Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School has been selected to receive a grant from bestselling author James Patterson to support its school library.
In addition, the 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. Loxahatchee Groves was selected from among thousands of applications.
Patterson and the Scholastic Reading Club announced last year that Patterson would donate $1.75 million to save school libraries nationwide in the second installment of his School Library Campaign.
As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a top priority in the United States, selected school libraries will be receiving grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Since the grant program’s launch, Patterson has donated $3.5 million to school libraries nationwide, with all funds personally donated by Patterson.
Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School has been actively working to raise money for a media center makeover. The school received a $4,000 grant from James Patterson and 4,000 points from the Scholastic Reading Club to help the school media center. Special thanks goes to first grade teacher Mary Garofalo for writing the grant titled, “Reading on a dirt road.”
With the help of this grant, the PTA and other sources, the library will not only add materials but will become more welcoming with murals that are being painted by members of the Seminole Ridge High School Art Club, said Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School Principal Richard Myerson.
“We’ve just come out of the most divisive presidential election in history — and among all the issues that captivated voters, education wasn’t one of them. It was hardly discussed,” Patterson said. “Nearly half of the American population reads at or below a basic level, and we need to address that problem to foster an informed future electorate. I’ve made it my mission to underscore the vital role reading plays in children’s lives, and the need to sustain school libraries is at the heart of that mission.”
In the first-ever partnership of its kind, Patterson joined forces with the Scholastic Reading Club to administer funding applications to their network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers.
Schools entering were asked to share the story of their school library, including past efforts to make improvements and “great ideas to help create a brighter future.”
Patterson personally read and selected the winning recipients of the grants. Based on past winners, school libraries across the country have been using this funding to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to their catalog systems and expand their programming.
“Last year’s ‘Patterson Pledge’ showed communities nationwide how important school libraries are, but also how gravely desperate they are for books to fill their shelves in the midst of steep budget cuts,” said Judy Newman, president of the Scholastic Reading Club. “The amazing outpouring from schools, combined with the continued generosity of James Patterson, helped us solidify a second year of grants to help more children have access to high-quality books and, ultimately, revive school libraries. We are proud to announce this year’s new grant recipients and thank James Patterson for his continued personal commitment to save school libraries.”