The bestselling author, James Patterson, and Scholastic Book Clubs unite to launch The United States of Readers, a classroom outreach program that will address literacy inequity in schools, K-8. The Associated Press reported that with Patterson’s donation of $1.5 million, Scholastic Book Clubs will increase book access to 1,500 classrooms and 32,000 students nationwide, including D.C. and Puerto Rico. The theory is that with more access to books, the literacy inequity gap will lessen for students who come from low income families.
Most of the schools participating in The United States of Readers are from rural, suburban, and urban areas and have never participated in prior Scholastic Book Clubs. The new program will stick to the structure of already existing programs that Scholastic Book Clubs offers with teachers administrating the program, flyers given out to students, and books being delivered to classrooms. The only difference will be that there will be no prices listed on the flyers, allowing students to choose two books from a diverse and interesting list of books. With unlisted prices, students will be able to approach books and choose two titles five times a year, ensuring that students will add 10 new books every year from K-8.
Literacy inequity is a very real thing that many children encounter because of their specific circumstances. Patterson has consistently teamed up with Scholastic to ensure that children are entitled to their own personal collection of books, which they believe will combat against illiteracy.
“I’ve been working my entire career to get kids reading because I believe that illiteracy is one of the biggest challenges our country faces,” he said in a statement. “And in many cases, kids simply need access to books — and especially books they want to read — to fall in love with reading, characters, and stories.James Patterson
Bookstr also has a great article about little free libraries , which is another great resource where you can find more accessible books to read. Additionally, here is Bookstr’s ongoing list of bookspots and most importantly, libraries.