Broken Bow School Foundation launches new program

As Broken Bow Schools prepare to break ground on a long-awaited elementary school building project, community members have launched the “Little Feet, Big Dreams” capital improvement campaign to enhance the North Park Elementary project. The goal of the group is to provide children with some of the things that can’t be accomplished within the limits of the $5.8 million bond approved by voters last fall. The $200,000 fundraising goal would pay for playground equipment and provide enough money so the new multi-purpose building can be finished for use by school and community as a practice and competition gym. “Physical development is as important as academic development,” said Kim Jonas, elementary principal. “Having appropriate, safe playground equipment is important. There are some things the children in our school need that are beyond the scope of the current building project, but they are just as necessary for the education of our children.” Broken Bow School Board President Michelle Zlomke said the school’s building project provides a gym that is the right size for regulation competition in volleyball and basketball, but the school doesn’t plan to use project funds to finish the gym for competition. That means donations will have to fund a finished floor and bleachers for the gym. If that can be accomplished, Zlomke said, the gym can be available for junior high and junior varsity sports, volleyball and basketball tournaments and for use by both adult and youth community teams. Earlier this month, the local Optimist organization brought in more than $2,000 in the first community fundraiser for the North Park project. This spring, Broken Bow PTA will donate a portion of proceeds from its annual flower sales toward the Little Feet, Big Dreams campaign. The PTA will also host a new fundraiser this year – the Bid-a-Bag Bonanza. On March 31 from 2-4 p.m., bidders can vie for bags filled with prizes and some proceeds will go to Little Feet, Big Dreams. The event will be at Huckleberry’s Hideout. “Little Feet, Big Dreams” is the first major project sponsored by the year-old Broken Bow Schools Foundation. The Broken Bow Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in March 2011 to support students, staff, and programs of the Broken Bow Public School District. The foundation was formed and composed of volunteers from the community dedicated to raising money to enrich the educational experience for students in the Broken Bow Schools. The school’s educational and extra-curricular programs are funded through local property tax dollars and state aid to education received from the State of Nebraska. Budgeting for the operation of the school is controlled by mandated limits placed on receipts and expenditures. The school district does have adequate resources to provide students with quality educational opportunities. The budget restrictions, however, do make it difficult to provide resources for replacement of or investment in major capital improvement projects and the special activities and projects that enrich a child’s school experiences, according to Virginia Moon. Moon is the superintendent of schools and the BBPS Foundation president. Other BBPS Foundation Directors are Kevin Cooksley, Vice-President; Alberta Crawley, Secretary; John Smith, Treasurer; Matthew Haumont, Board Representative; Grant Shinn and Alyssa Hunt, Student Representatives; and members Joyce Richardson, Kim Rowden, Mary Vaughan, Karen Smith, Kirk Crawley, Janice Nozicka, Scott Cyboron, Norm McCaslin, Dave Birnie, Brad White, Michelle Miller, Robin Koozer, and Susan Bristol. Volunteers also serve as Advisory Members on Special Committees. In addition to the Little Feet, Big Dreams campaign, the BBPS Foundation has started preliminary work toward a Fine Arts Facility Campaign. The objective is to renovate the Middle School Gymnasium into an appropriate Fine Arts Center. Because the Little Feet, Big Dreams Campaign will provide for a wood floor and bleachers at the North Park facility to create a practice and competition gymnasium, the dream of a dedicated fine arts facility in the Middle School space will be more attainable, Moon said. Bill Reichert is the chair of the Fine Arts Facility Campaign. The fine arts campaign will be boosted by more than $140,000 in private funds that have been earmarked for a fine arts facility project in the community. The BBPS Foundation is under the umbrella of the Custer County Foundation. This fund allows for designated (Little Feet, Big Dreams or Fine Arts Facility Campaigns) or undesignated charitable, tax-deductible contributions. Contributions to the school foundation are an investment in the future of the students who attend Broken Bow Public Schools. For more information on the Foundation, you can call Broken Bow Schools at 308-872-6821 or send tax-deductible donations to, Custer County Foundation, P.O. Box 304, Broken Bow, NE 68822.