How Energy Express Improves Summer LiteracyEach day, small groups of eight children who are entering first through sixth grades work with AmeriCorps members serving as mentors. Using a place-based curriculum that encourages reading, mentors guide the children through enriching experiences that make reading meaningful in their lives—creating books, reading aloud, writing and performing plays, reading silently, journaling, reading one-on-one with others, and exploring creative and exciting art activities.
Weekly themes of “myself,” “family,” “homeplace,” “community,” and “ideal world” guide the development of a “print-rich” environment. Related activities encourage children to appreciate themselves, their personal experiences, and their place in the world. Each week every child receives a free take-home book, related to the theme, to keep.Mentors work with their groups to develop community service projects the children complete. They create books to donate to libraries, read at nursing homes and hospitals, and write and record public service announcements—learning the value of service while making real contributions to the improvement of their schools and communities.