Energy Express serves Barbour’s youth

PHILIPPI – Energy Express in Barbour County is into its second week, providing summer educational activities for kids.

The six-week program, held at Philippi Middle School, kicked off its 13th summer in Barbour County on June 23. An estimated 40 children participate and are provided both breakfast and lunch in addition to morning activities like recreation, reading and art projects.

“We basically like to focus on reading, art, a safe place for the kids and nutritional meals,” Wendy Moats, the Energy Express Community Coordinator, said. “It’s safety, nutrition and reading, basically.”

The program is open to all county children who have registered to participate, from first graders to sixth graders, and will run through Aug. 1.

Tyler Hollen, 10, of Barbour County, said he participates in the program “to have fun.” Stephanie Santilli, 10, of Philippi, said she also enjoys the program “because it’s fun.”

Volunteers instruct and direct daily activities for the children. Supporters of the program include college students and community residents who serve as AmeriCorps members.

“We depend on support from the local community to make this program a success,” Barbara Wolfe, the Barbour County contact for Energy Express, said. “We need local volunteers to read with the children, to help serve meals, and to donate supplies for the program.”

Much of the program funding comes from the West Virginia University Extension Service, the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, the Summer Food Service Program through the North Central West Virginia Community Action Association and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.

Local partners also help fund the program. Energy Express receives support from the Barbour County Family Resource Network, the Barbour County Community Foundation, the Barbour County Board of Education, World Vision Storehouse and other local businesses and


To find out how to volunteer or contribute, call 304-457-3254.