Yacolt Awarded Library Grant from James Patterson, Scholastic

posted Jan 7, 2016, 4:09 PM by Rita Sanders   [ updated Jan 7, 2016, 4:45 PM ]

Yacolt Awarded Library Grant from James Patterson, Scholastic

January 7, 2016

Yacolt Primary School is excited to add some fresh reading material to its library collection thanks to a $4,000 grant from prolific author James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club, pending approval by the school board. As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States, bestselling author James Patterson has donated $1.75 million this year alone to school libraries, and with the help of Scholastic, is giving grants of up to $10,000 to each of 467 selected schools. Scholastic is matching Patterson's money donations with "bonus points" that teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms.

Yacolt's media specialist, Joan Spence, applied for the grant on behalf of Yacolt Primary. On the application, she described the needs of Yacolt's library. "Kids want to read fresh stories, and our collection is aging," Spence said. "Many of our students come from families who read and whose parents and relatives are excellent storytellers. Our students come to school with a love of story. The newer, lower grade-level reading books are perfect for catching the interest of young, primary school readers who might otherwise get frustrated and stop reading."

Scholastic selected Yacolt to receive a grant from among 27,924 applications. Spence says she would like to use the grant to buy new nonfiction and fiction books that target the school's younger readers. She would especially like to increase the school's collection of books in the genres that have the longest waiting lists, including those that focus on outdoor themes. She is already creating lists of the books she'd like to acquire.

"These grants are my humble acknowledgment of some of the terrific work taking place in libraries," Patterson said in a prepared statement. "Here's to communities supporting school libraries." Any U.S. school with students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade was eligible to apply for a grant. Patterson said he hopes that the high volume of requests will raise awareness of the difficulties that many school libraries face today.