‘Use Any of the Books’: Florida Students at One School-Turned-Hurricane-Shelter Roll Out Welcome Mat for Evacuees


Families fleeing South Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma can find shelter at many schools across northern and central Florida. One school near Tampa is extending a special welcome to evacuees.

At Sessums Elementary School in Riverview, students and teachers left supplies and notes with warm greetings. Sessums is part of Hillsborough County Public Schools, which are closed Thursday and Friday to serve as shelters. The school posted on Twitter that it will be a special-needs shelter.

Students signed a welcome message for evacuees of Hurricane Irma at Sessums Elementary. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumspride)
Teachers welcomed evacuees into their classrooms with supplies and notes. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumspride)
“We are so thankful you are all safe,” wrote Ms. Yates’s class to welcome those seeking shelter from Hurricane Irma. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumspride)

The cheery notes offset the eeriness of classrooms sitting empty in September, when they are normally filled with back-to-school buzz.

An empty classroom is ready for evacuees of Hurricane Irma. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumspride)
Sessums Elementary’s school office sits empty as Hurricane Irma approaches. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumspride)

In addition to art supplies and games, some classes left out supplies such as tissues and hand sanitizer. 

Teachers and students left out craft supplies for evacuees. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumpride)
Teachers organized supplies for families fleeing Hurricane Irma. (Photo courtesy twitter.com/Sessumpride)

Assistant Principal Laura Edwards shared the photos to say she is proud of her teachers and students.


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