Rep. Barletta Honored as Afterschool Champion
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) is proud to announce that yesterday the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network named him an Afterschool Champion. Barletta was nominated for his exemplary commitment, dedication, and outstanding work on learning programs, most notably Schools and Homes in Education (SHINE), currently operating in Schuylkill, Carbon, and Luzerne Counties.
“I’m honored to have been presented with the Afterschool Champion award. As a father of four and grandfather of six, the education of children is, and always has been, very important to me,” said Barletta. “When you awaken the minds of young children with hope and possibility of what their future can be, there’s no stopping them.”
Barletta fought long and hard to protect funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), which supports programs like SHINE, but had been targeted for elimination. Beginning in February 2015, he began painstakingly working to restore the 21st CCLC program. As a result, the conference report passed authorized $1 billion in funding for the 21st CCLC program.
“The lives of thousands of children across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the United States have been profoundly changed by Congressman Barletta’s dedication and commitment to supporting funding for quality after school programming,” said Rachel Strucko, Executive Director of the SHINE program. “The SHINE afterschool program is very proud to call him our Afterschool Champion,” Strucko added.
SHINE has already been a success in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties and expanded to Luzerne County in 2015 in the Wilkes-Barre Area, Greater Nanticoke Area, and Wyoming Valley West school districts. It expanded to Hazleton last year. The program, geared to grades K-8, focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum. SHINE links schools to homes to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation.
“The Afterschool Champion award honors those working to change the lives and direction of children and youth through afterschool and summer learning opportunities,” stated Laura Saccente, Director of the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network. “Congressman Barletta not only supports afterschool, but he supports the students, families and communities benefitting from those programs.”