Historical Commission, school nurse organize desk loan program

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A dozen antique wooden desks are available for students learning from home through a loan program being run by the North Attleborough School Nurse and Historical Commission. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
The Fall Festival by North Attleboro Rotary Club

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

In the era of COVID-19, North Attleborough students have had to give up a lot, from milestone events to the simple familiarity of sitting at their desks.

It’s a loss that the town’s Historical Commission wants to help alleviate through a loan program to supply a dozen antique wooden desks in the Holmes Schoolhouse to students. Chairperson Susan Taylor said that when COVID hit, the commission searched for ways to become involved.

It was Ann Chapdelaine–Local Project Coordinator for the town’s archeological survey—who contacted Taylor about the desks, which had been in storage since the schoolhouse’s renovation a few years ago. That call kicked off a discussion that led to the loan program.

We thought it would be a way to help people,” said Taylor. “We have been working with school nurses to connect us. We know there is a need.”

Owned by the town, the Holmes Schoolhouse was built circa 1850, according to the town’s web site. It is the only one-room schoolhouse still owned by the town that had remained in unaltered condition since it closed in 1951. The schoolhouse was recently restored to showcase the way the interior looked at the time of closing. It remains a museum and reflects a different period of time than the Adamsdale Schoolhouse, which local third graders visit for a day.

The desks are sturdy wooden models with open tabletops and metal feet. Taylor said they’re from the 1940s and have been used by many students over the years. The loan program is run through the school nurse’s office and those interested should contact them to learn more about it.

Taylor said there is no cost to join the program, only a document to sign stating that they will be gently used. She is working to coordinate deliveries so parents won’t need to pick them up.

They’re fantastic desks because they’ve been loved by so many students,” said Taylor. “A lot of them have been donated. They all have their own story.”

The Fall Festival by North Attleboro Rotary Club