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Kaleidoscope Connections

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Join Us For Kaleidoscope Connections

Informal and fun discussions will be led by experts in their fields about best practice implementation, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities to build young child social emotional development. Together, we can make Wake County places kids go into places kids grow.

Sign up for one or more sessions. Invite your colleagues. Forward the invitation to your contacts. Registrations are helpful but not required.

Tuesday, May 15, 3 pm - 5 pm: Physical Accessibility and Inclusion

  • Host: Anna Troutman, Director of Programs, Wake County SmartStart
  • Co-Host: Aron Hall, Director of Programs, National Inclusion Project
  • Location: Laurel Hills Community Center, 3808 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27612

Tuesday, June 19, 9 am - 11 am: Outdoor Park Activities and Ideas You Can Implement

  • Host: Stacie Hagwood, Director, Walnut Creek Wetland Park
  • Co-Host: Brad Bieber, Bieber Landscape Design
  • Location: Walnut Creek Wetlands Park, 950 Peterson Street, Raleigh, NC 27610

Tuesday, July 17, 1 pm - 3 pm, Building Resilience in Young Children

  • Host: Angie Welsh, Project Director, The Kaleidoscope Project
  • Location: Garner Police Department, 912 7th Ave., Garner, NC, 27529

Tuesday, August 21, 1 pm - 3 pm, Making Improvements Sustainable: Policies that Matter

  • Host: Anna Troutman, Director of Programs, Wake County SmartStart
  • Location: Wake County SmartStart, 4901 Waters Edge Dr, #101, Raleigh, NC 27606


The Kaleidoscope Project

The Kaleidoscope Project is a community initiative that generates attention to and action around the critically important role healthy places and people play in the social emotional development of children and families. Kaleidoscope works collaboratively to enhance the location and impact of places kids go to make them places kids grow.

Positive mental health influences children’s ability to learn, make sound decisions, and behave in positive and healthy ways. And children with high levels of social emotional well-being are able to form connections with other people, better regulate their emotions, and develop positive coping mechanisms and resilience in the face of adversity.

Young children’s social emotional development (ages 0 – 8) takes place within the caregiving environment around them, including both the social and physical environment. When we pay attention to certain best practices, we can create spaces where children thrive. Many things work, both big and small. Do one thing; do many things; it all matters.


The Best Practices

Build Positive Relationships Staff and adults who are caring and responsive role models, and clear and open communicators, help children create warm and trusting relationships.

Use Nature to Nurture The great outdoors can play a big role in children’s healthy development — inspiring curiosity, encouraging creativity, spreading joy and relieving stress.

Create Diverse Spaces and Activities Varied, engaging spaces invite children to experience lots of activities of different kinds, so they can explore and master new skills.

Foster Safety and Support Comfortable secure spaces make children feel at ease trying new things, accepting fun challenges and focusing on what’s important: being a kid.

Enhance Accessibility and Inclusion Welcoming, convenient spaces allow children of all abilities, cultures and backgrounds to feel at home and feel like a valued part of our community.

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