Kaleidoscope: Smart Start program gaining in popularity

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2024

By Allison Gupton

Community Relations

& Education Coordinator

Smart Start of Davie

C.S. Lewis once said: “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”

At Smart Start of Davie County, this is evident through a growing program called Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope started during the summer of 2022, after weekly story times became popular, and caregivers shared that they were looking for ways to help their children grow. From growing social skills to academic skills, caregivers and children were looking for a place to gather and learn with other families.

Each week, children ages birth to 5 and their caregivers come together for a 90-minute session where they engage in outdoor exploration, story time, music and movement, arts and crafts, and snack.  Playgroup facilitators are trained to model appropriate child-caregiver and child-child interactions.

Each week there are key messages that accompany the theme, designed to help caregivers support children in growing skills to prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.

As the popularity of the first playgroup grew beyond its capacity, Smart Start realized they needed another group and sought additional funding to provide a second playgroup that launched in August of 2023. Smart Start is now looking towards expanding once again in partnership with the Davie County Public Library.

Caregivers have shared how Kaleidoscope has laid the foundation for their children to successfully enter preschool. For those families whose children are not otherwise in formal care, the group allows them to learn skills and socialize with other kids.  And caregivers are building a network with each other and learning from other families about opportunities and resources.

This program is one of several that Smart Start offers as they serve and support children ages birth to 5. Funding is made possible by the support of community members, grants, and fundraising dollars.  Playgroup expansion most recently has been made possible through generous grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, The Margaret C. Woodson Foundation, and the Davie Community Foundation’s Pearls of Empowerment.

Hoedown Time

Smart Start will host its 11th Annual Hometown Hoedown on Friday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at WinMock at Kinderton. The evening will include dinner, a dessert dash, silent and live auctions, and dancing. For ticket or sponsorship information, email info@daviesmartstart.org.

For more information about early education programs, contact 336-751-2113 or info@daviesmartstart.org or visit www.daviesmartstart.org.