James Patterson, whose bestselling thrillers have made him America’s best-paid author, has teamed up with Scholastic Book Club to award $2.5 million of his own wealth to thousands of teachers in the form of grants to bolster their classroom libraries.
On Tuesday, Scholastic announced the names of the 5,000 teachers who will receive $500 along with 500 “bonus points” from Scholastic Book Club, which teachers can redeem to get books and classroom materials.
Talking about the grant, James Patterson said, “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.” He further added that the program’s previous success made him want to give more teachers a shot at the money to improve their classrooms.
Helping American teachers build up their classroom libraries is just a fraction of Patterson’s philanthropic efforts. According to a statement, he has donated more than $75 million of his own personal wealth to reading-related initiatives, like those that support schools, bookstores, and literacy programs. This spring, he donated $500,000 to help give a lifeline to independent booksellers during the pandemic.