Learning Club of KCK
2203 Parallel Avenue
Kansas City KS 66104
One-on-one tutoring with caring volunteers makes a big impact on the students we serve.
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 244-5838
Mission Statement
Mission Statement: Unlocking the abundance of life for tomorrow’s leaders.
 
Vision Statement: We will provide a positive, pivotal educational experience for the children in Kansas City who most need it.
 
Learning Club helps high-risk children realize their awesome potential through after-school and summer one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. We instill a love for learning through enrichment activities which develop academic, social and leadership skills. We create an environment in our classroom and in our neighborhood where it is easier for kids to be good, to dream, and to succeed.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brad Grabs
Board Chair Sr. Vickie Perkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sisters Charity of Leavenworth
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2012
Former Names
Learning Center
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Financial donations are gratefully accepted by check or on our web site with a credit card or PayPal.  In-kind donations of individually wrapped snacks as well as motivational prizes are also gladly received.  A list of needed items can be found at:
https://www.learningclubkck.org/donate-snacks-or-prizes.html
We are also in need of more volunteer tutors for our students.  
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Mission Statement: Unlocking the abundance of life for tomorrow’s leaders.
 
Vision Statement: We will provide a positive, pivotal educational experience for the children in Kansas City who most need it.
 
Learning Club helps high-risk children realize their awesome potential through after-school and summer one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. We instill a love for learning through enrichment activities which develop academic, social and leadership skills. We create an environment in our classroom and in our neighborhood where it is easier for kids to be good, to dream, and to succeed.
Background Statement The Learning Club began in 2002 after two teens mugged and assaulted Brad Grabs on a Sunday afternoon near his home in Kansas City, KS. As his anger and fear gave way to compassion and hope, Brad left his teaching career at Rockhurst High School and started the Learning Club. He wanted to unlock the awesome potential of urban youth by providing them with the keys to become honorable and productive members of society. For 10 years, the Learning Club operated under the umbrella of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in its former grade school building. During a KCK police ride-along in 2010, Brad saw the desperation of many inner city children who live in very difficult circumstances. Following that experience, the Learning Club expanded beyond Blessed Sacrament and now serves over 140 children who live in six KCK and KCMO public housing project sites.
Impact Statement

2018 Accomplishments:

  • We completed our first full year of  the Learning Club Academy Teaching Internship, a program for teenagers from the urban core.  The internship offers training and leadership development as well as an opportunity for service. These students come once a week to learn more about the path to becoming a teacher, and then they tutor our younger students in reading.   Our internship program includes over 80 high school students from all five high schools in the urban core of Kansas City, KS. 
  • We launched a scholarship program for three Learning Club interns who are pursuing a degree in education and plan to return to the urban core of KCK to teach.  Each scholarship recipient will receive $2,000 per year to help with any aspect of their pursuit of a degree in education. Two of our three first year recipients are first generation college students.  
  • We developed and implemented a leveled reading curriculum at all of our sites.  This reading system complements the system used in the public schools that our students attend, and offers high quality instruction in literacy for all elementary aged students.  The program has been a big hit with our tutors for its ease of use and clarity, as well as with our students for its high interest materials.  
2019 Goals:
  • We will be partnering with the Kansas City Kansas Community College to send all of our students to their "Kids on Campus" summer program.  This six week program features academic skill building, many types of hands on learning, two healthy meals per day, and several types of outdoor activities.  Learning Club has helped plan and guide the program and some of our staff will assist with the program as well.  This provides our students the opportunity to be engaged in safe, enriching summer activities for six weeks, 5 days per week, 8 hours per day.  
  • At the request of the new Superintendent of Kansas City Kansas schools, we will be exploring a partnership with the schools to provide one-on-one reading assistance to elementary age students during the school day, using Learning Club volunteers.  Our pilot program will be during summer school.  
  • We will grow the opportunities that our interns have to explore the teaching profession by being involved in professional student educator clubs as well as out of town service trips.  
Needs Statement
Our needs include:
  1. Operating funds (all services are free to our students)
  2. Volunteer tutors 
  3. Healthy snacks for students
  4. Prizes, school supplies and games that students can ‘purchase’ with points earned through academic accomplishments
  5. Volunteers with professional skills, including communications, videography, graphic design, grant-writing, and IT skills
Service Categories
Educational Services
Youth Development Programs
Youth Centers and Clubs (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
From Brad Grabs, Founder and Executive Director:
 
During my five years as a teacher at Rockhurst High School, I had the pleasure of teaching incredibly bright and gifted students, many with unique talents and interests. After being mugged by two teenagers near my home in Kansas City, KS, I began to reflect deeply on the disparity of the students that I taught at Rockhurst and the students who lived in my neighborhood. I had a sense that the difference was not in the abilities of these two student populations, but the opportunities available to them.
 
