Shades Valley High School in Irondale, Ala., is one of the 127 schools receiving a grant from James Patterson’s $1.75 million gift to school libraries in the United States.

James Patterson — the Daddy Warbucks of American publishing — made good on his pledge to help school libraries today. The bestselling writer of thrillers announced $500,000 in grants to 127 schools across the country. This is just the first installment of a $1.75 million program to help libraries buy books, fund literary programs and make repairs.

In March, Patterson invited librarians, teachers and principals to apply for $1,000 to $10,000 grants. Scholastic Reading Club, a division of children’s publisher Scholastic, pledged to match each grant with bonus points that can be used for books and classroom materials.

More than 28,000 applications came pouring in.

“With nearly half the population currently reading at or below the basic level, the United States is truly in the middle of a crisis,” Patterson wrote in a statement released Tuesday morning. “How will children make it to high school without access to books? This is a huge problem — and we have to take action. I hope that education will become a major topic on Capitol Hill and in the upcoming presidential debates.”

Many of the applications to Patterson’s program mentioned budget cuts that had severely limited students’ access to books. Principals described schools without reading materials and even without libraries.

Carolyn Jo Starkey, a librarian at the Shades Valley High School in Irondale, Ala., told Patterson: “It has been about three-quarters of a decade since the school libraries in Alabama have received state funding to support our work and facilities. Like many other school libraries across our country, our collections and equipment have grown dated in content and fallen into general physical disrepair.”

Patterson was so moved by the applicants’ stories that he increased the size of his initial program from $1.25 million to $1.5 million and then to $1.75 million.

Here is a list of the school libraries that received grants today, ordered by state:

