by Jen Townsend, VP of Youth Development and Director of Preschools, YMCA of Honolulu
Keiki thrive in the loving environment of our YMCA preschools and early learning centers – growing socially and academically with values of kindness, respect, and teamwork, along and the skills needed to excel in kindergarten and beyond. Our teachers are the magic and reason why generations of families have entrusted their keiki with us.
Last fall, we were excited to transition The Children’s Center, Inc. at the Nuuanu Congregational Church into our family of YMCA preschools. Renamed the YMCA Pali Nuuanu Preschool, we are thrilled that three excellent veteran teachers of the Center are continuing their “magic” for the families we serve.
Ms. Jodi, a seasoned educator with 30 years under her belt, models respect, aloha, peace, and love among her students. “We talk with our students, not at them. We listen with our hearts, empower them with an ‘I Can Do It‘ attitude, and celebrate each child’s self-esteem and unique creativity and individuality. Our values shine through our actions, words, and songs, becoming ‘second nature’ to all of us.”
Ms. Carole, a veteran of seven years, shares, “My passion for teaching, fostered by my love for music, reading, and children, led me to early education. The Center has been a second family to me and many of our teachers and families. Generations have come through this school because of the welcoming and inclusive support we provide. I am excited as we continue this tradition with the Y.
Ms. Charlene, an experienced educator with 33+ years at the Center, shares, “As teachers, our greatest joy comes from hearing the laughter and chatter of children, confidently expressing themselves and exploring their surroundings. We encourage parents to strongly advocate for their children and assure them that judgment has no place here. Ultimately, our goal is to ‘bring out the light’ in each child, fostering their abilities and teaching them always to choose kindness. At the Y, we continue to strive for the holistic development of our young learners, nurturing them to love themselves, others, and the world they live in.”
These dedicated teachers genuinely embody what our Y stands for, and we invite families, with children ages 2 to 5 years old, to join our preschool and early learning centers throughout the island.