Monroe County School District officials have activated a Hurricane Relief Fund via the Monroe County Education Foundation.

With the help of an $80,000 donation from the Edward B. and Joan T. Knight Foundation, the MCEF initiated the relief fund to help students and teachers replace items lost in the storm that FEMA or insurance agencies will not be able replace, said MCEF Board President, Bryan Green. “Hurricane Irma has adversely impacted both teachers and students.   Many are now struggling in temporary or severely damaged homes, some students have lost school clothing and text books and all are faced with the practical and psychological effects of the storm.”

An outpouring of donations and supplies and resources from donors across the country have been well received. The next step for the district, however is to determine the long-term needs of the students and their families that have been affected. Initial reports from the district show about 100 teachers displaced and without a home, more than 200 students have been displaced and living in temporary housing after Irma, and more than 100 students have officially relocated out of the district.

Mr. Green said the need for access to resources long-term for teachers and students is great. The goal is to provide as many supplemental funding as a way to facilitate some normalcy for the students and their families. “Irma poses many challenges – not the least  of which is the loss of three weeks of education whilst the syllabus that needs to be taught within the next academic year remains the same.  Trying to do this whilst living in a temporary home will be a challenge to many teachers and students alike.”

The fund will also provide further counseling and any additional tutoring for students who may need help. The Monroe County Education Foundation was created in the Florida Keys in 1996 as a Florida not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and improving educational experiences of students within Monroe County.

To make a donation, go to

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Naja Girard

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