James Patterson & Scholastic Book Clubs Announce 2017 Patterson Pledge Recipients

James Patterson & Scholastic Book Clubs’ 2017 School Library Campaign: Record Number of Applicants Underscores Dire Need for Classroom Funding

September 7, 2017, New York, NY – Earlier this year, James Patterson announced a personal pledge of $1.75 million to save classroom libraries in the third installment of his School Library Campaign in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs. Today, he distributes these funds to 3,500 teachers across the country in individual grants of $500, matched with “Bonus Points” from Scholastic Book Clubs to further assist teachers in acquiring books and other materials needed in their classrooms. While past campaigns awarded funding to school libraries, this year’s program focused specifically on teachers, who will use grants to enhance and supplement their classroom libraries. The pledge drew a record 82,622 applicants – more than three times the amount received in 2015 and 2016 combined. In addition, 500 runners-up will receive a collection of age-appropriate James Patterson titles for their classrooms. The full list of grant recipients is available online at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.

“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 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.”

The Patterson Pledge program was launched in 2015 in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs as part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a priority for children in the United States. To date, Patterson has personally donated $5.25 million to school 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 aimed to give even more children in America access to books, whether or not their schools have a functioning central library.

“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.”

As exemplified by the record number of applicants, the need is dire – on average, classroom libraries across the country contain only half the recommended amount of books per class size, and are often funded by teachers themselves. 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.

Patterson hopes that teachers and students will share their experiences in their communities using #pattersonpledge. Applicants were asked to share in 50 characters or less how they planned on using $500 dollars and 500 “bonus points” to help build their classroom libraries. All teachers in grades pre-K through 12 in U.S. schools could apply for the grant. All funds are being personally donated by James Patterson. To learn more about the program and see the full list of grant recipients, visit: www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership

James Patterson
James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author, best known for his many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, I Funny, and Jacky Ha-Ha. Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove to everyone, from children to adults, that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He’s given over a million books to school kids and over forty million dollars to support education, and endowed over five thousand college scholarships for teachers. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family. Learn more at jamespatterson.com.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of core literacy curriculum and professional services, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, classroom magazines and other products and services that support children's learning both in school and at home. With operations in 14 international offices and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom collections, school and public libraries, retail and online. True to its mission of 97 years to encourage the personal and intellectual growth of all children beginning with literacy, the Company has earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.

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Erinn McGrath
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Mike Barrett, Scholastic
Office: 212-343-6570