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Valley Vista Elementary School Receives Grant from James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club for School Library
Valley Vista Elementary received a $6,000 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. Valley Vista 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, bestselling author James 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.

“We are so thrilled to receive the James Patterson/Scholastic Reading Club school library grant at Valley Vista,” said Jill Gutia, reading specialist, Valley Vista Elementary. “We can’t wait to use these funds to put more books in the hands of our children. Thank you to James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club for this wonderful opportunity!”

”We could not be more appreciative and excited in hearing the news that we have been awarded the James Patterson/Scholastic Reading Club School library grant,” said Jeff Hill, principal, Valley Vista Elementary. “Valley Vista’s continued goal has been to enhance literacy, especially in early learners. Valley Vista is a Kindergarten through fourth grade building. We believe that the development of literacy begins during the early childhood years and is a lifelong process. School funding is a continuous obstacle that we encounter and the James Patterson/Scholastic Reading Club School library grant has given us an avenue to help meet the needs of all learners. Jill Gutia, our Response to Intervention Reading Specialist, plays a vital role in reading intervention and literacy development. We are extremely proud and appreciative for her efforts towards acquiring the James Patterson/Scholastic Reading Club School library grant and look forward to the positive outcomes it will create for our students at Valley Vista.”

Valley Vista is planning on starting two new programs with the grant money. “Open Library” would allow students in grades K-3 to come to school early to explore new books. Students would hear the beginning of books read to them by fourth graders, have time to read these books, and then have the opportunity to take these books home to share with their families. The second program, “Battle of the Books” would challenge our fourth grade students to read several chapter books by the end of the school year. Then, during Right to Read Week at the end of the year, classes would work together to answer questions about these books in a competition similar to Academic Challenge.

“These grants are my humble acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in libraries,” says Patterson. “Here’s to communities supporting school libraries. Here’s to a country that makes reading a priority. Here’s to flourishing libraries and to a joyful holiday season!”

“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. “Jim’s unwavering commitment to helping children lead better lives rich with books is transformative. Scholastic is thrilled to be working in such an effective partnership.”

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 or $10,000?” The full list of grant recipients is available online at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership.

Any U. S. school with students pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade was eligible for a grant. Patterson hopes that the high volume of requests will raise awareness for the problems facing school libraries today. To learn more, go to mediaroom.scholastic.com/scholasticreadingclub and follow #PattersonPledge on social media.