School is looking for a sign

October 14, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - Driving west through Hancock on Md. 144, one could easily pass Hancock Elementary School without noticing it was there.

Now the school's PTA wants to solve that problem while giving the staff an opportunity to tell passersby something about the school. That will be accomplished with a new sign.

"We see the new sign as a way for us to communicate the things that are going on at Hancock Elementary," said Principal Kerry Rowe. Currently, that is only accomplished by sending information home with students. "A sign would certainly widen that effort."


Open since 1979, Hancock Elementary School was carved out of a hillside across the road from the Hancock Middle-Senior High School. At the end of a long curving driveway, the elementary school is barely visible from the road.

"I was an elementary student here and there has never been a sign," PTA President Shannon McKinley said.

For right now, the PTA is open to any type of sign.

"We have filled out a form with what we might want for where we are located," McKinley said. One big wish is for moveable letters so messages can be changed easily.

Rowe said electricity is available only on the right side of the driveway as one faces the school. If a lighted sign is chosen, and that is the plan, the location of the sign would be influenced by the availability of power to light it.

The side of the drive with electricity would have to be graded for the sign. If placed on the other side of the drive, a low area would have to be filled in before the sign could go in, Rowe said.

McKinley and Anita Kelly, PTA vice president, said the biggest obstacle is raising the approximately $5,000 they've estimated the sign probably will cost.

"Our first real effort will be the Hancock Elementary School fall festival, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at 8 a.m.," McKinley said.

The front of the elementary school will be blocked off at the driveway with parking across the street in the Hancock Middle-Senior High School lot. Yard sale spaces are being sold in the front parking lot of the elementary school at $10 each.

There will be games from 9 to 11 a.m. Concession stands will be open at 8 a.m. leading up to an auction at 11:30 a.m., McKinley said.

"The decision was made to use the front of the school because in the past, activities held behind the school didn't work out. No one could see us back there," Kelly said.

Auction items that have been donated include a new breadmaker, a used microwave, a baby comforter crib set, Longaberger baskets and filled totes, Boyds Bears, movie tickets, dinner gift certificates and a Panther blanket.

"Tim Smith will be our volunteer auctioneer," McKinley said.

Letters requesting donations for the auction have gone out to local businesses and "Now we need to make some follow-up phone calls on those."

The full list of auction items will be published in The Hancock News on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Parents and other community members are being asked to contribute items for the concession stand so the profit margin will increase toward the purchase of the sign. Baked goods, hot dog buns, condiments, homemade soups, napkins, paper plates and canned soda may be donated.

Volunteers to help out on the day of the festival also would be appreciated, McKinley said.

Anyone wishing to donate auction or concession items or their time may call the school at 301-766-8178 for more information. Checks may be made out to Hancock Elementary School PTA and sent to the school at 290 W. Main St., Hancock, MD, 21750.

Hancock Elementary School has approximately 270 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

The Herald-Mail Articles