School Libraries Need Critical Help


Sara Sinek
(212) 343-6899

Fiona Brown
(212) 364-1181


James Patterson and Scholastic Help Save MORE School Libraries; Patterson Raises Donation to $1.5 Million  

March 23, 2015—New York, NY—Because of the immediate and overwhelming response to his $1.25 million donation to school libraries, James Patterson will increase his contribution by $250,000, raising the total donation to $1.5 million. Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar with bonus points that teachers can use for classroom materials.

In the two weeks following the donation announcement, James Patterson and Scholastic received more than 8,500 applications for school library grants. The grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 per school and include a wide variety of requests, from flood damage repairs to new books to better shelving systems. Patterson hopes that the high volume of requests and the publicity surrounding the donation will raise awareness for the problems facing school libraries today.

“James Patterson’s gift is generous and so very beautiful.  In addition to making a difference in the lives of so many young readers, it shines a bright light on the issue of equity, exposing the have and have not scenarios our children face in their schools,” said Joyce Kasman Valenza, Ph.D, Assistant Professor and Director of the Masters of Library and Information Science Program at Rutgers University, SC&I. “All children deserve access to free, independent reading and the opportunity to discover and select age-appropriate books in all their glorious traditional and emerging formats from a carefully developed collection. They deserve sustainably funded school libraries staffed with professional school librarians to guide them through their inquiry and literacy journeys. Thank you, thank you James Patterson and Scholastic for getting the ball rolling. All children deserve to be in the game.”
“I’m blown away by the number of parents and teachers who have shared the urgent needs of their community’s school library,” said James Patterson. “It’s clear that our school libraries require critical help. I know we can’t solve the issues overnight, but I hope at the very least we’re able to raise awareness about the important position the school library plays in the educational achievement of children.”
“We knew there was a tremendous need, and the overwhelming response confirmed that,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club. “We applaud James Patterson and proudly add our support to help turn the impossible into a reality for so many schools.” 
James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club will accept nominations of all types: for repairs to a computer system, for example, or for a school project focused on books and reading. Any U.S. school with students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade is eligible for a grant. Applications for the grants can be made through the Scholastic Reading Club website:

James Patterson
James Patterson’s activism in children’s literacy and philanthropy has made him a leading voice in the conversation about book culture in the United States. He has sold 300 million books worldwide and has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer ever, according to Guinness World Records. He also has more #1 New York Times–bestselling books for children than any other living author. He is the international bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School, I Funny, Maximum Ride, and Witch & Wizard, and of the Alex Cross series. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, and multimedia and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at