Great Kids Learning Center

Established in 2001, Great Kids Learning Center is an innovative afterschool learning program designed to help children develop the attitudes, character, and motivation necessary to succeed in school and in life. We provide a safe, supportive learning environment for 100 children between the ages of 5 and 11 at four local schools: Ormond Beach Elementary, Ortona Elementary, Osceola Elementary and Tomoka Elementary. In order to foster significant, sustainable learning, we offer highly-engaging, meaningful learning experiences for children in our community. Our program is unique because there are no costs involved for our families, and we provide transportation from school to our learning center.

Board of Directors

 

Pam Fitzgerald
Ryan Ochipa
Patricia Ollinger
Dean Romeo
Laurie Sheth
Mary Yochum

 

Our Executive Director

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A Message from our Executive Director

Throughout each school year, I have the distinct privilege of working with the most dedicated students and volunteers. Through the combined efforts of our collaborative volunteer staff, students and families, and our involved community, we are making a positive impact towards our children's success.

During our weekly sessions, our tutors focus on helping students acquire strong values, positive behaviors, and 21st Century skills. Volunteers provide countless hours of individual attention to our children, engaging students in goal-setting habits and developing student confidence in tackling challenging tasks.

We have incorporated a leadership culture within our community, and we are committed to inspire our children to be the kind of leaders that take charge of their lives, work with peers to solve problems, and make positive choices about their well-being.

We are grateful to our community for their involvement and investment in our children. As we work to build a better future for our community, we are confident that every one of our students will succeed in life and will accomplish any goal.

With sincere appreciation,

Katie Morelli, Ed.D
Executive Director
Great Kids Learning Center

Our five well-aligned learning programs inspire students to enjoy learning, foster a growth mindset and encourage students to have respect for themselves and others.

We believe that active family involvement is a key factor in student success.

Community support is important to our success, and we honor our business partners for their kindness and contributions.

Our Mission

To promote balanced growth in mind, body and spirit for all children. To accomplish its mission, the Great Kids community creates a student-centered environment focused on developing students’ self-efficacy, love of learning, and socially responsible behavior.

Great Kids Learning Center Events

Check out some of our latest Events!

Our Core Values

Integrity

We strive to be honest, fair and trustworthy in word and deed.

Respect

We value and appreciate each person’s unique talent. As a team, we value diverse opinions and individuality. We respect the dignity of those we serve.

Responsible Stewardship

We use our resources to fulfill Great Kids’ mission. We apply all of our resources to provide support for our students.

Excellence

We pursue excellence by providing relevant, meaningful learning experiences for the children in our community.

Our Volunteers

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Amelia Bonjour

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Jacob Bonjour

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Olivia Bonjour

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Sherry Burger

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Carol Cuppett

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Dan Fitzgerald

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Pam Fitzgerald

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Zara Hassan

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Marge Lippert

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Ruth Lombardo

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Carolyn Muldowney

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Bob Orr

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Sarah Pappa

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Kayla Schoen

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Candace Sigerson

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Florence Solinski

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Peggy Turner

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Carol Walker

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Our History

In 2001, “Great Kids Explorer Club” opened its doors to 15 Osceola Elementary School students, led by our founder, Sandra Rakes. The children gathered in a single classroom each Wednesday evening at First United Methodist Church in Ormond Beach where they learned the values of good citizenship and character development. Great Kids’ mentors provided a ministry of academic support and Christian Education for neighborhood at-risk children.

By the end of 2014, the program expanded, and Great Kids now served 103 students throughout four elementary schools in Volusia County: Osceola Elementary, Ortona Elementary, Port Orange Elementary and McInnis Elementary School. Thanks to the community support from First United Methodist Church of Ormond Beach, Grace Episcopal Church of Port Orange, and First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs, Great Kids was provided with classroom space, volunteers and financial support.

In 2015, Dr. Katie Morelli was hired as Executive Director. Strategic collaborations resulted in the addition of two elementary schools. Partnering schools now include Ormond Beach Elementary, Tomoka Elementary, Ortona Elementary and Osceola Elementary. In order to engage learners with 21st century technologies and proficiencies, a new curricular approach addresses each student’s academic, emotional and physical development.

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