Dominion Provides $1 Million for Youth Educational Enrichment

by Meredith Cooper


RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing that education goes beyond time in the classroom, Dominion Resources is providing more than $1 million to support children and youth enrichment programs in central Virginia.

"In-school enrichment programs and out-of-school educational activities build on the classroom experience," said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. "The programs will reach thousands of students, providing them with broader and more hands-on learning opportunities."

Each of the 11 projects received funding from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. Applewhite announced the grants today at JA Finance Park with representatives of recipient organizations.

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Junior Achievement of Central Virginia received $300,000 to help create a new JA Finance Park that will open in 2017 to serve all 10th graders from Richmond and Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, New Kent and Goochland counties. At JA Finance Park, students take financial lessons learned in the classroom and apply them to "real-life" scenarios. Students must develop and live within a personal budget by making financial decisions and paying for everything from housing to health care to food, utilities and more.

"For more than 6,000 central Virginia students each year, JA Finance Park is a real eye-opener. They leave with a deeper appreciation of what their parents experience in real life and an understanding of what is entailed in balancing priorities," said Daphne Swanson, president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia. "Dominion's gift will go a long way toward helping us meet our goal of creating an expanded, enhanced JA Finance Park to reach even more students in years to come."

The other programs are:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond to support implementation of a "college-ready" program for youth in grades 8-12 to be housed at a new teen center to be built in the East End.
  • Boy Scouts of America - Heart of Virginia Council to support its "Second Century" capital campaign, including STEM-related programming and Scouting programs in underserved urban and rural areas.
  • Children's Museum of Richmond for "Halloween Hoopla," where 2,300 children enjoy trick-or-treating, STEM experiments and autumn-themed art programs in a safe, family-friendly environment.
  • Latin Ballet of Virginia to support "Be Proud of Yourself to Broaden Your World," a bilingual program emphasizing the language, identity, history and culture of Hispanic countries, as well as English as a second language through dance.
  • NextUp to provide free, coordinated after-school programs featuring art, science, sports, life skills and more at Lucille Brown, Henderson and Boushall Middle schools in Richmond.
  • Peter Paul Development Center to support out-of-school educational programming.
  • SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community) to sponsor the STAGES and LIVE ART programs that advance performing arts education outreach to ensure that all children have access to arts education regardless of their socio-economic background or developmental ability.
  • The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation to sponsor its "Passport to Education," a bilingual leadership training program for 100 Hispanic students in Richmond and Chesterfield public schools.
  • Visual Arts Center of Richmond to support three youth outreach initiatives: Art After School, Engage, and Make Space. Each program uses hands-on arts education to foster self-confidence, curiosity and creative thinking.
  • YWCA Richmond to support the expansion of its preschool program, the Sprout School, which includes five classrooms at the YWCA's downtown location and two classrooms in the Children's Museum of Richmond.