Energy Express, the summer reading and nutrition program, is at three Wyoming County sites this year.
The newest one is Herndon Consolidated, where about 30 children in grades K-6 have been showing up daily.
“It has been great,” said Leslie Garrettson, the site supervisor.”There is a huge need in this area.
“It makes a big difference,” she added.
There are four AmeriCorps mentors, each of whom has eight students in her classroom.
Rusty Huff is the community coordinator, who brings in guest readers and other volunteers to help with the eight-week program.
The adult participants had training in Morgantown, Huff reported..
Garretson said classrooms are grouped by grade level, and older children read to the younger ones.
“We do a lot of cooperative learning,” she observed
“(The reading) really helps them get ready for the new school year,” Huff commented.
Each week’s activities are centered around a theme, such as familiy or community.
Children are given a book at the end of the week. “It helps them build a home library,” said Huff.
Garretson said the books fit that week’s theme and and help the child to be aware of his surroundings.
“We show everything in a positive light,” she stated. “We’re all about caring.”
Breakfast and lunch are served daily in a family-style setting.
“They sit around the table and pass the food around,” said Garretson. “It’s something a lot of kids don’t get at home.”
Volunteers provide lots of help.
“The parent support is amazing at Herndon Consolidated,” Garretson noted.
An extra bonus this year came from Crocs, which has donated a pair of shoes to each child and their siblings. The company donated thousands of pairs of shoes nationally.
There was an open house at HCS last Friday. Children staged a program for their parents, and refreshments were served.
It was all done the old fashioned way. They made it themselves.
“Everything is old made,” said Huff. “The kids use things they can get from home.”
Garreston said the children showed creativity. “They made dresses from trash bags, and they were really pretty,” she said.
“We’re having a great summer,” Garretson commented.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.