Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc.
8155 Santa Fe Drive
Overland Park KS 66204-3607
Come to a Crayon Box Tour!
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 649-9714
Fax 913- 649-3485
Mission Statement
Our mission is to nurture children and strengthen families to enrich our community.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Terrie VanZandt-Travis
Board Chair Ms. Carol Gonzales
Board Chair Company Affiliation Mid-America Regional Council
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1965
Former Names
Head Start of Shawnee Mission, Inc.
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc., formerly called Head Start of Shawnee Mission, gratefully accepts financial donations by mail or via our website ( We also welcome and accept a variety of in-kind donations. Please call or email to request our in-kind wish list and before making in-kind donations. We do not always have extra space to store large in-kind gifts.

Volunteers are an important part of our program, and we have a variety of opportunities for both individuals and groups. Volunteers assist us in preparing classroom materials, organizing donations, processing mailings, assist with filing, and data entry, and/or other related tasks. We also have opportunities for classroom volunteers who assist teachers and children in daily classroom activities and routines; and childcare volunteers who read and play with enrolled children while their parents attend evening program activities. Bilingual volunteers are needed to assist non-English speaking families during application, home visits or teacher conferences, help with translations, or assist in the classroom. In addition, we are proud to partner with many community and corporate volunteer groups who sponsor collection drives for much needed agency items such as breakfasts, snacks, and books; or coordinate a collection for classroom art supplies, toothpaste/toothbrushes, or paper goods.

Another way to get involved is to plan a fundraising event. Events can be as creative as you are: charge for casual day at work, sponsor a chili contest, or organize dinner at a local restaurant where a profit percentage is designated to our program. Proceeds help fund field trips, educational materials, an on-site storyteller and more.

Past group projects include activities such as planting flower, vegetable, and butterfly gardens, painting, cleaning/sanitizing, and hosting a children’s activity such as a summer splash day.
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
Our mission is to nurture children and strengthen families to enrich our community.
Background Statement
Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc., formerly called Head Start of Shawnee Mission, was founded in 1965 as a summer enrichment program for 17 low income Johnson County preschool aged children and their families. Today, Growing Futures provides early childhood education and comprehensive family services to 253 low-income children and their families. Head Start eligible families must meet federal poverty guidelines (annual earnings equal to or less than $20,160 for a family of three in 2016). Some additional enrollment opportunities are offered for families seeking high quality care without meeting Head Start income eligibility requirements.
The Early Head Start program provides services to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to age 3. Enrolled families in home-based services receive regular home visits by educators utilizing the Parents as Teachers model. Center-based care is available for parents working or in school 30 hours/week. Child care is provided at Growing Futures' center or through partnerships with local community child care providers.
The Head Start program provides early childhood education in a classroom setting to children 3-5 years old. Full day services are available for children of working parents offering a combination of early childhood education and Wrap Around Care services. Children are exposed to learning in the areas of language, literacy, math, science, creative arts, social studies, and social/emotional and physical development. Classrooms are inclusive of all children, with activities geared toward each child’s needs and interests, and meeting the needs of children with a range of abilities. Children receive a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack, with food modifications made to accommodate children with allergies and special needs. Dental health is a priority, and children brush their teeth on site after meals. We assist enrolled families in identifying a primary care physician for regular preventive health care and partner with the Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County to offer on-site dental and medical clinic days. Developmental screenings completed on each child assess skill levels in language, cognition, social/emotional and self-help. A screening for mental health and behavioral concerns is conducted and monitored. In addition, a variety of family activities are offered that involve parents in their child's education and enhance their efforts toward self-sufficiency.
Impact Statement
2019-2020 Goals: To review, monitor, assess and update our comprehensive strategic plan to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our community through our programs and services. To attract and retain qualified staff to support child and family outcomes and determine a funding and organizational plan for facility location effective July 2023.
  • Continue strategic plan goal attainment and assessment with primary focus on organizational development, marketing and facility analysis.
  • Research funding opportunities to serve children with family income just over the Head Start eligibility to address a gap of services in our community.
  • Increase awareness of Growing Futures’ unique features and services as a Head Start program to prospective parents, employees, community organizations, educational institutions and other agencies.
  • Continue to offer one-hour community education tours (Crayon Box Tours) to raise community awareness and knowledge about Growing Futures and Head Start further educating our community of the value of investing in quality early education.
Needs Statement
  • Funding for capacity building and leadership development.
  • Funding and/or volunteers to support critical written and verbal interpretation services.
  • Funding that supports family engagement and parent involvement activities.
  • Funding for general operating expenses.
Service Categories
Child Day Care
Family Services
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc. - formerly called Head Start of Shawnee Mission has been serving low-income Johnson County families by providing quality early childhood education and family services for 52 years. We are a not-for-profit organization that has been awarded both State and Federal grant funding to deliver an Early Head Start and Head Start program. Receipt of the State and Federal grant awards includes a match requirement of over $350,000 dollars annually. Local support of the positive work we do focusing on the family as a whole is critical and a wise investment. According to recent U.S. Census data, approximately 32,440 Johnson County residents (including 2,050 children birth to five years) were living with income below the federal poverty level in 2016. Poverty in Johnson County is a reality. Growing Futures programming works to provide low income children and their families a Head Start.

