Local Luxury Studio City Realtor talks with owner of Genius Kids Club Kelli Kirkland Part 1

Hey everybody it is me Corrie Sommers. Today I am here with Kelli with Genius Kids, I’m sorry the Genius Kids Club and we’re gonna talk about exactly what her business is and what she does here. And something you’re gonna want to take a look at so stay tuned. So Kelli Genius Kids Club, tell us exactly what this is because I see around this room and I see lots of creativity and art and I’ve been you know by before when you had kids in here yeah painting and what exactly is Genius Kids Club? Well I’ve been an educator for many many years and I truly believe that every kid has some type of genius inside of them whether it’s artistic whether its scientific whether it’s cooking whatever it is. Every kid, everyone, every human being has something to offer and unfortunately I think the way schools are set up they don’t always honor all the various gifts if you don’t just, if you aren’t great at reading or math and your gift sort of don’t matter unfortunately. And I’m trying to change that perspective and help kids to understand that you may not be the greatest mathematician, but you may be the greatest artist. Or you may not be the best scientist, but you are really great at sharing and caring for people. And all of those things matter. And so we really work hard here to honor them through art, science, cooking, creativity and every sort of thing you can imagine. Even sometimes water balloon fights. Oh so when I was here if I had guessed, I would guess that the kids were all about 5 or 6 years old. So in that class it might have been we work with kids ages 12 months to 12 years so it’s a wide span. We like to get them from diapers, to getting ready to go on dates! Yes, but ready for dates at 12 years old? Must not make some dads so happy. Yes, even sometimes in class we just focus. Not on the boy across the room. Okay so you so you have different class sessions. Yes, based on age, as we break them down to ages – so we have our littlest ones who are here with their parents or grandparents or caregivers. Once they turn three they can start doing the sit-down classes where we cook, bake, do science, art, chemistry, ceramics all sorts of things. So we break them down by ages. Then we have ages 3 to 6 then 7, 8, 9 then 10, 11, 12. It’s important for kids to learn in an environment where they’re safe and lots of studies show that their safest when they’re in like ages. Within an age range a four year old really shouldn’t be in the same class with a 12 year old. Yeah, so this is your not a daycare persay. We are not a daycare it’s come for your class and then head on home. We supplement whatever is not happening at school. In theory my business should not exist because schools should be providing this during the day for kids. This is, it shouldn’t be a thing that they need in addition. But unfortunately schools because of budget concerns and so forth aren’t always able to offer the extra things that a lot of kids need. And what may seem extra for someone may be the thing that that person grows up and makes a living doing. That person may be a chef or an artist or a scientist and if you don’t have those opportunities in school, how will you know that your gift is something special? And something to be celebrated, right? And I feel like with budget cuts; art and music are always like the first to go right. Oh yes, it’s really unfortunate, yeah. So what made you decide to start this business because you kind of mentioned you theoretically shouldn’t really have this business right? So what made you actually say I’m gonna do this? Well I had thought nothing of the sort my son Apollo was just about to turn 6 and I was done with my contract at the preschool where I was a director and I wanted to say an education but do a few more ages that wasn’t sure what to do. And over Domino’s Pizza on Friday night he described literally what I have now? And I thought that’s interesting an art and science club those two things don’t necessarily go together. I will never forget he said yes momma, because if you want to be a great scientist you have to be creative and think outside the box just like an artist. If you want to be a great artist you have to know what materials work together and don’t work together like a scientist. So yeah while they did go together and I literally went oh Genius!!! And I emailed my accountant Stephanie from my phone and I said Stephanie apologist told me the greatest idea there was the most genius idea for this kids club it doesn’t exist here in LA and I want to start it! And three months later we opened our doors. That’s amazing know how long have you been open? We just started year four and so we’re getting ready to expand to our second location which is very exciting. And we now do summer camps as well so. That was a little nugget of an idea over our $10 pizzas that turned into something really special. That was literally about to be the next question, if you were expanding yet and where. Yes so we have had clients come as far as Valencia, Pasadena and the Westside which for LA folks you know you might as well be coming from like Alaska. And I love that parents are willing to travel but it’s tough when kids are in the car. Especially little kids they an hour in the car… And we want kids to be able to come in and come at their best. So our goal is to franchise through multiple locations so that we’re always within a 15 minute drive or so. And for kids to have access and we hope that eventually we are able to get some funding and some scholarship opportunities because as much as I love that parents are willing to pay for this there are thousands of kids all around town who – eighty dollars a month that’s the difference between food on your table or not right. And it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to have access to something like this. So that’s our ultimate goal, to eventually be able to offer this at no cost to kids who can’t afford it. So you would probably want government to get involved? well I don’t know about that…. what I hope is that we are able to fundraise or work with a non-profit or some sort of organization that can help get funding. So that we can give kids access to these that we could go to schools and maybe lower-income areas. Or you know just areas where parents can’t take off work to get their kids to Genius Kids Club but if we can provide it in their schools at no charge to them it would really it could change the world. Kids could have access to something that they really deserve.

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