Governor Ron DeSantis has awarded Champions For Learning a $350,000 gift to assist Collier County educators affected by Hurricane Ian. A total of $2 million was awarded through the Florida Disaster Fund to the local education foundations in the six hardest hit counties and is intended to help teachers get back on their feet.
As the Education Foundation of Collier County, Champions For Learning is uniquely positioned to articulate the needs of our educators. In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Collier County educators are facing serious challenges with housing and transportation.
“Teachers have shown up time and time again to educate our community’s next generation of leaders,” said Barbara Evans, President & CEO, Champions For Learning. “We are proud to be able to receive this incredible generosity from Governor and First Lady DeSantis to support that effort.”
This press conference brought together educators, district leaders, and representatives from each county impacted from the destruction. DeSantis shared, “There are a whole host of things that need to be done, so this will provide some help in that regard. We look forward to being able to do more things for our educators in the days and weeks to come.”
The damage caused by Hurricane Ian has brought a heightened awareness to the lack of housing for educators in Southwest Florida. Some teachers are unsure where they’ll live, their homes either leveled by Ian’s 150 mph winds or uninhabitable due to the storm surge that flooded large portions of Southwest Florida. Yet despite having lost their homes, their cars, their belongings, teachers have not lost hope. Educators and school staff in Collier County went back to school within days after the storm, welcoming students with compassion and care.
“These funds will directly assist our educators who are admirably teaching and supporting students while trying to rebuild their own lives,” said Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. “We are grateful to partner with our Education Foundation of Collier County, Champions For Learning, to directly support staff who need this assistance the most.”
Looking ahead, Champions For Learning will continue to assess the needs of our community’s educators and will provide updates on how these funds will be allocated. Be sure to follow our social media accounts for up-to-date news and information.