Spots open for applicants, volunteers at Ramage Elementary Energy Express

From staff report

Ramage Elementary Energy Express is still accepting applications for this summer’s program. Energy Express, an award-winning program through AmeriCorps that focuses on reading and nutrition, is up and running in Boone County this summer. Energy Express is a summer reading program that works with school-aged children between kindergarten and sixth grade with trained mentors and volunteers from other AmeriCorps programs, 4-H, Volunteer WV, and members of the community.

Energy Express offers fun art activities, take home books, recreational time, and helpful reading opportunities in groups and one-on-one situations. Energy Express offers each child two free, nutritious meals a day, as well as a weekly take-home book.

A normal day at Energy Express includes greeting the children as they get off the bus, eating breakfast with them in a family-style fashion, then it’s off to the print-rich classroom. During the three-and-a-half hours that the children are with us at the site, we focus on group reading with a mentor, reading comprehension through the use of word walls and graphic organizers, one-on-one reading with volunteers from the community, art projects that are accompanied by writing lessons, personal and guided writing time, recreation time that includes fun, non-competitive games, and the day ends with a nutritious lunch before the bus ride home.

The goal of this program is to improve and maintain reading levels during the summer, since the summer months can often be a time that lacks opportunities for reading. At the end of each week, the children take home a copy of the book of the week so that they can start their own library at home and always have options to read whenever they want.

Energy Express is also heavily community-oriented. Members of the community are eagerly encouraged to come to a site and donate their time and talents. Anyone over the age of 12 is welcome to come help read to children, help with office duties, art projects, and many other responsibilities.

The volunteers keep the program going, and we are grateful for any amount of help that we receive. Volunteering is a great way for parents of the attending children to be involved in their children’s learning. Another way that Energy Express becomes involved in the community is weekly snack bags.

At the end of every week, the mentors, community coordinators, and site supervisors pack a snack bag for each child to take home and enjoy during the weekend. These snacks are often provided by local organizations, such as churches and businesses.

On a larger scale, the sites pick a community service project to carry out during the five weeks of service. Ramage Elementary still has slots open for children to attend, so if your child is interested, please contact the school at 304-369-0763, WVU Extension Service at 304-369-5869.

From staff report

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