A new playground is generating excitement and joy for preschoolers at the Alani Children’s Center on the Kapiʻolani Community College campus. The program is operated in collaboration with early childhood education faculty at Honolulu CC. The two campuses announced the opening of the new playground on September 6.
The new features include a rock wall, slides, a swinging bridge and even drums! Alani Children’s Center provides early childhood care and education for children ages 2.5–5 in the campus community, and also serves as a laboratory for the early childhood teacher training programs, service learning and related programs in the University of Hawaiʻi system.
The celebration included a blessing by Honolulu CC Hawaiian Studies education specialist Mahi LaPierre. It had been a dream of the Alani staff to have a new, bigger play structure for many years and they expressed gratitude to the administrations of both campuses for making those dreams a reality.
“Alani is a shining example of UHCC cross-system collaboration,” said Liz Hartline, instructor of early childhood education and site coordinator of Alani Children’s Center. “Honolulu CC and Kapiʻolani CC pooled resources to fund a new play structure, to replace one that was 25 years old and showing its age.”
As a laboratory site for training early childhood teachers, the program is informed by research-based, best practices and guided by instructional faculty with expertise and experience in high-quality early childhood pedagogy and programming. The center is staffed by mentor teachers who work closely with faculty to provide quality education and care to the children and families of the center.
Priority is given to children whose parents or guardians are Kapiʻolani CC students or employees. Any remaining spaces are allocated to children of other UH system students and employees, and then to the general community. Spaces are allocated based upon priority and number of openings available in each age group and gender.
Friends and alumni can help to support Alaniʻs educational program and facilities through the UH Foundation.