Provides a home-based program option offering intensive weekly home visitation focusing on early childhood education utilizing the Parents As Teachers model and healthy family functioning. Family Educators promote healthy prenatal care, the developmental growth of the child, parent education, family self sufficiency, health, and mental health. Also provides a center-based program option offering high quality childcare and early learning support for families who are in school or working at least 30 hours per week.

Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short-Term Success Early Head Start staff will make available to parents and families information and resources allowing parents and families to make developmentally appropriate parenting choices. EHS staff will also provide families with information and community resources in order to access the necessary tools to reach their self-sufficiency goals.
Long-Term Success The Early Head Start program has two long-term goals. First, all enrolled families are empowered to be the best parents they can be. Secondly, families have the tools necessary to succeed in life.
Program Success Monitored By Early Head Start staff work closely with parents to ensure parent and family needs are being met. Parents and families make child development goals as well as individual and family self-sufficiency goals. These goals are monitored on a regular basis. Parent satisfaction with the program is evaluated yearly with a Parents as Teachers questionnaire.
Examples of Program Success Child development goals and self-sufficiency goals are being met. Parents and families will break the cycle of poverty and no longer be eligible for our services. Parents feel confident in their parenting skills and children are at appropriate developmental stages.
Description Early childhood education services for children ages 3-5 are provided through two program options. Part Day-Part Year currently runs 3-1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week from August through May. A Wrap Around Care program operates 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 5 days a week year round.
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short-Term Success All children show age-appropriate developmental progress in the areas of: math, science, creative arts, literacy, language, social emotional development, and physical development.
Long-Term Success

Children will be academically and socially prepared to enter kindergarten.

Program Success Monitored By Teaching staff work closely with parents to document and evaluate each child’s progress in the developmental domains. A portfolio is maintained for each child with samples of the child’s work throughout the year, including artwork, writing samples, photos of children at work and play, language samples, etc. Teaching staff, with input from parents and families, assess the developmental stage of each child three times per year.
Examples of Program Success

Outcomes data compiled from three yearly assessments and data collected via the Child Observation Record (COR) will show children are making age appropriate developmental gains in the developmental domains and are testing at or above national standards.

Description The following services are provided to all enrolled children and families: family and social services support, mental, physical, and dental health care support, nutrition, parenting skills and parent leadership opportunities.
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Families, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

We want all of our families to have access to the resources they need to lead successful lives. Our families understand the importance of school attendance and their involvement in their child’s education. For parents who are enrolled in school or employed, success is their ability to continue in their education and/or consistently maintain employment and provide continuity of care for their children.

Long-Term Success We strive to empower parents to succeed in their community without the need for assistance from Head Start or other similar services.
Program Success Monitored By Staff monitors school attendance and employment and supports families for whom attendance is a struggle. Employment/school participation is monitored regularly.
Examples of Program Success 100% of families enrolled during the 2017-2018 program year received services in health education and parent education and set family goals typically related to self-sufficiency. We hosted parent engagement events and opportunities twice a month providing parents an opportunity to engage with the program, learn ways to further the growth and development of their child, build social support connections and support the organization by providing feedback about policies, procedures and program services.
CEO Comments

As a Head Start grantee agency, we are required to raise matching dollars in order to draw down the program grant funds we receive from the federal government. Annually we must attain funding from private foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors to fully cover the costs associated with each enrolled child and their family. Additionally, funding for equipment and repairs, technology, interpretation, rent, and general operating expenses is an ongoing challenge.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Terrie VanZandt-Travis
Term Start Feb 2008
Experience Terrie holds a Master of Social Work degree with an emphasis in administration. Terrie has extensive social work experience in city, county, university and medical center settings. She also has experience as a preschool teacher in faith based and Head Start classrooms. She has 16 years of experience at Growing Futures/Head Start of Shawnee Mission, with ten of those years as Executive Director.
Former CEOs
Ms. Deanna ArmstrongJuly 2006 - Jan 2008
Mr. Tom LallyJune 2005 - Mar 2006
Senior Staff
Title Director of Finance

Title Development and Community Relations Director
Title Program Director

Paid Full-Time Staff 53
Paid Part-Time Staff 10
Paid Contractors 12
Volunteers 333
Retention Rate 70%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 11
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 44
Hispanic/Latino 5
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 2
Other (Please Specify) Mexican/Chicano
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 30
Male 3
Not Specified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Growing Futures is a member of Johnson County Children’s Coordinating Council, which fosters a comprehensive, interconnected service network to achieve better outcomes for Johnson County’s low-income children and families. The Council enhances existing and establishes new partnerships to provide high-quality services to low-income children and families without duplication. Members include representatives of public child-serving institutions, private child-serving organizations with a public mission, parent representatives, public school districts, Johnson County Corrections, 10th Judicial Services, KS Dept. for Children and Families (DCF), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Johnson County Mental Health Center, Sunflower House, Johnson County Health and Environment and Johnson County Developmental Supports.

