Educational Institutions

LEARNING LAB INC

  • Garden City, ID
  • www.learninglabinc.org

Mission Statement

To teach and encourage adults who struggle with literacy, help families discover the joy of learning so all children start kindergarten ready to read, create hope for brighter futures and build a stronger, more self-sufficient, and engaged community for all of us.

Main Programs

  1. Family Literacy Program
  2. Adult Basic Skills Program
  3. English-Language Instruction Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

Idaho

Treasure Valley, Ada & Canyon Counties, Idaho

ruling year

1994

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Ms. Ann Heilman

Keywords

Self-reported

Literacy, Family Literacy, Adult Basic Skills, English Language Learning, English As A Second Language

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Also Known As

Learning Lab

EIN

82-0461933

 Number

6433137793

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Single Organization Support (B11)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Learning Lab is committed to providing the highest quality education possible to its students and is continually exploring new learning opportunities. Learning Lab programs are a permanent solution to poverty, unemployment, crime, and other barriers caused by illiteracy. Providing adults, parents, and children with the education necessary to break the generational cycle of illiteracy is key to a future of economic self-sufficiency, stronger families and a more productive community. The need in our community continues to grow and our waiting list consistently has 100+ students waiting for classes.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Family Literacy Program

The Family Literacy program incorporates the four components of family literacy as recommended by the National Center for Family Literacy. These include Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, Parent Time and Parent and Child Together time. While parents work on their literacy skills in the adult classroom, their children are in their own developmentally appropriate classroom participating in high-quality early childhood education. Children ages birth to three are enrolled in the Infant/Toddler classroom where the focus is on sensory exploration to stimulate brain development. Children age three to six are enrolled in the Preschool classroom where they participate in play and learning activities that encourage intellectual and social development to prepare them for kindergarten. One-hundred forty-seven parents and children were enrolled in this program in FY2014.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

$288,346.00

Program 2

Adult Basic Skills Program

Adult Basic Skills continues to be the foundation of Learning Lab’s instructional programs for adults. The program is designed to help under-educated adults improve their reading, writing, mathematics, spelling and grammar skills. As students enroll in Adult Basic Skills, they determine their academic needs and goals and a course of study is individualized for each student. The program curriculum is based on interactive-computer programs and supplemented by teacher-assisted one-on-one and small group instruction. Open Lab, a new class, expands the use of our classroom computers and educational software by allowing enrolled students and those on our waiting list to attend drop in sessions.  Seventeen adults were enrolled in these classes in FY2014.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Adults

None

Budget

$77,339.00

Program 3

English-Language Instruction Program

English-language instruction is offered to adults whose native language is other than English to increase their ability to become self-sufficient members of our community. Students learn conversation, vocabulary and pronunciation in addition to the instructions offered in Adult Basic Skills. Because many English Language Learners are recent immigrants to the United States, Learning Lab helps them adjust to the cultural and societal differences they encounter, while encouraging our students to recognize their cultural heritage and preserve their traditions. There are many opportunities in both the adult and children’s classes for students to share information about their native country and ethnicity. Students learn how to integrate their cultural identity into life in America. Conversation Club, a new class, allows those students on our waiting list to begin improving their communication skills immediately. One hundred ninety-four adults were enrolled in these classes in FY2014.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

