful for the teachers who are doing imperative work with students every day, in every school in the country. These grants are my way of acknowledging their extraordinary efforts.”
The Patterson Pledge was launched in 2015 as part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a priority for children in the United States Research from the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report: Equity in Education highlights the need for more support in schools as 31% of teachers reported having fewer than 50 books in their classroom libraries and more than half of teachers (56%) use their own money to purchase books.
To date, Patterson has donated $5.25 million to school libraries through his Scholastic Book Clubs Campaign – this year brings that total to $7.25 million. These grants have been used to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to catalog systems, and expand programing. The 2018 grants will be awarded on September 6, 2018. All teachers in grades pre-K–12 in U.S. schools can apply for a $500 grant. Patterson hopes that teachers will share their passion for classroom libraries using #pattersonpledge. All monetary funds are being personally donated by James Patterson.
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