Education A National Roundup

Storm-Damaged Florida District Teams With Newspaper to Offer Lessons

October 08, 2004 1 min read

Students who have missed weeks of school in the hurricane-battered Florida Panhandle have been receiving lessons by mail—with the help of a local daily newspaper.

The 46,000-student Escambia County district, which includes Pensacola, teamed up with the Pensacola News Journal to develop the “Survivin’ Ivan School.”

Hurricane Ivan hit the Panhandle on Sept. 15-16.

Six tabloid newspaper sections of 24 pages each were scheduled to be mailed to 33,000 homes of schoolchildren during the last weeks of September, said Sheila Reed, the paper’s Newspapers in Education director.

Ms. Reed, who has worked with local educators on classroom lessons and community projects for 20 years, said the project was born of discussions with school officials. The newspaper has an educator on its staff who developed lessons in writing, mathematics, and other subjects for various age levels, she said.

Students in Escambia County are scheduled to return to classes on Oct. 11 after missing 19 days of school, said Ronnie Arnold, a spokesman for the district. Campuses saw severe wind and water damage, and two of its buildings won’t be used for the rest of the school year, he said.