Bayside schoolchildren donate books to Schneider

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When Ilana Lambert’s 26 fifth-graders began collecting books for Schneider Children’s Hospital last month, they planned each detail of the project: making posters advertising the effort around Bayside’s Public School 41, talking to other students, even offering an ice cream party to the class bringing in the most books.

The thoughtful 10- and 11-year-olds worked hard visiting classes around the school each day to collect books and talk about the campaign, “Reach Out for Reading,” and carefully tabulated the results. The goal, the students said last week, was to collect 350 books for sick children staying at Schneider’s.

“Now we have over 1,000!” said an excited Kevin Moon, 10, of Flushing. Moon, vice chairman of the project committee, also served as the records keeper and was in charge of counting each donated book and charting the results.

In about a month Lambert’s class collected 1,300 books to donate to Schneider’s in Glen Oaks and sick children throughout the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

“It totally warmed my heart that they got so involved in it,” Lambert said. “And they understood it was going to help kids in need, kids who couldn’t go to school.”

Schneider Children’s Hospital at 269-01 76th Ave. is a full-service comprehensive hospital that cares for children from infants to young adults. The 154-bed hospital treats diseases ranging from cancer to epilepsy. It is part of LIJ Medical Center, an 829-bed facility on the Queens-Nassau boarder, which also includes Long Island Jewish Hospital and Hillside Hospital.

Last Thursday, a day before Lambert’s students were to graduate from PS 41, at 214-43 35th Ave., and move on to Middle School 158 in Bayside, the children took time to explain how they organized and ran the book drive.

Susie Cho, 10, of Bayside, co-chaired the project committee with classmate BoRam Choi, 10, of Bay Terrace.

“We had goals, and we put up posters and put out fliers,” Cho said. “We decided to make it that the class with the most books would get an ice cream party.”

Cheriva Lambert, 11, of Bayside, said “we went around the school, going class to class for the books every day.”

They also visited classes to explain the project,” said Julie Santoiemma, 10, of Bayside.

“We would explain what the reason was and why they should bring the books, and they just kept on bringing them,” Santoiemma said.

PS 41 Principal Sari Latto praised Lambert and her students for the success of the book drive.

“I’m so proud of them,” she said as teacher and students beamed. “It really was a small seed of an idea and it flowered into a whole garden.”

The students said they were as surprised as anyone else at their success.

Baysider Jing Jing Chen, 11, said “we were amazed that we raised up more than a 1,000, so we were really proud.”

Chen’s classmates agreed. Alec Yeghiazarian, 10, of Bayside, added, “I felt good because we’re helping the people in the hospital.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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