WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — One summer program is doing its part to help kids stay educated and fueled throughout the summer.

Energy Express is a 6 week long program throughout the summer. The program works to strengthen kids’ reading and writing skills through science, drama and creativity.

The program also provides two meals per day for the kids to ensure they aren’t going hungry.

It helps more than 3,000 kids statewide each summer retain what they learn in school and avoid what is called the “summer slide”.

“Energy Express it combines good nutrition for the summer with preventing the summer slide and the summer slide is when kids go out for the summer and they forget everything they’ve learned and I know as parents we can all relate to that and then they go back to school and they have to teach them all over again.”

Tina Thompson –Community Coordinator at Energy Express

The program focuses heavily on being a kid centered education program. 

“This is actually what kid centered education looks like. So they get to build whatever they want to build during art and they get to act out things during drama and so they have a lot of fun with this.”

Tina Thompson –Community Coordinator at Energy Express

Throughout the 6 weeks the program brings in celebrity readers to provide role models for the children and to help them improve their listening and comprehension skills while also working by their side.

“These kids are brilliant. Actually, I didn’t even read, I let my man Darren, read one of the fourth/fifth graders. He read to both classes. I just helped him. And just see how brilliant these kids are. This program is amazing.”

C.J. Goodwin – Celebrity Reader/Dallas Cowboys Corner Back

The work that the teachers and volunteers do for the program does not go unnoticed by any. 

“I got into a room with, I think, second graders and these guys were just glued to Darren’s reading. That’s a testament to the teachers man to keep these kids on track. You know, the teachers are doing God’s work.”

C.J. Goodwin – Celebrity Reader/ Dallas Cowboys Corner Back

The program is actively searching for volunteers for the remaining weeks and encourages you to reach out.

Energy Express runs from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. Monday through Friday for children in grades 1 through 6. For more information you can visit their website at extension.wvu.edu.