NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Just in time for Christmas, State School Superintendent Mark Johnson visited a New Hanover County school Thursday and brought along a special guest to hand out books.
Johnson also shared some big news for North Carolina schools. Mark Johnson made the announcement at College Road Early Childhood Center.
The program Florence Aid for Students and Teachers, or FAST NC, will get a donation for more than $500,000.
“It is time for education leaders to put aside their differences and do what needs to be done for the recovery. For this long road to recovery in southeastern North Carolina,” said State School Superintendent Mark Johnson.
That is the goal of FAST NC. Johnson worked with former Superintendent Mike Ward to start the initiative.
“Where we can help close the gap are some of the things that the principals and superintendents can come to us in communities and schools and say, ‘We’ve got the books we’ve got the supplies. Thank you. Our kindergarten teachers need to replace their instructional mats,'” said Johnson.
Johnson visited CRECC in Wilmington Thursday. He shared that Google will donate $500,000 and PNC Bank will donate $100,000, all to FAST NC.
School Principal Rachel Greer says this gives them hope.
“When they see the support we are getting, it just energizes them. This comes at a wonderful time of the year when we are focused on giving,” said Principal Rachel Greer.
During the visit, a special guest joined Johnson. Santa Claus helped him pass out brand new books to every child.
Johnson says Thursday’s trip was about making schools stronger for the long term.
“We ask students and teachers for 21st century results,” Johnson said. “It requires the 21st century tools as well.”
Johnson says FAST NC will help get these tools back in the classrooms.
Johnson says with the help of these donations, FAST NC has raised almost $1 million for Florence relief. Some of this money can go to towards buying things like books, pencils and technology.