Thousands of K-12 educators will receive $500 grants from author and philanthropist James Patterson to help students bolster reading skills as schools struggle to adapt pandemic-era online learning.
“Whether students are learning virtually at home or in the classroom, the importance of keeping them reading cannot be underscored enough,” Patterson said in a statement Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
The grant program is administered by Patterson and Scholastic Book Clubs, which will provide educators an additional 500 club points to accompany $500 from Patterson.
The program received more than 100,000 applicants, and 5,000 teachers will be selected to receive grants and club points.
“Reading teaches kids empathy, gives them an escape when they most need it, helps them grapple with harsh realities, and perhaps most importantly, will remind them that they are not alone — even if they’re unable to see their teachers, classmates and friends in-person,” Patterson said.
Patterson’s latest grant marks the sixth installment for the Patterson Partnership, which has raised more than $11 million for teachers and has also provided millions to bookstores, libraries and literacy organizations.