School that weathered Hurricane Harvey gives supplies and guidance to local school

By  | 

Jarell Baker For many schools in Bay County, this is their first time recovering from a hurricane.

A Texas school that weathered Hurricane Harvey has reached out to one local school to give them support.

"Just to hear all of these stories and see them face to face and know that you're gonna make it, you're gonna get through," said University Academy Teacher Nicole Gill. "So, it just means more than they know."

Gill has been teaching at University Academy for 12 years, but now she's teaching in the Edgewater Conference Center. Same students, different place.

She lost her students' picture books and many other school items she saved over the years when Hurricane Michael hit.

"My classroom, specifically, had the entire roof rip off," said Gill. "It's our second home so to watch our second home be destroyed, it makes me sick."

A Texas school, Kolter Elementary, contacted University Academy to help in the recovery process.

"There is no course or CliffsNotes or guide to an experience like this and if I could offer advice to as to what to do in a step by step process," said Kolter Elementary Principal Julie Dickinson, "it's really invaluable to someone who's going exactly what we did almost a year ago."

Kolter Elementary was impacted by Hurricane Harvey this past year. Principal Julie Dickinson decided to use her experience to help University Academy in their time of need.

"She was really able to help give me a lot of guidance with moving forward and things to look for and make sure that I took care of moving forward for the best interest of our school," said University Academy Principal Wes Smith.

Dickinson and others drove nine hours to deliver school supplies and $6,000 worth of gift cards to University Academy.

"I looked at my community and said, 'Hey, it's time for us to pay it forward,'" said Dickson. "'We need to rally the troops and love these people from afar just like we were showered with love.'"

University Academy presented Dickinson and others from Kolter Elementary with handmade gift cards and a paper wall with handprints and signatures from students and faculty.