Note: Due to COVID-19 our fabulous Enrichment Program has been suspended indefinitely.
The Enrichment Program at Kona Pacific, when operating, includes two programs for an extended day at school: Kindercare, running from the end of the Kindergarten school day until the end of the Grades' school day, and Aftercare, running from the end of the Grades' school day until 5pm (pick-up running until 5:30pm).
Our Kindercare Program begins with all keiki coming into the classroom for a rest time. Many students nap, but it is not required. This time is spent to slow the body and calm the mind. There are individual nap spaces laid out. Instructors read stories and sing songs. After a few stories we have quiet time. During this time one instructor begins dismissing students to go outside for free play in our amazing forest spaces, while the other instructor remains inside with the sleeping keiki. Kindergarten is such a magical age, and accordingly our purpose in Kindercare is to provide a safe space for these keiki to enjoy their campus and be able to rest comfortably to maintain their healthy energy levels. Our free play consists of imagination play and large group games based in nature and art.
Our Aftercare Program begins when the Grades' school day is over and students come together to share in a safe space for exploration, creation, snack and play! This program serves all students in the school. With such a wide range of ages we utilize our forests, our play spaces, and smaller groups. The program is based around Nature Mentoring. We utilize the natural world around us to learn more about our connection to it and one another. We expand our senses, our observation skills, our deductive reasoning, and our social/emotional development. Students expand their respect for the aina, for the wildlife, for one another and most importantly themselves. Utilizing nature to connect to our everyday lives, our community, and our deep inner selves is what we strive for. Curiosity, exploration, imagination, leadership, play, creativity, teamwork and more are all areas we touch on during Aftercare.
Students arrive and sign-in, then we all have snacks together. Taking good moments to relax after a long school day and just sit all together socializing and munching. Next we travel up to our magical forest and respectfully ask permission to step inside, then we enter and find a guided sit spot. Students and staff expand out throughout a particular space in the forest and each individually find their own place to sit and be still. This sit spot allows the practice of observation, meditation and reflection. Students are encouraged to maintain a few regular spots that they observe throughout the year, so they can grow connected to these and witness the changes that occur.
Next we all come together for our gratitude circle. This is our space to each share what we observed that day, what we are grateful for, and one fun fact / inquiry that is prompted by the instructors that day. This space is created as a community and made exceptionally safe. Students find courage in using their voice (especially our younger keiki), they relate to one another and find connection, and they are allowed a safe space to explore topics and curiosities. Each gratitude circle has set expectations and guidelines to contain the energy and practice respect. Once this is done, free play manages the rest of the day, as many students are picked up at different times throughout the afternoon. Large group games, individual play, imagination play, forest exploration / trekking, tree climbing, art, books, homework, and more are all activities we take part in.