Beginning today, more than 40 Fayette County children will participate in a summer educational program designed to ensure children maintain their reading skills and good nutrition throughout their time off from school.

Energy Express, an award-winning statewide summer reading program, will run Monday through Friday through Aug. 4 at the Southern Appalachian Labor School in Beards Fork.

Diane Meadows, the Fayette County contact for Energy Express, says the program is important because many children from low-income families suffer nutritionally and academically in the summertime.

“This program ensures that they receive good nutrition and stay involved in fun and educational activities,” she said.

Not only does the program help students maintain their reading skills during the summer, but Meadows says students often improve.

Meadows says support from the local communities and local volunteers who read with the children, help serve meals and donate supplies are in great demand.

“We depend on support from the local community to make this program a success,” she said.

Funding for the program comes, in large part, from the West Virginia University Extension Service, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Services, the Summer Food Services Program coordinated by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.

For more information or to volunteer for the program fr donate supplies, call Meadows at 304-574-4233.

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