Sama Shah, 15, celebrates her birthday outside the box of presents and cake. Each year, Sama donates her birthday money to a charity. This year, the freshman at Brownell-Talbot School purchased a dozen or so books for the Bennington Public Library.
Sama was researching the beginnings of Islam for her Ancient History class and found that the Bennington library did not have very much on the religion in its collection. She volunteers at the library for the summer reading program, and contacted Lisa Flaxbeard, the library director, about donating books.