Luzerne County SHINE Partners With Highmark to Provide COVID-19 Safety Kits to Families
More than 300 COVID-19 safety kits are being provided to students and families in the Luzerne County SHINE Program at Wilkes University. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield donated the supplies to create kits that include one youth face mask, one adult face mask and hand sanitizer. The supplies were delivered to the SHINE offices on Thursday, Nov. 12.
"Highmark remains committed to keeping our communities safe and healthy during the
ongoing pandemic. We're proud to be able to support the families of the SHINE Program
by providing these important tools in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19," said
Brian Rinker, market president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
"Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has always been a strong advocate of the Luzerne County SHINE program, and I am thankful for their donation of these COVID-19 safety kits," said State Senator John Yudichak. "I have been so impressed with how the students and staff of the Luzerne County SHINE program have adapted to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they have not let this global pandemic prevent them from learning new STEM based skills."
SHINE continues to serve students safely during the pandemic. In lieu of face-to-face programs, SHINE offers live sessions in a virtual format where students participate in hands-on STEM activities, yoga and exercise classes, art lessons and Spanish classes. They also receive virtual homework assistance. Every two weeks, students receive the supplies needed to participate in live lessons at home.
"It is important to continue to keep our students actively engaged and excited about learning," said Carol Nicholas, director of Luzerne County SHINE. "We will return to our in-person after-school program when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are grateful to Highmark for their continued support and are pleased to be able to share these safety kits with our families."
SHINE of Luzerne County at Wilkes University serves students in the Hanover Area, Hazleton Area, Greater Nanticoke Area, Pittston Area, Wilkes-Barre Area and Wyoming Valley West school districts. SHINE, which stands for Schools and Homes In Education, was founded in fall 2015 in Luzerne County. State Sen. John Yudichak and former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta teamed to bring the program to the community. Wilkes University is SHINE's higher education partner and serves as home for the program.
Families who are interested in enrolling their children in the program can contact their school district to see if they are part of SHINE. They may also contact the SHINE office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured from left to right are Katie Kemmerer, community affairs regional manager, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; Eryn Harvey, State Sen. John Yudichak's office; Carol Nicholas, director, SHINE of Luzerne County; Brian Rinker, market president, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; and Mike Wood, assistant to the president for external affairs, Wilkes University.