SHINE Summer Program On Its Way to Northern Lehigh Elementary Schools

A two-week summer camp appears to be in the cards for elementary students in the Northern Lehigh School District.

On a unanimous measure, the school board on Monday approved the Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE Summer Program for the 2021-2022 school year at no cost to the district.

The board’s decision came after it heard from Rachel Strucko, director for SHINE.

Strucko said that in October, LCCC did submit for a $20,000 proposal for a Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Nonprofit Block Grant.

“We chose to write that grant specifically with Northern Lehigh because of the wonderful partnership we already have with the district,” Strucko said. “We really wanted to model the two-week summer camp after our existing SHINE program that we have in Carbon and Schuylkill counties.”

Strucko said the project was developed with the district, and if the grant is approved, the camps will support the student’s educational progress by addressing the learning gaps directly attributed to COVID-19.

She said the camps will be operated at no cost to the district, and provide two-week camps at both Peters and the Slatington Elementary School.

Based on the proposal with the adequate grant funding, Strucko said Peters will serve 25 students in first and second grade, and then the Slatington camp will host 30 students in fourth and fifth grade.

She said the camps are planned to run Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and added they will provide transportation from the house and then back to their homes, as well at the end of the day.

Additionally, Strucko said they will provide breakfast and lunch, meeting the federal nutrition guidelines.

“The programming will be grant appropriated instruction with targeting ELA, as well as math concepts utilizing (LCCC’s) curriculum. And then the last Friday of the week, we will take all the students to our brand-new Makerspace on main campus, which we’re currently developing, and we’ll do a whole college experience day with our professors and our SHINE teachers, just giving them a hands-on experience at our institution to walk around and see what college life is really like,” she said. “So we’re super excited about this partnership.”

Director Donna Kulp thanked Strucko for choosing the district.

In turn, Strucko heaped praise on the district.

“You’re a wonderful district, very innovative,” she said. “I’m excited; your administration is wonderful, your superintendent is wonderful, so I’m excited to work with the community, and I know LCCC is excited as well.”

Superintendent Matthew J. Link took it a step further.

“If the camp goes well, this could be an opportunity to expand into a after-school program moving into next school year and beyond for our students,” Link said. “Again, hopefully we can partner with LCCC to make that after-school program also available to our students in the elementary buildings at no cost.”

To read the article in the Times News, click here.