WINNABOW, NC (WWAY) — Six months past Hurricane Florence, North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson is still touring schools impacted by the hurricane and thanking local heroes in education.
Town Creek Elementary School was one of the hardest hit schools in Brunswick County. Students were out of school until mid-October.
“We still have a long road to recovery,” said Johnson. “There’s still a lot of students that had a very traumatic experience so we have to be sure we’re giving them the supports they need. We still have students that don’t have a home. We have to make sure that we are helping to rebuild the entire community and that’s why we’re here at the 6 month anniversary.”
Friday, Johnson spoke with students, toured the schools remaining damage, distributed books to students and made a special thank you to cafeteria staff.
Johnson says he is excited state leaders are working on a future with better educational facilities across eastern North Carolina.
“There’s going to be more money coming from the state whether its through a program where we simply take funds and disburse it to schools who need it most first or through a bond referendum that’s given to voters to approve,” said Johnson.
Brunswick County has been awarded over $3 million in disaster recovery funds and over $70 million in funds have been distributed across the state.
“We have an urban-rural divide in North Carolina,” said Johnson. “The best way to close that urban-rural divide is to make sure that every student no matter where they live, no matter their income, no matter if they’re in the most rural or urban counties has the opportunities to go to school, work hard and succeed.”