All Kids Need Books!

An enormous THANK YOU to James Patterson and Scholastic Books on behalf of my students at J.D. Clement Early College High School. Since 2015, Patterson has donated $3.5 million of his own money to help underfunded school libraries nationwide!

            Dear Marjorie Light,
            On behalf of Scholastic Reading Club and James Patterson, thank you for the application                       you submitted on behalf of J.D. Clement Early College High School’s library.

           This year we received thousands of applications in response to James Patterson’s                                    $1.75 Million Pledge to School Libraries! The quality of this year’s applications speaks                            highly of the teachers, parents, and administrators working hard to instill a love of books                    and reading in students across this country. 

It is our pleasure to inform you that your school library has received a…grant. Congratulations!


Here are some of the students who inspire the teachers, parents, and administrators at J.D. Clement Early College High School.file-dec-02-8-35-49-pm




On the left are many of the members of the Library Club after our school won a 3-D printer (beating out schools with thousands of students!) in a Durham Public Libraries summer reading contest. They are passionate about books and love to encourage each other’s reading lives.

If you are interested, here’s an article for the Nerdy Book Club about how the school didn’t have a library, so I decided to build one and ALL of the wonderful people who helped make our dream of having books students could check out a reality. (My room is pictured left, and below.)

One of the main component of the $10,000 grant is funding to buy some seating for the students, a system for checking out books (currently using a cardboard box covered with construction paper), and more shelves to BUY. MORE. BOOKS! The library club is going to increase these sections: Classic Books, our sparse Non-Fiction, and World Literature (on the small bookcase above). In addition, they want to add some current YA literature.

Since I’m abroad in England as a U.S. Fulbright Distinguished teacher, I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to share my good news with the students back in North Carolina. My former ELA colleague and amazing friend, Alice Dominguez, arranged for me to Skype with the Library Club. So after visiting a school in the UK for my research, the IT dept put me in a conference room with a laptop and I got to break the incredible news to my lovely students. They beamed, clapped, and cheered. It was merriment all around! I can’t thank James Patterson and Scholastic Books for such an amazing gift. The little lending library in a classroom – one with no budget – one built from gifts, begging, and cajoling – now has some proper funding to make the space more inviting, functional, and enticing to readers of all genres. Libraries make a difference in students’ lives. Thank you, again, to James Patterson and the Scholastic Reading Club for making a difference. ♥

2 thoughts on “All Kids Need Books!

    • I applied for it last spring when I was still there, sitting in the room at the end of the term, praying the library would continue. Thanks to this incredible grant from Patterson and Scholastic, along with the work by my lovely colleague, Alice Dominguez, I know it will. I am SO grateful! My students are incredible people. 🙂


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