FAIRMONT, W.Va.-Energy Express is a six-week summer program that focuses on keeping children healthy and active during the summer months.
Children entering first through sixth grades are able to participate in reading and writing exercises, as well as drama and art projects. Activities are led by volunteers, who said they want to see local students reach their full potential, even when school is not in session.
“I’ve always loved helping people and this was kind of a quick way for me to go in and actually get one-on-one time with a couple of the kids to help them out. It’s a great program for the state of West Virginia because we have a lot of kids that are needy and a lot of kids that need a lot of help, so the more that we can help out with that, the better,” said volunteer Justin Mowrey.
This is also a feeding program that provides nutritious meals to children who may not receive them at home.
“A lot of kids rely on schools for eating breakfast and lunch, so we do provide free breakfast, free lunch and free snacks every day,” said supervisor Anne Lituchy.
Supervisors said programs like this prevent children from falling behind in their skills by encouraging them to practice what they would normally learn in school while also staying physically active.
“It gives kids a lot of one to one attention. A lot of our kids come from families that struggle with feeding them in the summer and also, these kids, a lot of them struggle academically, so it helps them keep on working on the things they’ve been doing in school with reading and writing and hopefully gives them a little bit of a leg up for starting school again in the fall,” said Lituchy.
Energy Express offers programs in more than 40 West Virginia counties.