Sunrise Elementary School received a $6,000 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. Sunrise was selected from 27,924 applications and the only grant recipient in the Denver area.
“I can’t tell you how much this grant means to our school library’s kindergarten reading program,” said Susie Isaac, Sunrise teacher librarian. “For years we’ve struggled to secure small grants that would allow us to purchase books for our kindergartners to keep at home and share with their families. Many of our students simply don’t own books.
“When one of our funding sources ran dry last year, we thought it was the end of our program,” Isaac continued. “Now, thanks to the combined efforts of James Patterson, Scholastic and a generous local donor, we can guarantee each of our 100 kindergartners will receive 15 book gifts throughout the year – and we can continue this with every kindergarten class that comes through our doors for the next TEN years!”
Isaac explained that as a school librarian, her first priority is getting books into the hands of students and fostering love and excitement for reading. She spends a lot of time applying for grants to ensure that students have books to read at home and at school.
“The Patterson Pledge gift we received is so large that is has effectively removed that burden from my shoulders,” Isaac said.” It is such a relief to know our kindergarten reading program has long term funding! Thank you Patterson Pledge!”
Many people recognize Patterson as an award-winning author of books for adults, including thrillers like the Alex Cross and Michael Bennett series. But he has also been honored with Children's Choice Book Awards and National Parenting Publications Honors Awards for his books for children and young adults, such as “Max” and “Fang.” During the past decade, he has devoted an increasing amount of time to championing books and reading.
Patterson, together with Scholastic Reading Club, made a commitment to support school libraries nationwide. In 2015, Patterson personally donated $1.75 million to 467 school libraries across the country, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
“These grants are my humble acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in libraries,” Patterson said. “Here’s to communities supporting school libraries. Here’s to a country that makes reading a priority. Here’s to flourishing libraries!”
“It continues to be inspiring and motivating to work with James Patterson to support school libraries across the country,” said Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Reading Club. “Jim’s unwavering commitment to helping children lead better lives rich with books is transformative. Scholastic is thrilled to be working in such an effective partnership.”