If you are a parent with young children on Lanai, then you are probably familiar with E Malama I Na Keiki O Lanai, the preschool that has served the community for many years.
It’s an exciting time for the preschool. Director Lisa Kaniho began in February after Gail Shin, the longtime head of school, retired. Kaniho is excited to foster a love for learning in the island’s next generation of students.
“I feel very fortunate to be part of Keiki O Lanai,” said Kaniho. “We have an incredible group of children, parents and teachers.”
About the preschool program
Keiki O Lanai currently has 26 students enrolled in both half-day and full-day programs. The school offers a fun and caring environment for kids, ages 3 to 5, to get their education off to a great start.
Young students learn to socialize with their peers and get to enjoy a wide variety of activities, including arts and crafts. In addition, the preschoolers get early exposure to instruction in a classroom setting to help them prepare for kindergarten. According to Kaniho, the school’s dedicated teachers are key to children enjoying their time at school.
“The staff makes Keiki O Lanai such a positive experience for our kids. We really love seeing 26 smiling little faces each morning. That’s what makes this job so rewarding.”
Fundraising for Lanai’s youngest students
In addition to running the program day-to-day, Kaniho is leading a fundraising campaign to upgrade the preschool’s playground. Currently, the surface of the play area is comprised of dirt and sand. The school’s Board of Directors wants to make the play area safer, and feels it is important to keep up with new standards and best practices in preschool operations.
To that end, Keiki O Lanai is fundraising to resurface the playground with synthetic turf and install a new swing set. Their goal is to raise $102,000. Fundraising is going very well. The school has raised approximately $75,000 thus far. Six organizations have made large donations, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. However, the school still needs nearly $30,000 to reach its goal.
“We are pursuing grants to close that gap. We also hope residents will continue to contribute generously. And we will fundraise through the sale of Vienna cinnamon bread, which we expect will help us raise quite a bit of money,” said Kaniho.
Keiki O Lanai offers both full-day and half-day programs for students. Tuition includes breakfast, lunch and a snack. Parents who are interested in sending their children to Keiki O Lanai should call the school at 565-6266. The 2017-2018 school year begins Aug. 8.
Keiki O Lanai is located at Lanai Union Church at 751 Fraser Avenue.