TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development will launch the 17th annual Books for the Black Belt campaign Jan. 30 that encourages UA students, faculty, staff and local residents to donate books for K-12 students in the region.
UACED strives to help children develop a love of learning and reading by distributing books to students in Alabama’s 13 Black Belt counties. UACED will deliver the books to schools in Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Pickens, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox counties in late spring.
UACED will accept donations of new or gently used classic and award-winning books frequently found on school reading lists for K-12 children until Feb. 24. Donors can bring books to donation boxes on campus in Honors Hall, Carmichael Hall, Wade Hall, Autherine Lucy Hall, the Reese Phifer Hall rotunda, Tuomey Hall, Pi Beta Phi sorority house, the Blackburn Institute office and the Student Government Association office.
Donors can also bring books to off-campus donation boxes at Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, United Way of West Alabama, Alberta Baptist Church and The House Tuscaloosa at the Stillman College Student Center. Additionally, donors can drop off books at UACED located at 621 Greensboro Avenue, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reference lists of appropriate books are available on the UACED website.
Alabama’s Black Belt includes some of the nation’s most disadvantaged counties with high rates of poverty and unemployment, and declining populations. Limited access to educational resources is also a major concern for the future of K-12 students in this region. The primary goal of UACED’s campaign is to collect more than 30,000 books to provide one book to each child in the Black Belt. The 2022 campaign collected more than 10,000 books that were distributed to 72 schools.
Sponsors of the 2023 campaign include the Blount Scholars Program, UA College of Communication and Information Sciences, UA Honors College, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, The Blackburn Institute, UA College of Education, UA Student Government Association, Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, Alberta Baptist Church, The House Tuscaloosa, United Way of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa Public Library and Vestavia Hills High School.
For more information about the book campaign, please contact Erin Hackenmueller at (205) 348-7058 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books for the Black Belt website
Jan. 30-Feb. 24
Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, email@example.com, 205-348-8325
Erin Hackenmueller, UA Center for Economic Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 205-348-7058