Barnes with the students and educators of Boyd

Boyd Elementary School in Fondren is singing a new tune today thanks to the generosity of many and community spirit of Dr. Helen Barnes. A retired educator and community activist, Dr. Barnes was instrumental in making sure the school received a new and much needed piano. $4,000 was raised in conjunction with Boyd adopters  Fondren Renaissance Foundation, Broadmeadow United Methodist Church, Trustmark National Bank, Boyd PTA, students, teachers and individuals. Dr. Barnes explains: “I come to Boyd Elementary School almost daily to see what I think is needed. There are so many wants, but so much that is absolutely needed. Annie Coleman, the school’s music teacher, came to me with a request for a piano, saying the one they had was dying. I said ‘wait until it dies.’ Low and behold, she came to me and said, ‘it’s dead.’ That was probably May. I said, ‘we’ll get together with my friends, and ask to them to donate’.

Coleman and Barnes

We collected silver, gold, and of course, money. I talked the good people of Allegrezza Pianos in Ridgeland and they allowed Boyd to have a fund drive to get the piano. I said ‘when we got enough, we’ll get our piano’. That’s the way my grandmother taught me. You get it when you have enough money for it.  So this is a bigger lesson for the kids as far as I’m concerned: you save to get what you need. And when we asked Dr. Barnes what she thinks of the purchase, she says with a chuckle “it’s wonderful; the best thing since grits”!

Previous projects at Boyd include the purchasing of auditorium curtains, removal of old carpet, replacing of flooring, painting of the school and summer art camps & special events during the school year. These things, like today’s piano presentation, show the positive power of community in Fondren.

Special thanks to Broadmeadowian Chuck Wise for
contributing to this report