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


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 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
  • David Holland
  • Patricia Ollinger
  • Dean Romeo
  • Mary Yochum

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.

Our Mission

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.

Great Kids learning Center Events

Check out some of our latest Events!

Our Core Values


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.

Responsible Stewardship

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.

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 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.