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SHINE office moves ahead of centers opening

The Lehigh Carbon Community College SHINE Afterschool Program is gearing up to start its 2020-21 school year, with a few alterations.

Rachel Strucko, director for SHINE, said that her office is currently relocating to the LCCC Scheller Center, 301 VanGelder St., Tamaqua.

“We were located on the second floor of the Jim Thorpe School District Administration building on Center Avenue,” Strucko said. “(But), Jim Thorpe asked us to vacate in preparation for the potential of the county coming in.”

Because of this, LCCC felt the newly renovated Scheller Center would be the perfect place for SHINE’s administrative offices.

Strucko said the new building has ample space and room to grow and she is already looking at ways to transform it into a family center with parenting and nutrition classes, summer camps, counseling services, STEM professional development services for teachers and more.

The move is ahead of the program’s centers opening on Oct. 5.

Struck said that each center varies, with some hybrid models and some virtual models, but the program will remain the same with 12 hours a week for 36 weeks.

Locally, Tamaqua Elementary and Palmerton Parkside will be face-to-face hybrid models, while Panther Valley, L.B. Morris, Penn-Kidder, Weatherly and the Carbon Career & Technical Institute Middle School Program will all be virtual.

For the centers doing face-to-face, Strucko said strict safety procedures following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are in place and students will receive temperature checks and must wear masks and practice social distancing. Dinner will also be served in the SHINE classrooms rather than the cafeterias.

For virtual centers, students will receive STEM bags biweekly that include all supplies they need for those sessions. All sessions, including homework help, yoga, sign language and more will be completed online. Dinner will be provided to SHINE students at the end of the day to take home.

“Regardless online or face-to-face, SHINE students will receive a dinner every evening like normal, and students that are face to face will be bused home as well,” Strucko said.

Over the summer, the SHINE program served 9,525 meals to families in Weatherly and Palmerton school districts and gave out over 600 STEM bags.