Founded in 1998, East Atlanta Kids Club was formed by a small group of local residents who understood the importance of engaging neighborhood youth as the most effective intervention for addressing the rapidly growing socioeconomic divide in the community. For 24 years, we have sought to provide youth, who otherwise would have limited afterschool and summertime opportunities, with a safe and stimulating environment to play, learn, and express themselves under the guidance of caring adults.
We accomplish this goal by providing high quality, S.T.E.A.M.-based out-of-school-time programming that meets our youth where they are and empowers them to realize their potential.
Building a promising future for the children of southeast Atlanta
Offered Monday – Thursday from 3:15PM – 6:30PM, Kids Club is our S.T.E.A.M.-based afterschool for youth grades K-5. Offered throughout the school year, this program provides afterschool enrichment and exposure while also reinforcing school-day learning to ensure our kids are on track and active, engaged learners.
Offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30PM – 7:30PM, Teen Club is designed to meet older youth where they are at by nurturing specific interests throughout the year. Offerings may include podcasting, coding/programming, film & media production, fitness/sports, and service-based learning. This group primarily serves youth in grades 6-8. For older teens (grades 9-12), we can work individually to create opportunities that align with their interests
Offered annually during June/July, Camp Full STEAM is a 6-week program that offers hands-on activities including science experiments, technology and robotics, arts and crafts, music and beat making, and cooking and healthy eating. Each day also features fitness and outdoor activities, including cycling, double dutch, and team sports such as basketball, rugby, kickball, and more. Summer camp typically serves youth in grades K-12, and we create opportunities for our younger kids and older kids and teens to explore their interests among their peers.
Holiday Support: Present-Palooza
Offered annually during December, this event is a three-day celebration of the spirit of giving that propels us year-round. We are able to procure $70,000+ worth of gifts (toys, homegoods, kitchen wares, shoes, clothing, and more), and we create a “shopping” experience for our EAKC kids and families for two days of afterschool before opening our space to the broader community for a full day of “shopping” on Friday before the holiday break. We are able to put 3,000+ gifts into the community for a total cost of ~$5,000. This event ensures that our kids and families not only receive gifts for the holidays, but also that they are able to give to their friends and families.
Offered weekly on Fridays since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food distribution supports vulnerable households in southeast Atlanta by providing more than 120,000 pounds/100,000 meals/$300,000 worth of grocery support to families on an annual basis. This weekly food distribution is paired with healthy eating and food systems programming for our youth. This programming is supported by multi-year funding from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation within the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
Ryan joined East Atlanta Kids Club in February of 2020, following 22 years of service from founding Executive Director, Jill Sieder. Ryan earned a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Georgia, an M.F.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.S. in adult, occupational, and continuing education from Kansas State University. He joined EAKC following a nine-year tenure at a leading national nonprofit, Year Up, where he held several leadership roles. During this time, he helped launch new program sites in the greater Atlanta area, Virginia, and Florida. He currently serves as a member of the Burgess-Peterson Academy GO Team and is invested in equitable educational outcomes for all kids and teens in our community. He lives in Ormewood Park with his wife, Allison Bertke Downey, his son, Arlo Walter Downey, and two orange cats named Sparksy and Oliver. In his free time, he enjoys playing Australian rules football for the Atlanta Kookaburras, playing disc golf, and exploring Atlanta.
Director of Finance and Operations
Shenieque joined EAKC from Harvard University, where she spent three years as a Corporate Alliance Manager. Overall, she has 22 years of experience in Operations, Finance, and HR Management roles, serving at John Hancock Financial, Bureau VERITAS, EMC-Documentum, Pfizer, Harvard School of Public Health, China Medical Board, Bay Cove Andrew House, Prize4Life, and the Roycemore School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Emmanuel College and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Finance.
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