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Energy Express

We are celebrating 30 years of Energy Express, and we want to hear from you! Have you participated, volunteered, or worked as an AmeriCorps  member at an Energy Express site? Tell us your story by filling out the survey below! We want to share the stories of this program from all across West Virginia. 

Share your Energy Express story!

Energy Express at a glance

WVU Extension youth programming by the numbers.

Blue icon depicting two hands held up.

45 sites in 26 counties in 2023

Blue icon depicting a person reading a book.

98% of children increased or maintained their reading level

Blue icon depicting a closed book.

26,098 take-home books distributed to participants

Blue icon depicting a fork, plate and knife.

51,972 meals served to West Virginia youths

                                                                                                    Impact of Energy Express

About Us

Energy Express is a free award-winning, six-week, summer reading and nutrition program for children in first through sixth grades living in West Virginia’s rural and low-income communities. This program aims to prevent the “summer slide,” in which children regress in their reading skills because they aren’t learning during the summer.

During Energy Express, children statewide increase or maintain their reading levels through creative, colorful and captivating uses of books, art, drama and vocabulary. Volunteers, mentors and staff create a print-rich environment where students have access to books and printed materials, opportunities to read and write, and the chance to explore the meaning of text through engaging activities. Daily read-alouds and take-home books are a staple at Energy Express. This unique approach makes reading interesting and fun for students, motivating them to continue learning.

Our program also provides children with two nutritious meals each day during the program, helping to ensure our youths are fed each day even after the school year comes to an end. 

If you’re a parent looking to register your child for Energy Express,  contact your local WVU Extension office. Energy Express is offered in various counties at select locations.

Download the Energy Express Child Enrollment Application

Get Involved

It takes a community to make Energy Express a beneficial part of children's summers. 

Energy Express needs educators looking for summer employment to serve as site supervisors, college students interested in serving through AmeriCorps as community coordinators or mentors, and volunteers willing to read to children or perform other tasks. Community organizations can also sponsor an Energy Express site.

AmeriCorps members gain rewarding personal experience, as well as earn an education award, living allowance and community service hours by being involved with Energy Express. 

College students who serve as mentors are eligible to receive a $1,459.26 educational award, $3,726.00 living allowance and 300 service hours.  

Get Involved

Energy Express on WVPB-TV

WVU Extension and West Virginia Public Broadcasting have partnered to bring youth programming into the homes of West Virginia families. Viewers can tune in to WVPB-TV to enjoy engaging and fun activities in literacy, STEM, art, cooking, nature and more. Find out about each episode, grab what you need to participate (craft supplies, ingredients for recipes) and join us for the fun!

Did you miss an episode or maybe you want to go back and watch a favorite episode again? You can find all episodes on YouTube! Visit the WVU Extension YouTube channel to watch season four of Energy Express on WVPB.  If you already have a YouTube account, be sure to subscribe to our channel and you’ll be notified when a new episode is available.


Energy Express on WVPB

Donate to Energy Express

Energy Express couldn't exist without the support of communities and people who believe in our program. There are many ways to help make a difference in the lives of young West Virginians by supporting Energy Express. In addition to donating your time by working or volunteering at a site, you can also donate money or supplies to your local program. 

   Give to Energy Express

testimonials

See what parents of Energy Express kids have to say.

Three children sit and watch as a woman reads them a book and shows the illustration.

My child doesn’t like to read but has shown interest in the books that were provided by Energy Express. He has also loved going every day. Per the teachers, he has learned valuable social skills which are very difficult for him. Thank you so much.” 

Many drawings done by young children around a sign that reads "Myself Week" at an Energy Express camp.

My daughter is more social and is willing to learn to read bigger books. She’s actually excited to go back to school! She is interested in eating healthier snacks and also staying on a decent schedule.”

A young man stands with two young girls looking at their drawing.

“My son had a lot of problems, but the changes in teamwork, reading better and understanding more about the content were showing and improving daily. He also gained more coordination in physical activities and motion.”

Young blonde boy smiles and shows his drawing to a friend that reads "I love you."

"My child is bringing me books asking me to read with her and I've even caught her reading in her free time at home for fun. My child really has enjoyed going to Energy Express, thanks for all you do!”