Barnes County North receives grant for 'Little Free Libraries'
Barnes County North Public School received a $3,000 grant from best-selling author James Patterson to support its school library. In addition, Scholastic Reading Club will match Patterson's donation with "bonus points" that can be used to acquire...
Barnes County North Public School received a $3,000 grant from best-selling author James Patterson to support its school library. In addition, Scholastic Reading Club will match Patterson’s donation with “bonus points” that can be used to acquire books and other materials for the library.
The Barnes County North school library was selected as one of 467 schools from the 27,924 applications for funding grants.
Beth Undem, school librarian at Barnes County North, said she is thrilled that BCN is a recipient of the “Patterson Pledge” grant. The money will be used to build and install “Little Free Libraries” for each of the nine towns in the district since none of them have a public library.
This has been a longtime dream of Undem’s since the library is only open part time in the summer, and it is hard for parents who live in rural areas and have full-time jobs to get students to libraries when they are open.
“This way there will be books available in each town and the ‘take a book, give a book’ principal will keep the libraries stocked with new materials,” Undem said. “Now the real work will start with getting the libraries built and finding places in each town to install them. Any help by volunteers will be greatly appreciated.”
As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a No. 1 priority in the United States, Patterson, together with Scholastic Reading Club, made a commitment to help save school libraries nationwide. This year alone, Patterson donated $1.75 million to school libraries nationwide, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 allocated to each of the selected schools.
“These grants are my humble acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in school libraries,” Patterson said. “Here’s to communities supporting school libraries. Here’s to a country that makes reading a priority. Here’s to flourishing libraries and a joyful holiday season.”
Scholastic Reading Club President Judy Newman said it is inspiring and motivating to work with Patterson to support libraries across the country.
“Jim’s unwavering commitment to helping children lead better lives rich with books is transformative,” she said. “Scholastic is thrilled to be working in such an effective partnership.”
In the first-ever partnership of its kind, Patterson joined with Scholastic Reading Club to administer funding applications 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 at www.scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership .
Any U.S. school with students from prekindergarten to 12th grade was eligible for a grant. Patterson hopes the high volume of requests will raise awareness for the problems facing school libraries today. To learn more, go to mediaroom.scholastic.com/scholasticreadingclub or follow #PattersonPledge on social media.