Wilkes-Barre, January 8, 2016 – Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th), state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), and Lehigh Carbon Community College President Dr. Ann Bieber have announced a major federal grant for the Carbon and Schuylkill County SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) after-school program. The grant totals nearly $400,000 for each of the next three years.

“The SHINE program has been proven to help kids by giving them better alternatives to joining gangs and getting into trouble and it gets parents, families, and the community involved in education,” Barletta said. “When I saw the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program was on the chopping block in Congress, I was proud to step in and preserve it so that our children will have better chances for brighter futures.”

“For more than a decade the SHINE program has been providing improved educational opportunities for the families of Carbon and Schuylkill counties, said Senator Yudichak. “SHINE has earned a national reputation as a quality program with outstanding outcomes. This grant will help SHINE continue to build that legacy of success.”

“It is my distinct honor to accept this generous federal grant for Lehigh Carbon Community College’s SHINE program. This $400,000 grant demonstrates the commitment of our legislative delegation to the communities they serve, said Dr. Anne Bieber, president of Lehigh Carbon County Community College. “Through a variety of programs, with our partner school districts, SHINE helps to keep our kids safe, inspires them to learn and helps working families.

“Lehigh Carbon Community College is honored to have been awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant for Cohort 8 for the SHINE After school Program. SHINE is a true collaboration between the school districts, the families, the communities and the policy-makers who are driven to enhance the lives and educational opportunities for the children and families in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties,” added Rachel Miller Strucko, Director, SHINE After-school Program

The federal funding is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) via the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Grant program. The SHINE grant is one of fifty new 21st CCLC grant awards totaling $16.1 million for 2015-18 in Pennsylvania.

The 21st CCLC program is designed to provide federal funding for the establishment of community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for children. Funds are intended to provide students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools with additional services to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects; to offer students a broad array of activities that can complement their regular academic programs, and to offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

SHINE is administered by Lehigh Carbon Community College and provides academic support for nearly 500 students from seven school districts. The comprehensive 42-week after school/summer program includes kindergarten home visits, 1st – 4th grade STEM Centers, 5th – 8th grade STEM Career Academies, and high school career awareness/mentoring opportunities.