Teachers Help Hurricane-Damaged School in Time of Need
Following the devastating aftermath left by Hurricane Michael in north Florida on October 10, many kind-hearted people stepped forward to help those in need. Without hesitation, our own Berkeley faculty and staff generously donated a variety of school supplies to one particular school who reached out for help. Over the Thanksgiving break, 12 large boxes of desperately-needed school supplies were delivered to Holy Nativity Episcopal School in Panama City.
Nothing in the storm’s path was spared, including Holy Nativity, a modest school serving grades Junior Pre-K through 8 and celebrating its 60th anniversary. The school was deeply affected by Hurricane Michael. The destruction caused by the hurricane left the campus in shambles with many buildings being completely ruined by fallen oak trees and missing roofs. The majority of their school materials were completely ruined. The library and art rooms were destroyed beyond repair and many teachers are without classrooms. Currently, teachers are holding class in hallways and their sanctuary. Students are currently sitting on floors, writing on clipboards.
Following the storm, teachers and staff have rallied together and are determined to restore their school to what it once was. And they have asked for help in doing so. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, Berkeley faculty and staff helped make a positive difference for the Holy Nativity school community by donating items including file folders, Post-it notes, white boards, novels and books, bulletin borders, art supplies, dictionaries, thesauruses, science supplies, and math manipulatives to name a few.
The day after Thanksgiving, Lower Division Assistant Director Beth Gardner and her family made the trip to Panama City to deliver the supplies. Needless to say, they were welcomed with open arms. Gardner shared, “Despite the obvious challenges that lie ahead for this school and the entire community, we were moved by their optimism and hope. In fact, the head of school, along with several teachers and volunteers were working at the school - which has been relocated to a church four blocks away - the day after Thanksgiving.”
During this time of giving and giving thanks, we are honored to recognize those in our own school community who embody the spirit of the holiday season.