Hartington-Newcastle wins Small Towns Matter Giveaway

HARTINGTON, Neb. - Students in northeast Nebraska are celebrating their last day of school with statewide recognition.

Hartington-Newcastle is this year's Small Towns Matter Giveaway winner. 

"I would say Hartington's a very tight-knit community," said community member Kassydi Kramer.

Over 600 schools from across the state were nominated by teachers, parents, and community members.

Kramer nominated the school. She has been working with the school for five years. 

"It just holds a huge place in my heart," Kramer said. "I'm so excited to be able to, in a few years, send my boys here. These kids, this staff, everybody just means the world to me and they are more than deserving of this award."

News Channel Nebraska and UnitedHealthcare gave every student a bicycle helmet and the school received a check for $2,500 to use as it sees fit. 

"UnitedHealthcare truly wishes people would live a healthier life," said Nebraska UHC Executive Director Matt Milam. "This is a way for us to try and set an example with the students of the various schools that we go to."

UHC and NCN have done this giveaway for the past three years, giving out around 1,000 helmets so far.

"Communities of Nebraska are very important to the success of Nebraska and very important to us," said Milam.

School officials appreciate the recognition, especially after a tough year. 

"Just a good reminder of how much work it took to get through this school year and a good reward for the kids at the end of the year," said superintendent AJ Johnson.

NCN and UHC will team up again this fall to announce another winner.