James Patterson donates $1.25 million to classroom libraries

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 REUTERS/Bret Hartman 

James Patterson's latest gift for literacy is a $1.25 million pledge to classroom libraries.

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On Tuesday, the best-selling author announced the fifth installment for his Patterson Partnership, formed in coordination with Scholastic Book Club. Patterson is giving $250 each to 4,000 teachers around the country to help purchase books. He is also distributing $500 each to 500 teachers with three years or less experience. Scholastic will match Patterson with gifts of 250 and 500 bonus points for its book club.

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Teachers can apply for grants through www.scholastic.com. The deadline is July 31.

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In recent years, Patterson has donated millions to schools, independent booksellers and literacy programs. Patterson said in a statement Tuesday that illiteracy was a "daunting issue" and giving kids access to books was "an excellent place to start."