Imua Launches New “Inclusion” Preschool on Maui

November 11, 2014, 1:48 PM HST · Updated November 11, 1:51 PM
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Imua Preschool logo.

Imua Preschool logo.

By Wendy Osher

Imua Family Services will launch a new “inclusion” preschool in 2015 that celebrates children’s similarities as well as their different abilities and cultures, program executives announced this week.

The Imua Preschool is scheduled to open at its Early Childhood Center on Wākea Avenue in August of 2015 with a beginning enrollment of 24 students.

In order to address an immediate need for services, program executives say Imua has partnered with the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College to offer a pilot version of the preschool  in January 2015.

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The pilot preschool will be offered in Central Maui and will be open to a limited enrollment of 16 children. Under the partnership, Imua executives say a percentage of space will be available to UHMC students with preschool aged children; and three internship opportunities will be available for students in the UHMC Early Childhood Education program to assist Imua teaching staff.

Future home of Imua Family Services on Wākea Avenue in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Future home of Imua Family Services on Wākea Avenue in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“Our long term goal is to create something that is so profound, so transformative and inspirational that it becomes a model that we can replicate all across Maui,” said Dean Wong, Imua’s Executive Director in an organization press release. “Imua Preschool will become a training and development center for children, parents, and teachers island wide.”

According to Wong, the “inclusive” classroom, allows children with special needs take part in the general education curriculum based on their ages and grades. “They are not segregated into separate classrooms, but rather the curriculum and the room are adapted to meet all the children’s needs,” the organization announcement stated.

In addition to the new preschool program, Imua Family Services provides early child development and therapeutic services to children with developmental delays, special needs, and disabilities.  Services are geared toward children from birth to age six and their families.

Limited space is currently available for both the January 2015 preschool pilot program and for the August 2015 school year.  To obtain further information, interested families can contact Imua Family Services by calling 244-7467, emailing [email protected], or visiting the Imua Family Services website.

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