HARRISBURG – A resolution designating October 22 as, “Lights On! Afterschool Day in Pennsylvania,” has passed the state Senate, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-29).
Argall, who sponsored the resolution, made a presentation to Jeanne Yoho Miller, director of Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Carbon and Schuylkill Counties Educational Services during the Schools and Homes in Education (SHINE) “Lights On!” program at Panther Valley High School. The SHINE program provides pre-kindergarten through fourth grade children a jump-start in reading and mathematics.
“Quality afterschool programs promote students’ success, parent engagement, and builds resiliency,” said Miller. “They are the best defense against challenging educational barriers.”
“For so many families today, finding a quality afterschool care program is very difficult,” said Argall. Thanks in large part to the efforts of Senator Rhoades and Representative McCall, we are fortunate to have SHINE prepare our young students with the skills necessary to improve student achievement and promote positive social development,” Argall added.
According to the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network, the state Legislative Budget and Finance Committee has recommended the creation of a Statewide Coordinating Council to look at issues such as funding, quality standards, transportation and regional databases to help parents find appropriate programs for their children.
“For afterschool programs to meet the huge unmet demand from families, they’re going to need more support from all sectors – from the business and philanthropic communities, as well as from the government at all levels,” said Kacy Conley, Director of the Network.
Children from Mahanoy Area, Shenandoah Valley, Panther Valley, Lehighton and Jim Thorpe School Districts, as well as local, state and school district officials were on hand to participate in the SHINE “Lights On!” program, which honored the late Senator Jim Rhoades. Rhoades’ wife, Mary Edith, was also in attendance.
Contact: Nick Troutman