MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – University High School student athlete Charlie Walker made a donation Saturday after collecting books for the Appalachian Prison Book Project for over six months.
The junior and boy’s soccer midfielder Charlie Walker has collected over 1,000 books in the past six months for the Appalachian Prison Book Project.
This organization, based out of Morgantown, provides books and educational services to inmates at prisons in West Virginia and neighboring states.
“You’d be surprised there’s a lot of people with a lot of books that are just willing to give them away,” Walker said.
Walker made a large donation for the Christmas season and was inspired by his fathers profession to get involved with the APBP.
“I think education should be a basic human right. My dad is actually in the law career so he kind of knew about it. He has some people that work in the project itself and it just made me have an idea that this is something I want to do, this is something I want to help people with,” Walker said.
Once Walker found out about the Appalachian Book Project, he began his collecting, under his supervisor, and head coach, Michael Smith.
He then reached out to friends and family for books and said they began pouring in from there.
“It’s just tremendous. We are completely a volunteer driven organization. We need our book donors like never before and to have somebody local who is helping spread the word about the organization and then also bringing 500-600 books today it’s just really a remarkable contribution so we’re very appreciative of it,” Judy Panagakos. board member of the APBP, said.
So when he’s not on the pitch scoring goals for the Hawks, Walker is happy to dedicate his time to his community, because he believes education is important.
“You’re a student first and then you’re an athlete. It doesn’t matter how many goals you score if you can’t do it on the pen and paper, it doesn’t really matter,” Walker said.
Walker intends to do a phase two of book collecting and hopes to get more of his teammates and classmates at UHS involved.
For more information about the project, visit Appalachian Prison Book Project website.