GOLD2023

Know & Grow Learning Depot, Inc.

Empowering Young Students to Know & Grow

Jacksonville Beach, FL   |  www.iknowandgrow.org

Mission

We help disadvantaged children learn. We collaborate with Title One public school teachers to provide services and products to get all students caught up to grade level.

Ruling year info

2019

President

Linda Brunson

Main address

110 Mills Lane

Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 USA

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Formerly known as

Friends of Dinsmore Elementary, Inc.

EIN

83-3477623

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (B11)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The students of this Title One school do not have the same educational opportunities as children in affluent areas of Jacksonville. In fact, the school participates in the Community Eligibility Provision which allows the nation's highest poverty schools to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. Affluent parents are quick to bring in outside resources, fund the school’s needs, engage their children in outside learning activities, and surround their children with evidence they can achieve academic success. This disparity accelerates the educational inequity.

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?

Early Literacy

Our mission is to bring low-performing students up to grade-level before they finish first grade.

If the child was a poor reader at the end of the first grade, there is an 88% probability the child will remain a poor reader at the end of fourth grade.

Students who have not learned to read proficiently by the time they enter fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school, and this risk is even greater for low-income children.

The statistics are staggering…nationally 82% of students eligible for free or reduced lunches are not reading at or above grade level by fourth grade. This is a great concern as the percentage of adults that did not graduate from high school in the Dinsmore community is among the highest in the nation at 17.3%.

Our long-term goal is to consistently have 90% (or higher) of students performing at grade level by the end of first grade. Currently, only half the students meet this measurable outcome.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Students

Science is important in Jacksonville – especially with the Mayo Clinic constantly growing and Boeing coming to town. Before children finish elementary school, we make it our mission to inspire them to pursue further science education. We want all fifth-graders to have a blast (pun intended!) in science!

Our home, Dinsmore Elementary, is a science magnet. While the school is not a dedicated science magnet, science is emphasized by, among other things, having a full-time fifth grade science teacher.

This teacher understands the needs of her students. She was a student at Dinsmore Elementary and has returned to teach and inspire. Her roots go deep in understanding the community as her mother also attended this same elementary school.

We’ve focused our fifth-grade science efforts on teaching tools. Science is better understood with experiments and classroom displays.

We thank our sponsors for providing teaching tools that will be used for years to come!

Population(s) Served
Students
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

At Know & Grow Learning Depot, we have three goals:
 provide our teachers with the resources needed to make classroom time more effective,
 extend the classroom time by ending the home educational desert, and
 have every child feel confident in his/her ability to learn.
Know & Grow will, for many of these students, change their educational trajectories and last a lifetime!

We believe education unlocks opportunity and that every child deserves the opportunity to perform at grade level – or beyond. Research shows that children experiencing poverty face immense educational barriers and enter elementary school already further behind their peers who are affluent.

We help disadvantaged children learn. Our programs are designed to close the educational inequality gap, i.e., to help economically disadvantaged elementary-age students get caught up to their affluent peers. Since the gap is easier to close the younger the child, we focus on kindergarten and first-grade literacy/math and fifth-grade science.

To address this issue all our programs:
 Provide our teachers with the resources needed to make classroom time more effective.
Example: For kindergarten and first-grade teachers, a simple request we received was to provide tennis balls for the chair legs to reduce the noise level in the classroom.
 Extend the classroom time by ending the home educational desert.
Example: Wordbooks and Spelling Pads that align directly with the classroom curriculums are sent home weekly.
 Help every child feel confident in his/her ability to learn.
Example: We provide tutoring to children struggling in school and not feeling good about themselves. We catch low-performers early – in kindergarten and first grade – before they have had their confidence trampled.

Collaboration with teachers is the key to Know & Grow’s success. All our efforts align directly with the school’s classroom curriculum.

Our strategy of providing both materials and services includes:
 providing teachers teaching tools, such as three-dimensional geometric shapes, needed to make classroom time more effective;
 extending the classroom time by providing each child his/her own materials, such as wordbooks, to take home;
 employing the power of individualized attention with one-on-one tutoring; and
 enabling online tutoring in the home (iPads with personalized learning software).
Simply said, we listen to our teachers and provide that extra effort required to raise every child to grade level – or above.

Friends is an organization with a rock-solid foundation.

The co-founder and president, Linda Brunson, maintained her CPA license for over 30 years, understands non-profits, has experience writing grants, experience partnering with organizations, and experience selling custom solutions (albeit software). This diverse career background coupled with an understanding of the community makes Linda the perfect choice to lead this nonprofit.

The co-founder and treasurer, Roger Mann, attended Dinsmore Elementary and has remained in the community for the subsequent 50+ years. Roger began working with the City of Jacksonville as a small engine repairman and rose to the rank of Public Works Superintendent of Highways. He is now retired and has plenty of time to devote to his former alma mater.

Most importantly, the co-founder and secretary, Wanda Reese, is the current school principal. Mrs. Reese brought a passion, know-how, and belief in education to Dinsmore Elementary that has already started transforming the school. She welcomed the creation of this nonprofit as the students in this underresourced community need more resources to meet their extra needs.

Know & Grow Learning Depot, Inc. was founded in 2019 as Friends of Dinsmore Elementary, Inc. At first, we had the generic mission of helping the school. Our projects included beautifying the grounds, building an outdoor classroom, providing teaching aids for the school-wide science program, and just being on call to help however requested. Our efforts to help disadvantaged kindergarteners and first-graders get caught up to grade level was so popular with teachers, parents, and students that we realized we'd make a more lasting impact by limiting our focus. We help these young students by providing iPads, cellular Internet connection, and volunteer tutors using the award-winning Khan Academy Kids learning software. We also developed, printed, and assembled kid-sized weekly wordbooks, spelling pads, dot-to-dot puzzles, etc. We officially changed our name from "Friends" to "Know & Grow Learning Depot."

The response to Know & Grow has been overwhelming. Our organization is a 501(c)(3) with a rock-solid foundation. Our Board is comprised of a retired CPA (school alumni), a retired superintendent of highways (school alumni), the current school principal, and a school staff member. None of the board members have any family/relatives attending the school we call home, Dinsmore Elementary. We are dedicated to helping all students succeed.

Financials

Know & Grow Learning Depot, Inc.
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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
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Know & Grow Learning Depot, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Linda Brunson

Roger Mann

Community Member, Former Student of Dinsmore Elementary

Jennifer Erixton

Chairman of School Advisory Council, Dinsmore Elementary

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/2/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability