Before throwing away the next can of a favorite soft drink, take the time to "pop your top and pick up the tab" for charity.

The Carlisle Elementary School student council is holding a Coke tab fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. By collecting tabs, students are helping the environment by recycling and raising money for charity.

In an effort to get students involved in this charity event, the student council is holding a classroom contest. The class who has the most tabs, based on weight, will be claimed the winning class for the contest. Each student in the classroom will be able to purchase $2 worth of merchandise from the school bookstore. While the students council will continue to collect tabs throughout the year, the deadline for the classroom contest ends today.

Elementary student council sponsor and fifth grade teacher Megan Aukes said it was the suggestion of a student that brought about the idea to collect tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. She said the student council chose to do the fundraiser because they wanted to do something for the community and to help people.

"It’s an easy way to get not only the entire school involved but others out in community as well," Aukes said. "And perhaps help others in need."

Sixth grade student and elementary student council president Josie Fortner said she believes collecting tabs it just one of many ways students can do their part in helping others.

"I think it’s very helpful to the Ronald McDonald Foundation," Fortner said. "And I think it makes the public aware that children can do amazing charity works."

According to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, the Pop Tab Program raises valuable funds and awareness for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. Money for the pop tabs is raised through recycling. This program helps pay for families and children to stay at the House while the child is receiving medical treatment at the hospital. Your support helps ensure that these families will continue to have a place to rest, relax and recover together.

In 1980, the Ronald McDonald House of Arkansas opened its doors and its heart to care for families with seriously ill children hospitalized at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and other local treatment facilities. The eight bedroom house provided a much needed respite for families after spending long hours with their critically ill children, and helped ease some of their financial burdens. The house now offers 28 rooms to families each night serving some 1,000 families each year. More than 20,000 families have been served by the Ronald McDonald House of Arkansas since opening.

In 2009, Arkansas’ first Ronald McDonald Care Mobile hit the road to provide free dental care to children in need. Serving elementary schools in seven Central Arkansas counties, including Lonoke County, the Care Mobile was created through a relationship between Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Delta Dental of Arkansas.

The student council is seeking the communities help in collecting tabs. Only tabs from pop cans tabs will be accepted. Anyone in the community who would like to donate tabs for the Ronald McDonald House Charities may drop them off at the Elementary School Office at 520 Center St.