Coda is passionate about providing high caliber educational opportunities in a challenging but nurturing environment, promoting valuable character traits and life skills that can open the door for future pursuits in any field, and which equip youth for living productive and fulfilling lives.
It brings us indescribable joy to make a difference in our county riddled with poverty, food insecurity, and an opioid crisis.
Coda Mountain Academy values the development of the whole person. The larger goals of Coda are to equip youth with the tools they need to live productive and fulfilling lives. Through developing exposure and opportunities that promote healthy goal setting, positive identity, strong character, resiliency and life skills, Coda hopes to change the world, one child at a time. Mutual respect is encouraged between all regardless of faith, gender, ethnicity, or national origin.
The story of Coda began to unfold in 2007 when Charles and Esther Morey organized their first summer music camp. This camp, now the Summer Music Festival, was just the beginning of Coda’s many relevant programs reaching a community riddled with poverty, food insecurity and an opioid crisis. The program was established as Coda Mountain Academy, Inc. in 2013, and has since become a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Coda Fine Arts Kidz day camp began in 2010 for young children and became a feeder camp for the Summer Music Festival. It provides music, art and drama to K-8 students.
In 2013 Coda was invited by Fayette County Schools to begin an after-school music program. This free program includes supper and bus transportation. It now serves over 200 students yearly in three schools in the arts and Lego robotics.
In 2016 Coda Explore STEM camps were born. These exciting camps introduce students to the engineering world through hands-on activities, interactive games, and classroom instruction. Activities will include Lego Mindstorm Robotics, project-based learning, STEM activities, outdoor/survival skills, and programming principles.
Coda Community Classes were started that same year to serve students who could not access Coda Inspire programs. Parents may take classes with their children if desired. The community evening classes are reasonably priced and include a free meal for the entire family.
Family Living classes for adults and their families began in the same year. These free classes include painting, cooking, sewing, finance etc. and provide parents and grandparents a positive peer group and place to invest in themselves. They create support and healthy mentoring opportunities for struggling single moms, lonely widows, grandparents having to raise their grandkids or any adult who wants to gain new skills and friends. Children are allowed to attend Family Living classes with their guardians or parents.
Work with the many at-risk students in Fayette County Schools brought the magnitude of the opioid crisis and related problems to the forefront of Coda’s mission. In 2017 the Fayette County Health Department reached out to Coda requesting partnership in drug prevention. That same year the Health Department invited Icelandic researcher Alfgeir Kristjansson, now at West Virginia University, to come and explore effective prevention strategies. Kristjansson is working to transplant in West Virginia the successful Iceland model emphasizing youth engagement in meaningful activities. In 2019 Kristjansson was able to procure a grant from the Center for Disease Control that will enable he and his team to work with the Fayette County Health Department, Fayette County Schools, Coda Mountain Academy and other agencies in an exciting initiative that could become a pilot program for many communities beleaguered with the opioid crisis.
In 2018, thanks to support from The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Coda began Coda Excel. This unique tutoring program uses arts integration to teach foundational concepts in math, language arts and social studies. Many struggling students have gained a renewed confidence and love of learning at this fun and engaging program.
In the same year Coda Unplugged was born. This pilot program’s goal is to teach students how to have fun without digital devices. Activities include anything from board games to white water rafting.
“Coda Talks” are an important piece of many of the Coda programs. Students and staff take a few minutes each day to talk about topics relevant to the students with an emphasis on positive self-identity, respect, healthy friendships/relationships and personal responsibility. These are often done in the form of stories.
Coda Mountain Academy, Inc. is based in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Although all Coda programs are currently held in Fayette County, West Virginia, some programs draw students from neighboring counties.
The Summer Music Festival draws students from all over West Virginia and many other states. Both bluegrass and classical faculty for the Summer Music Festival are graduates of top music schools and conservatories throughout the United States, such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Concord University, the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Northwestern University, among others.
The impact of these programs is tangible. Data indicates significant overall improvement in school attendance as well as a decrease in behavioral referrals with students who are in the Coda Inspire program. Children who have suffered trauma, are failing school, regularly suspended for behavior problems and/or struggle with lack of confidence often exhibit changes in attitude and behavior. Giving youth a place to belong, engagement in meaningful activities, and unconditional love is changing lives. Join us as we run into the storm rather than hide from it.
Transformation in our community and in our state is possible.
Together we can revitalize the place we call home.
President: Esther Morey
Vice President: Robert Morey
Treasurer: Teresa Workman
Secretary: Robert Morey
Other board members: