Kuwae Preschool website: http://kuwaepreschool.com/
Location: Bldg 6047, Camp Lester, Okinawa | PSC 482, Box 2844FPO, AP 96362645-8419
Kuwae Preschool is a private, non-profit organization that offers a quality half-day program in early childhood education for children between the ages of 3-5 who are dependents of U.S. Military and SOFA status civilian personnel in Okinawa, Japan.
KPS’s mission is to offer a high quality early childhood program that provides a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. Its program promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language.
The curriculum offered introduces areas of interest (centers) that support creativity and encourage children to move at their own pace in an environment where they can succeed. The teacher’s role is to recognize the individual differences of children; provide a learning environment that encourages children’s self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline.
KPS is accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and is committed to serving children in a developmentally appropriate environment. Kuwae children are encouraged to come to school, make friends, and develop to their full potential.
KPS is proud to offer The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, a high quality, fun, educational, and developmentally appropriate program for children ages three to five. The Creative Curriculum for Preschool encourages children to experiment, explore, and pursue their own interests in a well-organized and structured environment with clear goals and specific objectives. Its underlying philosophy is based on child development theory and research such as:
• Abraham Maslow–Basic needs and learning
• Erik Erikson–The emotions and learning
• Jean Piaget–Logical thinking and reasoning • Lev Vygotsky–Social interaction and learning
• Howard Gardner–Multiple intelligences
• Sara Smilansky–Play and learning
• Research on learning and resiliency
• Research on learning and the brain
The Creative Curriculum for Preschool introduces eleven well-organized interest areas; computer, library, dramatic play, blocks, toys & games, arts, music & movement, discovery, cooking, sand & water and outdoor. Each center supports creativity and encourages children to move at their own pace in an environment where they can succeed. The children learn through the exploration of new ideas, trial and error, logical thinking, reasoning and cooperative play. In order to support families’ diverse needs and interests, KPS teachers posses necessary skills and knowledge to promote children’s learning and development in an inclusive environment. In addition, KPS is fortunate to employ three English-speaking Japanese nationals as teacher’s aides. Each Teacher Aide designs daily, as well as monthly cultural lesson plans such as cooking, crafts, songs, games, stories, language, and counting amongst others. The lesson plans align with the philosophy and guidelines of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool to teach the children about the Japanese culture.
Class sessions are in the morning from 9:00 to 11:30 or in the afternoon from 12:30 to 3:00 pm. Classes offered for 3-year-old children by September 1st are held two (Tue-Thurs) or three (Mon-Wed-Fri) days per week.
Classes offered for 4-5-year-old children by September 1st are held three (Mon-Wed-Fri), or five (Mon-Fri) days per week.
KPS is established as a private organization under the provisions of Marine Corps Base, Camp S.D. Bulter Order 5760.1C, the existence of which is dependent upon the approval of the Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp S.D. Bulter, or his designated representatives.
History of the school:
Established in 1960 KPS was named Sukiran Preschool because KPS was part of Sukiran Elementary School (now called Zukeran Elementary). The 72 students of KPS met for classes in a Quonset hut located across the street from the Kuwae Lodge. Sukiran’s two 4-year old and one 3-year old class met for 2-hour sessions in the morning only. In 1979, the name of the school was changed to Camp Kuwae Preschool. By that time, Camp Kuwae had three morning and three afternoon classes. During the 1979-1980 school year the school received orders to vacate the Quonset hut due for demolition, causing KPS to begin a search for a new building. After an extensive search, Camp Kuwae moved to its present location for the start of the 1980-1981 school year.