East Meadow High senior organizes book drive; 1,700 books donated


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

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

Pandey has been a volunteer for Hindi’s since 2020, and her contributions have helped expand access to literature for children all over Long Island.

In order to continue Krinsky’s legacy and her love of literature, her family and friends partnered 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 love of literature, so in order to keep such fondness alive, and donate to those 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 organization has collected more than 400,000 books and partnered with 750 organizations worldwide, since its inception in 2018.

To get the book drive up and running, Pandey worked with the high school’s faculty 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 pitched in to donate 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 high school literary works. Along with drives run by volunteers, book-drop locations have been set up around Long Island, and these sites could 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 few reasons,” East Meadow High School senior Wenxi Hu said. “The main one being that I grew up reading books and sharing children’s books with my sisters. The sharing of books continued on when I began working in daycares and in middle school. So as someone who can’t always afford to donate anything, books were my way of sharing.”

The collaboration of students and staff working together to collect 1,700 book donations for Hindi’s Libraries apparently made Pandey beam with pride.

“Though it was a slow start, my favorite part was watching the donations grow enormously, overflowing the bins,” Pandey said.

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

“When we were picking up the books and putting them into the car, a lot of childhood memories came back to me after seeing a lot of books that I used to read as a child,” Ariana Vasquez, another senior at the high school, said. “After hearing about the purpose of the book drive, I wanted to donate some books of my own to help out.”

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

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

“Thanks 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 any child can ever receive as they open doors to the world, allowing children to grow, whether it be the world of knowledge, education or adventure. Books can be one’s best friend.”