First Lady Susan Corbett Highlights Opening Doors Initiative During Visit to Innovative After-School Program in Carbon County

Oct 16, 2012, 16:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett today toured the SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) Career Academy, an after-school program at Carbon Career and Technical Institute that serves sixth- through eighth-grade students.

The program provides students with important educational and hands-on skills to prepare them for the future.

The visit officially kicked off Mrs. Corbett's Opening Doors initiative in the region.

Opening Doors aims to identify middle school students who are likely to drop out of high school and then provide them with guidance and support to stay in school.

"Studies show that during middle school, you can predict which students are most likely to drop out of school," Mrs. Corbett said. "Successful after-school programs, such as the SHINE Career Academy, identify these at-risk students and provide interventions that keep them on track to graduate."

The program emphasizes science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Students develop skills by working in high tech labs including automotive workshops and computer-aided drafting. They are currently designing and building a hovercraft.

"There is a need in Pennsylvania for workers who are skilled in trades such as automotive technology and manufacturing," Mrs. Corbett said. "SHINE is a prime example of a program that engages middle school students through hands on experiences, increasing the odds they will stay in school to graduate."

The SHINE After School Program is a 21st Century Community Learning Center, which is a program of the U.S. Department of Education. Made possible through federal grants and the support of community partners, SHINE serves kindergarten through high school students from seven public schools, one technical school and five parochial schools in the region.

Mrs. Corbett launched the Opening Doors initiative in the summer of 2012 to increase the number of students in Pennsylvania who graduate from high school on time. Mrs. Corbett is traveling across the state, talking with school administrators and students and visiting schools and programs that are making strides in identifying students in middle school who are at risk of dropping out and helping them to stay on track to graduate.

To learn more about the Opening Doors initiative, visit  

Media contact: Kirsten Page, Governor's Press Office; 717-783-1116
Ashley Chunko, First Lady's Office; 717-787-1965

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady