Children's Center dedicates expansion classrooms at three public schools

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Wayne Watkins, (808) 956-9009
Director, Children's Center
Posted: Sep 14, 2012

The UH Mānoa Children’s Center held a dedication ceremony recently for expansion classrooms at three public elementary schools in Honolulu. The expansion allows the Children’s Center to accommodate 45 more children, mostly of UH Mānoa faculty and staff members. This is in addition to serving all UH Mānoa student requests for childcare.
The Children’s Center established memoranda of agreement with Noelani, Kūhio and Ala Wai schools to share space with their special education preschool classes. The result: an opportunity for all children to enjoy and benefit from a quality dynamic learning environment.
Each classroom has a combined enrollment of approximately 15 youngsters from the Children’s Center and five children from the Department of Education preschool program. Teachers from the Children’s Center and DOE work together on curriculum that will meet the needs of the combined students.
“The most important part of this ‘win-win’ partnership between UH Mānoa and the DOE is that two high-quality programs create an enriching community-based program for all children, no matter what level of ability they are,” said Director Terry Lock of the Hawai‘i Office of Early Learning. “I love the fact that typically developing peers will be learning alongside peers with developmental delays and disabilities. This is a model I’d like to see replicated throughout our state.” 
At the dedication ceremony, former UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, who authorized funding for the Children’s Center expansion, was presented with an “endowed chair,” a wooden children’s chair with a commemorative plaque­­.
Said Children’s Center Director Wayne Watkins, “Dr. Hinshaw’s forward-thinking decision will have a positive effect on the recruitment, retention and peace of mind of faculty, staff and student families with young children at UH Mānoa for many years to come.”