If adversity reveals character, one only needs to look around some York County school districts to see a display of true colors.

With the state slashing education funding, many school boards have resorted to eliminating teaching positions and cutting programs.

Anything that isn't rooted in the three "Rs" has been fair game -- sports, music and after-school programs to name a few.

Some could -- and have -- made the argument this is the way it should be. Taxpayers are overburdened and shouldn't be asked to foot the bill for more than the bare necessities.

Yet these types of activities traditionally have helped build well-rounded students, providing skills and traits that help them excel in the real world. In some cases, the "extras" provide the motivation for students to stay in school and get good grades.

Many of those people now complaining about their costs likely enjoyed the very same activities themselves years ago.

Thankfully, there are members of our community who know the value of extracurriculars and aren't willing to let budget cuts deprive students of the benefits.

In the York City School District, which made drastic cuts to staff and programs this year in light of a $19 million deficit, two groups stepped forward to cover the costs of tutoring programs, and a booster club is raising money to rehire some of the furloughed music instructors.

And two alums -- York City Mayor Kim Bracey and Live drummer Chad Gracey -- recently held a bartending fundraiser at a downtown pub to benefit the music program.


The district also eliminated all athletics but football, basketball, volleyball and track -- and even those sports saw some coaching and paid assistant positions cut. As with the music program, benefactors are coming forward so the students don't suffer.

The football program lost five paid coaches this year, but four of them are staying on as volunteers, according to head coach Shawn Heinold, who's hoping to raise money on his own to eventually pay them.

"I think a large majority of (the volunteers), if not all, will continue to stick with this," he said.

This isn't just happening in York City; other districts around the county also are cutting programs and positions such as coaches.

And like here, volunteers are giving up their time to fill the voids.

"We've been very, and I underscore very, fortunate to have volunteers come forward," said Susquehannock athletic director Chuck Abbott. "And they're there for the right reasons. They've been there as a player and they want to come back and help."

That's the kind of team spirit we all should cheer.