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Lesson of Giving Comes Early for Pleasantville Kindergartner

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Kaavya Girdhar
Kaavya Girdhar with her winning fire safety poster that enabled her to win a $100 prize, which she donated along with an additional $50 to Bedford Road School's library and music and art programs.

Kaavya Girdhar may have just completed kindergarten last week, but she has learned her lessons well about giving back to the community.

The six-year-old Girdhar donated $150 to the school’s library and music and art programs, taking the $100 she won after capturing a poster contest about fire safety sponsored by the Fireman’s Association of New York. She then kicked in an extra $50 of her own money.

After she sat down with her parents to discuss what she should do with the prize money, the idea of making a donation was raised. Girdhar is interested in the arts, so initially a donation to Bedford Road School’s art program and library was considered. But Girdhar also wanted to help the music program.

Concerned that $100 wouldn’t be enough for the three programs, she decided to chip the additional money, so each program would receive $50.

“I like having classes with Mr. Fanell,” Girdhar said of the school’s music teacher. “When I am 13 I want to play the viola, piano and ukulele.”

Girdhar said she enjoys art class and reading chapter books. Some of her favorite books are from the Tintin series.

“When I grow up I want to be an art teacher,” said Girdhar, who will be going to Paris this summer with her family.

Girdhar’s mother, Neeru Gang, said she is proud of her daughter’s altruistic ways.

“Rather than buying video games, she decided to help out the school,” Gang said. “We encourage our kids to try and help others.”

Girdhar was honored at the June 12 Pleasantville Board of Education meeting, where she was praised for her actions.

“We are so proud of her generosity and altruism,” Bedford Road School Assistant Principal Dr. Cynthia Kramer said. “We want to recognize that.”

Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter and Board President Lois Winkler also expressed their thanks to Girdhar.

“We thank you, Kaavya,” Winkler said. “That was fabulous. Congratulations.”

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