The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation has provided a grant to support the Energy Express program, operated by West Virginia University Extension Service in Boone, Fayette, Kanawha and Lincoln counties.

This is the first year that Energy Express has received a grant from The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation,stated Ruthellen Phillips, extension specialist for Energy Express.The grant will be used to help cover the local funding match for the stipend paid to the AmeriCorps workers.

Energy Express is a six-week summer program that promotes school success and reading skills of children living in rural and low-income communities across West Virginia. Energy Express provides summer learning experiences focused on reading and eating two nutritious meals served family-style. Instead of the normal summertime decline in skills, evaluations show that most children enrolled in Energy Express gain skills in word identification, comprehension, broaden their reading scores and are better prepared to start the next school year.

Each site is composed of a team of five to eight college-student mentors and a volunteer coordinator supervised by a site coordinator who is usually an elementary classroom teacher. Youth and adult volunteers provide support to the program. College student mentors work with groups of eight children in grades one through six for three-and-a-half hours each day.

Energy Express is a collaborative effort in West Virginia that involves national, state and local partners. The program is made possible through the efforts of the WVU Extension Service and its 4-H youth Development Program, AmeriCorps, and the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is a local partner.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) is a charitable community trust organized to accept contributions, create and administer trusts and make grants for the benefit of the people of the Greater Kanawha Valley. The Foundation is a collection of more than 500 separate funds, which have their own donors and their own philanthropic purposes.

The grant was made through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University and its non-profit affiliates.