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Ossining Boy Helps Start Library In Ghana

Coby Kilion brings to the post office books that will eventually be shipped to Ghana. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Offir Kilion
Coby Kilion posing with the books he collected that were shipped to Africa to help start a library. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Offir Kilion

OSSINING, N.Y. -- A new library in Ghana has received a big boost from a 13-year-old Ossining boy.

As part of a community service project for his bar mitzvah, Coby Kilion collected more than 1,000 books and then raised more than $500 to ship the books for the African Library Project.

Kilion, armed with a wagon, went door to door around his neighborhood with his friends to collect the books

"I wanted to help people and do something that would change someone's life," Kilion said.

He wound up with 15 boxes that weighed more than 410 pounds. The books were shipped to a warehouse in New Orleans before being shipped to Ghana.

"Everything had to be cataloged," Coby's dad. Offir, said. "The books had to be shipped accordingly so they wouldn't get wet or damaged. This is a great experience for him."

Kilion said he loves to read, enjoying books like "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." Kilion said he goes to the Ossining Library now and then and knows how valuable a library can be.

In Ghana, the community had to make a commitment to the library and the staff was trained by the Peace Corps before the books arrived so the library will be well run.

Kilion is also looking to join the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps when he turns 14 next year and aspires to go to medical school.

"I want to do community service," Kilion said. "I like to help people."

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