MILTON - Nearly 80 students in the Mount Carmel Area and Shamokin Area school districts have been kickin' it with karate after school.

The TIES II (Teens in Innovative Educational Structures) afterschool programs partnered with the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA's branch in Sunbury to offer martial arts for students in third to sixth grades.

Grand master Larry Fletcher and master Bill Abers worked with the students, teaching them the history of the sport and stances and techniques used in competitions.

TIES II afterschool programming provides individualized academic support, career exploration and service learning experiences that are not available during the regular school day. Programs are available for students who reside in the two school districts.

A 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, TIES II is administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.