AmeriCorps seeks volunteers for summer program

Energy Express AmeriCorps is recruiting volunteers to spend the summer weeks helping 3,000 children in rural and low-income West Virginia communities maintain or gain reading skills through Energy Express.

A program of the West Virginia University Extension Service, Energy Express is an award-winning, eight-week summer reading and nutrition program for children living in West Virginia’s rural and low-income communities.

“This program is designed to help shape the lives of the children, but in the process, we find that the volunteers often have a life-changing experience, too,” Alicia Cassels, literacy and academic success specialist with WVU Extension Service, said.

Any person age 13 or older with an interest in helping children can volunteer at Energy Express. Volunteers are needed Mondays through Fridays from today to Aug. 2, with the exception of Independence Day, July 4.

Volunteering is flexible, as volunteers can choose to help one hour, one day, one week or every day. Any amount of time is appreciated.

Randolph County Energy Express will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at George Ward Elementary School in Mill Creek and Third Ward Elementary School in Elkins. Although there are many different tasks that Energy Express volunteers can help with, the main role of volunteers is to ensure each child participant receives 20 minutes of one-on-one reading every day. In addition to one-on-one reading, volunteers can read aloud to a small group of children, listen to a child read or help children with journaling and book-based art activities. Volunteers can also help with clerical duties (answering phones, copying), sorting objects in the supply room, assisting with noncompetitive recreation, setting up tables for family-style meals, cleaning up after children leave, or assisting with special activities such as the open house or the community service projects.

Remember, volunteers can help with any and all of these activities or just one specific activity. If you are thinking of volunteering, but have a specific area you would like to help with, call Amanda Taylor, Energy Express Volunteer Coordinator at Elkins Third Ward School by dialing 304-636-9183. For George Ward School, call Ashley Kimble, Energy Express Site Supervisor, at 304-335-4975.

For volunteer opportunities, call the WVU Randolph County Extension Service at 304-636-2455 or email Amanda Haller Johnson at