Board employee Deena Smith’s daughter, Kaylin, announced that she could see smoke rising outside. Taylor and several others ran out the door to see what was happening. It looked as though the middle school were on fire from the angle they were looking at the smoke. Once everyone found out what was actually happening, several of them rushed out to the apartment complex to make sure students were unhurt and to see if there was anything they could do.
The Barkley Manor fires have affected Trigg County schools in a profound way. Among the 32 people who lost their homes, 17 of them were children and most of those are in school. The schools are doing what they can to help, mostly through the Lighthouse Family Resource Center and the A.S.K. Family Resource Center’s Youth Services.
Laura Shelton is the coordinator for the Lighthouse Family Resource Center, which is located in the elementary school building. Some students lost their backpacks and school supplies in the fire, and the resource center was able to replace those, she said. A lot of the work she has done has also been through her church, Crossroads Fellowship. She said the church’s ministry center had been open on the night of the fire to supply families with clothing and hygiene supplies.
The resource center has sent a letter around the school to tell everyone that they would be working with Mary Turner and the Girl Scouts to gather items for “comfort kits.” Most of the products requested on the list are hygiene items. Shelton said that teachers and students can brought them into their homerooms where they were collected. The resource center also accepted cash donations for the families.
“It’s wonderful that we can help the kids,” Taylor said of the schools’ efforts. “Just imagine walking home and there’s nothing there. That’s devastating.”
Janice Boyd is the Youth Services Center coordinator at A.S.K., and oversees needs among the high school and middle school students. She said that five middle school students and two high school students lost their homes. One of the first things she did was take a student who needed shoes to Fred’s to buy new ones. Youth services made sure that students had all the school supplies they needed. She also met with students’ families to see what else they could do to meet their immediate needs.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.