BROKEN BOW—The stars and stripes proudly wave outside of the Broken Bow Middle School atop a new flagpole that was recently installed thanks to the work of three eighth graders.
Jackson Hanson, Brandon Evans, and Laney Holcomb began the project last spring as seventh graders in a business class. They were given the assignment to do something to make the community better—a project called “Lead for Change.”
“We got to pick projects that would make our community around us better,” Laney Holcomb told KCNI/KBBN.
Brandon Evans said it was important for him to see a flag waving outside his school.
“We really wanted a flagpole because over on the south side there’s a flagpole but nobody really drives over there and they all drive in front of the middle school and so we knew we had to have a flag in front of the middle school,” Evans said.
The students continued working on their project even during the COVID-19 school closures. They were responsible for contacting various community members including Dell Moninger from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post and local contractors. Funds for the project came from the Custer County Foundation and the Broken Bow School Board.
Business teacher Angie Palmer appreciates all of the people who worked with the students to make this possible.
“Thanks to everyone that helped make this happen: Mr. Zlomke with our maintenance, Bump Markham, Todd Jonas with Central Nebraska Electric, the school board, the foundation. These three kids have done a great job but it takes a lot of people to make this happen so just thank you very much to everyone that helped with that,” Angie Palmer said.
“I just thought it was kind of fun and we just wanted to make a change,” Jackson Hanson said.
Mrs. Palmer said a light was also installed with the pole in order for the flag to remain flying at all times and maintenance staff will raise and lower the flag as needed. The flagpole was installed in August and dedicated on September 10 during the school’s Patriotic Program, where Hanson, Evans, and Holcomb all spoke.
“We kind of just talked about how important we thought it was to recognize veterans and just how amazing America is,” Holcomb said.
“I thought it was awesome that a group of three kids could put this up,” Evans added.
Mrs. Palmer told KCNI/KBBN previous student-organized Lead for Change projects have included working with the city to build the wood trashcan bins in the square, the pick up litter signs at Melham, plastic bottle receptacles placed inside the school, and a food drive in conjunction with the movie theater.