SUMMER S.T.E.A.M.! with the Morgan County Partnership (Berkeley Springs, WV)

All around the United States, communities and school districts are feeding thousands of students while schools remain closed; but in Morgan County, there is a little bit of S.T.E.A.M.! and a whole bag of fun added to the weekly delivery of free meals.

In Morgan County, WV, there are 2362 students. 875 students are receiving weekly free meals prepared in a partnership with the Morgan County Board of Education and Cacapon State Park in order to meet the needs of a hungry community. Each week meal delivery includes five healthy breakfasts and lunches, or a weekly total of 4,275 meals. The number of students participating in the program since schools have been closed include 280 for Widmyer Elementary; 275 for Warm Springs Intermediate and Warm Springs Middle Schools; 110 for Paw Paw Schools, and 110 for Pleasant View Elementary.

All seven schools in the Morgan County District are served at these pick up locations, to include Berkeley Springs High School. Summer Goller, Executive Director for the MC After 3 Program, has added a program that feeds not only their bellies, but also their brains! Summer S.T.E.A.M.! is an activity created and hosted by the Morgan County Partnership. According to Ms. Summer Goller, "STEAM supplies are a cooperative effort between MC After 3 and WVU Extension and feature simple kits students can use to perform science experiments, create art, and have fun with mathematics, technology and engineering. Kits are usually coordinated with the Monday segment of Summer STEAM, part of Positive Actions MoTo Mondays, featuring short how-to videos aimed at keeping kids curious."

Beginning in late April, Summer's STEAM kits included sidewalk stained glass, with chalk and tape, followed by mentos magic, with experiment supplies. Next, students will receive coffee filters to create parachutes and learn about aerodynamics. Carmen Winarski, STEM Ambassador for the Morgan County Extension hosts a "how-to" video. Next, students may expect a lesson on "The Science Behind Bubbles" for the week of May 18, followed by "Carmen's Paper Flowers" for the week of May 26. For, June 1, there will be "Paint Night w/Ms. Ruggierio." In all, Ms. Goller prepares about 400 Summer S.T.E.A.M.! kits each week, currently for students in third through eighth grades. She hosts a feature video along with students from previous MC After 3 events.

Additional supplies provided in free meal distribution may sometimes include free books for kindergarden through second grade at Widmyer Elementary. This is provided through Title One. Providing Summer S.T.E.A.M.! kits engages students in academic hands on learning, while having fun. The program is scheduled to continue as part of MC After 3 for each MoTo Monday throughout the 2020 summer calendar, with the exception of holidays and as long as meals are provided.

Positive Actions like Summer S.T.E.A.M kits raises students developmental assets, improves academics, and engages social and emotional wellness. Instructions on the science experiments may be found in an engaging "how-to" video provided each MoTo Monday on the Daily Pawsitive Actions Community Vlogcast at as well as the Morgan County Partnership's new, free, mobile APP (available on the Apple Store and GooglePlay). For more information, please email [email protected].