James Patterson Donates $1.25 Million to Grant Program for School Libraries

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James Patterson has already given more than $1 million to independent bookstores, which have been on the rise since 2009, but has now turned his efforts to school libraries.

On Monday, the prolific author announced another explosive initiative, where he plans to donate $1.2 million through a grant program operated through Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic, Inc.

“A lot of schools also don’t have as many books as they should have,” Patterson told the Associated Press. “There’s a myth out there among some people that the kids are reading only digital books now. They’re not.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 8,000 public schools did not have libraries in the 2011/2012 school year.

Patterson kickstarted the initiative Monday with a donation of $250,000 and will continue to donate to the program throughout the year to reach the end goal of $1.2 million.

Libraries and their supporters can apply for donations ranging anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000. The Scholastic Reading Club will match every dollar donated with bonus points that will help classrooms purchase much-needed school supplies.

The author has long been an advocate for children’s literacy, involving himself in initiatives such as Read, Kiddo, Read and the James Patterson PageTurner Awards.

Applications for grants are available here.