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 ages of 5 and 11 at several local schools: Holy Hill Elementary, Ormond Beach Elementary, Ortona Elementary, Osceola Elementary, Pathways Elementary, and Tomoka Elementary. In order to foster significant, sustainable learning, we offer highly-engaging, meaningful learning experiences for children in our community.
Our Executive Director
Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is a fellowship of professionals united in the ideal of improving children’s quality of life. Members are passionate about supporting our organization by advancing an understanding of our mission and promoting goodwill and peace in the community.
Christy Oltean, Chair
Our 2020 Brochure
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.
Our program is a collaborative process, and we strive to foster continuity between our values and our students family values. Our outreach to families promotes goodwill as parents and grandparents participate in meaningful learning experiences. We encourage family input on surveys regarding our program practices and policies. We encourage family involvement by offering parent resources and hosting family-friendly events. Family celebrations include our annual Pirate Fest, Game Night at Embry-Riddle, Seabreeze Cheer Night, Holiday Show Event, and our Hero Fest. Our end of the year awards ceremony is celebrated at the beach.
Community support is important to our success, and we collaborate with local agencies and businesses to provide meaningful learning experiences. Community professionals promote the behaviors and habits that lead to success in an academic environment. During community leadership events, business leaders serve as role models and share habits of good citizenship with students.
The mission of Great Kids is to empower children with leadership behavior and powerful strategies for learning. 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.
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We pursue excellence by providing relevant, meaningful learning experiences. We seek constant continuous improvement to increase the quality of our impact.
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.
We use our resources to fulfill Great Kids’ mission. We apply all of our resources to provide support for our students.
We believe that quality of instruction is paramount to student gains and carefully choose programs based on evidence of impact on students.
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 during the following years resulted in the addition of Ormond Beach Elementary, Pathways Elementary, Holly Hill School and Tomoka Elementary. Curriculum design was expanded to include leadership, healthy kids, and the arts. The organization also made new investments to more actively engage students in digital learning.
Copyright © 2016 Great Kids Learning Center. All Rights Reserved. *A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR GREAT KIDS EXPLORER CLUB, INC., A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH14943) MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.