To provide a creative, educational, and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow in character and community for success in a changing world.
Kaleidoscope Place was founded in 1971 and is the result of a vision members of Messiah and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Churches had over 40 years ago. These churches wanted to build bridges between their congregations and the people in the Phillips community. When the program began in 1971, it was exclusively a summer day camp which ran for six weeks. The churches wanted to provide a safe and enriching place for children to go during the summer months. The churches made a conscious decision to not provide religious programming in order to be inclusive to all children. In the early 1980s a small after school program was started, but unfortunately had to be discontinued after a number of years due to lack of resources.
Over the past several years, the program has grown substantially. In 1994, Kids’ Place, our current after school program (now called After School Kids), began as a pilot program. The 1994-1995 school year was its first full year of programming. The program provided homework help, basic skill instruction, and recreational activities after school, with the purpose of helping children perform at grade level in school. The Children’s Garden program, a partnership with the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, was also started in 1994. In 1995, the Summer Kids program was extended to eight weeks. In January of 2009 Kaleidoscope moved, for the first time in 39 years, into Lutheran Social Service’s Center for Changing Lives. Funding for Kaleidoscope is currently provided by churches, foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Kaleidoscope strives to not only be a resource to those in the Phillips Neighborhood, but to be an active part of the community. To help meet the needs of those in our community, all of the programming at Kaleidoscope is highly affordable for participants. Currently Kaleidoscope offers five programs: After School Kids, Summer Kids, Children’s Garden, Youth Employment, and Families Together.