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Books for the Black Belt 2020 kicks off

The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) will launch the 15th consecutive Books for the Alabama Black Belt campaign on Feb. 3, continuing through Feb. 28.  University of Alabama students, faculty, staff and local citizens are encouraged to help the children in the state’s Black Belt counties develop a love of learning and reading.  The 13 counties that make up the Black Belt region include Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Pickens, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox. 

The campaign is open to all Alabamians and offers an opportunity to make donations to this educational project. The group will accept donations of new or gently-used classic and award-winning books frequently found on school reading lists for K-12 children.  Donation boxes will be placed on campus in Bidgood Hall, Doster Hall, Graves Hall, Nott Hall, Reese Phifer Hall, Smith Hall, and off campus at Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum, 1901 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 3540,  Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Books can also be dropped off at UACED, 621 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a complete list of appropriate books, visit the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development at uced.ua.edu/books-for-the-black-belt. 

Today, Alabama’s Black Belt includes some of the poorest counties in the United States. Along with high rates of poverty, declining populations and high unemployment, poor access to educational resources is a major concern for the future of K-12 students in this region. The goal of the campaign is to provide one book for each child in the Black Belt. 

For more information contact Sally Brown at 205-348-8344 or uced@ua.edu.

Sponsors include Culverhouse College of Commerce, UA Honors College, UA College of Education, UA Public Relations Student Society of America, UA College of Human Environmental Studies, Tuscaloosa Public Library, UA Center for Economic Development, and UA Museums.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 5 issue of the Demopolis Times.)