LEAVEN KIDS

Helping kids & communities rise

aka The Leaven   |   Fairfield, CA   |  www.leavenkids.org

Mission

Our mission is to revitalize communities through early education intervention.

Ruling year info

2009

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Mark Lillis

Main address

2220 Boynton Ave, Suite A

Fairfield, CA 94533 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Leaven

EIN

26-3653717

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children living in low-income, densely populated communities frequently have challenges in school because they do not have family members that can help them with homework and reading. Also, negative influences often dominate these neighborhoods. Leaven Kids offers an in-community after-school center and Summer Success programs to help children read at or above grade level, comprehend classroom work, and be able to complete homework on their own, and adult mentors who inspire children to dream and work toward greater achievement.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

After-School Tutoring and Mentoring

Leaven Kids has learned that when kids in grades K-5 have consistent interaction with skillful, caring tutors and mentors every day after school, their entire life trajectory changes. Kids who often feel ignored and left behind gain belief they can succeed in school and in life in a way they never have before.

Unlike other forms of intervention, when we embed learning centers in the heart of the toughest neighborhoods and are intentional about caring for the lives of children and families, we encourage parents and neighbors to be proactive in supporting their children and neighborhood. As community morale goes up and relationships with teachers and civic leaders improve, crime rates go down. Every day we see how our model works to motivate entire communities to overcome the vicious cycle of poverty and crime around them.

Population(s) Served

Extending tutoring and recreational opportunities into the summer, The Leaven provides math and reading enrichment, sports, field trips and hands-on programs that explore health, science, art, nature and technology.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Children learn basic concepts of money management, including managing finances, making wise spending decisions and key financial concepts.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Our programs reinforce violence prevention concepts taught in school. Programs are developed in collaboration with students and their parents, civic leadership, educators, businesses and law enforcement to reduce neighborhood crime.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Partnering with Kaiser Permanente and other community-based organizations, The Leaven participates in the Healthy Eating Active Living Campaign, offering physical fitness activities, nutritional guidance and health screenings for students and their families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Pioneered in summer 2016, this community-based program introduced preschoolers to reading, helping them develop this important skill for success in the elementary classroom.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Designed to instill in children from an early age a realization that college may be an option for their future, we offer field trips to local colleges and opportunities to interact with college students through our volunteer program.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Science, computers, robotics, and even 3D printing! The Leaven Kids STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is on the cutting edge of education, exposing disadvantaged kids to the best education has to offer. We work with education systems, teachers, and volunteers to help kids stay competitive in a quickly changing world.

Population(s) Served
Children
Preteens
Extremely poor people
Low-income people
Working poor
Children
Preteens
Extremely poor people
Low-income people
Working poor

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Leaven Kids focuses on after-school tutoring and mentoring centers in places where other organizations can't or will not go in both Northern and Southern California. Each school day, Leaven Kids helps children improve their reading and math skills, understand and complete homework, and develop the necessary skills for success in school and in the future. The unique Leaven Kids model also offers neighborhood support, helping to revitalize communities and empower families to become engaged citizens. Created through the partnerships of local community organizers, elected officials, churches, schools, businesses, and social clubs, Leaven Kids continues to model the love and compassion of Christ through acts of mercy and help. By working with the community, Leaven Kids is “helping kids & communities rise.”

Leaven Kids' unique strategy is to bring the after-school and summer enrichment programs right to a child's doorstep by working with apartment managers and owners to reclaim underutilized space and turn it into a safe, inviting place where children receive tutoring, mentoring, healthy snacks, exercise and opportunities to learn more about their community through visits by elected officials and public servants. When possible, Leaven Kids also involves police, firefighters, and military members. The intention is for the children to meet real heroes so they have role models other than the gang members who often are active in their communities. By operating year-round, Leaven Kids helps prevent the "summer slump" that causes children to lose academic progress over the summer break, and by involving community members and local churches as volunteers, the children see examples of people who combine hard work and respect for others to build successful lives.

Before Leaven Kids opens a new center, at least $30,000 needs to be secured, as well as a partner church and other suitable partnerships. This helps ensure the sustainability of the center and community ownership. The involvement of police officers, first responders, elected officials, business leaders, and community representatives is not a nice thing; it is essential! Additionally, The Leaven's key attributes that make it appealing to funding partners and recipient families are that:
We operate year-round.
Our presence in a community has been documented to decrease the crime rate in that area.
We have, in cooperation with schools and educators, documented that its programs help children succeed in school.
Our financial statements are audited every year by an independent accountant and we invest 75 cents of every dollar donated into programs for the communities where they work.
All staff and volunteers are background-checked.

Leaven Kids began in 2009 in Fairfield, CA, and currently operates 19 after-school tutoring and mentoring centers in both Northern and Southern California. Every center was established at the direct request of community management, city developers and/or local stakeholders. These partnerships help ensure that the centers remain viable and can adapt to the specific needs of the location and school goals.

Each center benefits approximately 30 children every school day and throughout the summer.

In late 2016 and early 2022, Leaven Kids was selected as the Chick-fil-A S. Truett Cathy Honoree recipient of the True Inspiration Award.

Financials

LEAVEN KIDS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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LEAVEN KIDS

Board of directors
as of 06/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Chief Joe Allio

Police Chief, City of Fairfield (Ret.)

Term: 2022 - 2025

General Miller

Air Mobility Commander, United States Air Force (Ret.)

Coilonel Meyer

Pilot, American Airlines, United States Air Force (ret.)

Sue Ovitt

Board of Trustees, Chaffey Joint Union High School

Mayor Augustine

Mayor, City of Vacaville (Ret.)

Chief Fenn

Police Chief, City of Fairfield (Ret.)

Sheriff Ferrara

Sheriff, Solano County

Colonel Hammerschmidt

United States Air Force (Ret.)

Frank Lizarraga

Attorney, Lizarraga Law Firm

Staci Pauly

Senior Finance Manager, Genentech (Ret.)

Monica Ready

Director III Curriculum, Napa Unified School District

Chief Schmultzler

Police Chief, City of Vacaville, CA

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No