WVU Today


MORGANTOWN – West Virginia University Extension Service and West Virginia Public Broadcasting have partnered to bring youth programming into the homes of West Virginia families.


WVU Extension Service’s Energy Express, a six-week summer reading program hosted by Joel Brown, will be broadcast across West Virginia beginning June 29. The 30-minute episodes will air Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and feature engaging activities in literacy, STEM, art, cooking, nature, nutrition and more.


"We’re grateful for this opportunity to partner with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. It will allow us to complement the virtual and at-home programming we already have available for children enrolled in Energy Express, while expanding our reach to other children and families across the state," said Andrea Price, director, WVU Extension Service Energy Express.


"Viewers will learn about animals and insects; how to grow your own food; how to make quick, delicious recipes; build machines; follow along with celebrity readers; and much more. Our faculty, staff and partners have worked hard to develop this engaging, creative programming for families across the state."


WVPB executive director Chuck Roberts said adding Energy Express to WVPB’s lineup is a continuation of public broadcasting’s efforts to bring at-home learning to children across the Mountain State.


"We see the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on our educational system," Roberts said. "We found that many children don’t have access to internet, computers or tablets. One county may provide equipment. Another county may not have the resources. Education is our priority and being able to take high-quality, locally produced educational programming into children’s homes is a pleasure and helps us fulfill our mission.


"Plus, the show is great!" Roberts added. "Energy Express is full of engaging programming, fun experiments and much-needed guidance for kids about healthy eating choices."


WVPB is available on many cable systems throughout the Mountain State as well as over the air. To view Energy Express segments online, visit energyexpress.wvu.edu.


During a typical summer, WVU Extension Service’s Energy Express reading program pairs children with caring AmeriCorps members and other volunteers who work with them in person to improve reading and comprehension using books, journals, art, STEM, games and other activities. Earlier this year, Energy Express program adapted this traditional "in-person" format to a virtual and at-home format to address public health concerns. Through the partnership with WVPB, Energy Express on-air programming will provide greater access to literacy and other learning activities for children and families statewide.


For more information about Energy Express, visit energyexpress.wvu.edu or contact Tara Curtis, WVU Extension Service, at 304-293-7996 or tara.curtis@mail.wvu.edu. For more information about the broadcast of the program, contact Lalena Price at West Virginia Public Broadcasting at 304-556-4900 or lprice@wvpublic.org.