Coda Mtn. Academy to engage kids in pilot program

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – With summer camps cancelled and school a question mark for many families, a local organization starts a program to engage kids in hands-on learning.

“Some kids have given up on themselves and they’ve given up trying to learn or do anything new,” said executive director Esther Moray. “We’ve tried to create such a safe environment so those kids are 100 percent willing to try things they’ve never been able to try before because of lack of confidence.”

Coda Mountain Academy has always offered extra curricular activities to reach everyone they can.

“Kids that don’t have the money can come for free and they have a bus ride home and they have a meal at the after school program at two different schools,” said Moray. “This fall, we hope [to have] three different schools.”

Once coronavirus canceled all summer activities, leaders knew it was time to focus on getting kids active before the summer is over.

“We thought: ‘we gotta get these kids off their digital devices and into an environment where they can have some hands on learning and have some socialization safely.'”

Thus, Coda Engage was born, a place for kids to read a book, enjoy the outdoors, learn an instrument and connect to the internet.

“We kind of just have this thing where if we see a need we go after it,” said program coordinator Azaleah Davis. “It’s just a fact that a lot of kids don’t have internet access at home. That’s going to be the number one thing that they’re relying on at this point in time as far as getting the adequate amount of access to their school work.”

At Coda Engage’s Internet Cafe, kids can learn robotics or computer programming. In the future, it may be a place for students to do school work.

“We have equipped this space to be able to serve as many as we can fit in here comfortably,” said Davis. “We have broadband internet. We also have high definition TVs and we also have laptops that are accessible for students, just in case they may not have one at home.”

Coda Engage starts Aug. 5 and is $15/day per student. You can register by visiting the Coda Mountain Academy website.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at