With a New scholarship, James And Sue Patterson Hope to Excite Kids About Reading.

James Patterson, The best-selling author and philanthropist, has sold more than 300 million copies of his books, including his well-known Alex Cross and Maximum Ride series as well as numerous stand-alone thrillers, and he shows no sign of curtailing his prolific writing schedule.

Patterson also passionately values reading as an essential educational skill by promoting reading and literacy at all levels, and Geneseo is among 22 institutions in the country that he and his wife, Susan, have been supporting since 2013 with scholarships for aspiring teacher education students through the Patterson Family Foundation.

“My passion is to get more and more kids excited about reading,” said James Patterson. “Training the next generation of great teachers is essential to that mission and we have found Geneseo to be greatly committed to this task.” In renewing the scholarship program at Geneseo this year, the Pattersons doubled their funding by donating $90,000 to the college’s James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship Fund.

Geneseo awarded 11 new scholarships of $6,000 for eligible incoming freshmen, first-year graduate students and five renewal scholarships for seniors who have been receiving Patterson scholarships annually since the second year of the college’s Patterson Scholarship program. Since the program began, 29 Geneseo students have received the scholarships.

Among seniors who has benefited from the scholarship is George Goga from Buffalo, N.Y.

“Receiving the Patterson scholarship has been an honor that’s helped me achieve my academic goal of becoming an English teacher,” said Goga. “Just last year, I was working with a student in a local high school who was struggling to read at grade level. We worked together and developed literacy strategies that helped him improve his reading skills and better prepared him to start school in the fall. Experiences like these solidify my decision to have studied literature and education at Geneseo. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Patterson Foundation, both because it made my education financially possible, but also because it supported my achievements throughout.”

Goga plans on attending graduate school to study literature and will pursue a teaching career built on advancing literacy.

“I have the greatest admiration for James Patterson and his focus on developing a lifelong love of reading through his support of teachers,” said Anjoo Sikka, dean of the Ella Cline Shear School of Education. “With guidance from our outstanding faculty, I am confident our Patterson scholars will be successful in cultivating a true love for reading among their students.”