Cowboy GRIT Inspires a Rural Community in Nebraska

Watch a great film on how this community rallied around a school project to open the town's first grocery store in more than a decade.

December 2, 2015 |

According to Nebraska Loves Public Schools, Cody is a town \"too tough to die.\" We think they're rather savvy, too. (And it is straw bale construction to boot!) <\/p>"

Editor's Note: Nebraska Loves Public Schools is a passionate team of filmmakers seeking out and sharing stories from the Cornhusker State's public schools. They create short documentaries published at home in Nebraska, and they air them on television as part of a series called The State of Education in Nebraska on NET2 World.

Their films have been recognized by the Webby Awards, nominated as an Official Selection for the PovertyCure International Short Film Festival and screened in the Film Streams Omaha Local Filmmakers Showcase. From the legislature to national conference halls to the classroom, NEPS films serve as a resource to educate and to inspire action.

We want to thank NEPS for allowing us to share their wonderful short film on the inspirational student-led project in Cody, Nebraska.

Place-based education can take many forms, but there are basic tenets common to all meaningful place-based work. These include:

  • Learning that is rooted in the unique history, environment, economy, and culture of a particular place
  • The community is the context for learning
  • Student work focuses on important community issues
  • Community members are partners and resources in teaching and learning
  • Products of student learning address community needs

Well, we can't think of a better example of place-based education than the Cody-Kilgore School's Circle C Market project. You will definitely enjoy the film below. We promise!

According to NEPS, Cody, Nebraska has just over 150 residents, and the Cody-Kilgore School draws kids from all over North Central Nebraska. In fact, NEPS reports that "even though Cody is in one of the most sparsely populated areas of the state, its unified school district covers one of the largest geographic areas: 553 square miles, to be exact. That includes two time zones and three area codes!"

NEPS asks us to consider the following: "So how does this small town sustain such a powerful school? Because its residents think big. This big thinking led to a unique project to address a major community need in a way that encourages real-life learning, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in its students."

Sounds like an exemplary effort to us. Is there something impactful going on in your community or school that needs sharing? Let us know, we are committed to telling great stories about the work of rural students, teachers, and education advocates.

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