Book Drive Aids Louisiana Students

An eighth-grader has adopted an ongoing Sag Harbor School District book drive for students at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner, La., which suffered the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Ava Bianchi heard about Sag Harbor’s efforts through her mother, who is a teacher at Sag Harbor’s Pierson High School, and decided she wanted to do her part.

Since Nov. 19, Ava has been collecting books from fellow students and staff members, which she will present to Sag Harbor Middle School sixth-graders in Christine Farrell’s class, who are overseeing the drive.

After spreading the word about her drive through flyers, Ava collected more than 600 books in a drop-box that she decorated and placed in the middle school.  

“I like doing good deeds and I like to read, so the thought of children not being able to read books from their school library made me want to help,” said Ava. “I didn’t think we’d collect so many books.”

Ava’s effort also spilled out of her school and into the community — recently, the Hampton Bays Library donated a number of books to the drive.

“Ava is a positive and involved student and embodies the spirit of community service,” said Lauria O’Halloran, her school counselor. “She set the ball in motion and worked on the details of this project diligently.”

All of the books will soon be brought to Sag Harbor, which is continuing to collect books and school supplies for Theodore Roosevelt Middle School.

The project originally started after Katy Clayton, a teacher at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, reached out to her former teacher, Katy Graves, who is now superintendent of the Sag Harbor School District.  Although Theodore Roosevelt Middle School was rebuilt, all of its books were damaged by the hurricane.