James Patterson Donates $2.5MM to Teachers to Help Grow Kids’ Love of Reading In the Midst of Covid-19 Hardships

Erinn McGrath, 212-364-1181, Erinn.McGrath@hbgusa.com
Allyson Barkan, 212-389-3469, abarkan@scholastic.com

Author James Patterson is personally donating $2.5 million, and Scholastic Book Clubs is matching with 2.5 million Bonus Points


NEW YORK, NY – September 29, 2020 – Bestselling author James Patterson and Scholastic Book Clubs today announced that 5,000 teachers throughout the United States will receive grants of $500 and 500 Scholastic Book Clubs Bonus Points for the purpose of building classroom and at-home libraries for their students. With so much uncertainty about how classes will be conducted this school year given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide teachers with the necessary resources to get and keep kids reading, whether they’re at home or in schools.

To learn more about the program and see the full list of grant recipients, visit: http://www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership/. Patterson and Scholastic Book Clubs, a division of the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, know that these grants are only the first step in helping teachers successfully connect students to books that will engage, excite, and set them on the path to become lifelong readers—at a highly uncertain time when reading is of fundamental importance.

Says Patterson, “Whether students are learning virtually at home or in the classroom, the importance of keeping them reading cannot be underscored enough. Reading teaches kids empathy, gives them an escape when they most need it, helps them grapple with harsh realities, and perhaps most importantly, will remind them that they are not alone—even if they’re unable to see their teachers, classmates and friends in-person. Over the past six months, reading has certainly helped me cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and I can only hope it will do the same for kids and teachers everywhere.”

This year marks the sixth annual installment of the Patterson Partnership, created to build classroom and home libraries and assist teachers in acquiring books and other materials desperately needed by them and their students. The 2020 partnership drew a total of more than 100,000 applicants from teachers nationwide, showing the dire need for books and classroom resources. To date, Patterson has donated $11 million to school and classroom libraries through his Scholastic Book Clubs campaign.

“Every child deserves the chance to lose themselves in a good book, and now more than ever, students are in need of a rich selection of stories they can choose from and explore, that will make them laugh, offer them an escape, and help them make sense of the world and of themselves,” said Judy Newman, President and Reader in Chief of Scholastic Book Clubs. “At Scholastic Book Clubs, our mission has always been to support teachers day in and day out while they do the critical work of connecting their students to the quality books that will transform them into lifelong readers. Nobody recognizes the importance of great teachers and great books more than James Patterson, and thanks to his tremendous generosity, 5,000 teachers now have the funds to build libraries both in the classroom and at home for their students, and countless kids now have the opportunity to discover the books that will make them fall in love with reading.”

According to the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report: 2nd Edition, 80% of teachers use their own money to purchase books for their classroom libraries, and 89% of teachers agree that schools play an important role in expanding student access to books at home. This is why the Patterson Partnership grant program not only gives teachers $500 and 500 bonus points to use towards books and much needed learning materials, but will also provide support throughout the 2020-2021 school year—in the form of a special online boutique filled with promotional discounts on books for every type of reader, and a monthly newsletter filled with ideas for building classroom and at-home libraries—to help teachers stretch the dollars even further to benefit as many kids as possible.

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 the funds and Bonus Points to help build their classroom libraries. All teachers in PreK through grade 12 in US schools were eligible to apply for the grant. All funds are being personally donated by James Patterson, and all Bonus Points are being donated by Scholastic Book Clubs.

James Patterson
James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. The creator of Alex Cross, he has produced more enduring fictional heroes than any other novelist alive. Over the past decade, Patterson has given away more than $75 million to support teachers, bookstores, booksellers and various literacy initiatives, and over a million books to students and the military.

For 100 years, Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) has been encouraging the personal and intellectual growth of all children, beginning with literacy. Having earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families, Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates and distributes bestselling books and e-books, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, and other products and services that support children's learning and literacy, both in school and at home. With 15 international operations 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 libraries, school and public libraries, retail, and online. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.