Florida Education Foundation donates to hurricane impacted school districts

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Tuesday, the Florida Education Foundation awarded nine panhandle school districts who were hit hardest by Hurricane Michael a literacy grant that will enable them to re-stock their libraries and classrooms. Division of Public Schools Chancellor Hershel Lyons presented the check in person to Bay District Schools, Gadsden Education Foundation, Holmes County School District and Jackson County School District. The funds were distributed to each impacted school district based on overall enrollment size from the 2017-18 school year. The districts and amounts are outlined below.

·         Bay $7,000

·         Calhoun $2,525

·         Franklin $2,050

·         Gadsden $4,005

·         Gulf $2,050

·         Holmes $2,525

·         Jackson $4,005

·         Liberty $2,050

·         Washington $2,525

“I was honored to participate and present a check to Bay, Holmes, Gadsden and Jackson counties to restock their libraries and classrooms,” said Chancellor Hershel Lyons. “I appreciate the participating bookstores and all of the donors’ generous contributions in making sure Florida’s students who were hit hardest by Hurricane Michael receive the resources necessary to succeed.”

“We are extremely grateful to Wells Fargo, the independent bookstores and all of the other donors that supported the Re-Book to Re-Build fundraiser,” said Florida Education Foundation Executive Director Bethany Swonson. “The Foundation values its partners as we continue working toward our vision to have every Florida student graduating from high school ready for post-secondary education and a career.”

“We have been overwhelmed at the generosity and support of people from throughout the country and we continue to be blessed with donations and assistance,” said Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt. “I’d like to commend Commissioner Stewart for her leadership during this difficult time. We are grateful for her support, leadership and guidance and we are so grateful for this donation that will provide books to teachers who lost their classroom libraries.”

“On behalf of the Holmes School District, I would like to thank Wells Fargo and the Florida Education Foundation for all of their hard work to help us rebuild our book inventories in our schools after the hurricane,” said Terry L. Mears, Holmes Superintendent of Schools. “The efforts that everyone has put forth to ensure our students were able to return to school and continue their education has been greatly appreciated in our district.”

FDOE partnered with the Florida Education Foundation and independent booksellers across the state to raise funds for the Re-book to Re-build: Hurricane Relief fundraiser. The initiative was aimed at helping school districts, students and communities hit hardest by Hurricane Michael recover their libraries and for students to rediscover the joy of reading.

For more information about the Florida Education Foundation, please visit www.floridaeducationfoundation.org.