Arlington Elementary School received a grant from best-selling author James Patterson to support its school library. In addition, Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar of Patterson’s donation with “bonus points” that teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms. Arlington Elementary School was selected amongst thousands of applications for funding grants.
“We are very excited to have been awarded a $1,500 Patterson Partnership grant for our school library,” says Beth Grabbert, Arlington school librarian. “The money will be used to help us participate in the Rhode Island Children’s Book Award program by allowing me to buy multiple copies of the 2018 book nominees when they are announced in the spring. The kids get all fired up to read the books and vote for their favorite book, and now I will be able to buy enough copies to meet the demand. I am always looking for ways to increase my students’ interest in reading, and this is a great way to do that.”
James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club announced in March 2016 that Patterson would donate $1.75 million to save school libraries nationwide in the second installment of his School Library Campaign. As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States, selected school libraries will be receiving grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Since the grant program’s launch in 2015, Patterson has donated $3.5 million to school libraries nationwide, with all funds are being personally donated by Patterson.
“We’ve just come out of the most divisive presidential election in history – and among all the issues that captivated voters, education wasn’t one of them. It was hardly discussed,” says Patterson. “Nearly half of the American population reads at or below a basic level, and we need to address that problem to foster an informed future electorate. I’ve made it my mission to underscore the vital role reading plays in children’s lives, and the need to sustain school libraries is at the heart of that mission.”
In the first-ever partnership of its kind, Patterson joined forces with Scholastic Reading Club to administer funding applications to their network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers. Schools entering were asked to share the story of their school library, including past efforts to make improvements and “great ideas to help create a brighter future.” Patterson personally read and selected the winning recipients of the grants. Based on past winners, school libraries across the country have been using this funding to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to their catalog systems and expand their programming. The full list of grant recipients is available online at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership/recipients.