The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition continues its tradition of donating books to area elementary and secondary schools to recognize Black History Month.

This year’s selections are What Is Given From The Heart by Patricia McKissack for grade schools, and I Am Alfonso by Tony Medina for older students. Three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author McKissack’s book is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. Award-winning April Harrison illustrates it. Langston Society Award winner Medina’s graphic novel provides young readers with a narrative that discusses, among other things, climate change, gun control, and youth activism.

According to project director RJ Lenarcic, “These selections are in keeping with our belief that learning about the roles of Black Americans in our history and reading outstanding books featuring a variety of Black subjects can provide valuable experiences for our school children.”

Past donations have included: James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Langston Hughes’ “Not Without Laughter,” and “The Weary Blues,” Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give Us,” Christ Curtis’ “The Watson’s Go To Birmingham” and “Black Heroes” by Alisha Norwood.

“Every grade-schooler should read Norwood’s magnificent work. Learning about these men and women is critical if we are to eradicate certain stereotypes detrimental to a truthful understanding of the roles Blacks played in our history,” Lenarcic added.

He also encourages area schools to purchase any of the previously mentioned books that they don’t have.