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Mentors Needed For Energy Express

By Staff | Mar 9, 2016

Organizers of Wetzel County’s Energy Express hope to have three sites this summer; however, the fruition of these plans depends on the community itself. AmeriCorps is accepting applications for summer positions for the program. These positions include Mentors, Community Coordinators, and Site Supervisors.

Mentors and Community Coordinators, in return for their 300 hours of service, will 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.

However, perhaps most importantly, Energy Express gives the non-tangible awards of making a difference and experience for the future.

Tori Anderson, Community Coordinator at the 2015 Paden City location, stated that her experience was “great” for both volunteers and kids.

“Being able to get to know the children and spend time with was a reward itself. The kids loved having new volunteers in and being able to show off all of their work which was displayed in every room,” she said.

Anderson added, “Working with the other mentors has prepared me for a job in the future. It opened my eyes to see that the people you work with actually become like your family. I encourage others to get involved with this program because you’re not only bettering yourself but you’re also helping others along the way.”

Former mentor Amber Tennant stated that Energy Express “prepares you for those moments you will have in the classroom as a future teacher, such as – What if my students don’t like what I had planned for the day?”

In that case, Tennant said, “Well let’s try something else they do like.”

She added, “It’s one big learning experience! I had a really great connection with my students and my co-workers, and it’s a great place to make new and exciting memories!”

AmeriCorps looks for graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled collgge students to serve as mentors; individuals of all ages are encouraged to apply for the Community Coordinator position. However, mentors and Community Coordinators must be at least 18 years of age before June 9, and they will serve in their position from June 9 to July 29.

Mentors make learning fun for small groups of school-age children by creating a safe, enriching environment focused on reading, writing, art and drama. Mentors will also eat nutritious family-style meals with children, make family visits and complete a community service project.

Community coordinators’ duties include raising awareness and involving the community and family members in children’s learning. They will also complete a community service project. Community coordinators recruit, train and supervise volunteers to assist Energy Express children during reading, writing, art, drama and on-competitive recreation activities.

Site Supervisors are experienced school professionals who facilitate the work of teams at all Energy Express sites.

And as always, Energy Express also depends on dedicated volunteers to help make the program successful. Volunteers are needed to help plan, recruit and fund, and read aloud. Some volunteers serve daily and assist with art, drama, and one-on-one reading. Other volunteers can show up less frequently, serving as “guest readers” or helping with a specific project.

Energy Express is a free program and provides opportunities for children entering first through sixth grade, to enhance reading skills, participate in art and drama, and begin building a home library. Children will also receive two nutritious meals a day.

For more information on Energy Express, visit energyexpress.wvu.edu or call 304-293-3855.

You can also call Mollie Toppe at Wetzel County’s WVU Extension Office at 304-455-0934.