I left Rockhurst and started the Learning Club to help address that disparity. For the past 17 years, I have seen incredibly gifted students come through our doors who possess as much potential as any child, but who lack the opportunities to develop their talents. Many of our students are imprisoned by challenging family situations, under-performing schools, and neighborhoods rife with drugs and violence. Learning Club unlocks the potential of each student, creating an environment in our classroom and in our neighborhoods where it is easier for students to be good, to dream and to succeed.
 
Our biggest challenge is growing in a sustainable way, which will allow us to reach out to the most marginalized children in Kansas City and be a long-term source of support for them.  Sustainable growth is crucial to serve the students who desperately need on-going academic formation and personal support. We are addressing this in two ways: 1) Engaging a broad base of individuals who are passionate about helping children succeed and inviting them to be collaborators in our work. 2) Finding corporate sponsors who will provide volunteers as well as funding to open new sites where needs are great. Our first corporate sponsor was Ryan Lawn & Tree Company, which sponsors the St. Margaret’s public housing project site. Next, Security Bank of KC became a sponsor of our site at Juniper Gardens.  Both Learning Club and our two corporate sponsors feel that this is a mutually beneficial sponsorship, providing much needed tutoring to our students while giving employees a strong sense of community involvement. We look forward to finding other community-minded businesses to sponsor additional sites.
Programs
Description Learning Club is an after-school and summer learning program that builds fundamental skills in reading, writing, and math in low-income, marginalized elementary age students. Through one-on-one tutoring with trained, caring volunteers, students make great academic progress while gaining a love for learning. Our incentive program allows students to earn points with which they can buy school supplies, games and a variety of toys. They also learn the value of delayed gratification by saving their points and earning ‘interest’ towards an item of greater value. Learning Club students also participate in life skills programs. Guest presenters teach hands-on lessons in healthy eating, art, creative writing, gardening, public speaking and many other topics. Professionals sharing their life stories challenge students to dream of possibilities in their own lives. Educational field trips make learning exciting while planting seeds of interest in our students for future careers.
Category Education, General/Other Tutorial Programs
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success
Our newest Learning Club site at Pemberton Park has been a great success.  This public housing facility in KCMO is exclusively for grandparents raising grandchildren.  Most of the grandparents have some sort of chronic health concern, and many are caring for more than one child on their own.  With a dedicated volunteer tutor group from nearby Visitation Catholic Church, we started on a rocky journey with an inspiring group of people.  The tutors are new to the Learning Club, and the students have many academic challenges.  Staff and tutors have gone above and beyond to build relationships with the students and their grandparents.  One tutor helped her student sign up for a spring baseball league on Saturdays!  We have made great strides in building a stable and consistent program for the students.  When they come every Wednesday, they know they will see their regular tutor, they will get a healthy snack, and they will be loved by all of the adults.  
Long-Term Success Ultimately, the Learning Club of KCK helps students fully develop their potential by creating a safe, caring environment in which to learn. Students are encouraged to be good citizens who dream of a bright future while obtaining the tools they need to reach their goals. We strive to provide each child with the educational means to break the cycle of poverty in which they are trapped, and instill in them a “pay it forward” attitude in their communities.
Program Success Monitored By
We partner with the public schools which provide us with student assessment data for the Fountas & Pinnell Reading Comprehension Test.   Character development is also assessed through a Social and Emotional Learning Survey given in the fall and spring.  This assessment measures growth in attitudes and beliefs about students' views of school, academics, and themselves. An abundance of anecdotal information is available from parents, teachers, and our own volunteers about the incredible progress made by our students. We also measure success by the terrific retention rate of our students (over 85%), our daily attendance rate (over 80%) and our retention of volunteer tutors, many of whom participate for multiple years.  
Examples of Program Success
Shani is a third grade boy who has been with the Learning Club for almost 3 years now.  Shani has struggled immensely in learning English and developing his reading and math skills.  Last year, he could barely write his own name.   He was so shy: he would rarely talk. He has been working with the same tutor now for almost the whole three years.  This year, the slow but steady progress has really started to shine through: Shani can now read and write short sentences on his own! He is coming out of his shell, smiling and talking more and more to other kids and adults.
 
Liz is a senior at Wyandotte High School and an intern at the Learning Club Academy. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do in the future, until she started the internship. Now she knows she wants to be a teacher. As she says: "The Learning Club has helped me to realize that a good teacher can change the lives of many. It can encourage a student to accomplish things he or she never thought possible."
Description
In 2018, we began the Learning Club Academy Teaching Internship, a program for teenagers from the urban core, offering training and leadership development as well as an opportunity for service. These students come once a week to learn more about the path to becoming a teacher, and then tutor our younger students in reading.
 
