Bossier community pitches in to help damaged school

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W.T. Lewis held a "jeans day" fundraiser for Benton Middle School and donated a $2,000 check to the school. Pictured left to right: BMS Assistant Principal Jennifer Burris, W.T. Lewis Principal Lisa Burns, W.T. Lewis Student of the Year Sophie Stinson, and BMS Principal Dr. Kyle Machen. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

The Bossier community is coming together to help a school in need.

On Saturday Jan. 11, the roof was ripped off the sixth grade wing at Benton Middle School, and the school flooded. The National Weather Service said straight line winds estimated at 105 mph are to blame.

The wing is blocked off from student access as are the library and front offices.

Since the moment community members heard of what happened to the school, businesses and community members flocked to Benton Middle School to see how they could to help.

“Since Saturday we have had restaurants and churches come and bring us food — Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Simple Church. That’s just to name a few. And, I am so greatly appreciative to them for everything that they have done,” said Benton Middle School Assistant Principal Jennifer Burris. “That includes the community for donating supplies and purchasing off of our teachers Amazon wish lists. Every little bit helps.”

Classroom supplies and food are not the only thing that have been donated to the school. Other local Bossier schools have been holding fundraisers to help the school rebuild.

Last week, students at W.T. Lewis held a “jeans day” fundraiser for Benton Middle School. Their Student of the Year, Sophie Stinson, along with Principal Lisa Burns presented a check for $2,000 to Benton Middle School Principal Dr. Kyle Machen and Assistant Principal Jennifer Burris on Jan. 14.

These funds will help replace classroom supplies and resources destroyed from the storm.

“We are very grateful to the community for their outpouring of support,” said Burris. “We are still assessing what is salvageable.”

If you would like to contribute, checks can be made payable to Benton Middle School and mailed to 6140 Hwy. 3, Benton, LA 71006. Checks can also be made to Benton Middle School and dropped off at First National Bank of Benton.