COAST CITIES — Students from three local high schools recently unveiled the fruits of a months-long project slated to benefit one Indian community — an illustrated children’s book titled “Ravi Revs and Reads.”
More than two dozen students from Pacific Ridge School, Cathedral Catholic School and Kearny High School banded together to write, illustrate and publish the book, whose sales will be donated to build a Children’s Resource Center in India.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will support India native Ravi Aluganti in his mission to build the center, which will be accessible to underserved, rural communities. Books are available for $20 each.
“It’s hard to imagine that we’re here with a finished book; it will help Ravi open a learning center for children to engage in meaningful and interactive learning,” Pacific Ridge School senior Anisha Mudaliar, 16, said.
With support from the nonprofit Omprakash, an education-oriented volunteer group, the students have set a goal of $6,000 from book sales. If raised, a donor has offered to match their total with an additional $12,000, Kearny High School teacher Lesli Horowitz said.
The $18,000 will cover the construction costs and furnishing of the Children’s Resource Center. “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it goes a long way,” Horowitz said.
Until funds are raised for the center, Aluganti will continue to traverse the country in a bright blue van, delivering donated books to local children. His route includes stops at 20 different schools in rural areas.
He has worked on the project since 2001 and it is this story that is told in the book’s plot, from the perspective of his van. “The story emphasizes a love of reading and supports the idea that everyone deserves an opportunity to learn,” Horowitz said.
Pictures and interviews with Indian children who have been recipients of Aluganti’s generosity complement the book’s storyline.
Those students also participated in the creation process by sending over handmade jewelry and cards, which were sold locally and covered production costs, said Kearny High School’s Andrew Hansen, 17.
The San Diego County students represented their respective school’s service-oriented clubs, including Catholic Cathedral’s Key Club, Pacific Ridge’s Otesha Club and Kearny High’s Omprakash Club.
The club members brainstormed the fundraising project in January, kicked-off the project around March and had it ready for sale just days before the new school year began, Horowitz said.
“We’ve been watching this process happen and now it’s finally finished,” Kearny High School senior Savannah Sparkman, 17, said. “This is high school kids doing something really big.”
Those interested in learning more about the book and Aluganti’s mission are encouraged to attend Pacific Ridge School’s upcoming Fall Festival or Kearny High School’s Multicultural Fest. For book purchase inquiries, e-mail email@example.com.