What is the Education Elevators program?


In 2007, Tom McJunkin started the Education Elevators program at Jackson Kelly PLLC in partnership with Piedmont Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia. His commitment to education and positive youth development was truly inspiring. Following his passing in 2011, his family pledged to continue and expand his work. It is thanks to their generosity and his vision that the Education Elevators program lives on. His daughter, Allison, has been especially instrumental in the expansion of the program.


The Education Alliance is pleased to support the Education Elevators program, as an exemplar of the Partnerships in Education initiative.  The Education Elevators program seeks to foster positive youth development and promote early literacy.


How does the Education Elevators program work? 

The Education Elevators program connects a West Virginia-based business with a local school to create a mutually beneficial partnership. The volunteers from the business mentor students who attend their partner school. The volunteers, who are called Elevators, meet with their assigned student once a week during school hours for 30-45 minutes. Research has shown that the presence of a caring adult role model is the most important determinant in who and what a child becomes. 


What is the role of an Elevator?  

Elevators commit to meet with an elementary school student once a week during the academic school year. Volunteers in this program are designed to serve as a positive role model and friend for the student they work with. Elevators are not burdened by specific curricular requirements, but are free to work with their student on subjects and projects that they find interesting.  Simply reading to a student or playing basketball with him/her on a regular, reliable basis can make a huge difference in a student’s sense-of-self. 


Participating Schools

Bunker Hill and Tuscarora Elementary Schools, Berkeley County

Grandview Elementary School, Kanawha County

Monongah Elementary School, Marion County


Resources for Mentors

Program Brochure 

Education Elevator Application

Background Check Process

Education Elevators Program Handbook

Education Elevators Activity Guide

Education Elevators Training PowerPoint

Resources for Schools

School/Business Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Student Parental Consent Form


Check out how the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard became part of the Education Elevators program during National Volunteer Week. If your business or school is interested in participating in the Education Elevators program, contact The Education Alliance at 304-342-7850 or via e-mail at info@educationalliance.org.