PODER Emma and Kaleidoscope Play & Learn
PODER Emma Community Ownership creates tools and strategies to prevent displacement and preserve the tight-knit nature of mobile home communities which keep families safe. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups support caretakers and young children with weekly facilitated playgroups that promote kindergarten readiness, early literacy, and family connection. Each session includes a combination of child-directed playtime and structured time during which the facilitator models educational activities that caregivers can do at home with their children. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, other caregivers, and family members learn about:
- Turning everyday activities – such as grocery shopping, cooking, and bath time – into early learning opportunities.
- Child development from birth to age five.
- Skills children are expected to have when they start school.
- Community programs and services that are available to help raise healthy children.
The program is free of charge to the families who participate thanks to community support.
Where will the money go?
For years, parents have lamented that there are hardly any activities available for free for infants and toddlers in Buncombe County. Opportunities for caretakers to connect with other parents of young children are severely lacking as well. Even fewer opportunities for infants, toddlers, and caretakers are available in Spanish.
But with your support, the Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups at PODER Emma are empowered to take on these challenges.
By tailoring content to local Spanish-speaking caregivers and their children, and by placing power in the hands of the folks in the Emma community, a new, progressive chapter in early education is on the brink of unfolding. It is time to come closer to implementing this widely respected program in a way that is inclusive to all children, languages, and cultures, and you can make that happen. The Kaleidoscope model will build on the interests of Emma-area caregivers by encouraging them to invite guest speakers to the group, to provide feedback and direction to the group facilitator, and to take on leadership roles like welcoming families to class or leading a puppet show. The new Play & Learn Group will also provide paid training and work for early childhood professionals already living in the Emma Community—who have the strongest connections and greatest knowledge of the perspectives and interests of their neighbors with young children.
You can help new teachers recruited from the PODER Emma Worker’s Collective to receive Play & Learn training, tap into community connections, enroll families in the program, and provide Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups in Spanish. You will also help outfit a classroom space with Spanish-language materials and books by Spanish-speaking authors. Take-home activity backpacks will be provided for the Emma site and will serve as the start of a larger PODER Emma lending library. While COVID-19 prevents in-person meetings, online offerings are in the works for children and families, and much of the preparation for the Emma Play & Learn site can be accomplished virtually and/or while maintaining social distancing.
How do I get involved?
Whether you donate $5, $20, $50, or more, every dollar makes a difference!
$5 / 1 raffle ticket
Creates a take-home activity kit for a Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Family from the Emma community.
$20 / 5 raffle tickets
Supports the hourly stipend for a Kaleidoscope facilitator from the PODER Emma Worker’s Collective.
$50 / 15 raffle tickets
Purchases a bookcase, rug, or play materials to help outfit the Kaleidoscope classroom.
If you want to discuss how you can make an even bigger impact, we’d love to hear your ideas. Write us a comment in the donation form below or contact Carol Ann Willhite (email@example.com or 828-484-2363) to start the conversation.