Growing Futures regularly collaborates with the Shawnee Mission School District, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), Johnson Co. Health and Environment, SAFEHOME, Intensive Family Counseling, Johnson Co. Library, Sunflower House, Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County, KS State Nutrition Program, Infant Toddler Services of Johnson Co., Johnson Co. Early Learning Collaborative, and Vineyard Church.
Excellence in Community Service AwardUnited Community Services2008
Kansas Quality Rating Improvement System (KQRIS)Kansas Quality Rating Improvement System (KQRIS)2012
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments

Growing Futures Early Education Center is one of the original Head Start grantees beginning service delivery in 1965 to 17 preschool age children. Today we provide a high quality early childhood education and comprehensive family services program to nearly 250 low- income children birth to five, pregnant women and their families.

Our service delivery is multi-generational with a family focus to support children and families in attaining success in school and in life.

Unlike the national trend, more people identified as living in poverty in Johnson County in 2016 than in 2015 with over 32,000 Johnson county residents living in households with income below the federal poverty level, which for a family of three is currently $20,420 a year.

Growing Futures hosts regular one-hour tours of the program, called “Crayon Box Tours” providing attendees an opportunity to learn about the needs of children and families living in poverty in Johnson County, the services offered at Growing Futures and the positive impact the program has on individual children, families and the community as a whole.

Growing Futures continues to look for community financial support to diversify funding streams and maintain sustainability. At a minimum, we are required to raise $355,070 annually in private/community dollars to match our Federal grant funding. We welcome the opportunity to share our program with the community and partner with others to benefit enrolled children and families.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Carol Gonzales
Company Affiliation Mid-America Regional Council
Term July 2018 to June 2020
Email cgonzales@MARC.ORG
Board Members
Mr. Jake BarnesFinancial Advisory Service, Inc.
Ms. Kendall Burr
Mr. Scott CampbellSpring Venture Group
Ms. Erika CundiffTax Manager, CBIZ
Ms. Cheryl EntzmingerSprint
Ms. Kayla Gilchrist
Ms. Carol GonzalesCity of Shawnee
Ms. Amy Goostree
Ms. Jill Grotzinger
Ms. Margaret Harden
Mr. David HarroldDH Trading LLC
Ms. Carol HeilRetired
Mr. Tim Hilton
Ms. Ann McM. KenneyPhysiological Psychologist (Retired)
Mr. James LissonIBM Corporation (Retired)
Ms. Anne MillsRetired (Hallmark)
Mr. Joe OnofrioFive Elms Capital
Ms. Debra PetersonCenturyLink
Mr. Marc Shaffer
The Honorable Thom SutherlandJohnson County District Court
Ms. Nancy WallersteinCommunity Activist
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 12
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 97%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 95%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Development / Board Orientation
CEO Comments

Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and a Policy Council consisting of Head Start parents, Early Head Start parents, and community representatives such as the Kansas Department for Children and Families. Both governing bodies adhere to Head Start rules and regulations. Board members serve three year terms with a three term limit. The Board of Directors has legal and fiscal responsibility for the agency. Policy Council members serve one year terms with a three term limit. The Policy Council provides guidance and approval regarding program planning, general policies and human resource management. Both governing bodies have non-voting liaison members who attend monthly meetings to provide current reports.

Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $3,570,139
Projected Expenses $3,632,600
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,415,371$2,319,907$2,404,114
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$841$392$370
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$79,953$125,603$110,848
Revenue In-Kind$24,628$30,260$29,367
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$2,801,162$2,748,006$2,525,195
Administration Expense$516,730$420,041$430,202
Fundraising Expense$91,928$116,845$111,257
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.940.971.15
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%84%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$1,315,876$1,501,679$1,657,922
Current Assets$1,230,949$1,398,578$1,526,855
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$260,452$252,794$308,545
Total Net Assets$1,055,424$1,248,885$1,349,377
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.735.534.95
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Anonymous $2,169,095
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Anonymous $499,222
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Anonymous $123,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc., formerly called Head Start of Shawnee Mission, has consistently maintained a fiscally sound budget, allowing for delivery of all program options through federal and/or non-federal funding.
Rent, interpretation, competitive teacher salaries and staff health benefit costs continue to be major expenses for the agency and often the most challenging funding dollars to secure.
Other Documents
Annual Report 2017-20182018View
Annual Report 2016-20172017View
Anuual Report 2015-20162016View
Strategic Plan 2014-20192015View
Annual Report 2014-20152015View
Annual Report2014View
Organization Name Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc.
Address 8155 Santa Fe Drive
Overland Park, KS 662043607
Primary Phone (913) 649-9714
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Terrie VanZandt-Travis
Board Chair Ms. Carol Gonzales
Board Chair Company Affiliation Mid-America Regional Council
Year of Incorporation 1965
Former Names
Head Start of Shawnee Mission, Inc.