Sophomore Mario Nandalal was awarded the Literary Champion Award by the NSDAR in early May.
This award was granted to Mario because of his outstanding work in community service, but more specifically his work with The Great Book Purge during the months of March through August of 2021.
Mario commented, “This award is a big honor. I am glad I was able to help in my community.”
According to Mario, The Great Book Purge was done because “many Harford County elementary schools were getting rid of a lot of books to prepare for their new reading program.”
During his project, Mario connected discarded books with new homes so new children could enjoy them. “I arranged this project with Fountain Green Elementary School,” he said. “The teachers there helped me a lot.”
He worked with over 12 organizations during his time working on The Great Book Purge. “I spent a lot of time gathering books, organizing books, labeling packages, delivering books, and meeting the kids who would receive the books.”
Overall, Mario helped connect over 3,000 books to new owners.
Mario provided some background on how he got so involved with community service.
He said, “My family does a lot of community service.”
He added that he was a member of the WeCancerve board until 2019. “I participated in many community service projects there. After I left the board, I continued to help my community by volunteering with The Sharing Table and supporting projects that help the Community Action Network of Harford County.”
While working with the previously mentioned organizations, Mario helped collect donations for LASOS, an organization in Bel Air that helps the bilingual youth and adults. He also worked on a “Picture Perfect Project” where he made paintings for residents in nursing homes.