Federal grant money will help implement the "SHINE" after school program in both Pike and Wayne county..
The program serves at risk children kindergarten through 8th grade in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties.
The grant money will help establish five additional shine centers across two more school districts.
"We think this is the key to starting a pipeline into the workforce"
Jeannie Miller takes pride in seeing how the SHINE program has evolved in 15 years.
" Just to think we started with 109 children back in 2004 in 2005."
Now the after-school program helps more than 2000 kids with their education.
"Its like a district, its the size of a school district when you think about it. "
Miller credits the teachers who work one on one with students - boosting their confidence and passion to learn.
" When you go back to your classroom and you feel like you're succeeding, what better feeling is there than that. "
Lucyann Vierling, Director of Wayne/Pike Workforce Alliance says 2.4 million in federal grant money will help implement the SHINE program in both Pike and Wayne Counties.
"It was a huge sigh of positivity and relief because federal grants aren't easy to come by."s
The money will fund five Shine Centers in Wayne Highlands, Wallenpaupack, and Western Wayne School Districts.
"The centers will be focused on this isn't your simple classroom environment, the students learn differently using concepts like science and math. "
Vierling wants to create a fun learning environment that tackles subjects kids won't find in a textbook. "
"From things like gardening to building a race-car, I mean seriously how cool is that.A"
and she points out the program not only helps kids with school, but prepares them for a career after graduating.
"We have a labor shortage in both Pike and Wayne County, what better way to address that then preparing these kids early on for the next stage of their lives. "
Shine is looking for teachers and a director of their programs in Pike and Wayne Counties.
Applications are available on Indeed and other job boards. Vierling expects to have the program implemented in the schools by the fall.