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UAIS students open a new chapter of community service at their school

Three Utica Academy of International Studies students are hoping that patients in the Children's Hospital of Michigan can find some escape between the pages of a good book. 

Seniors Aeyanna Yett, Christine Georgy and Maria Vengachuvattil have created a service project that has to date raised more than 1,000 books for the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

"It's amazing how we have come together in such a caring way as a school to help children," Yett said.

The three students initiated the book drive at UAIS as part of their Creativity, Action and Service requirement through the International Baccalaureate program.

Georgy said the project was passed down to them by UAIS graduates, which is a goal of the extended project. 

"One of the benefits of Creativity, Action, and Service is that our students work to pass along their projects to younger students in the program," said CAS coordinator Justin Spear. "This not only allows for mentorship to occur, but it solidifies that our students leave an important legacy behind well after they graduate from UAIS. It contributes to the strong sense of community that we encourage here."

The students are collecting books for young children through teenagers for patients who are staying at the hospital. 

"The books help to bring happiness and something fun to children who have been diagnosed," Vengachuvattil said. 

In addition to collecting books, the students have raised more than $250 through fundraisers such as bottle drives and bake sales. 

Their efforts have been appreciated by the foundation. 

"Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation is honored to have dedicated young philanthropists like Aeyanna, Christine and Maria as part of our family," said Scott Trudell, of the foundation. 

While most of the books have come from other students, the students indicated that they would accept donated books at the school, 37400 Dodge Park Road at 16 Mile Road.

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