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GISH student organizes drive to give a book to every West Lawn student

Every student deserves access to their own personal library of books – that is Ava Stein’s belief and passion. 

Ava put her passion for books into action and organized a book drive for her National Honor Society individual service project. 

“I was trying to think of things that I enjoyed and wanted to help other people with,” Ava shared. “I’ve always loved reading from a young age. My parents always read to me, and I read a lot of books,” she said.

A senior at Grand Island Senior High, Ava put book donation boxes at Hy-Vee, Walnut Middle School, GISH, and her house. Within a few days, she collected more than 400 books. More than half were elementary level books.

“I attribute my larger vocabulary to getting a head start in reading, so that's why I decided to do a book drive,” Ava stated. “I wanted to let other kids enjoy owning their own book and read whenever they want to.

She worked with district administrators to determine a school she could donate the books to. Deciding on West Lawn Elementary, Ava visited and brought the boxes of books during Read Across America week. Each student from every grade level was able to search for a book of their own to take home. Students were excited, finding new adventures and hidden treasures within the stacks of books.

Anxious to dive into a new story, some students started reading their new books as soon as they picked them up.

“It’s just really cool to actually come here [West Lawn] and see all the happiness the kids are getting from getting their books,” Ava said. “That just makes the whole project worth it.”