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Barletta Welcomes SHINE Students to U.S. Capitol

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Barletta Welcomes SHINE Students to U.S. Capitol
Continues to lead bipartisan efforts on behalf of afterschool programs nationwide


 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) this week welcomed four students and several teachers and administrators from Pennsylvania’s Schools and Homes in Education (SHINE) Program to the U.S. Capitol.

SHINE is a successful afterschool program in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties geared towards grades K-8 and focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum.  The program links schools and homes in order to help children build a stronger academic and social foundation.

“It’s always a pleasure to meet with students like Silvia, John, Joseph, and Ayden,” Barletta said.   “Their excitement about school was contagious and what they’ve been learning is very impressive.  When you show children the possibility of what their futures can be and help provide them with the tools they need to reach their dreams, there is no stopping them.  I’m proud of the work I’ve done on behalf of afterschool programs with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I look forward to continuing to advocating for programs like SHINE.”

After arranging a tour of the U.S. Capitol for the students, Barletta met with them to talk about all they have learned while in SHINE, what they liked about the afterschool program, and what they wanted to do when they grow up.  Later that evening, Barletta attended the Afterschool Alliance’s Showcase and Reception to see the projects the students had been working on, including a 3D printer and a robot that the students have learned how to program using coding.  The students even made Barletta a keychain using the 3D printer.

Barletta, the Republican Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Afterschool Caucus alongside his democratic colleague Representative Nita Lowey (NY-17), has long fought for programs supporting afterschool education.  Most recently in March, 2018, Barletta helped secure a $20 million increase in funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, bringing total funding up to $1.2 billion.

“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.

Barletta has also worked closely with state Senator John Yudichak (D-Carbon/Luzerne) to advance the critical mission of SHINE, particularly with Luzerne County host institution Wilkes University and its president, Patrick Leahy.  The two began promoting the program four years ago after the success of the original SHINE Program in Carbon County, and have been instrumental in its expansion in Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties.

Barletta was previously named an “Afterschool Hero” by the Afterschool Alliance, dubbed an “Afterschool Champion” by the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network, and was the only House member to receive the Congressional Voice for Children Award from the National Parent Teacher Association in 2016 due to his leadership in saving federal funding for afterschool programs.

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