Energy Express is a summer program that focuses on literacy activities for program participants. Enrollees are involved in a variety of activities that include reading, arts, crafts, etc. Participants also receive take home books for their own personal use. Mentors work with a small group of children to make reading meaningful in their lives by creating an enriching environment. Community coordinators connect parents and community members to the site. They recruit, train and supervise community and teen volunteers who help with various site activities. Energy Express AmeriCorps members serving either as a mentor or community coordinator will receive a living allowance, an AmeriCorps educational award to be used for tuition and loans, and 300 community service hours. Research has shown that the intervention provided through Energy Express has significantly increased reading levels in students participating.
Community members including high school graduates that are enrolled and/or attending college, use the educational award to support college expenses at any college or university of their choosing within the subsequent five (5) years. AmeriCorps members serve as mentors and community coordinators for the program.
Energy Express is offered throughout Mingo County and is made available through a partnership between Coalfield CAP, Inc., WVU Extension, and Mingo County BOE, as well as a host of partners in each community.
In addition to these activities, children are served family-style meals that include breakfast and lunch. All meals are provided as a part of the Summer Food Service Program which is open to children regardless of their enrollment in Energy Express. Mentors and children share breakfast and lunch served family-style. These meals are nutritionally based and meet all USDA guidelines.
This food service program is made available through contracts through the West Virginia Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition. Funding for the SFSP comes from the United States Department of Agriculture.
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