Author James Patterson is donating £50,000 to school libraries in the UK via a new scheme set up by Scholastic Book Clubs.
Scholastic will make £25,000 available to schools and teachers in the autumn term and another £25,000 in the spring term as part of Patterson’s Big Book Giveaway. One hundred schools will receive £250 each per term and Scholastic will top up each donation with a 25% off ‘reward’ to increase the number of books that schools are able to buy.
Patterson said: “Libraries are at the heart of every school, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with Scholastic to continue to underscore both the need to sustain them, and the vital role that school libraries, librarians and teachers play in transforming lives and fostering a love for learning. I can’t stress enough how important books and reading are to a child’s development – better readers make better people and ultimately better citizens.”
Scholastic carried out a survey of schools’ reading habits and although 87% of those questioned said they had a library, 77% had fewer than the recommended minimum number of books for their size. Nearly 90% of those surveyed replace less than 10% of their book stock every year.
Patterson is a long-term supporter of school libraries and sponsored the World Book Day Award, which also donates books to schools, in 2015 and 2016.
Teachers can apply for a grant through Patterson’s Big Book Giveaway via the Scholastic website by saying why their school deserves free books. Applications close on 31st October and the winners will be picked by Scholastic and Patterson.