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Cool Kid reads to kids, writes own book

July 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Lauren Swerdloff volunteers at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic. She's found that books can be a great help to kids from toddler to teen, so she started Lauren's Book Stand.

"Some kids are going through hard times, and some kids just don't know where they fit in. And sometimes, reading a book is something that can inspire them and makes them feel like there is something better out there for them," she said.

She raises money and works hard to get books donated. But Lauren also spends time reading to kids and tutoring them. And if that wasn't enough, she's written, illustrated and published her very own book for kids.

"I wrote it in Spanish and English so that a Spanish-speaking kid can read it in Spanish, and they don't feel like, just because they can't speak English, they can't enjoy a story," she said.

Lauren has a genuine affection for the kids she meets. It's plain to see, and those feelings are mutual.

"She's just really casual and loving. You can really tell that she really cares about them, and they just kind of go to her naturally," said Teresa Padija, executive director at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic.

As this senior at Palos Verdes High School looks to college and beyond, she will include Lauren's Book Stand in her plans.

"Because this has helped so many kids, and so many kids seem to enjoy it, so maybe to expand it to other locations, that would be fun and interesting," she said.

Whether reading, teaching or writing, this Cool Kid knows the power of the printed word, and how it can help transport and help others.


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