Cherry Blossom Preschool and Toddler Center, the Perfect Environment for Your Child to Bloom
I remember as if it was yesterday. On the playground of my kindergarten, there was a girl named Miyu. She had a pretty face and many friends. I, however, was extremely shy. There was no way I could muster the courage to join Miyu and the others on the playground. Frozen with fear, all I could do was sit on the bench and watch the other children play. Then one day my favorite teacher suddenly approached and told me another team member was needed for a game of tag. Tag being my favorite game, I immediately leaped up from the bench and ran over to play.
That teacher, on that day, changed my life forever. She never pushed or forced me to overcome my fears. Instead she offered patience and support, which allowed me conquer my shyness on my terms, in my own time. Because of her, Cherry Blossom Preschool is permanent reminder of the impact positive role models can have on your life. I’ve recently returned to Cherry Blossom to relive old memories and learn more about how the school’s programs have evolved over the years.
Cherry Blossom Preschool and Toddler Center strives to go beyond the academic basics of counting and letters. There is also a strong emphasis on teaching proper behavior and instilling compassion for others. Love and respect emanates throughout the school. Every time I visit my is name called out and children and teachers rush to greet me with smiles and hugs. The school’s diversity also plays an important role in creating a positive atmosphere filled with compassion and mutual respect. Students come from a range of cultural backgrounds including Japan, the Philippines, and the United States and lessons are given in both English and Japanese. Contributing to the school’s diversity, Japanese children from the mainland also attend because of the high cost of international schools in mainland.
Besides recess and physical activity, lessons include mathematics, science, language arts and reading. Music education is also a core subject in the school’s curriculum. Students are taught how to play musical instruments and learn a number of different songs throughout the year. There is even an annual Christmas program. The music program is tremendous fun and the kids all look forward to music class each day.
Other events include field trips twice a year and a family day outing filled with food, cultural events, and sports. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled regularly, offering parents the opportunity to visit the school and monitor their child’s progress. American holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are also celebrated.
Cherry Blossom’s director, Tita Uehara, previously worked at an elementary school in the Philippines. Ms. Uehara and her teachers all have extensive experience in early childhood education. The school invites parents from all over Okinawa to visit and experience the school’s atmosphere first-hand. During the summer classes are also offered. Summer registration will begin soon.
Next to the preschool is a toddler center, which is also owned by Ms. Uehara. The toddler center is open from 7:00-17:00 and accepts children 0 to 2 years of age. Cherry Blossom is located in Kitanakagusuku. Because it’s a little off the beaten path, the area is free from the noise and hazards of passing traffic allowing the children to play and sleep easily.
Both the preschool and toddler center offers full and half day classes, one to three days a week. For more information, call (098) 935-2780 (preschool) or (098) 935-3441 (toddler center).
Cherry Blossom is located at Parkside Terrace #1823, 269 Ogido, Kitanakagusuku-son. Closed on weekends and American holidays. http://cherryblossomscho.org