CARBONDALE, Pa. -- Budget cuts in the Carbondale Area School District mean teachers and students will be doing more with less this coming school year.
There are two efforts in the community to raise money and collect supplies for the cash-strapped district.
McDonald's in Carbondale is serving up more than just fries this month. Managers are asking customers to support the restaurant's neighbor, the Carbondale Area School District.
"Even though they're a big chain, they're helping a local school, which I think is really cool," Patrick Hall said.
For the next week, McDonald's will be collecting art supplies for the district's elementary students.
"When I found out that Carbondale was cutting their art program, I felt really sad about it, so we decided to collect art supplies in a supply drive to give back to the school, and then it kind of turned into a whole event," said McDonald's supervisor Taylor Noldy.
On August 19, McDonald's will also donate a portion of its sales to Carbondale Area which is facing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.
The budget cuts forced Carbondale Area to eliminate an elementary art teacher position. The kids will still have art instruction, but it will be taught by the classroom teacher. When two recent grads of Carbondale Area High School heard that news, they also wanted to step in and help.
"Both of us were kind of like upset, and we thought, 'What is it we could do to help out?' and one of the first things we initially thought of was art supplies. Just because, with the budget and everything, we weren't sure if they were even going to have art supplies for the children," said Sarah Sweet.
Sarah Sweet and Brooke Juice are running their own art supply drive through the end of this month.
"We thought that it could not only help the teachers and the students who attend Carbondale Area but also help bring the community together in these challenging times," Brooke Juice said.
It's an effort Carbondale Area Superintendent Robert Mehalick says will have a big impact.
"Until the state can come together and find a better way to finance public education, it is going to take little gestures like this, and to me, this is a huge gesture, but small gestures, large gestures, from our community to ensure that our kids do not lose out," Mehalick said.
Mehalick says he's optimistic that Carbondale Area will be able to hire an additional art teacher for the 2020 school year.