MATEWAN – EnergyExpress recently kicked off an eight week summer reading and nutrition program for children at schools throughout Mingo County.
Joey Fields, Community Coordinator at Matewan for EnergyExpress, discussed his involvement with EnergyExpress.
Fields explained that several football players at Mingo Central High School (MCHS) have been working with Matewan PK-8 EnergyExpress students. “Mingo central football players Daniel Buchanan Dalton Fields Dalton Sheppard and Lee Chafin read to Energy Express kids today in Matewan,” Fields stated. “It’s great getting the football players involved to come out and read to the kids. They really get excited and enjoy it. Energyexpress is such a great program. It was easy to get them to be a part of it,” Fields continued.
At Matewan, Fields explained that the EnergyExpress program had a good turnout.” We had over 70 kids today,” Fields said.
According to the Energy Express website, “Energy Express is an award-winning, 8-week, summer reading and nutrition program for children living in West Virginia’s rural and low-income communities. Approximately 3,000 children in throughout the state will maintain or gain reading skills through Energy Express this summer. The program is designed to provide learning opportunities and nutrition during the summer months, when children are most at risk for falling behind on reading levels.”
The Coalfield CAP website explains that, “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.” The website also states that, “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.”
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)