The Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) Carbon and Schuylkill SHINE 21st Century After-School Program is a community success story. Its theme lies in how a community’s grassroots prevention efforts through a quality after school program, along with effective early childhood programs are increasing educational attainment, preventing juvenile crime, and having a life-long impact on the communities and families it serves.
The SHINE program’s development can be traced to a visionary strategic planning process that was initiated in Carbon County in 2002, through the Partners for Progress Carbon County Child & Family Collaborative Board. The capstone of their mission was to provide a network of prevention in Carbon and Schuylkill County. In effect a safety net has been put in place for all children and families. The specific mission was to help all students that were having academic, and / or social challenges. SHINE has effectively partnered with early childhood programs such as “Pre-K Counts, Head Start”, and “Parents as Teachers”, to build a Seamless-Network of educational and social services to nurture the positive and combat the negative trends affecting the families in Carbon County.
In 2005, SHINE was initiated in 3 Carbon County School Districts and in 2007 with support from the Schuylkill Prevention Board, adopted in 2 Schuylkill County Districts serving students in Kdg-5th grade. Students in community college education program received a 32 week pre-service teaching internship. A SHINE II opened in 2008 at the Prince Hall Elementary School in Philadelphia, through a grant written by the State System of Higher Education, demonstrating the SHINE model will work in both rural and urban settings.
Over the past three years the SHINE Afterschool Program in partnership with local school districts, the technical school (CCTI) and collaborative members have provided programs for middle school/high school students. Targeting high priority occupations with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Technology) the program emphasizes the skills needed for the 21st Century workforce. Utilizing lessons learned and promising approaches, Lehigh Carbon Community College instituted the SHINE Career Academy the fall of 2011, serving all Carbon County School Districts. The program, located at Carbon Career & Technical Institute provides an innovative educational model by teaming technical experts with academic teachers and through hands on career projects connects students to math/science with a real world application. High school students serve as tutors and mentors for both the elementary and middle school programs. With the implementation of the Career Academy, students can receive educational support from Pre-kdg through college. Since its inception, SHINE has more than tripled the number of children served and encompasses 7 public schools, 1 technical school and 4 parochial schools and covers over 700 square miles.
Return on Investment can be documented through 20 sources of quantitative and qualitative data collected from 2005-2014 through an independent evaluator which clearly demonstrates students enrolled in the SHINE Program increase academic achievement, improve attendance, gain knowledge in STEM and parents are more engaged in their children’s education.
Why is the SHINE 21st Century Comprehensive After-School Program so unique?
• Lehigh Carbon Community College, an institution of higher learning, is the administrator of the SHINE Program.
• Non-traditional Teacher Pre-Service Laboratory for LCCC education majors & 40 hrs of professional development for classroom teachers resulting in teachers who are better equipped for the 21st Century and the understanding that educating children goes beyond the classroom walls.( see Teacher and Intern Impact Study under Professional Development & Teacher Training.
• Student focused and data driven (20 sources of data are utilized to evaluate the SHINE After-School Program)
• A home-visiting program where teachers visit kindergarten children and their parents. During the summer months, first through 5th graders receive bi-weekly home-visits that help bridge the gap and build trust between the regular school and the home. This connects families to needed community health and social resources.
• Strong parent involvement component where over 90% of the families participate in SHINE activities and 29 % enroll in college, non-credit classes, GED or ESL.
• A seamless network from Head Start, Prek- Counts, Parents as Teachers birth to 5 program into the SHINE Pre-kindergarten with after schools programs up to college
• A 36 week hands-on High Priority Occupation Career Academy for middle school students with a focus on STEM.
• 9th -11th grade service learning projects where students who are exploring the fields of education, criminal justice, psychology and sociology become tutors and mentors for their senior graduation projects. High School seniors who are enrolled in the LCCC community college in the field of education can be trained the summer before entering as educational interns and will continue as paid interns for their freshman and sophomore years.