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Sacred Hearts Preschool keiki get a jumpstart on education

By Staff | Jul 28, 2016

Recent Early Learning Center graduate Tristan Richard picks a carrot from the school garden.

LAHAINA – Twenty graduates of Ke Kula Kamali’i Pu’uwai La’a, the Early Learning Center at Sacred Hearts School, are about to begin their kindergarten adventure.

Since graduates of Sacred Hearts’ Early Learning Center are given first priority to register for the esteemed kindergarten program, space for those who do not attend the SHS preschool program can be limited. This year, the school was only able to accommodate five kindergarteners from other preschools.

To encourage families to start at the beginning and give their kids an opportunity to go through this special preschool program, the school is holding a drawing for a $500 tuition credit for all who attend the ELC Orientation and Open House on Saturday, July 30.

What makes the Early Learning Center so distinctive? These little tykes leave ELC Lead Teacher Vanessa Brovelli with a strong foundation in core subjects, art, performing arts and Multicultural Studies, and a head start on important social skills.

Before children are able to graduate from preschool, they are tested for reading and math readiness and social and emotional development. Many students are already reading by the time they begin kindergarten. Parents are kept informed on students’ progress throughout the year.

Ke Kula Kamali’i Pu’uwai La’a also encourages hands-on learning through fieldtrips and garden work. During the 2015-16 school year, the ELC keiki took a learning journey to the Nature Center in Iao Valley, where students learned about water cycles, forest life, and soil and stream creatures.

Recent ELC graduate Tristan Richard, 5, said that “my favorite memory of our Iao Valley field trip was learning about fish!”

ELC teacher Nicole Okada, who is also chair of an ongoing garden project, exposed preschool students to the basics of gardening, the science of composting and farm-to-table methods – work that has been made possible through $5,300 in grants from the Augustine Educational Foundation.

The program also received an $800 grant from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation for school garden curriculum.

To learn more about the preschool program at Sacred Hearts School, visit www.shsmaui.org. The Early Learning Center will be holding its orientation and Open House for all ELC families on July 30 at 9 a.m. on campus in Mother Marianne Cope Hall. There will be a drawing for a $500 tuition credit for all that attend.

To register for Ke Kula Kamali’i Pu’uwai La’a, call 661-4720. There are limited spaces still available.