THE world’s best-selling author James Patterson yesterday announced funding of $100,000 to help Australian and New Zealand booksellers promote children’s literacy.
Grants of up to $5000 are available to individual bookstores to invest in concepts that will help get kids reading.
Launching his Australian tour, James Patterson visited Dymocks Sydney today to meet Dymocks MD Steve Cox and discuss the funding scheme, which has already been successfully implemented in the UK and USA.
Steve Cox said the grants will help fill a gap and provide more opportunities for stores to promote reading just for fun.
‘By donating $100,000 to Australian and NZ booksellers, James Patterson is helping to make a real difference to young readers now and into the future,’ Mr Cox said.
‘Research shows that literacy success is based on exposure to reading and books at an early age. By giving booksellers the opportunity to engage with younger audiences in exciting new ways, it can only help reading outcomes,’ he said.
Mr Cox said that Dymocks bookstores already provide innovative in-store experiences for young readers.
‘‘Dymocks prides itself on helping kids develop a lifelong love of reading by putting great books into their hands. Our flagship stores have transformed their children’s book sections to offer kid-friendly spaces, entertaining author events and a huge range of books to attract young readers. These grants will allow our stores to do even more to promote a love of reading and connect kids to great storytelling.’
James Patterson believes that there are far too many children at risk of living their lives without books.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that bookshops play an essential role in the community in getting kids reading,’ he said.
‘I have been inspired, moved and delighted by the innovative proposals I have received from bookstores in the UK and the US. And I have been thrilled to see the real difference that these grants have already started to make. I can’t wait to see the proposals from Australian and New Zealand bookstores.’ Mr Patterson said.
To apply for the grant, booksellers must already have a dedicated children’s book section in their store. Booksellers have until 5pm Tuesday 30 June to apply for the grant. To download an application form, visit http://www.booksellers.org.au/jamespattersonlovesbookshops.
Image: World’s best-selling author James Patterson (left) meeting Dymocks MD Steve Cox (right) following yesterday’s announcement of funding to Australian and NZ bookstores.