Way to Go: Alexandra Keane, Smithtown

Alexandra Keane, a fourth-grader at Dogwood Elementary School, Alexandra Keane, a fourth-grader at Dogwood Elementary School, collected hundreds of children's books for youngsters who are receiving medical care at Stony Brook Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center's Neurological Institute of New York. Photo Credit: Handout

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Alexandra Keane, a fourth-grader who coordinated a book drive last month at Dogwood Elementary School in Smithtown, says the results left her "happy and surprised."

From classmates and teachers at her school she collected hundreds of children's books for youngsters who are receiving medical care at Stony Brook Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center's Neurological Institute of New York.

Alexandra, 9, a Girl Scout, said she got the idea for the book drive while sitting in on her sister's Brownie troop meeting. She later presented her proposal over lunch with Dogwood principal Renee Carpenter.

"I wanted the children at the hospitals to feel like they were at home," Alexandra said.

To promote the three-week book drive, Alexandra said she drafted and distributed fliers and hung posters in school hallways. She set up two collection bins in the school lobby for donations.

"She did a wonderful job," Carpenter said. "She definitely showed her leadership and is a very compassionate child."

In her spare time, Alexandra said, she plays tennis, basketball and the piano.

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