About Us

About Us

Our Why

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.

Our mission

Building a promising future for the children of southeast Atlanta

Our Programs

Kids Club

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.

Teen Club

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

Summer Camp

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.

FOOD SUPPORT

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.

 

Our Team

Ryan Downey

Executive Director

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 previously served 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 currently serves as DEI Chair on the Board of the East Atlanta Business Association. He lives in Ormewood Park with his wife Allison, son Arlo, and daughter Sabine. In his free time, he enjoys playing Australian rules football for the Atlanta Kookaburras, playing disc golf, and exploring Atlanta.

Kay Johnson

Associate Director, Operations & Development

Kay earned a B.A. in Business Management from Alabama State University, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Emory Candler School of Theology with an emphasis on Liberative Spirituality and a certificate in Women’s Studies in Theology and Ministry. Before joining East Atlanta Kids Club, Kay was the Volunteer Manager at Covenant House Georgia focusing on youth experiencing homelessness, and brings over 10 years of non-profit, corporate, and spiritual outreach experience.  Kay is committed to leading with diligence, compassion, and her advocacy for offering space for the youth and families at East Atlanta Kids Club to feel seen, heard, and supported! Kay is an Atlanta Native. She is married to her husband of 10 years Ray and is a mother of two boys Christian (9) and Jordan (7). She is also a dog mom to her cavapoo (Sunday) and in her free time is a matcha green tea enthusiast and enjoys jazz music, a good documentary, and spending time with her family!

Danielle Erwin

Program Manager

Sabrina Alexander

Program Assistant

Paris Simpson

Lead After School Instructor

Vanessa Garcia

After School Instructor

Oscar Hernandez

After School Instructor

Board of Directors

Uthra Ramaswamy

Secretary, Director
Talent Solutions (Learning Experience and Innovation)

Year Up

Tim Eldredge

Director of Growth

Academy Camps

John Ghose

Senior Privacy Counsel (partner-level)

VeraSafe

Nathan Goodson

Chair, Supervisory Examiner
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Katherine Townsend Kiernan

Vice-Chair, Program Manager

The Burning Glass Institute

Jeff Teves

Treasurer, VP, Finance

Vero Biotech

Kyle Richards

Enterprise Sales
Microsoft

Kendra Gayle Lee

Owner

Bookish Atlanta

Kristen Vangile

Senior Clinical Research Associate

IQVIA

Brandon Darrington

Senior Director of Ambulatory Access & Strategy

University Hospitals

Advisory Board

Jill Sieder

Founding Executive Director
Journalist

Lynne Norton

President
Great Stone Consulting

Kelly Mastronardi

Assistant Principal
Hapeville Elementary School

Keith Barthelmeus

Global VP/CFO
Brink’s Inc.

Our Supporters

Media

Kidz Corner Podcast

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