Palmerton Area School District could be next in line to join Lehigh Carbon Community College's SHINE After-School Program.

Jeanne Miller, director of Lehigh Carbon Community College's Carbon and Schuylkill counties educational services and SHINE program, met with the board of directors as part of a committee workshop on Tuesday.

Miller said LCCC received a $630,000 grant over three years through the 21st Century Learning Centers awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The grant, Miller said, will enable LCCC to offer both Palmerton, as well as Weatherly Area School District, the kindergarten home visiting program, as well as the STEM Career Academy After School program that's offered at the Carbon Career & Technical Institute.

Miller said the SHINE program works with kindergarten-aged children who have been identified as needing a jump-start in math and reading.

The instructional plan has paid huge dividends for the districts who have agreed to join the program, said Miller, who added that Lehighton, Jim Thorpe and Panther Valley school districts will enter their ninth year in the program.

"We've seen such an increase in reading and math readiness skills," Miller said. "This piece should be looked at as an added resource you can offer your families."

Board President Barry Scherer said he's views the program as a "very positive step for extended kindergarten."

Director Sherry Haas added "getting parents involved and getting their children to let them know what it is they need; that's the best thing we could ask for."

The SHINE After-School program is an initiative through LCCC that helps elementary school students in their studies; as well as helps them build socialization skills and a stronger relationship in the family.