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Fighting against the ‘summer slide’

For years, Energy Express has been finding ways to fight against the “summer slide” for youth throughout West Virginia.

Developed at West Virginia University, the program works to fill in that gap of education often found during the summer months while school is not in session by providing lessons in reading, writing, art, drama and more.

Since coming to the Northern Panhandle more than a decade ago, it has benefited hundreds of youth, who work with mentors from AmeriCorps and the WVU Extension Service as they participate in a six-week program of learning-based activities.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s program will look a bit different, with lesson plans delivered to the homes of participating youth instead of them gathering in designated areas in their communities.

Locally, that is being done with support from the Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network, UniCare and the county boards of education.

Participants will receive a new book each week, thanks to the FRN, with school supplies provided by UniCare to assist with their activities. Pop-up events in the community also are in the works.

This year’s Energy Express program is set to begin June 22, although organizers will accept applications for as long as space is available.

We encourage parents who may be seeking educational opportunities for their children this summer to contact the local WVU Extension offices to learn more.

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