East Meadow High senior hosts book drive; 1,700 books donated | Herald Community Newspapers

By Mahira Ahmed

East Meadow High School senior Kshan Pandey recently led a book drive for the nonprofit Hindi’s Libraries, collecting 1,700 books in January.

Hindi’s Libraries was founded in August 2018, shortly after the death of Dr. Hindi Krinsky, 32, mother of five and English teacher at Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School. She was also curriculum coordinator there.

Pandey has been a Hindi volunteer since 2020 and her contributions have helped increase access to literature for children across Long Island.

To continue Krinsky’s legacy and her love of literature, her family and friends worked together to donate books to children in need. The success of their mission to continue Krinsky’s good work, through Hindi’s Libraries, has reached children on a global scale, from the 50 states to countries like India and Haiti.

“Hindi had a passion for reading and a love for literature, so to keep this love alive and donate to people from low-income communities, who are often deprived of such entities, family and friends came together to create Hindi’s libraries,” Pandey said.

The nonprofit has collected more than 400,000 books since its founding in 2018 and collaborated with 750 organizations around the world.

To get the book up and running, Pandey worked with the high school teachers and students. As president of the school’s Social Studies Honor Society and co-vice president of the National English Honor Society, she was able to reach a wide variety of students from different backgrounds, who did their part by donating children’s books.

Hindi’s Libraries accepts new and gently used books for children and young adults, including board books, picture books, leveled readers, chapter books, children’s novels, young adult novels, and middle grade literary works. In addition to the volunteer-run fundraisers, book drop-off locations have been set up around Long Island, and these sites can be found at HindisLibraries.org.

Some include Hart & Soul Dance in Woodmere, Lollibop Cafe & Play in Lawrence and Warren Levi Martial Arts & Fitness in Cedarhurst.

“This drive was important to me for a number of reasons,” said East Meadow High School senior Wenxi Hu. “The biggest one is that I grew up reading books and sharing children’s books with my sisters. The sharing of books continued when I started working in daycares and in high school. So as someone who can’t always afford to donate, books were my way of sharing.”

The cooperation of students and staff who worked together to collect 1,700 book donations for the Hindi libraries apparently made Pandey beam with pride.

“Although it was a slow start, my favorite part was seeing the donations skyrocket and the bins overflowing,” Pandey said.

Students were eager to help donate books, including childhood favorites like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Smile.”

“When we picked up the books and put them in the car, it brought back a lot of childhood memories after seeing many of the books I read as a child,” Ariana Vasquez, another senior in high school, said. “After I heard about the purpose of the book drive, I wanted to donate some of my own books to help.”

After the January drive was completed, the books were donated to one of the non-profit locations in Hewlett on February 4. The East Meadow community’s efforts will impact the reading experiences of many children, according to volunteers for Hindis.

Pandey’s efforts, as well as the contributions of the East Meadow community, were recognized on Hindi’s Libraries Facebook page.

“Thank you to Kshan,” Hindi’s Libraries wrote, “and the entire East Meadow community for contributing to our donation efforts.”

Pandey said, “Literature is the best gift a child can ever receive as it opens doors to the world, allowing children to grow, be it the world of knowledge, education or adventure. Books can be your best friend.”

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