The East Aurora Middle School has received a $5,000 grant from bestselling author James Patterson to support its school library. In addition, 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. EAMS was selected from 27,924 applications for funding grants.
As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States, Patterson, together with Scholastic Reading Club, made a commitment to help save school libraries nationwide. This year alone, Patterson personally donated $1.75 million to school libraries nationwide, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 allocated to each of the 467 selected schools.
East Aurora Middle School Librarian Kim Kruse plans to create a Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) program to help deflect the overall negative impact that recent years’ budget cuts have had on the library. A classroom adjacent to the library will be redecorated and furnished to create an inviting reading nook. “I would like to turn the room off the library into an inviting place for students to read,” she said. “In order to achieve this, funds are needed to purchase popular books in duplicate copies, approximately 30 comfortable reading chairs, and bookshelves.”
Patterson makes the grants as his acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in libraries. “My goal is to create a setting designed to promote reading and motivate students to read for the sheer pleasure of reading,” he said in a statement. “The more kids read, the better readers they become.”
“It continues to be inspiring and motivating to work with James Patterson to support school libraries across the country,” said Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Reading Club.
In the first-ever partnership of its kind, Patterson joined forces with Scholastic Reading Club to administer funding applications to their network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers. Applicants were asked to fill out an online application posing the question, “What would your school library do with $1,000 to $10,000?” The full list of grant recipients is available online at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.
• The Village Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Village Hall, 571 Main St.