PANAMA CITY BEACH Thanks to a major donation, 20 Hutchison Beach Elementary School students will be able to go on the annual 5th grade trip to Washington D.C. for free.
Beach Elementary is a Title One School, 72% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Before Tuesday's donation by the St. Joe Community Foundation, teachers feared there might not be enough students signed up to make the trip to D.C. happen.
All that changed when the St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director Janet Greeno presented a grant check for nearly $16,000 to the Beach Elementary School PTO. The funds will cover the trip cost and spending money for 20 students whose essays are chosen by a committee.
"So many of our kids have never left even traveled outside of Bay County, so to be able to send them to Washington D.C. to learn American history firsthand means a lot," said parent liaison Alicia Bailie.
"The kids are our future and anything that the kids are involved with and we can get them excited about is a perfect opportunity for our foundation to be involved," said Janet Greeno. "It not only touches the children, it touches their families, and the community and that is what the foundation is about," said Greeno.
For every St. Joe residential property sold, one half of 1 percent goes to the foundation. St. Joe focuses their charitable efforts on Bay and Walton counties where the funds come from. The foundation is looking for more local 501-c3 organizations to support, click on the link provided for more information.