State Superintendent Mark Johnson visited one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Florence today to announce major new corporate support for Florence Aid for Students and Teachers in NC (FAST NC). FAST NC is a bi-partisan initiative created last fall after so many North Carolina Schools were affected by the storm.
Johnson announced that since the initiative began, FAST NC has received donations of nearly $1 million from individuals and businesses across the country. Those funds will be used to help affected schools replace supplies, equipment and other materials that were damaged or lost due to Hurricane Florence. The largest of those donations was announced today in Wilmington: a donation of $500,000 from Google.org to FAST NC to be used for hurricane relief.
“I am excited about this generous donation from Google.org to go toward our relief efforts,” Johnson said. “I have been inspired by all of the private and business support that has come in since we announced FAST NC in September. I thank Google.org and the many other companies and organizations that rose to the occasion to help these schools recover.”
Johnson was joined by former State Superintendent Mike Ward, who initially contacted Johnson with the idea of a bipartisan effort to help affected schools.
“The outpouring of help and support for these schools has been overwhelming to say the least,” said Ward. ”I hoped it would be something we could use to make a difference, but I am not sure I expected this level of support.”
Also at today’s announcement were representatives from Google.org, Communities In Schools and other corporate partners.
Johnson made the announcement at College Road Early Childhood Center in Wilmington, an area that received heavy damage from Hurricane Florence. Johnson was joined by Santa Claus and delivered new books to the pre-K and kindergarten students at the school. The books were donated to the FAST NC initiative to be distributed to affected schools.
FAST NC will work in partnership with Communities In Schools of North Carolina to specifically address the recovery needs of teachers and students in the classroom, including books, supplies, technology and other resources that were destroyed by water and mold. These funds will be used to fill the gaps not covered by insurance or state and federal resources.
To find out more about FAST NC, visit www.ncpublicschools.org/fastnc