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The Kaleidoscope Youth Program provides educational and recreational programs for youth at Island Grove Village Apartments (IGV) and the surrounding community.  Completely volunteer-based, Kaleidoscope as a summer program in 2005 and 2006 provided 27 all-volunteer taught classes for more than 1,460 hours of activities to 170 IGV and area youth, as well as serving as host to other organizations participating in Kaleidoscope's fun, including the City of Greeley's "Summer Fun in the Sun" program and nearby Habitat for Humanity residents.

With its year-round emphasis on homework and academic achievement, Kaleidoscope is designed to be a collaborative effort with area educators, including direct referrals from teachers, an Advisory Board which already includes three Greeley-Evans District 6 teachers, and a "can do" philosophy that encourages exploration, discovery, and a whole lot of fun.



When Greeley-Evans School District 6 was placed on an academic watch list for the State's poorest performing schools in November 2005, parents, teachers, Greeley residents, and City officials were taken aback.  But those of us living and working in Northeast Greeley had our worst suspicions confirmed when Billie Martinez 3rd grade Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) reading scores showed an abysmal 33 percent proficiency, 14 points lower than the year before.  These kids need help and support.

Statistics garnered from the first-ever Household Survey on How Kids Spend the After-School Hours, commissioned by The Afterschool Alliance with funding by the JC Penney Afterschool Fund, show:

  • 33% of Colorado K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school, and 18% of these kids would participate in an after-school program if one were available
  • 77% of children from single-parent households have a parent who works
  • 95% of Colorado parents are extremely or somewhat satisfied with the after-school program their child attends
  • The top three reasons Colorado parents choose a specific after-school program for their children are: child enjoyment, location, and affordability


Nearly 50 years ago, June Cleaver had milk and cookies waiting on the kitchen table for Wally and Beaver when they got home from school, and the brothers snacked while struggling through algebra or spelling word lists before heading out in their "play" clothes to get into some minor trouble with Eddie Haskel or Lumpy Rutherford.  Studies show that many parents today, especially single mothers in low-income neighborhoods, are working when their kids get home, and Eddie's and Lumpy's escapades are nothing at all like the trouble kids can get into in the neighborhood these days.

To meet the after-school needs of IGV and neighborhood youth, Kaleidoscope is, well, simple.  Its goals are simple, and its approach to providing academic- and recreation-based activities is simple: If you give a kid something to do after school, then he/she has something to do after school.

We know from the success of our award-winning "After-School Adventures" program that we have the ability to attract and engage kids: an average of 60 boys and girls a day attended our structured, theme-based activities.  And we know that there are easy ways to interest kids in rainforests and space travel and history, because we did it week after week for five years. 

So, we're taking the issue of academic support head-on this time with Kaleidoscope.  One hour of homework, tutoring, and skills-building activities will be followed by one hour of structured and fun activities designed to sneak in a bit of learning and practical application of academic skills -- but don't tell them that!  Reading, writing, math, geography, history, and science will be infused into all the fun stuff, after the homework is completed.

Participant numbers will be kept to 24 at a time, volunteer tutors will ensure a one-to-four ratio, academic achievement will be rewarded, direct communication with teachers will be our responsibility, learning will be fun, activities will be enriching, homework will be completed.

And we'll serve cookies.


To create a calm, supportive environment for homework, studying, and tutoring to foster academic achievement, improve study and homework habits, and encourage learning for IGV and area youth by:

  1. Developing programmed after-school activities structured around homework, studying, and academic support and tutoring.  One hour of “quiet time" for tutoring, homework, academic support, and skills development; one-to-four tutor-student ratio with “stable” of volunteers; consistency of all-volunteer tutors to enable relationship-building.
  2. Developing weekly, theme-based, after-homework activity program, “World Tour ’06-‘07” to take participants on virtual, one-year tour of the world.  One hour of structured fun activities (crafts, music, Internet, games, language skills) using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist ) as guideline to appeal to every kid’s skills and abilities; corresponding ancillary events and/or presentations (food, presenters, music, movies, etc.) to complement WT ‘06-’07 activities; document “travel” progress with maps, journals, mileage charts, GPS coordinates, travel posters, etc.
  3. Integrating Kaleidoscope efforts into larger community by creating and nurturing positive, supportive, responsible relationships with parents, teachers, and administrators.  Communication with parents, teachers, administrators (newsletter, emails, phone contacts, at-school visits); teacher contact, referrals, feedback (phone calls, program brochures, referral information); weekly themes that support school work (common destinations, additional resources, creative “tie-ins”).




The Grove Neighborhood Network computer lab

Island Grove Village Apartments

Trinity Episcopal Church

HUD Neighborhood Networks