Georgia Alliance of YMCAs, G-Force Manufacturing Collaborate to Prevent Learning Loss

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

The final steps are taking place to ship thousands of learning loss prevention kits and backpacks across Georgia. It’s all part of a collaboration between the Georgia Alliance of YMCAs and G-Force Manufacturing, a program of Goodwill Southeast Georgia.

“We felt this would be a great opportunity to work together on this project. (G-Force) has the means and capability to pack the kits, and we are excited about this partnership,” says Jay Mullins, Grant Administrator for the Georgia Alliance of YMCAs.

102 Calm Down Kits will be shipped by G-Force Manufacturing to benefit students in YMCA afterschool programs. 

“It makes sense for Goodwill and the YMCA to work together to help communities throughout Georgia,” says Eric Nolan, Vice President of Manufacturing at G-Force Manufacturing. “Things like this are important to help give caregivers the tools to help kids cope.”

The kits, assembled by the G-Force team, include sensory items, mazes, puzzles, books, posters, timers, fidget toys, and weighted blankets. They will be available for any youth in YMCA after-school programs who are exhibiting signs of anxiety or stress. The kits will provide an opportunity for social-emotional learning, help students identify how they are feeling, and then provide them with relaxing activities to help them prepare to resume a positive learning experience. 

G-Force Manufacturing also assembled 11,000 learning loss backpacks for distribution to YMCAs across the state. These backpacks include a set of student headphones, learning wraps, school supplies, and a set of books encased in a functional backpack.  

“We’ve seen national test scores have dropped in math and in other academic areas, and this is an opportunity to try to reinforce and bring back some of those skills,” says Mullins.

This work to prevent learning loss was funded by a Governor’s Emergency Relief Grant, received by the Georgia Alliance of YMCAs. The Y utilizes these items in response to the need for trauma-informed care for school-age children who have had traumatic experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Y and Goodwill Southeast Georgia aligned for this project due to their missions to empower positive developments in communities across Georgia. The Y provides critical learning and social emotional tools to learning centers for the growth and development of our students. Goodwill Southeast Georgia provides critical work opportunities and experience to local individuals to ensure bright, sustainable futures.