The UA Center for Economic Development commenced the 18th iteration of their Books for the Black Belt initiative in February. Individuals from the UA community as well as residents were encouraged to contribute K-12 books for students in the Black Belt region. The donated books will be distributed to schools in thirteen counties, including Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Wilcox, during the late spring season. 

According to the statement released by the UA, the Black Belt region is grappling with economic challenges, including high levels of poverty and unemployment, as well as declining populations. Additionally, educational resources are not readily available in this area, and thus the UACED is working towards ensuring that every child in the Black Belt has access to books. 

The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development encourages University of Alabama students, faculty, staff, and local residents to donate K-12 books to the campaign until March 1.

The primary goal of UACED’s campaign is to collect more than 40,000 books to provide one book to each child in the Black Belt.