Keikis Corner is organized as a play based program. We feel that the growth that the children gain from the opportunity to interact and socialize with others their own age is critical to their positive development. Through this interaction each child learns socialization skills, language, and a positive sense of self worth.
Our program has only toddlers. All of our indoor and outdoor equipment is carefully chosen to augment a toddler’s specific developmental needs. We rotate our indoor toys to “grow” as the children grow through the school year.
Our outdoor equipment is geared to the appropriate physical development for toddlers from that rocky walking stage to wildly running. We also organize our outdoor play area to encourage imaginary play as the toddler evolves from parallel play to more interactive play.
Art is an important component of our work. We want each child to have the opportunity to become familiar with a variety of media. For example, we like to take one simple item, like a crayon, and see how it works on different colors of paper, different weights of paper, mixed with paint, collaged etc. We use the different seasons and cultural celebrations as inspiration for our art projects. With the enormous variety of cultures present in the bay area and represented by our families, we are always finding new and interesting ways to mix learning about celebrations and art. From Chinese New Year to Cinqo de Mayo, we are busy. We use the study of culture as a jumping off place for our art, and then add cooking, singing and reading stories to fill out the picture.
With an easily accessible outdoor space, we are able to have the children naturally roam through indoor play, outdoor play, art projects, music, cooking and working in our flower and organic gardens.
Our goal is to create a loving environment and to make each day fun and happy for each child.
Keikis Corner has been part of the Berkeley community for over twenty years. I began the program in my home on Hopkins Street in 1990. In 1998 we moved to Euclid Ave. and increased the program from 6 to 12 children.
We have four caregivers who work in our program; Dianne Ruyffelaere, Sharmilla Gregory, Hildy Sackman and Nihara Gregory. We have worked together about 10 years. With four teachers, we can easily substitute and support one another. We all bring different talents and years of experience to working with the children. Our Story teller, Carley Angell; Music teacher, Ginger Nomura, and our intern, Ave Gillum, round out our program to make children feel warm and safe within our rich learning environment.