Energy Express spurs summer reading

ELKINS – Elementary students in Randolph County have the opportunity to continue the learning process through the summer and keep up with reading skills thanks to the Energy Express program.

Two Energy Express sites are available in Randolph County for the program this summer – one at Davis & Elkins College and the other at Tygarts Valley High School. Linda Mullenax, site supervisor for D&E, said the program is going well, and in fact has a waiting list of students wishing to take part.

“This year we have 40 students at D&E and a waiting list, and 24 participants at Tygarts Valley High School,” Mullenax said. “Most kids have participated in the program for the last two or three years.”

Energy Express is a federal program originally created to meet the nutritional needs of elementary school-aged children during the summer. The program has grown to include reading, drama, art and non-competitive play. Students in the six-week program receive two meals a day.

“Participants read every day and are required to have at least 20 minutes of one-on-one reading,” Mullenax said. “They will receive at least six books to take home with them after the completion of the program to add to their home libraries.”

On Friday, participants hiked around the campus at D&E College, gathering items found in nature to bring back to their classrooms and use in making a paperweight.

“All of the art projects are made from recycled materials,” Mullenax said. “Kids have fun with all of the activities.”

Students in all Randolph County schools have the opportunity to enroll in Energy Express. Mullenax said the site at D&E covers North, Midland, Third Ward, Coalton and Jennings Randolph elementary schools.

The site at Tygarts Valley covers students who attend Homestead, George Ward and Valley Head Elementary schools. Students from Beverly elementary are divided between the two sites.

Energy Express program sponsors include the Randolph County Board of Education, the Randolph County Family Resource Network, the West Virginia University Extension Service and AmeriCorps.

“We are always looking for volunteers for the program,” Mullenax said. “Volunteers that are high school- and middle school-age students are eligible to receive half-credit for their assistance in the program with 60 volunteer hours. We are also looking for community members to come to the programs and read to and with the kids.”

During the course of the summer, participants in Energy Express spend time giving back to the community by completing two service projects.

“This year, we will host two reading theaters for the Elkins Randolph County Senior Center members,” Mullenax said. “We will also gather food and donations for the local backpack program.”

At the beginning of the Energy Express program, student reading levels are tested. The process is repeated at the close of the program to test the students’ progress.

“Last year the state average reading level for those in Energy Express programs in West Virginia raised 3.7 percent,” Mullenax said.

Energy Express is for students in first through sixth grades. Currently, there are 76 sites throughout West Virginia with more than 500 AmeriCorps volunteers helping with the program. AmeriCorps volunteers receive a living allowance, and a stipend for use in their education.

Additional information about the Randolph County Energy Express program is available by calling 304-614-8161.

Energy Express spurs summer reading

ELKINS – Elementary students in Randolph County have the opportunity to continue the learning process through the summer and keep up with reading skills thanks to the Energy Express program.

Two Energy Express sites are available in Randolph County for the program this summer – one at Davis & Elkins College and the other at Tygarts Valley High School. Linda Mullenax, site supervisor for D&E, said the program is going well, and in fact has a waiting list of students wishing to take part.

“This year we have 40 students at D&E and a waiting list, and 24 participants at Tygarts Valley High School,” Mullenax said. “Most kids have participated in the program for the last two or three years.”

Energy Express is a federal program originally created to meet the nutritional needs of elementary school-aged children during the summer. The program has grown to include reading, drama, art and non-competitive play. Students in the six-week program receive two meals a day.

“Participants read every day and are required to have at least 20 minutes of one-on-one reading,” Mullenax said. “They will receive at least six books to take home with them after the completion of the program to add to their home libraries.”

On Friday, participants hiked around the campus at D&E College, gathering items found in nature to bring back to their classrooms and use in making a paperweight.

“All of the art projects are made from recycled materials,” Mullenax said. “Kids have fun with all of the activities.”

Students in all Randolph County schools have the opportunity to enroll in Energy Express. Mullenax said the site at D&E covers North, Midland, Third Ward, Coalton and Jennings Randolph elementary schools.

The site at Tygarts Valley covers students who attend Homestead, George Ward and Valley Head Elementary schools. Students from Beverly elementary are divided between the two sites.

Energy Express program sponsors include the Randolph County Board of Education, the Randolph County Family Resource Network, the West Virginia University Extension Service and AmeriCorps.

“We are always looking for volunteers for the program,” Mullenax said. “Volunteers that are high school- and middle school-age students are eligible to receive half-credit for their assistance in the program with 60 volunteer hours. We are also looking for community members to come to the programs and read to and with the kids.”

During the course of the summer, participants in Energy Express spend time giving back to the community by completing two service projects.

“This year, we will host two reading theaters for the Elkins Randolph County Senior Center members,” Mullenax said. “We will also gather food and donations for the local backpack program.”

At the beginning of the Energy Express program, student reading levels are tested. The process is repeated at the close of the program to test the students’ progress.

“Last year the state average reading level for those in Energy Express programs in West Virginia raised 3.7 percent,” Mullenax said.

Energy Express is for students in first through sixth grades. Currently, there are 76 sites throughout West Virginia with more than 500 AmeriCorps volunteers helping with the program. AmeriCorps volunteers receive a living allowance, and a stipend for use in their education.

Additional information about the Randolph County Energy Express program is available by calling 304-614-8161.