(formerly the International Institute for Student Support)

You want to help kids flourish. Let's do it together.

Next Public Training Event

Kaleidoscope Academy Phase 1 & 2

August 8-11 Edmonton, AB Canada

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Kaleidoscope Connect Factsheet (PDF) | Student Support Card Assessment Info (PDF)

How We Work

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We know that real change must be systemic, and that all of the stakeholders involved in the lives of youth, including the youths themselves, profoundly benefit from meaningful and measurable collaborative engagement, problem-solving, and relationship-building.

Our framework for developing and implementing an initiative includes helping to coordinate, lead, and support student-centered events such as Phlight Club™ and Professional Development for youth-serving adults through our Kaleidoscope Academies™. We also help our partners to lead learning and connecting activities with parents and community members to see "in full color."

Our online tools and associated training help to measure and communicate a youth’s kaleidoscope snapshots (developmental ecologies) and help themselves, and their caring adults, target areas for discussion, action, and growth.

A Full-Spectrum Approach

School improvement efforts place a great deal of the burden for student success upon our public schools. Strong families, and community leaders, understand that the school is merely one of several sectors of the community (family, faith community, neighbors, youth serving organizations) that contribute to the success and well being of young people. Both common sense and research show that students need the support and guidance of adults.

Schools work to engage the parents and community in the education and preparation of their children. While each student's academic Report Card is important, it only provides half of the story about that student's success. There are measurable metrics that provide data on what we call, "the other side of the report card." The Student Support Card™ helps to correlate each student’s academic performance with the developmental ecology that surrounds them. It breaks down barriers, shows the strengths of families, and where they can make a difference.

Kaleidoscope Connect's Student Support Card™ assessment system and related services are based on the full-spectrum approach of Integrative Youth Development (IYD)™, which measures and assesses the key metrics, what we refer to as phactors, of a youth's developmental ecology.

Each unique developmental ecology consists of a kaleidoscope of color — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV). Our kaleidoscope changes as we grow, evolve ... from year to year, and sometimes even day to day.

We need a full-spectrum in our kaleidoscope to do well in our lives. Kaleidoscope Connect activities, especially our Phlight Clubs™, help reveal and enrich each youth's kaleidoscope and helps shed light and better focus on where and how they can fly toward their futures.

The Rule of Five

Anchors for the "Web of Support" — The foundation for a personal village for each child/youth by five caring adults (or more) having high expectations and providing opportunities, teaching skills, and celebrating relative best in appropriate ways.

Tangible Strings

Adding strings to the "Web of Support" — Measurable supports provided through the anchors that shape the home, school, and community environment of each child/youth.

Intangible Strings

Adding strings of virtues to the "Web of Support" — Important, yet difficult to measure, beliefs, values, and behaviors that are being taught to and caught by the child/youth.

Growing the Balloon

These DNA-based characteristics and talents that increase the likelihood that the child/youth will remain connected to any web that they are given.)

Scissor Cuts

Reducing or eliminating the conditions, actions, and attitudes that erode the supports being created by the adult anchors.

Caring for the Carers

The web beneath the anchors — Supporting those who anchor the web so they do not drop out of their lives even when circumstances in their own lives change.

Social Norms

The storm that affects the entire web — The climate and culture of the social environment (home, school, and/or community) that have been accepted or agreed upon by a critical number of adults.

The Kaleidoscope Connect framework and related tools and services support the common sense knowledge of what people, of all cultures, know and understand about helping kids succeed. This framework is built around the best of the positive youth development research (e.g., Hawkins and Catalano's Communities that Care, Benson’s Developmental Assets, Kretzman and McNight's Building Communities from the Inside Out, Peterson's Rule of Five, Pittman’s Dashboard, Werner's Children of Kauai, the Positive Youth Development movement, Social Norming, and others).

Kaleidoscope Connect unites competing programs, professional and personal paradigms and vocabularies, and funding silos within a community to one focus — helping kids flourish now and throughout their lifetime. It is brought forth to the community as a "remembering" rather than a new solution from an outside expert. Its common sense, research-based language and frame of reference is used to organize, promote, and measure efforts targeted at children and youth. Our ecological youth development model that incorporates all of the evidence-based resiliency frameworks and it offers youth, families, agencies, schools a way to measure the relevance of their work, and to further focus their resources on "what matters and what works".

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