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Way to Go! Colin Smith, 7, of Mastic Beach

Colin Smith, a second-grader at Tangier Smith Elementary

Colin Smith, a second-grader at Tangier Smith Elementary School in Mastic Beach, collected more than 1,000 books in drives for the needy.. Credit: William Floyd School District

A Mastic Beach second-grade student with a passion for reading has collected more than 1,000 books to benefit local children in need.

Colin Smith, 7, who attends Tangier Smith Elementary School, spearheaded two book drives over the winter to benefit NANA’s House in Mastic Beach and Brighter Tomorrows in Shirley.

He said he was struck by the idea when he was reading at home one evening and realized “a lot of kids don’t have a lot of books to read.”

Colin’s initial goal was to gather 100 books. He started the drive by writing a letter to classmates, requesting that they give one or two books. He also received book donations from neighbors and members of his Cub Scout pack.

Of the total he collected, he said, “I was surprised and excited.”

He now is planning a food drive to aid a nearby pantry by seeking donations outside of a local Stop & Shop.

“We are so proud of Colin and his thoughtfulness for other children,” Tangier Smith principal Toni Komorowski said. “He demonstrates the qualities of a true leader — someone who thinks of others first, comes up with an idea and then puts that idea into motion.”

Colin is a member of his school’s Art Club and enjoys dancing, soccer and swimming.

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