Energy Express brings out volunteer spirit
AmeriCorp Energy Express is an eight week summer reading program dedicated to helping low income children increase or maintain their reading levels. The program is located at Marlinton Elementary School and will continue through July 27. From now until the end of the program, the Energy Express team is conducting various community service projects. Three different projects will be completed by the site team, teen volunteers and children enrolled in the program.
The Energy Express team is conducting two different projects, both benefitting the children in the program. The group is grateful to be able to offer take-home food packs every Friday to all the children who attend Energy Express. Each child receives one protein, two carbs, two snacks, and fresh fruit or vegetable. The food has been graciously donated by John Bowers, Karen Bowers and Brain Kreider, of Vinton, Virginia. In addition to the food packs, the team is diligently asking for and collecting donations to create back-to-school backpacks filled with supplies for the upcoming school year. Many local business have donated to help purchase the backpacks.
Energy Express appreciates the support of the Lions Club, Mitchell Chevrolet, Mike Doss, J. L. Clifton, First Tracts, the Flower Garden, State Farm Insurance, Burn's Motor Freight, Pocahontas Pharmacy and Amedisys.
The AmeriCorps members set up a drop off location at Foodland July 3 and 11. People were asked to bring items such as notebooks, loose-leaf paper, pencils, scissors, glue, tissues, markers, crayons and other school supplies. If you would like to donate but were unable to attend the drive, you may drop off supplies at MES between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The children enrolled at Energy Express also participate in a community service project of their own in relation to one of the week's themes - The Community. During this week, they will create cards and other miscellaneous items and hand-deliver them in a meet-and-greet style to individuals at the Pocahontas Center. The site team plans and guides this project, while the children and teen volunteers create the items and execute the service. The children's visit to the Pocahontas Center is scheduled for Thursday.
The teen volunteers are teaming up with AmeriCorps member Adrienne Cedarleaf to tend, harvest and beautify the gardens around MES. The teens met with Cedarleaf to discuss ideas they had for the gardens. Small groups were given specific duties such as watering and weeding, which will be done each Friday until the end of the Energy Express service. The teens began their duties in the gardens on Monday, July 9. On days that they are not gardening, they are hard at work creating 70 potted plants for each resident at the Pocahontas Center. Materials for this project has been generously provided by Fas-Chek, Buckeye Country Mart and Southern States.
AmeriCorps Energy Express is a program under the leadership of WVU Extension Service 4-H Youth Development program. This AmeriCorps program is funded, in part, by grants from the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and Volunteer West Virginia. If you are interested in volunteering at the Marlinton site, please contact Miranda Wilfong at 304-799-6551 extension 2369. All volunteers must be 11-years-old and older. Site hours are from 8 to 11:30 a.m.. Walk-in volunteers are welcome. Due to recent construction, we request that all volunteers use the side door next to the Board of Education office to enter the building.