Monterey Highlands received a grant from bestselling author James Patterson to support its school library. Monterey Highlands was selected from thousands of applications for funding grants.
In March 2016, James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club announced 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 number one 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 in 2015, Patterson has donated $3.5 million to school libraries nationwide, with all funds are being personally donated by Patterson.
The Patterson Grant funds libraries in need and pledges to place books into students' hands. This year's theme was "Great ideas for a brighter future." “As an educator, I see the impact of early literacy. I applied for this grant because I felt that Monterey Highlands’ library and community fit this description perfectly. Our teachers and academic team continually strive to provide our students with a brighter future. The Patterson grant will update our library with technology and software. It will also strengthen our school reading culture by funding a school-wide book club. I am excited for our students and our library. Thank you James Patterson and Scholastic for turning an idea into a realized plan of action,” stated second grade teacher Janice Pham.
“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,” says Patterson. “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.”
“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 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.”
Patterson joined forces with 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. Monterey Highlands will use this funding to purchase new books, add bookshelves, make improvements to their catalog systems, and expand programing.