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
“Unlocking the abundance of life for tomorrow’s leaders.”
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.
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
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

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

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
“Unlocking the abundance of life for tomorrow’s leaders.”
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 120 children who live in four KCK public housing project sites.
Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
  • In addition to our one-on-one tutoring for 120 students at five sites in the urban core, we've expanded our work by offering one additional day of after-school enrichment programming every week to 50 students. Many of the programs are led by volunteers from the community who share their passion for writing, healthy eating, art, animals, engineering, science and many other topics through hands-on activities with clear objectives. These engaging activities have ignited a love for learning in our students and planted seeds for future careers.
  • To keep the academic skills of our students sharp during the long summer months, we operated a five-week summer program at each of our sites. Besides one-on-one tutoring, we provided a wide array of enrichment experiences, including a week-long Nature Rangers Camp at the Schlagle Nature Library, exclusively for Learning Club students.
  • We began offering more extensive tutor training workshops on a variety of topics, such as student motivation, literacy training, and math tutoring techniques, to help our volunteers become even more excellent tutors and mentors for our students.
2017 Goals:
  • In collaboration with the Kansas City, Missouri Housing Authority, we are planning to open a new Learning Club site at Pemberton Park, which is exclusively for grandparents raising grandchildren. We've approached a potential corporate sponsor which would provide volunteers and a portion of funding for the site, in anticipation of opening in August of 2017.
  • With the help of successful business people who are also Learning Club supporters, we are developing long-term strategic plans for the Learning Club. As we grow, having a solid organizational structure in place with accountability measures will be vital to our growth and success.
  • We are implementing new methods to assess the effectiveness of our program, using pre- and post- literacy testing, as well as measuring SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) outcomes. This input will also allow us to more efficiently and effectively respond to the individual academic and social needs of our students.
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
Our passion is to serve the most marginalized children in Kansas City.  Knowing that the most marginalized students often lack transportation and parental involvement, we operate our Learning Club sites where the children live, so that transportation and parental involvement are not obstacles to their participation.  Four of our five sites are located in public housing projects in the urban core of KCK.  We plan to open a new site at a public housing site in the urban core of KCMO this year.  
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 14 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.
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 Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short-Term Success When we started Learning Club at Juniper Gardens (JG) public housing project, only 6-8 students attended each session. JG is one of the highest poverty, most crime-infested neighborhoods in the metro area, so our mission to serve the most marginalized students motivated us to stay and redouble our efforts. We partnered with the Housing Authority, obtaining a list of children in our age range who live at JG, and we visited each home. We partnered with the nearby school, making announcements about Learning Club at the end of each school day. We provided ample volunteer tutors, good snacks, and appealing prize incentives at each session. Our attendance now averages 22 students per session, many of whom never miss. After three years at JG, we have seen remarkable progress in reading, writing, and math skills. We’ve also made great strides in forming the social skills of our students, emphasizing manners, proper introductions and conflict resolution.
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 An abundance of anecdotal information is available from parents, teachers, and our own volunteers about the incredible progress made by our students. Because we seek to develop the whole child, progress is clearly noted in academics, social skills, and discipline. Having a caring mentor who provides one-on-one tutoring makes a huge difference in any child’s life, but for those who lack sufficient parental involvement like many Learning Club students, it can make all the difference in their lives. 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. We partner with the public schools which provide us with assessment testing at the beginning and end of the school year for each student.  The results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our program.
Examples of Program Success
When Janvier joined Learning Club in fifth grade, he had been in the US only one year. Growing up in a Tanzanian refugee camp, he never attended school. English was a huge challenge and he struggled a lot with reading, writing, and math. A dedicated tutor helped Janvier with homework and provided supplemental materials to enhance his basic skills. Janvier came faithfully with enthusiasm and motivation. After two years at Learning Club, Janvier is now performing at grade level in almost all of his subjects.
Curtis is clearly a bright boy, but his abilities didn’t show in his school performance. After the death of his mother and a move into a challenging home with his father, a stepmom and step-siblings, Curtis seemed lost. At Learning Club, Curtis has bonded with a tutor who helps him with his school work, listens as he shares joys and difficulties, and supports him towards his goals. His involvement in Learning Club has resulted in better grades and a more joyful outlook on life.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Brad Grabs
Term Start Feb 2002
Compensation $50,001 - $75,000

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 and two sons have made their home in the urban core, across the street from the Blessed Sacrament Learning Club site.

Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 6
Volunteers 100
Paid Contractors 0
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 5
Caucasian 3
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 4
Male 4
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 No
Document Destruction Policy No
  1. Kansas City, KS Public Schools (share student test scores, help recruit students)
  2. Housing Authority of Kansas City, KS (provide meeting space at four public housing sites)
  3. Kansas City, KS Public Library (provides enrichment programs at each site as well as a summer Nature Camp exclusively for our students)
  4. Hands to Hearts Bookmobile (provides free books to all of our students)
  5. Youth Ambassadors (their teens will provide 12 enrichment programs for our students, including anger management)
  6. Kansas City, KS Community College (provides college-awareness field trips for our students)
  7. United Way of Wyandotte County RSVP (recruit volunteer tutors over 55 years of age)
  8. Ryan Lawn and Tree Company (provides volunteer tutors and funding for one site)
  9. Security Bank of Kansas City (provides volunteer tutors and funding for one site)
  10. Unbound (provides volunteer tutors for one site)
  11. Many other groups and agencies which provide enrichment programs for our students.
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
Board Chair
Board Chair Sr. Vickie Perkins
Company Affiliation Sisters Charity of Leavenworth
Term Aug 2012 to Aug 2018
Email vperkinsscl@gmail.com
Board Members
Ms. Barbara Bailey Our Lady and St. Rose Catholic Church
Mrs. Irene Caudillo El Centro, Inc.
Mr. Case Dorman Jack Stack Barbeque
Mr. Brad Grabs Learning Club of KCK
Mrs. Dawn Grabs
Mrs. Judy Marckx Retired
Mr. Pat McInerney Dentons Law Firm
Sr. Vickie Perkins SCLSisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Mrs. Kathy Ryan Ryan Lawn and Tree Company
Dr. Jayson Strickland Ass't. Superintendent, USD 500
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Unspecified 0
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
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $184,500
Projected Expenses $184,365
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: 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 Year201520142013
Program Expense$80,309$123,088$44,764
Administration Expense$22,052$0$11,951
Fundraising Expense$0$0$6,475
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.471.561.55
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%100%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$309,642$158,800$90,361
Current Assets$309,642$158,800$90,361
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$309,642$158,800$90,361
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $115,000Anonymous $25,000 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $15,500Anonymous $15,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $15,000Anonymous $15,000 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
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