James Patterson & Scholastic Book Clubs help build 3,500 classroom libraries

Michael Barrett  //  Sep 7, 2017

James Patterson & Scholastic Book Clubs help build 3,500 classroom libraries

Big news today! Bestelling author James Patterson will reward 3,500 teachers across the country in individual grants of $500 to help build their classroom library collection. These funds will be matched with “Bonus Points” from Scholastic Book Clubs to further assist teachers in acquiring books and other materials needed in their classrooms. In addition, 500 runners-up will receive a collection of age-appropriate James Patterson titles for their classrooms.

The full list of recipients is available now at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.

While the past two years of the Patterson Pledge awarded funding to school libraries, this year’s program focused specifically on teachers, who will use grants to enhance and supplement their classroom libraries. As exemplified by the record number of 82,622 applicants, the need is dire as findings from the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report: Equity in Education reveal that regardless of school poverty level, 31% of teachers have fewer than 50 books in their classroom libraries and more than half of teachers (56%) use their own money to purchase books. Moreover, the most-needed types of reading materials for their classroom libraries are culturally relevant titles, books published in the last 3–5 years, multiple copies of popular titles, high-interest, low-reading-level books, and magazines.

Since 2015, Patterson has personally donated $5.25 million to save school (and now classroom) libraries. These grants have been used to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to catalog systems, and expand programing. With this third round of donations, Patterson and Scholastic aim to give even more children in America access to books, whether or not their schools have a functioning central library.

“We saw a huge increase in the number of applications to this year’s campaign, and it was both humbling and concerning to see just how many teachers lacked basic materials – most notably, books – for their classrooms,” says James Patterson. “The incredible response demonstrated just how resourceful teachers are, and how vital to they are to student development. I’m happy to be able to acknowledge their contributions in some way, and in doing so, hope to bring more awareness to the clear and immediate need for school funding.”

“Classroom libraries are unique in their ability to provide kids direct access to high-quality books every day, but many people may not realize that it is typically the individual teacher’s responsibility to find the resources—often using their own personal money—to fill their classroom libraries,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Book Clubs, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. “At Scholastic Book Clubs, teachers tell us that now, more than ever, they desperately need help to build robust and inviting classroom libraries filled with new books and classics that are just right for their students. We were blown away by the more than 82,000 entries we received from teachers for this year’s Patterson Pledge grant, underscoring the significance of James Patterson’s personal commitment to helping kids discover a love of reading. Jim’s passion and generosity in awarding these grants to classroom teachers are making a real, lasting impact, and fulfill our joint mission to foster a community of readers in the classroom, at home and beyond.”

Patterson hopes that teachers and students will share their experiences in their communities using #pattersonpledge. 

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients. 

To learn more about Scholastic Book Clubs, visit Scholastic.com/BookClubs

Scholastic Book Clubs