Know & Grow Learning Depot began in 2019 as Friends of Dinsmore Elementary. Our president and co-founder, Linda Brunson, was recruited by the school principal, Wanda Reese, to help the school. Ms. Reese, also a co-founder, served on our board until her retirement in 2023.
At first, we had a 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 however requested.
Our efforts to help 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 changed our name to the Know & Grow Learning Depot, Inc.
In addition to our Kid-Sized Materials that align directly with the classroom curriculums, we started fulfilling requests from teachers for Early Learning Teaching Tools.
Our Know & Grow Tutoring Program was created and tested in two kindergarten classes. Teachers enrolled their lowest performers. Our volunteers went into the classroom armed with iPads to lead group sessions using the free, award-winning Khan Academy Kids software. During the tutoring, the children learn to navigate the very iPad they are allowed to take home at the end of each school day.
We expanded our tutoring program to all five kindergarten classrooms. A handful of students went from “knowing nothing” to being among the top in their class. One of our enrollees even won the “most improved” award.
Consistent with our goal of collaborating with teachers, we provided Count to 100 Worksheets, Aussie Pouch chair backs, Big Book Displays, Secret Stories, and more.
Thank you to the volunteers, donors, partners, teachers, and school staff who have made our mission possible.