Building a Strong Foundation
in Tamaqua

Tamaqua Area SHINE students filled their wishing wells with donated stuffed animals for children in emergency situations.

SHINE students are used to building things because most SHINE activities are designed to be hands-on. But SHINE students also learn about building a sense of community.

Each year, all SHINE centers incorporate a service learning project into the educational calendar.  In 2019, SHINE students worked together to build Community Wishing Wells. The students were able to incorporate their lessons in STEM-based skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into the assembly of the wells. Then each Center decided which community organizations should receive the donation.


The Tamaqua SHINE Center did a lot of brainstorming about how they wanted to donate. They came up with an idea to donate the well to area first responders – and to "stuff" the wells with cuddly toy animals to give to children on scene in emergencies.

They were so excited by the idea of giving back to their community, they decided to build two wells.

The SHINE students even reached out to their classmates to involve them in their project. "We reached out to the TASD faculty and some of the high school
students and asked them if they’d be willing to donate new stuffed animals," said Jolene Barron, SHINE Coordinator. "Our intention is that when our frst
responders are out on a call, whether there’s an accident or fire; any call when children are involved and scared and frightened or injured, that they could ofer them a stuffed animal to comfort them.”


The first responders decided to thank the SHINE students in return, by visiting the school in their response vehicles and letting the students get an up-close look at the police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.

Other area students and residents can contribute their "well wishes" too. “Anyone can donate [stuffed animals] at any time; we can get them to the frst responders,” Barron said. “I’m sure they’ll run out at some point, so it would be nice to keep that flow going. We just ask that they’re new, and not used, because of kids with allergies.”

The wishing well project is just one example of how SHINE lessons work to engage students in both their academic lessons and in their broader community.

Every Center SHINEs!
Every SHINE Center takes part in a yearly service learning project. The Palmerton Center donated their wishing well to the Palmerton Town Library. The library took advantage of having a place for community wishes by asking residents to toss in donations for a local family in need. You can read more HERE.

Tamaqua Area first responders came out to the school to receive their donations.

Read All About It!
The Tamaqua Area SHINE students were excited to see that their Wishing Well Project made the local news. You can read the article HERE.