School City State
Collier Elementary Mobile Ala.
Cranford Burns Middle School Mobile Ala.
Cullman High School Cullman Ala.
Hueytown Middle School Hueytown Ala.
Litchfield Middle School Gadsden Ala.
Madison County High School Gurley Ala.
Sardis High School Boaz Ala.
Shades Valley High School Irondale Ala.
W. P. Davidson High School Mobile Ala.
Berryville Middle School Berryville Ark.
Danville High School Danville Ark.
Dover High School (Pope County) Dover Ark.
Elmwood Middle School Rogers Ark.
Stephens Elementary School Little Rock Ark.
Woodland Junior High Fayetteville Ark.
Cal Aero Preserve Academy Chino Calif.
Civic Center Secondary School San Francisco Calif.
Creekside Oaks Elementary Lincoln Calif.
Imperial Beach Charter School Imperial Beach Calif.
Loma Vista Middle School Riverside Calif.
Redwood Elementary School Crescent City Calif.
Rio Real Elementary School Oxnard Calif.
Brien McMahon High School Norwalk Conn.
Charter Oak International Academy West Hartford Conn.
Dolan Middle School Stamford Conn.
Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School Danielson Conn.
Corr Elementary School (Tampa DMA) Gibsonton Fla.
Eastside Elementary Lake City Fla.
Osteen Elementary Osteen Fla.
West Jacksonville Elementary Jacksonville Fla.
David C. Barrow Elementary Athens Ga.
East Hall High School Gainesville Ga.
Eastside Elementary School Dalton Ga.
Pearson Elementary School Pearson Ga.
Long Beach Elementary School Montgomery Ill.
Lords Park Elementary School Elgin Ill.
Nixon Elementary School Chicago Ill.
Peck Elementary School Chicago Ill.
Waukegan High School Washington Campus Waukegan Ill.
Fairfield Jr Sr High School Goshen Ind.
Postville Community School Postville Iowa
Andover Middle School Andover Kan.
Lyndon Elementary Middle School Lyndon Kan.
Madison Elementary School Gardner Kan.
Parsons High Schgool Parsons Kan.
Chenoweth Elementary Louisville Ky.
Bogalusa High School Bogalua La.
Caddo Heights Math/Science Elementary School Shreveport La.
Kehoe-France School Metairie La.
Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy Kenner La.
Prairie Elementary School Lafayette La.
Brighton High School (Boston DMA) Brighton Mass.
Elias Brookings Elementary School Springfield Mass.
Gardner Pilot Academy Boston Mass.
Davis Junior High Sterling Heights Mich.
Endeavour Middle School Ray Mich.
Kalkaska Middle School Kalkaska Mich.
Mill Creek Elementary Williamsburg Mich.
North Hill Elementary Rochester Hills Mich.
Starr Detroit Academy (Detroit DMA) Harper Woods Mich.
Westwood School/District 742 Saint Cloud Minn.
Glasgow High School Glasgow Mont.
Linderman Elementary School Polson Mont.
Cape Fear Elementary Rocky Point N.C.
Crest Middle School Shelby N.C.
Falkland Elementary School Greenville N.C.
Jarvisburg Elementary School Jarvisburg N.C.
Northside Elementary School Elizabeth City N.C.
WC Friday Middle School Dallas N.C.
Erik Ramstad Middle School Minot N.D.
Applegarth Elementary School Monroe Township N.J.
Chaplain Charles J. Watters School 24 Jersey City N.J.
Grove Street School Irvington N.J.
Hoboken Charter School Hoboken N.J.
Central Primary Bloomfield N.M.
Don Pedro Albizu Campos PSMS 161 New York N.Y.
M.S. 137 America’s School of Heroes Ozone Park N.Y.
P.S. 62Q (Richmond Hill) Queens N.Y.
PS 19 Asher Levy Campus New York N.Y.
PS/MS 114 The Belle Harbor School Rockaway Park N.Y.
Queens Metropolitan High School Forest Hills N.Y.
The SEEALL Academy Brooklyn N.Y.
Van Siclen Community Middle School Brooklyn N.Y.
Amargosa Valley School Amargosa Valley Nev.
Beverly Elementary Toledo Ohio
Discovery Academy Toledo Ohio
Louisville High School Louisville Ohio
Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts Akron Ohio
Trotwood-Madison Middle School Trotwood Ohio
Whittier Primary School Findlay Ohio
Willis Intermediate School Delaware Ohio
Windermere Elementary Upper Arlington Ohio
Cleveland Middle School Cleveland Okla.
Maryetta Public School Stilwell Okla.
Alexander Adaire Elementary School Philadelphia Pa.
Boys’ Latin Charter School of Philadelphia Philadelphia Pa.
Harrisburg Catholic Harrisburg Pa.
Paxinosa Elementary School Easton Pa.
Penn Wood Middle School Darby Pa.
The Vanguard School Paoli Pa.
William Prescott Elementary School Scranton Pa.
Loris Middle School Loris S.C.
Pierre Indian Learning Center Pierre S.D.
Bolivar Middle School Bolivar Tenn.
Fairmount Elementary School Bristol Tenn.
Powell Elementary School Powell Tenn.
Ault Elementary (Houston DMA) Cypress Texas
Bebensee Elementary Arlington Texas
Chapa Middle School Kyle Texas
Cockrell Hill Elementary DeSoto Texas
Gorzycki Middle School Austin Texas
Hood-Case Elementary Alvin Texas
Rose Shaw SES Corpus Christi Texas
Tobias Elementary Kyle Texas
Uplift Luna Secondary School Dallas Texas
Vines High School Plano Texas
Walt Disney Elementary Alvin Texas
Westvale Elementary West Jordan Utah
Buffalo Gap High School Swoope Va.
Fries School Fries Va.
St. Paul School (Public) Cana Va.
Sterling Middle School Sterling Va.
Orchard School South Burlington Vt.
George Washington Elementary School Eleanor W.V.
Greenbrier West High School Charmco W.V.
Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary Orting Wash.
Jefferson Middle School Jefferson Wis.

The remaining $1.25 million will be awarded to school libraries through the rest of this year.

In 2014, Patterson gave away more than $1 million to 178 indie bookstores in the United States.