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James Patterson donates more than $1 million to school libraries

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(Read caption) Author James Patterson contemplates a question during a 2006 interview at his home overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, Fla.

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Bestselling author James Patterson is again putting his checkbook on the line when it comes to getting people to read. 

According to a press release, the author has teamed up with Scholastic Reading Club to donate $1.25 million to school libraries in the U.S. Someone who wants to see a school nominated can now fill out a form with the school’s information and detail how the school library would put the money to use. Any school in America that has any of the grades from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade can qualify and donations will be between $1,000 and $10,000. Scholastic will match what the library receives with “bonus points” that can be used for teachers to get books and other items. 

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“I hope we’re able to increase awareness about the vital role that school libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and fostering a love for learning,” Patterson said of his work with Scholastic, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

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Patterson, who is the author of such works as “Private Vegas” and the children’s book series “Maximum Ride,” recently helped out schools in Britain and Ireland as well. He gave funds for the World Book Day Award, which was distributed for the first time this year and honored five schools, which each received books for their libraries. Schools were required to submit an answer to the prompt “Why we can’t live without books” and Patterson’s donation for the prize was 50,000 pounds in total, or more than $75,000.

In addition, the author recently completed his pledge to give $1 million to independent bookstores. In a statement he released near the end of 2014 as he completed his donations, Patterson said of the state of books in America, “Here's to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books – yes, books – for Christmas and other holidays. Here's to local governments waking up to the fact that bookstores and libraries are essential to our way of life. Here's to media coverage of books, booksellers, and publishers, and to a wiser, more literate America.”