None

None

Budget

$143,630.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our goals for the current year are to maintain current capacity at Learning Lab Facilities on the 4th floor of the Boise Public Library, the Anna Margaret Jones Center for Learning in Garden City, and the Boise Public Library at Cole and Ustick. We hope to expand evening classes to additional Boise Public Library branches to accommodate additional students on our waiting list. In addition, we plan to begin community outreach geared toward refugee families.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Learning Lab practices the principle of Continuous Quality Improvement. Our smaller size and freedom as an independent nonprofit allow us to be agile and responsible to areas of concern. We frequently monitor student progress, structure, teacher assignments and performance, software use, and effectiveness of supplemental materials. We try new approaches and products to stay on top of adult education strategies, and we have the “let's keep trying to improve" attitude as a constant.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    In addition to our talented team of educators, our dedicated volunteer tutors provide the individualized instruction that helps our students thrive. Of our current 148 active volunteer tutors, 109 tutor at least once a week in the adult's and children's classrooms. 15 of these tutors have tutored students for more than 10 years. 31 tutors have joined so far in 2014. Last fiscal year, tutors donated nearly 8200 hours to our students. Why? Because they know their time makes a real difference in someone's life. Their work matters. In the children's classrooms, volunteers help toddlers use their natural curiosity to gain pre-literacy skills or help a preschooler learn the skills she'll need to enter kindergarten. In the adult classrooms, tutors work one- on- one or in small groups, to implement personalized lessons designed by the educator so students can achieve their goals. Tutors encourage each student, helping to increase self-confidence and improve literacy skills. Additionally, they provide feedback to the educator so lessons can be tweaked to better meet the needs of the students. This partnership between educators, tutors and students cultivates an environment of support and has the power to transform lives. Tutors have been integral to Learning Lab students' success since our organization's inception and will always be vital to our programs and most importantly, our students.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    For the programs, we start by gathering standard information on each student and recording that in an Access Database, customized to record critical student progress indicators, as well as demographic data. Educators record pre-test scores at enrollment, attendance, progress notes, and standardized test scores given after every 70 hours of class time. Our Education Director queries the database to provide reports on student progress, as well as attendance, and other accomplishments, like GED practice tests or citizenship tests.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    This year we celebrate our 25th year. We have served over 3,600 individuals in that time. We began with 1 teacher and 4 volunteer tutors and today have 11 educators and over 165 active volunteer tutors. Our main challenge continues to be the high demand for our classes which exceeds our capacity. This fall we are beginning a new outreach program to low-income apartment complexes where we can serve individuals who struggle with transportation barriers.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Idaho

Treasure Valley, Ada & Canyon Counties, Idaho

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

Students pay a sliding fee based on their annual family income. 92% of students are low or very low income and some pay $10 to $40 per month as determined by the sliding fee scale. Last fiscal year, students paid only 1% of their education costs. The other 99% of the annual cost was funded by our generous donors.

photos




External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

LEARNING LAB INC
Fiscal year: Jun 01-May 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

LEARNING LAB INC

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Ann Heilman

BIO

An Idaho native, Ann spent 23 years in public service with the State of Idaho, most recently as administrator of the Division of Human Resources for Governor Dirk Kempthorne from 1999 to 2006. She directed the State Personnel System and provided consultation on HR management to the governor and legislature. In addition to her HR leadership roles, Heilman spent many years with the Department of Health & Welfare in social work, planning and research, and social services administration and management. Heilman also brings Learning Lab her previous experience in nonprofit management She was program manager for the Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo, North Dakota, and later served as the Executive Director of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead. Ann is Boise State University alumni, and a devoted member of the Bronco Nation. She earned a bachelor?s degree in Social Work and a master?s in Public Administration at BSU. She and her husband are longtime Boise residents and have two daughters.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"With the generous support of our community, Learning Lab just completed our 21st year of service to people who struggle with basic reading, writing, math and English skills. Low literacy skills trap people in a life where every day is hard and poverty seems insurmountable. Our classes pave a new path for our students. Step by step, with support and encouragement, the joy of reading and learning sparks. There is a synergy created from the students' spirit, the volunteers' coaching, the teachers' insight, the specialized curriculum and software, and a love of learning that is always part of the atmosphere. Learning Lab changes lives every day. Words and numbers that were a mystery yesterday, have meaning and depth of understanding today. Students, who once lived with the fear and embarrassment of being illiterate, are treated with dignity, kindness and respect. They develop positive feelings about education, and we provide a way for them to see a future that is more productive, engaged, and successful, not only for them, but for their children too. The ripple effect each student makes when their literacy levels increase is dramatic and far reaching. Our dedication is unwavering, and our organization is strong. We are committed to our cause – to teach, to support, to help create a brighter future for all who struggle with literacy. Ann Heilman, Executive Director"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Julie Hawkins

Eide Bailly

Term: June 2016 - May 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

Yes

ETHICS & 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?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan