Some elements of Atchison County history are rising again, but in a shiny new way thanks to the efforts of some students from Atchison County Community High School.
The group is in the process of building and installing 32 signs to replace the original wooden signs that members of the National FFA Organization chapter at ACCHS made and installed about 30 years ago in rural communities throughout the county. The signs installed under the leadership of former FFA Sponsor David Murdie briefly highlight the history of respective communities in the various locales.
FFA Advisor Kayla Bodenhausen said her students constructed 15 signs to install throughout the current schoolyear. To date there are six signs left to install this spring. Most of the initial signs have faded and are falling apart.
“We chose to continue the signs because it has been a long standing tradition and many of the original signs are in poor condition,” Bodenhausen said. “There are a total of 32 signs and will continue until all are replaced.” The group has reached their halfway mark. The newer signs feature historical information written on aluminum panels to better withstand weathering in comparison to the older plywood signs.
Each sign costs about $200, Bodenhausen said. The aluminum sign itself costs $150 each and the posts and necessary hardware for posting checks in at an additional $50. For information about contributing to the historical sign project, contact Bodenhausen at 913-833-2240, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National FFA Organization announced Aug. 16, 2018, that the Atchison County FFA Chapter was a recipient of a Yearlong Living to Serve Grant in the amount of $2,646 provided by the nationwide program.
There are 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a National FFA Organization press release. The grant funding was provided is part of the program to support service learning projects addressing needs related to community engagement, community safety, hunger, health and nutrition and environmental responsibility.
The FFA was also recently awarded grant funding from Kansas Farm Bureau, FFA Community Grant and the Kansas FFA Foundation to construct and install raised garden boxes, Bodenhausen said. The garden beds are for placement in the Atchison County Community Schools Outdoor Learning Campus for students to plant a spring and summer vegetable garden.
“This is a great hands on learning project for the FFA members as well as the students who will be planting and caring for the crops throughout spring and summer” Bodenhausen said. “This project has also allowed for partnerships to be developed. “(It) supports and encourages the development of our Outdoor Learning Campus.”