District News ➤ Article 369
Thumbnail Image for Article 369Andover Middle School Library Receives Grant
Posted Date: 07/07/2015

Andover Middle School received a $2,000 grant from bestselling 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. Andover Middle School was selected from more than 28,000 applications for funding grants.

Andover Middle School's librarian, Shannon Hobbs, hopes to use the grant money to purchase Scholastic e-books. The 2,000 matching Scholastic points go to Andover Middle School's seventh grade Language Arts teacher, Kerry Doll, to use.

James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club announced in March 2015 that Patterson would donate $1.75 million to save school libraries nationwide, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, as part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States. 

“With nearly half the population currently reading at or below the basic level, the United States is truly in the middle of a crisis,” says Patterson, who recently launched the children’s book imprint jimmy patterson, aimed at making books available to kids through teacher scholarships, bookstore funding, school library support, and book donations. “I’ve now read over a thousand letters from school librarians, teachers, and parents about the lack of resources at our country’s schools. How will children make it to high school without access to books? This is a huge problem—and we have to take action. I hope that education will become a major topic on Capitol Hill and in the upcoming presidential debates.” 

“We’ve been deluged with an enormous number of requests for support from across the country,” said Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club. “More than anything else, school libraries are desperate for books to fill their shelves. James Patterson’s generosity underscores a great need, and, thanks to him, many children will be welcomed back to school with the books they need to discover a love of reading.”

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. The first $500,000 of Patterson’s donation was awarded to 127 school libraries. The next wave of grant recipients will be announced in early Fall 2015. The full list of grant recipients is available online at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.

Any U.S. school with students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade is eligible for a grant. Patterson hopes that the high volume of requests and the publicity surrounding the donation will raise awareness for the problems facing school libraries today. To learn more, go to mediaroom.scholastic.com/scholasticreadingclub and follow #PattersonPledge on social media.