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Author James Patterson funds ESU scholarship

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) -- Bestselling author James Patterson has given $48,000 to pay for scholarships for Emporia State University teaching students.

Patterson has funded similar scholarships at several other universities, including Vanderbilt. Patterson said in a news release that his passion is to "get more and more kids excited about reading" and that training teachers is "essential to that mission."

Patterson's books include the Alex Cross and Woman's Murder Club series for adults and Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard and Middle School series for young adults.

At Emporia State, eight students will receive $6,000 each. The recipients are Michelle Berg of Wichita, Samantha Buchanan of Grantville, Leanne Feathers of Wamego, Jennifer Gottstein of Lawrence, Joseph Hamer of Wichita, Sarah Johnson of Wichita, Travisray Salyers of Eudora and JaShawn Wallace of Kansas City, Kan.