Energy Express is extra important this summer.

Kids spend summers swaying on swings and teetering on seesaws. However, the “summer slide” isn’t a playground activity. It’s the decline in a child’s reading and other academic skills that happens after the last school bell rings. Luckily, Energy Express keeps kids’ drive to learn chugging fullsteam ahead.

The six-week summer reading and nutrition program serves West Virginia students in rural or low-income areas. “It keeps kids active academically, mentally, and physically,” says Andrea Price, director of Energy Express.

Now in its 27th year, Energy Express spans more than 40 counties, reaching 3,000 kids every summer. Price attributes its success to the AmeriCorps members, educators, and mentors who volunteer their time. “I’ve
sometimes been almost moved to tears just seeing the beauty of the program in action and the impact the teachers and AmeriCorps members make,” she says.

Energy Express will be especially important this summer following the spring school closures, and Price says the program will be adjusted as needed. She encourages anyone interested in volunteering to contact their local WVU Extension Service office. Parents looking to enroll their children can contact the offices for an application.

posted on May 18, 2020

image courtesy of Energy Express

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Jess Walker
Written by Jess Walker
Jess Walker came to West Virginia to pursue her master’s degree in English, but stayed for the culture, nature, and stories. She writes for WV Living and Morgantown magazines. Her best ideas happen when she’s outdoors, preferably near a river and with a cup of coffee in hand.