Abington Heights Families Find Alternatives To Class

CLARKS SUMMIT -- The strike by teachers in the Abington Heights School District went into its third day on Thursday and likely won't end before the weekend.

Agencies throughout Lackawanna County have come up with ways to help families affected by the strike.

Abington Heights teachers and school board members are scheduled to meet at the negotiating table on Friday night. Meanwhile, parents and kids are just taking it day by day.

There are several programs that have been set up this week to make sure kids affected by the strike are cared for and kept occupied.

This is typically a quiet time of year at the Jewish Community Center in downtown Scranton but not anymore.

"Oh, man, the teachers strike has definitely changed that," said Timothy Frank, JCC Scranton. "We're running an all-day program 8:30 in the morning until 5:30 at night, and we are doing all sorts of activities."

They're calling it their "school's out strike relief program." Families affected by the teachers strike at Abington Heights can drop their kids here for $40 a day.

"Gymnasium for basketball, arts and crafts, games, sports, a whole wide variety of activities to do down here at the JCC and that's how I'm keeping my kids busy right now!" said Dan Cardonick.

Executive Director Dan Cardonick came up with the idea when he learned his own daughters would be out of school during the strike.

Teachers in the Abington Heights School District near Clarks Summit hit the picket lines for a third day. The strike could last most of this month.

"People are realizing that places seem to be filling up, I think, quickly up in the Abingtons area and looking for people that might be not so far away. Here we are right in downtown, we're only a short 10-minute drive," said Cardonick.

A little closer to home, staff at the Abington Community Library got creative to come up with ways to keep students occupied.

High schoolers made cereal bars in the afternoon, one of several activities planned throughout the day. Some of the students planned to visit each day of the strike.

"If the library wasn't doing activities, I would just be at home not doing anything," said ninth grader Alex Krenitsky.

Students do need a parent present for library activities.

For the past two days, visitors have been greeted with a sales pitch. Second graders Matthew Kettrick and Rebecca Naeher created their own strike activity with the help of their mothers.

They've been killing time by selling lemonade and cookies. They plan to buy school supplies for students out of class because of the recent hurricanes.

"I will think that they`re going to have a lot of fun getting school supplies back," Naeher said.

That's a lesson no strike could stop.

"Inside I feel happy about it!" added Kettrick.