The Valley View School District in Lackawanna County is trying to save money and make money.
For the first time ever, the district is holding a carnival over the long Labor Day weekend that administrators hope generates some revenue for the school district.
While the Cougar football team is in the midst of two-a-day practices, a hint of summer sits in the parking lot of Henzes Memorial Stadium in Peckville. Carnival rides are waiting there for the Valley View School District's new idea to raise much-needed funds.
A school director with the district thought the school's teams and clubs could benefit from a fundraiser you'd more likely see at a volunteer fire department or church.
"It's the opening of school, so my initial thoughts were 'Oh my God!' But he's been great, he's organized everything, the parents have been unbelievably cooperative, the community is coming together which was kind of the game plan to begin with," said Valley View Superintendent Don Kanavy.
Kanavy and Business Manager Corey Castellani embraced the idea and reached out the booster clubs for more than a dozen sports teams, music groups, and clubs at the school.
Parents and students will run the four-day carnival over Labor Day weekend. The amusement company that handles the Jessup Hose Company Carnival each year had the weekend off and offered to help too.
Administrators say the hope is to raise money for the teams and clubs, while cutting down on smaller fundraisers done throughout the year.
"There's only so many times you can go to the same people to sell t-shirts or candy bars. So this way here, everybody's together," Castellani added.
"I think it's terrific, they should do it more often, its something else. Anything to get them money, they need it," said Eugene Manchak of Dickson City whose great-grandson attends Valley View.
Cash earned at the carnival will be split evenly amongst the participating teams and clubs, which administrators admit lose funding first when budgets are tight.
They also admit the carnival is an experiment, but if it works other districts may soon follow suit.
"As soon as somebody comes up with a good idea, everybody tries to jump on and do the same thing. So, if this is something that works for us other districts will probably do the same thing going forward," Castellani said.
The Valley View School District carnival will be held over the Labor Day weekend because that's the only time the amusement rides were available to the district.
All the activities will be at Henzes Memorial Stadium in Peckville.