By Jordan Nelson for The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.Va.
BEARD FORK, W.Va. — Tucked away in a small building nestled within the woods of Beard Fork in Fayette County, a small building known as the Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) stands. Although quiet and secluded, there’s hustle and bustle on the inside, as it serves as one of West Virginia’s many Energy Express sites.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported as of July 2018, 19 percent of West Virginia’s children were living in poverty. Energy Express works to aid those children and many others across the state every summer to gain or maintain reading levels, along with providing them with nutritious meals and exposure to the arts.
Southern West Virginia is a prime area for Energy Express sites, with 17 sites in area counties — Raleigh County with four sites, Greenbrier County also with four, Nicholas County with one site, Fayette County with two sites, Summers County with one site, Wyoming County with three sites, and Monroe County with two sites.
Tia Coleman is just one of the many people who work to make those efforts within Energy Express possible. …