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James Patterson asks: What would your school library do with $1,000–$10,000?

James Patterson might just make your library a little better and your students a little happier this year.

Well-known, well-loved author and literacy activist, James Patterson is donating $1.25 million to school libraries because he believes that:

fewer children are growing up in a household full of books – and that the effects of this absence could have a profound impact on a child’s future, and on the future of our country. Every child in America should have access to books and a functioning school library.  Improvements in school libraries will foster children’s love of reading and boost their academic achievement overall.

In partnership with Patterson, Scholastic Reading Club is now accepting applications for $1.25 million in grants!  Applications will be reviewed by Scholastic Reading Club and submitted to James Patterson for final approval and fulfillment. Scholastic will match each dollar with Bonus Points which teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms, at every school that receives an award.

James Patterson shares:

Scholastic’s conviction that learning to read is the gateway to success in school and life is something I couldn’t feel more passionately about, and I’m honored to work alongside them on this donation. 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 application is simple.  It asks that nominees, in 300 words or less, respond to: What would your school library do with $1,000–$10,000?  Applicants then have to break down proposed project expenses.

The FAQs share:

Any idea or concept that focuses on getting books into the hands of kids, creates a positive environment to foster a love of books and reading, and/or helps to bring books, reading, and literacy to the forefront of a community will be considered.

The guidelines:

All US schools serving PreK-12 are eligible.  Principals, teachers, librarians, parents, administrators, and students can make applications on behalf of schools.  Application will be accepted between March 9, 2015 and May 31, 2015, unless funds are exhausted before that date. A total of $1.25 million will be available for distribution in awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.  Additional application periods may be announced.  Grants will be made on a rolling basis and will be announced on the website. Please allow eight weeks from submission before anticipating a response.

While schools don’t need to report on how the money is used or their results, Patterson hopes teachers and students will share their experiences in their communities.

So do a little dreaming. Apply!  You have nothing to lose and think of what your readers might gain!

This program is part of Patterson’s ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States and mirrors his generous holiday gift of $1 million to established bookstores with dedicated children’s sections.

On behalf of school librarians across the country, thank you, James!

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. dear Mr.Patterson-
    recently I have decided to write a book and I want your advice if you contact me I will send you a draft also do you know any publishers for beginning authors?


  1. […] 1,25 Millionen Dollar spendet der erfolgreiche US-amerikanische Krimi-Autor James Patterson (ZDF: “James Cross”) für Schulbibliotheken. Schulen können sich mit Leseförderprojekten bewerben und erhalten zwischen 1.000 und 10.000 Dollar. Der Leseclub des Schulmedienverlags Scolatic übernimmt die Vorauswahl. […]

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