Perhaps no extracurricular group targeted in the public school budget cuts last spring was as vocal in its opposition than those involved in music.

From students drummers who performed in protest at a Shamokin Area board meeting to students who lined the hallways outside a board meeting at Southern Columbia to sing their disapproval, the message was loud and clear: music is important to us as students, educators and teachers.

The pain of that difficult period isn't gone, but it has been soothed by time, and by the creative efforts of those same music supporters. They have worked harder than ever in making sure music remains an option.

- - -

Southern Columbia has a particularly interesting funding option in its bid for one of four grants from Clorox. First place is $50,000, and three other schools will get $25,000 each. More than 5,000 schools applied for the grant, and SCA was one of 2,500 schools chosen as a finalist. Southern is asking the school community to support its effort through voting, which continues through Dec. 19.

That effort brings to mind the unique fundraiser conducted by the swimming team at Shamokin Area, another extracurricular fighting for its financial life. That group brought former Olympic medal winners to town for a seminar.

- - -

If it were that simple, school boards would give students an opportunity to participate in every extracurricular activity possible. Considering our tough financial times, and especially the public education funding dilemma tied to pensions, such opportunities will likely become even less frequent in the coming years in Pennsylvania. Pay-to-play remains a possibility, too, for scholastic sports.

Faced with such difficulties, however, people follow new paths in getting to the same goal, and such work is to be encouraged and praised.

They certainly haven't given up, as expressed by Lori Kriebel, fundraising chairwoman for the SCA music boosters.

"The fight is going to have to continue," she said.


(To vote on behalf of Southern's Clorox grant, visit and register at