SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Wednesday that North Carolina has received a $2 million federal grant that will aid continued hurricane recovery efforts for schools across the state.
The funds will restore learning environments in 271 schools in 12 school districts and one charter school, helping more than 130,000 public school students.
Funds from the grant will be awarded to Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, and Onslow County schools, as well as the GLOW Academy in Wilmington. Other districts receiving the grant money include Carteret, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Davidson, Jones, Randolph, Robeson, and Sampson County schools.
“We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for recognizing the impact that these storms continue to have to students and educators in North Carolina,” Johnson said. “A violent storm is disruptive and can have a long-lasting, traumatic effect on students and affect their academic performance and mental health. These resources will help us ensure these schools continue to be the anchor of their communities.”
The grant will fund projects such as rebuilding playgrounds, transporting students displaced by the storm to allow them to continue attending their home schools, pay to those who worked tirelessly to preserve and restore school facilities and learning environments, and providing additional instructional time.
These funds are in addition to funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, insurance claims, Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina (FAST NC) and those appropriated specifically for hurricane recovery by the North Carolina General Assembly, and can be used to reimburse recipient entities for expenses already incurred.
The source of the additional financial support is Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence and Disaster), a fund established by the U.S. Congress and provided through the U.S. Department of Education, in the wake of the deadly Columbine shooting in 1999.
Project SERV was later expanded to include natural disasters following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.