JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Four Mississippi elementary school libraries are among those getting money from best-selling author James Patterson.
Neshoba Central Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pearl Lower Elementary in Pearl, St. Martin Upper Elementary near Ocean Springs and Sudduth Elementary School in Starkville are among 467 school libraries nationwide that Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club are giving $1.75 million.
Grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, The Clarion-Ledger reports.
First-grade teacher Missy Jones at Pearl Lower Elementary says she’ll spend the money on electronic books and accelerated-reader books for the classroom. Having interesting books on students’ reading levels is key, she said. Jones said a variety of needed to serve students reading below, at and above grade level.
St. Martin Upper Elementary librarian Cassandra Lizana hopes new library books and upgrades in technology will spark more enthusiasm for the library.
“Kids love technology. I would really like to get some Kindles and some electronic books for them,” Lizana said. “I am blown away by his generosity.”
Debbie Allen, school librarian at Sudduth Elementary, wants to build a Little Free Library, “a cute doll-house kind of library with books on the honor system” to serve the school’s 1,200 K-2 students, she said. She’s aiming for at least one in the school and one in the neighborhood that might serve older students, too, “hoping just to get books in kids’ hands when they don’t always have them at home,” Allen said.
In the announcement, Patterson called the grants “my humble acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in school libraries.”