The theme is “Stronger than the Storm.”
The focus is on raising awareness and support for Gulf District Schools.
The event, “Stronger than the Storm: Uniting for the schools all our student deserve” will be held 1-4 p.m. CT Saturday, May 4 at Honeyville Park in Wewahitchka.
And if one thinks the site is mere coincidence, think again.
“We wanted to show that we are stronger as one, that we are together, Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka, and stronger than Hurricane Michael,” said Krissy Gentry, president of the Gulf County Education Association.
Beginning at 1 p.m. CT there will be a short program featuring three speakers.
Florida Education Association (FEA) President Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education Association (FEA), will speak of the need for lawmakers to fund our future by investing in our students, neighborhood public schools and educators.
County Commissioner Sandy Quinn will help honor the legacy of his uncle, long-time Gulf County School Board member Billy Quinn, Jr., who passed away last month.
And State Rep. Loranne Ausley will highlight the importance of early childhood education, recap education policy emerging from the 2019 Florida Legislative Session and provide a look ahead to 2020.
“This is an informational event to build support for public education,” Gentry said.
Not that the outdoor event will have the feel of a classroom.
The free event will include a Bounce House, face painting and other activities for children and there will be light refreshments and music by local favorite Buddy Hamm.
“We want everyone, students, parents, educators, pastors and community leaders to come out and have fun and celebrate our public schools,” Gentry said.
And, Gentry said, another aspect of the celebration is recommitting to supporting the public schools.
Gentry was among several teachers and county residents who traveled to Tallahassee last week to urge lawmakers to better fund public education, starting with the base allocation for each full-time equivalent student.
Last year lawmakers increased the base allocation by just 47 cents.
“Voters and stakeholders in the county know the power and promise of a quality public education,” Gentry said.
The May 4 event is intended to educate and engage the community in actions to hold elected officials, local and statewide, accountable in providing sufficient support for public schools, Gentry said.
There will be several “take action” booths at the event where participants can learn information about the state of the public schools.
“And they will also have the opportunity to voice their concerns about our schools,” Gentry said.
“Stronger than the Storm” is sponsored by a coalition of educators, parents and community organizations, including the GCEA.
Honeyville Park is at 4111 State 71 South, about two miles south of Wewahitchka.