Maspeth High School students are turning over a new page and collecting books for a school in Ghana. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Maspeth High School Senior Anda Stafa says her classmates didn't have to look far for inspiration when they decided they wanted to give back to other students.
"We're surrounded by books all the time. I mean, we go to a classical high school and this school is very big on reading and annotating books," said Stafa.
Stafa is the president of Maspeth High School's National Honor Society.
At the beginning of the school year, the group teamed up with the African Library Project to collect books for a school in Ghana.
"They're limited to the access of books so it'd be great for them to actually have something," said Melissa Alonso, a senior.
It’s been going so well, the students have surpassed their goal of collecting more than a thousand books.
"So, we have books for little children, we have like picture books, we also have books for middle schoolers that are more advanced and we have books for high schoolers," said Leonela Tutisig, also a senior.
Grace Polson is the teacher advisor for the group. Boxes of donated books are taking over her classroom but she knows when they're delivered next month it means a new chapter for the students in Ghana.
"A single book from every parent in this school can really go a long way to make a library in Ghana. A thousand books is just a small portion of what we have at Maspeth high school," said Polson, a chemistry teacher.
Going forward the students hope to make the book drive an annual event. They hope Maspeth High School's global library will continue growing long after they graduate
"Hopefully in the future we'll be able to have students take a trip to Africa to meet those students we've gotten books for," said Stafa.
But their story isn't over yet. The students have raised $500 so far to pay for shipping costs but because they've collected so many books, they need additional help.
If you'd like to donate, head to gofundme.com/NHSGhanaBookDrive.