2016 Award

    2016 Red Wagon Award

ENERGY EXPRESS is the recipient of the 12th annual Red Wagon Award.

Energy Express served as a pilot for AmeriCorps in 1993 with the first group of AmeriCorps members serving in 1994.

Energy Express creates a legacy of civic engagement in West Virginia’s children and youth through its summer literacy programming.  In addition to its’ regular 500 member AmeriCorps program, Energy Express hosted a summer opportunity youth pilot program designed to allow economically disadvantaged 14 and 15 year olds to serve as AmeriCorps members and earn money for college. 


Overall, Energy Express:

  • assisted 2,989 children maintain or improve their reading level;
  • provided 1,220 youth an opportunity to serve their community;
  • served 122,714 meals to Energy Express participants; and
  • distributed 19,976 books to Energy Express participants.


Energy Express was nominated for the 2016 Red Wagon Award because they have created a program that consistently and successfully incorporates the Five Promises into every aspect of their service to the children of West Virginia.  For the last twenty plus years, Energy Express has prevented the summer reading slide, provided nutritious meals and free age appropriate books to economically disadvantaged children, and created a legacy of civic engagement in the youth aging out of the Energy Express summer program.


1. Caring Adult
Every year, Energy Express provides nearly 3,000 children the opportunity to develop relationships with 500 AmeriCorps members and more than 1,400 local adult volunteers who serve as mentors, guest readers, and caring adults.


2. Safe Place
Energy Express provides nearly 3,000 children safe places to go during the work week each summer.  Energy Express participants engage in educational games, structured literacy activities, and community service projects.  Energy Express also provided a safe place for children who experienced this year’s historic June flooding to leave the devastation behind for a few hours and enjoy the fun of learning.

A Healthy Start
Every year, Energy Express provides healthy and nutritious meals to the child participating in the Energy Express program.  This year, Energy Express AmeriCorps members served 122,714 nutritious meals. 

An Effective Education
Energy Express is dedicated to preventing the summer reading slide and improving literacy skills for children in communities across West Virginia.  AmeriCorps members also eat family style meals with the kids, encourage conversation, and develop leadership skills in each child who participates throughout the summer.

Opportunities to Help Others
AmeriCorps members are tasked with helping child participants create and complete service projects in their local communities over the course of the summer.  Data from summer of 2016 projects will be reported in October; however, during the summer of 2015 AmeriCorps members completed 100 service projects many of which were joint projects with the children they were mentoring.


For additional information: Contact Director/Program Coordinator: Terri Collier

Phone: 304-293-3855, Email: tscollier@mail.wvu.edu, Website: http://ext.wvu.edu/news/2016/10/11/wvu-extension-service-s-youth-literacy-and-nutrition-program-receives-state-recognition