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Way to Go! Plainview-Old Bethpage student's book proceeds benefit youth

Ria Arjun, a sixth-grader at Howard B. Mattlin

Ria Arjun, a sixth-grader at Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview, is donating the proceeds of her book sales to help provide education to disadvantaged children and adolescents around the world. Credit: Plainview-Old Bethpage School District

A student at Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview is using the proceeds from her book of short stories to help disadvantaged children.

Ria Arjun, a sixth-grader, recently published "The Adventure Begins: A Collection of Ten Short Stories," a compilation of stories she wrote that feature different genres, characters and "unique plots and valuable morals," school officials said. The 110-page book was independently published and is available through various online outlets.

Proceeds from the book's sales benefit Howard B. Mattlin's PTA and are given by the family to support education for unprivileged youth; the family intends to establish the RALS Foundation, named for the combination of Ria and her father's and mother's names, Arjun and Laxmi Subha.

"I really wanted to make something that everyone can enjoy," Arjun said, noting the stories range from fantasy to romance. Of her decision to donate proceeds, she said: "I've always felt that education is super important, and I know that some children are not able to get that education."

So far, Ria has raised about $3,000 and helped sponsor the education of two children in her parents' home country of India. Ria also has a YouTube channel, RALS, where she discusses the foundation and inspires others to maintain a positive attitude.

Ria, 11, is also a member of her school's robotics team.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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