UA kicks off Books for Black Belt campaign

The goal is to raise more than 30,000 books for K-12 students in the Black Belt.
The goal is to raise more than 30,000 books for K-12 students in the Black Belt.(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:06 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 3:27 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama is giving back this week, as the school’s Center for Economic Development will launch their Books for the Black Belt campaign on January 30.

This is the 17th annual installment of the campaign, which encourages UA students, faculty, staff and local residents to donate books for K-12 students in the region. The books are delivered to Alabama’s 13 Black Belt counties.

Alabama’s Black Belt includes some of the most disadvantaged counties in the nation, with alarming rates of poverty, unemployment, and limited access to educational resources being the major concerns of the region.

The 2022 Black Belt campaign collected more than 10,000 books, and their goal this year is to get more more than 30,000.

See our story on the Books for the Black Belt campaign from 2022:

“The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development really prioritizes putting resources in the hands of communities, so they can help their own communities grow, and education is a really important part of a thriving community. This area of the state is traditionally economically deprived and every student deserves access to education,” said UA Center For Economic Development Branding & Communications Director Erin Hackenmueller.

Hackenmueller says there is a direct correlation between reading and economic development. There is a special need for ACT prep books, according to Hackenmueller.

UA will accept book donations until February 24. Lists of appropriate books and donation areas can be found here. Organizers have already received 800 books from the Tuscaloosa County Public Library.

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