With only 10 days to go, the Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE After-School program still needs your help to win up to $50,000 for a bully-free zone.

During the Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative meeting on Wednesday, Evalynn Kuehner, supervisor of Carbon County's Right From the Start program, read a brief letter by Jeanne Miller, director of Carbon and Schuylkill County Educational Services at LCCC and co-chairperson of the SHINE program, asking for everyone's continued support in the Pepsi "Refresh Everything" online competition. The top 10 ideas will receive funding to help make their idea a reality. The SHINE idea is to create a "Positive Action" bully-free zone in the schools the group serves.

To vote for the idea, visit www.refresheverything.com/antibullyingproject and click on "Vote for this idea." A pop-up screen will appear that asks you to sign in or create a new account.

Once an account is created, you can vote daily until Feb. 28. Finalists will be announced on March 1.

As of press time today, the SHINE proposal was ranked 67th out of 204 ideas.

The Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE After-School program serves 195 children in six public schools and four parochial schools from Carbon and Schuylkill counties.

Children in the program are from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade.

The program was created to provide children with academic support, as well as build self-esteem and make stronger family bonds.

The program organizes many events throughout the year as a way to teach the students necessary skills in everyday situations, as well as give them the opportunity to build lasting friendships.

In a related matter, Lehigh Carbon Community College has created the SHINE Middle School Career Club (MSCC), which began on Jan. 25, at L.B. Morris Elementary School in Jim Thorpe.

A total of 16 students are currently participating in the club.

During sessions, students learn about the working world and business, as well as take field trips to various locations, such as Carbon Career & Technical Institute and Penn's Peak, both in Jim Thorpe, to learn about how each business operates.

A SHINE boot camp is also being organized for each of the SHINE centers. The camp will be three one-hour classes based on physical fitness.

In other business, Larissa Kimmel, CASSP coordinator at Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR and director of the Family Promise of Carbon County program, presented the collaborative with information about Family Promise, a program designed to help homeless families find shelter and food.

Under the program, churches signed up for Family Promise, would take turns housing homeless families. Currently seven churches have signed up for the program, but six more are still needed.

The group, which received its 501(c)3 status earlier this year, is also now accepting donations to help fund the program.

A donation of $180 will help Family Promise of Carbon County provide services to a family of four for one week.

Donations can be sent to Family Promise of Carbon County, 225 Iron St., Lehighton, PA 18235. Make checks payable to Family Promise of Carbon County.