Stafford Junction, a local faith-based nonprofit that serves high-need children, youth and their families in Stafford County, stepped up to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Within 48 hours of our governor closing schools this Spring, Stafford Junction developed and executed our Four-Core Areas of COVID-19 Response to address food insecurity, educational learning loss, knowledge of available resources and virus prevention information,” says Stafford Junction Executive Director and CEO Mark Cartledge.
Their Brain Builders Program helps 40 students, and their enrollment continues to climb.
“We have eight students in the learning lab each day at Stafford Junction. Brain Builders focuses on tutoring students who need extra help and assistance. These same students would fall behind if it were not for our staff and volunteers that provide free tutoring. This is one of the ways we help lift children out of poverty—through education,” Cartledge says.
Beyond tutoring older students, Stafford Junction provides learning resources for preschool
children as well.
“When schools close or practice virtual learning, we address educational needs through face-to-face tutoring, virtual tutoring and the delivery of educational kits. We have created educational kits for preschool children to combat learning loss during COVID-19. An educational kit is filled with worksheets, learning games and supplies for each preschool child. We provide face-to-face and virtual tutoring for our students at seven area schools,” Cartledge share.
“Our focus may have changed to respond to this public health crisis, however, our mission of serving families who live in poverty and need a critical hand-up has not. We continue to lift kids and families up through education, empowerment and healthy living. Stafford Junction is providing a safety blanket of critical services to our seven low-income neighborhoods during this public health crisis.”
Stafford Junction offers critical services to Olde Forge, Meadows Mobile Home Park, England Run North, The Village at England Run, Jefferson Place, Foxwood Village and Garrison Woods.
Besides the Brain Builders Program, Stafford Junction also provides “Tide Me Over Bags” of shelf-stable food to families experiencing food insecurity; shares knowledge of resources to help families meet their needs, like rent assistance or filing for unemployment; and offers COVID-19 prevention information.
“We could not make the positive impact we do without our staff, volunteers and donors who give of their time, talent, treasure and trust,” Cartledge says.
If you would like to help, there are many ways you can donate. Visit staffordjunction.org/how-you-can-help/. If you would like to Adopt A Family or have questions, please contact Rachel Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 540-993-1760.