Jackson County students will start school with free supplies
Soon there will be back to school supplies lining the shelves at stores. Pens, paper, calculators, rulers..the list goes on. The costs of purchasing these items can add up quickly, especially for those recovering from Hurricane Michael.
9 months after the hurricane, families in Jackson County are still trying to put a roof over their heads, so the Jackson County School Board is taking one thing off the back to school checklist this year, school supplies.
"We realize that our families are still in a rebuilding mode and it's a struggle for a lot of people, and we want to do all we can to help our students and communities rebuild and this is a small step in that direction," said Larry Moore, the Jackson County Superintendent.
In the Fall, supplies will be sent to 15 schools across the district. 6,300 students will have everything they need in the classroom.
"They shouldn't be penalized because of the hurricane," said Courtney James, a Marianna Middle School Teacher that teaches 8th-grade science.
"They do come to school knowing - now since the hurricane - I don’t have everything I need so they are a little bit self-conscious - but knowing they are going to have the same supplies as every other student kind of puts them at ease," said James.
Some of the clothing and supplies come from a surplus of donations after the hurricane and parent Nikki Granger knows firsthand what it's done for families last year and what it will do this year.
"It's an amazing opportunity for our district, when you look at the effect at each and every family, every little bit helps, so I’m super excited and super thankful," said Granger.
Jackson County School Board was also awarded a $50,000 Save the Children grant that will help pay for the supplies.
Superintendent Larry Moore says the school district is in their final phase of rebuilding, with only some roof work and other minor repairs left. He says they expect that to be completed by the beginning of the 2019 school year.