A staple of summer begins its 6-week run Monday with a decidedly new look to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Energy Express will be a virtual experience for the kids enrolled, said extension agent Kelly Hicks, although the meals offered will be decidedly real-time.

“It will be very different,” Hicks said.

The goals remain the same, to deliver a quality literacy program to children.

But instead of being site-based — last year’s sessions were held in Romney and Augusta — the online delivery will allow children across the county to participate from home.

Each week will have a theme and Americorps volunteers will work with students on literacy. They’ll have take-home books, drama and art projects.

“We’ll still be providing kids with fun learning activities for their summer months,” Hicks said. “A lot will be things they do on their own time.”

New this year in partnership with Mylan Pharmaceuticals is a weekly take-home book and a STEM — science, technology, engineering or math — activity.

The Americorps staff will also be working with the schools’ home meal delivery through the summer. Families can pick up a 5-day supply of breakfast and lunch for children at the elementary schools in Romney, Augusta, Capon Bridge and Slanesville each Tuesday between 10 a.m. and noon. o

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