G3 Community Services has been awarded a $3,000 Transurban Express Lanes Community Grant that it will use to bring its Extraordinary Young Minds program to nine Fredericksburg-area schools this school year.
The Stafford County nonprofit, which has been offering the program since 2017, focuses on improving lives and strengthening communities through coaching, mentorship and education. It is partnering with the Youth Technology Network for the seven-week programs, which will be held first at Conway and Hampton Oaks elementary schools in Stafford and Spotswood Elementary School in Spotsylvania County this year.
It will be expanded to six other schools later.
Twenty students at each school will be selected to participate, and will be divided into two groups. Half will work first on such STEAM activities as dissecting an animal or working on car engines using zSpace, an augmented and virtual reality system that pairs 3–D glasses with a special computer. The other half will play games that teach such values as loyalty, respect, honor and integrity.
The teams will then switch places, so each student gets to do everything, said Jonathan Shores, G3 Community Services’ executive director.
At the suggestion of JR Raybold, Conway’s principal, G3 Community Services will also partner with Stafford Junction’s Brain Builders tutoring/mentor program, which will provide a mentor for each student.
“It’s our first time doing anything like that,” Shores said.
G3 Community Services is sponsored by GCubed, a business management consultant company in Stafford.