Sia Sankaran of Dallas is contributing something more tangible than thoughts and prayers to the students of Uvalde; she is putting books in their hands.
The eighth-grader, who loves to read, is creating book-based “grief kits” to help Uvalde youth deal with the trauma of the school shooting in their town last month.
Sankaran has partnered with the San Antonio Foundation to start a Dallas branch of Anaik’s Loving Library, a kid-driven book donation program focused on improving the mental health and well-being of others.
Sankaran’s goal is to help the children of Uvalde find comfort and solace after the tragedy and make a positive change in the world for mental health.
“I’m so excited to be a part of Anaik’s Loving Library!” Sankaran shared. “Ever since I was around 3 [years old], I’ve loved to read and have always had a huge passion for it. In fact, my mom has always had to tell me to put down the book instead of pick it up!”
Sankaran said she sees reading as a way to escape reality and wanted to help the children of Uvalde do the same. Sankaran also shared her hope that providing materials for self-expression and stories they can relate to would help the Uvalde kids begin the healing process.
When asked why children’s mental health is important, Sankaran replied, “Because mental health affects whether children think or feel positive or negative.”
“For example, in the case of the Uvalde students, it can make them feel safe, scared, or worried,” she added.
The goal is to provide 800 Uvalde Pre-K through eighth-grade students with the bundle of books, which they will receive after attending a Uvalde CISD grief camp.
The organization is requesting coloring books, markers, books on grief, bookmarks, and journals for the kits.
The deadline for donations is June 27.
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