AFTNJ members receive Classroom Library Grants

A handful of AFTNJ members are among the 5,000 teachers recently chosen from more than 124,000 applicants nationwide to receive a 2020 Scholastic Book Clubs and James Patterson Classroom Library Grant.

Congratulations to Ashley Gallo (James Madison School #10 in Garfield/Local 3977), Raffaella Mastropaolo (Washington Irving School #4 in Garfield/Local 3977), Jessica Cagno (Edward J. Patten Elementary School in Perth Amboy/Local 857), Cheryl Taylor (William C. McGinnis Middle School in Perth Amboy/Local 857) and Nancy Gianni (South Street School in Newark/Local 481). All winning teachers of what is known as the Patterson Partnership sweepstakes will receive a $500 grant courtesy of novelist Patterson and 500 Scholastic Book Clubs bonus points to build their classroom libraries.

Gallo, who teaches kindergarten at James Madison, says she’ll use her grant to add level A and B books to a library she shares with another teacher.

Graphic novels are at the top of the list for Taylor, a fifth-grade ELA and SS teacher at William C. McGinnis, “because the kids love them so much,” she says.

“Then I’ll just choose some books that look good, or that my students recommend or want to read,” Taylor adds. “I always ask the kids what they want to read because they are the ones who are doing the reading!”