Meet our founder
Sarah Katrina grew up in Southern California with her immigrant parents. Growing up with her half-deaf father, disabled older brother, cultural differences, and English as her second language, she understood from these life experiences how vital child development and strong academics make for successful children and families. Her first-grade teacher served as a role model for Sarah Katrina as a teacher dedicated to seeing her students thrive and not just survive. Today, Sarah Katrina is known by her students as Mrs. M. She is passionate about combining primary education and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) she believes that once the foundation is built, growth happens. Inspired by her life and teaching journey, Kids on the Yard was born.
After graduating from college in the early 2000s she spent roughly seven years in the public school system teaching. She realized something was missing: emotional awareness in the classroom. Soon after that, she began a new role for the next nine years, as a trained and certified Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Educator. A role that brought her to teach SEL in charter schools, public schools, private schools, nonprofit organizations such as Big Sister/Big Brother, Boys and Girls Club, The Foster Care System, and countless other programs that work with children in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York metropolitan area. Between 2008-2010, she toured most major cities around the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to teach adults and children SEL and trained instructors to incorporate SEL into their daily lives and classrooms. Between 2014-2017, she grabbed the opportunities to teach children in underprivileged communities in Miami Dade, Florida, and NYC. Sarah Katrina was pivotal in creating an internationally recognized social-emotional learning program.
In 2017, Sarah Katrina went back to the classroom and in summer 2018 started, “Kids on the Yard” with one focus: 21st-Century Whole Child Approach Tutoring for In-Person and Online by Inspiring Personal Growth. Sarah Katrina’s tutoring company had spent several years under the umbrella of a technology company. That time allowed her to foster and build the right tools to combine SEL and Academica. In the middle of 2020, like most of the teachers, she moved to remote teaching. Kids on the Yard started to receive daily calls from parents struggling with distance learning, kids at home, working from home, and all the emotions that came with that process.
“Kids on the Yard” team quickly added an additional focus to our services to support parents and children for the school year 2020-2021. We added information and a FREE consultation that would help parents navigate new waters to make the best proactive decision for their families. We have spoken to 1,000s of families this summer to provide knowledge to the best of our experience to date.
Over the years, what she learned the most is that life happens on the yard and in the classroom. Sarah Katrina lives in southern California with her husband, step-children, and very adorable and fabulously loud Sun conure, all while pursuing their rainbow babies. She is also teaching first and second grade at a dual curriculum private school in Beverly Hills. She continues to pave the way as a global mental health advocate for children and families.