In partnership with the Kansas City Kansas public schools, we now have over 80 interns from the five urban core high schools involved.  Besides training for the high school interns, this also provides an additional afternoon of tutoring every week for 4 sites. 
Program Budget $186,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Tutorial Programs
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed No
Short-Term Success
The Learning Club Academy Teacher Internship began in January of 2018 with a pilot program involving 26 students from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas who served as tutors and mentors to our younger students. Starting August of 2018, the Internship grew to include students from Schlagle High School, Sumner Academy, Fairfax Education Center, Harmon High School, and Washington High School. More than 80 high school students applied and were selected to join the program. Every week, these interns would receive an hour of training from Learning Club Academy staff, and then serve as tutors for younger students. Our interns tutor more than 120 elementary and middle school students for an hour. Learning Club Academy staff coach and guide interns during each session, and provide feedback as needed. For their service with the Learning Club, interns receive a monthly stipend, internship credit, job experience, and training in education and child development. 
Long-Term Success We just finished our first year of the internship at the end of 2018.  
Program Success Monitored By The Director of the Internship along with the Director of Site Operations and the Executive Director will closely monitor this internship program as it continues to develop.  
Examples of Program Success
Our internship has had a tremendous impact on interns interest in pursuing education as a career and becoming leaders in their community. 
At one session, Kryshud said, “I wasn’t gonna go to school today but I wanted to see my kid, so I went just so I could see him. He reminds me of my little brothers and sisters.” He is a student who normally misses a lot of school, according to our liaison, but he has had perfect attendance at the Learning Club.
We have had many interns recommended to us who are struggling to stay engaged in school. These interns are very smart, but because of outside challenges and isolation, they struggle to see the connection between their success at school and their future. 
One intern was overheard saying to herself "man, I can't wait to be a teacher!" The nature of our program, the specialized instruction for interns and the tutoring they do with the younger students inspires interns to believe they can be successful educators later in life. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Brad Grabs
Term Start Feb 2002
Experience

Brad founded the Learning Club in 2002 after being mugged by two teenage boys near his home in Kansas City, KS. Giving up a career as a teacher at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO, Brad was moved by the assault to devote his time and energy to inner city youth. He has an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas, and a master’s degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University. He and his wife, three children, and three foster children have made their home in the urban core, across the street from the Blessed Sacrament Learning Club site.

Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 4
Paid Part-Time Staff 7
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 120
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 8
Male 3
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Collaborations
  • Kansas City, KS Public Schools (collaborate on internship credit and internship recruitment, share student test scores, help recruit students)
  • Housing Authority of Kansas City, KS (provide meeting space at four public housing sites)
  • Kansas City, KS Public Library (provides enrichment programs at each site as well as a summer Nature Camp exclusively for our students)
  • Hands to Hearts Bookmobile (provides free books to all of our students)
  • Kansas City, KS Community College (provides summer programming and college-awareness field trips for our students)
  • United Way of Wyandotte County RSVP (recruit volunteer tutors over 55 years of age)
  • Ryan Lawn and Tree Company (provides volunteer tutors and funding for one site)
  • Security Bank of Kansas City (provides volunteer tutors and funding for one site)
  • Unbound (provides volunteer tutors for one site)
  • Housing Authority of KCMO (provides meeting space for Pemberton Park location)
  • Many other groups and agencies which provide enrichment programs for our students.
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Inducted into the Mid-America Education Hall of FameKansas City, Kansas Community College2015
Consensus Civility AwardConsensus2015
Urban Light AwardThe Gem Cultural and Educational Center2008
Kansas City Difference MakerLife 88.5 Radio2016
Organization of the YearUnited Way RSVP program of Wyandotte County2018
Kris and Lynn Cheatum Community Peace AwardPeaceWorks2019
Board Chair
Board Chair Sr. Vickie Perkins
Company Affiliation Sisters Charity of Leavenworth
Email vperkinsscl@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Barbara BaileyOur Lady and St. Rose Catholic Church
Mrs. Irene CaudilloEl Centro, Inc.
Mr. Case DormanJack Stack Barbeque
Mr. Octavio EstrellaKansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Mrs. Kelsey FinleyLearning Club volunteer tutor
Mr. Brad GrabsLearning Club of KCK
Mrs. Dawn Grabs
Mr. Chuck KopelRetired CPA
Mrs. Judy MarckxRetired
Mr. Pat McInerneyDentons Law Firm
Sr. Vickie Perkins SCLSisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Dr. Jayson StricklandAss't. Superintendent, USD 500
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Standing Committees
Finance
Administration
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $555,000
Projected Expenses $548,713
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals and religious-based organizations. 
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$138,625$107,468$80,309
Administration Expense$34,810$26,414$22,052
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.322.272.47
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%80%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$708,513$479,922$309,642
Current Assets$708,513$479,922$309,642
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$708,513$479,922$309,642
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $114,920Anonymous $115,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $15,000Anonymous $15,500
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $15,000Anonymous $15,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments Our 2018 tax form 990 will be filed by May 15, 2019.
Other Documents
tri-fold general brochure, inside2017View
tri-fold brochure2015View
Organization Name Learning Club of KCK
Address 2203 Parallel Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66104
Primary Phone (913) 244-5838
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brad Grabs
Board Chair Sr. Vickie Perkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sisters Charity of Leavenworth
Year of Incorporation 2012
Former Names
Learning Center