CHARLESTON, W.Va. – On Wednesday, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) recognized two outstanding programs that have received statewide recognition from policymakers and other industries.
The first recognition was an award presented to Senator John Unger II (D – Berkeley, 16) for his contribution to and promotion of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsored Summer Food Service Program. The Office of Child Nutrition presented Sen. Unger with a plaque from the USDA to show their appreciation for his contributions to the program.
Sen. Unger mobilized community members to feed approximately 700 children in Jefferson County last summer. He integrated a nationally recognized model in which children are served at senior centers, which has positively affected both the children and the senior citizens. The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program that ensures children in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access to the School Breakfast Program or the National School Lunch Program.
“Senator Unger’s contributions to the Summer Food Service Program are a flagship example of how community partnerships are necessary for the development and care of students,” said WVBE President Mike Green. “We must focus on students year-round, not just while school is in session.”
Representatives from Toyota Manufacturing WV were also in attendance at this month’s board meeting. For the fifth year in a row, they presented a check to be used for the expansion of the 2016 Japanese Immersion Summer Camps. This year, Toyota increased the size of their contribution, allowing the camp to expand from just two camps in Cabell County, adding a third camp in Putnam County. In addition to financial sponsorship of the camp, Toyota also provides volunteers who donate their time to help make the camp a success.
“At the board of education, we are committed to helping nurture a well-rounded student. Part of that is learning about the cultures of people around the world,” said Green. “These summer camps offer a tremendous opportunity for students to learn another language and immerse themselves in a different culture, which is increasingly important in a global society such as ours.”
The camp has grown each year and has provided students the opportunity to actively explore Japanese language and culture while making comparisons and connections to their own lives. The camp has traditionally taken place in Cabell County; 2016 marks the first year that the camp will expand to Putnam County as well.
For additional information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.