North Attleboro students' prayers for a speed-limit sign answered by DPW - CS Alliance

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North Attleboro students’ prayers for a speed-limit sign answered by DPW

Originally posted on
by David Linton

Fifth-graders from St. Mary-Sacred Heart School in North Attleboro gather jubilantly around a new school zone sign installed as a surprise by the town DPW on Wednesday. DPW Director Mark Hollowell is at right in the backgroud. The Church Street sign was needed due to the school’s playground in the vicinity. Hollowell also gave the kids a new football to replace the one that was lost during a recent recess. MARK STOCKWELL/THE SUN CHRONICLE

NORTH ATTLEBORO — After a speeding car destroyed a football that accidentally landed in the street near the St. Mary-Sacred Heart School playground in November, the students asked for a sign — a school zone sign.

On Wednesday, the prayers of the fifth graders at the Catholic school were answered but the sign came from mere mortals. Instead of divine intervention, workers from the town’s department of public works installed a solar-powered flashing 20-mph speed sign on Church Street.

The town DPW surprised the students with the sign in response to their letter in January asking for a sign like the ones posted at all the other schools in town.

“I really want to compliment you for reaching out to me. It’s something we didn’t see. It’s something all the other schools in town have,” DPW Director Mark Hollowell told the students gathered before him on Church Street.

The school did not tell the students about the sign before it was installed in order to surprise them. Another sign will be installed later on Richards Avenue.

Hollowell had another surprise: a football he personally purchased for them to replace the one destroyed by a car.

When they were given the football, the students jumped up and down, whooped with joy and clapped.

“It’s signed by Tom Brady, be careful,” one of the DPW workers joked.

Unlike the football, Hollowell said the signs were purchased with state grant funds.

Although the sign was a surprise, school Principal Lisa Serak said some suspected something was up when they arrived for school Wednesday morning.

“I’m so proud of them. They felt they saw a need and they took action,” Serak said.

“They are so proud to be part of the North Attleboro community. They feel so appreciated and valued because their voices were heard,” she said.

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