AmeriCorps volunteers needed for summer program

PARKERSBURG – AmeriCorps is looking for mentors and community coordinators for Energy Express, a summer reading and nutrition program.

Applications are being accepted for summer positions in this statewide program administered by the West Virginia University Extension Service and AmeriCorps that helps 3,000 West Virginia children maintain and improve their reading skills.

AmeriCorps is recruiting mentors and community coordinators for the eight-week program designed to provide learning opportunities and nutrition during the summer months, when children are most at risk for falling behind on reading levels.

Energy Express mentors are college or college-bound students who work with small groups of school-age children by creating a safe, enriching environment focused on reading, writing, art and drama.

In addition to the learning activities, mentors eat nutritious, family-style meals with children, make family visits and complete a community service project.

The community coordinator recruits volunteers to assist Energy Express children during reading, writing, art, drama and non-competitive recreation activities.

In return for their 300 hours of service, AmeriCorps mentors and community coordinators receive a $1,850 summer living allowance and a $1,175 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award valid for up to seven years to pay for college tuition or loans.

AmeriCorps’ Energy Express mentors must be at least 18-years old before June 12. Community coordinators must also be 18 years of age by that date.

Applications for both positions are available online at energyexpress.wvu.edu, or by calling 304-293-3855. The selection process begins March 1. Applications are accepted until all positions are filled.

In Wood County, Energy Express sites will be hosted at Martin, Mineral Wells, Emerson, and Neale Elementary Schools.

Energy Express is a program under the leadership of WVU Extension Service’s 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. Volunteer West Virginia encourages West Virginians of all ages and abilities to be involved in service to their communities.

Based on the success of Energy Express participants and the unique aspects of the program, the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University named Energy Express program one of the nation’s best summer learning programs in 2009.