Author James Patterson is prolific and productive, with over 147 books in print, making around $90 million a year in royalties. He vies with Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and George R.R. Martin to hold the top spot in the list of highest paid authors in the world, and helped to promote e-books when they were new.
Among authors, Patterson is well-known as a philanthropist. He funds scholarships for teacher education at four universities in the Midwest and East Coast, runs a scholarship program to help teenagers pay for school books, and has founded multiple programs dedicated to encouraging the love of reading and learning in youth. And now he’s announced the fifth installment of the Patterson Partnership, formed in collaboration with Scholastic Book Club.
Patterson and Scholastic Book Club will donate $250 directly to 4,000 teachers around the U.S. to supply their classrooms with books. Five hundred more teachers, those new to the profession, will get $500 each to begin their classroom libraries. All in all, that is a pledge of $1.25 million. Scholastic will be matching Patterson’s monetary donations with gifts of points in their book club, which can also be used to purchase books.
Responding last year to the success of the program, Patterson said, “I was humbled to see the overwhelming response to last year’s grant campaign, and I’m happy 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.”
Globally, the United States ranks 125th in adult literacy, with only 85 percent of adults comfortably able to read and write. Early and constant access to books is a crucial part of creating a literate society, which is one reason why classroom libraries and school libraries are so important.
The application deadline for the classroom library giveaway is July 31. Teachers interested in applying can visit the James Patterson & Scholastic Books Giveaway for Classroom Libraries website here. All teachers need to do is write 100 words about how they would use $500 and 500 bonus Scholastic points to build their classroom’s library.