Montessori preschool opening

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Marci Whitman, Montessori certified director, talks about the transformation of the space at Hokulei Village in Puhi into the Keiki Montessori of Kauai Preschool.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Marci Whitman, the Montessori certified director, peers from inside the space where the Keiki Montessori of Kauai Preschool will open next week at Hokulei Village in Puhi.

LIHUE — The Keiki Montessori of Kauai Preschool will be opening next week at Hokulei Village.

“Things will happen real fast from this point,” said Marci Whitman, Montessori certified director of the preschool located adjacent to Uncle’s Shave Ice and Bedmart.

Whitman said because the licensing process will not be completed until next Thursday, there is a lot of room for students in the facility that will feature two classrooms with a capacity of 24 students in each classroom. There is also an indoor playground with Montessori equipment.

“Initially, we have one Montessori certified instructor so we’re looking at starting with 24 students,” Whitman said.

The school can register students once the licensing is complete. It will take care of children from 2.8 years through 6 years old.

Keiki Montessori will open with up to 24 registered students, with the remaining space to accommodate drop-in students.

“Our goal to provide the community with a safe, nurturing, educational environment for their children, a place where the children can develop socially, emotionally, physically and academically, a place where the children are respected, and will develop a life-long love of learning,” Whitman said.

Keiki Montessori of Kauai will be offering a daily drop-in program from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Whitman comes with 13 years experience operating a Montessori school in Northern California.

“I’ve wanted to open a Montessori school here for a long time,” Whitman said. “We had several locations lined up, but could not get the proper permitting. When I found out that Ev Sowa, also Montessori certified, wanted to open a preschool, we got together and decided to do it together. I have all of this Montessori equipment currently stored in my garage. We just needed the space to get it up and going.”

Dr. Mara Montessori (1870-1952) developed her approach to education out of observations of children. She was motivated by her desire to create a more peaceful world by nurturing the spirit of each child.

“It’s not uncommon for children not doing all the same thing at the same time,” Whitman said. “Another aspect of a Montessori classroom is where the younger children observe and are inspired by the older children. This in turn reinforces the child’s knowledge through teaching, and helps build self-confidence.”


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